Looking For A Great, Sharp, Black Dress Shoe? Look No Further Than Beckett Simonon
Disclaimer: Beckett Simonon was kind enough to send The Peak Lapel these shoes for free for the purposes of this review.
We’ve taken a look at Beckett Simonon shoes here on the site before in the past. The long and short of it is that they make super high quality shoes at extremely reasonable prices. The catch is that they take a super long time to ship, as they essentially follow a “Kickstarter” model for all their shoes. As in, when you order them, you are actually pre-ordering them for when they ship a few months later. But if you can wait, these are some of the best shoes for the price in the business, as they say.
Specifically, they make some really great dress shoes, and they offer them in a nice variety of shades and colors. It’s quite similar to Allen Edmonds, in fact. They come in a variety of browns, and then, of course, they always have the classic black, which is something a surprising amount of brands leave out these days. If you ask us here at TPL, though, a good pair of black dress shoes is a must. They complete any formal outfit, and, quite honestly, look super sharp with a navy suit as well. (Not to mention black or charcoal or grey suits as well, of course.) With that all out of the way, let’s get in to the rest of it!
Packaging & Experience
The shoes take a really long time to ship. That is by design, as discussed above. Still, if waiting 8-10 weeks for your shoes to arrive is a dealbreaker for you, then Beckett Simonon is not for you. If you don’t mind, though, or at least can deal with it, then you’re in for an excellent deal, as you will see below. The biggest issue? Sizing… since you won’t know for quite a few months if the shoes even fit you. But, once you nail down your size with them, it’ll be well worth it.
The shoes arrive in a standard fare shipping box and shoe box inside. It comes with shoe bags (which are pretty cheap, honestly), and a small shoe horn as well. In all, not much to write home about. What is interesting, and unusual, though, is that they also include nice padded inserts for the shoes if you prefer the fit be a bit more snug or soft/cushion-y. This is a very nice thing to include (though always makes me second guess myself as to which I prefer).
Style & Design
For this review we took a look at the Yates shoe from Beckett Simonon ($199). We like the full brogue-ing in the design which slightly dresses down an otherwise super formal shoe. But they do offer the same shoe silhouette without the broke detailing as well. Overall, Beckett Simonon shoes are neither super modern nor super classic. They straddle the line, in my opinion, perfectly. These are not super sleek Italian shoes, but they are far from the bulbous monstrosities you see most other places. They are a perfect, happy medium. Slim, but not too slim. Rounded toes, without being too rounded. They are an excellent compromise. Personally, I always preferred the silhouette of sleeker Italian shoes, but I find these shoes more than sleek enough to wear with suits. In the end, these are a well designed, well proportioned shoe that would look super sharp as a final touch to any suited look.
Quality & Construction
These shoes are Blake stitched. So, not Goodyear welted, but, despite most people putting that down as an inherent negative, a Blake stitched shoe is actually not objectively worse than a Goodyear welt. It allows these shoes to be lighter, and slimmer. Again, perfect for double-duty with jeans or a suit.
The leather is super smooth and supple right out of the box, and is amongst the best-feeling leather I have felt on shoes in a sub $300 price range. They are also super comfortable, and didn’t need much of a break-in time at all. Creasing has been quite minimal as well, which is indeed quite the sign of a well-made dress shoe. In short, these things are sturdy, comfortable, and built to last a long time. They’ve been wearing wonderfully so far, and I expect that to continue. For the price, these are the highest quality pair of dress shoes I have gotten my hands on (save for Allen Edmonds Factory Seconds, their inherent nicks and scratches notwithstanding).
I usually take a size 11.5. I tried that here, and they pinched and were a bit too tight. A size 12 suited me much better, and that is what I ended up with and am now comfortable with. While they expedited the process to just a few days from my initial order to swapping out for a different size due to me being a reviewer, they will be able to swap out sizes for you without having to wait another bunch of months. They keep a very small stock for this purpose. So, the sizing seems to run a touch big from what I am used to, but I do find I run somewhere between an 11.5 and a 12, so it’s not at all wrong, just on the bigger size. Thus, if you find yourself between two sizes typically, with Beckett Simonon, I would go with the bigger of the two (at least in my experience).
Value & Conclusion
Yates Oxford Brogues from Beckett Simonon — $199: I’ll come right out with it. For a price of $200, these shoes cannot really be beat. I think perhaps Jack Erwin gives them a bit of a run for their money (and some might prefer their slightly sleeker lasts and more modern styles), but for sheer quality, comfort, build, and style, these are some of the best shoes money can buy. The single down-side is that incredibly long wait for them. But, that is also how you can get them at such a low price. A well-worth-it deal in our opinion. Final Grade: A