Reviewed & updated: September 12, 2023 by Jamie Wilson BA
You’ve probably heard the buzzwords—’ethical,’ ‘sustainable,’ and ‘small batches.’ But do these trendy terms translate to top-notch footwear and accessories? And can they really hold their ground against industry giants like Allen Edmonds? That’s what we’re here to find out.
Born in the early 2010s as a humble leather goods outfit, Beckett Simonon has evolved into your go-to spot for dress shoes, boots, sneakers, and bags that keep your wallet intact. We’re peeling back the curtain on their story, scrutinizing their ordering and manufacturing process, and—most importantly—giving you the lowdown on whether their popular styles are worth the hype.
The Origin Story: Beyond the Price Tag
Nicholas Hurtado and Andrés Niño kicked off their journey in the fashion world with Hasso, a leather goods brand that found itself distributed in over a dozen countries. But as their business scaled, they confronted the ugly side of retail—sky-high markups that hurt consumers and made waste the norm. This drove them to build Beckett Simonon, a brand grounded in a culture of sustainability and respect for craftsmanship.
Oh, and about the name—mix the literary genius Samuel Beckett with Paul Simonon’s punk-rock bass vibes, and you’ve got a label that effortlessly marries high-brow and low-key.
Early Days: No Frills, Just Skills
When Beckett Simonon burst onto the scene in 2012, they priced their shoes at an accessible $79, forgoing the Kickstarter hype and flashy marketing. Yet, their initial 1,000 pairs sold out in under a month. Why? Quality craftsmanship doesn’t need a billboard.
From Humble Beginnings to Niche Stardom
Now, Beckett Simonon has established itself as a powerhouse for those who appreciate delicate design without going broke. They’ve made waves in the menswear universe by constantly reinvesting in quality materials and refining their lineup.
Where Are They Crafting These Bad Boys?
Sure, “Made in Italy” sounds fancy, but Beckett Simonon shoes are expertly crafted in Bogota, Colombia—a place with a rich tradition in leatherwork. This vertical integration allows them to cut costs and closely monitor quality control.
Stitched Not Glued: Craftsmanship Matters
Forget the Goodyear welt buzzword; Beckett Simonon rolls with the Blake stitch, making for a lighter and sleeker shoe. It’s not about one method being better than the other; it’s about choosing the right fit for their design ethos. There are no glue jobs here, just pure, reliable stitching.
The Making of a Shoe: A Test of Patience
Expect a longer wait time due to a handcrafted process involving around 150 steps, including hand-nailing and air-drying. COVID’s made this longer, but good things take time, right? It’s not just about you getting a pair for your cousin’s wedding next month; it’s about contributing to a sustainable fashion ecosystem.
Oxfords: A Deep Dive into Quality & Construction
I can vouch for their craftsmanship after sporting multiple pairs over the years. The shoes now feature full-grain Italian calfskin, and let me tell you, this leather is something else—no scuffs, no blemishes. The construction is spot-on, even rivaling some of my pricier pairs.
Let’s Talk Comfort and Fit
The brand’s attention to detail extends to an anti-blister patch stitched inside the heel. What’s not to love? As for sizing, if you have a foot width closer to a canoe paddle than a pencil, consider going half a size up.
Style and Design: Far from Cookie-Cutter
Beckett Simonon’s range has expanded significantly, thanks to a versatile last that lends itself to multiple designs, from classic blacks to intriguing oaks. Whether you’re after the conservative “Dean” or the detail-rich “Durant,” you’re getting a pair that brings its own personality to the table.
Final Thoughts: Bang for Your Buck?
Here’s the lowdown—Beckett Simonon offers high-quality, well-designed shoes that won’t have you eating ramen for a month. The leather, while not quite in the league of $400 pairs, holds its own against competitors like Cole Haan. Sizing can be a bit tricky, so tread carefully there. But these shoes are a stellar investment once you’ve nailed the fit.
Loafers: A Mix of Classic and Modern Quality & Construction
Beckett Simonon loafers don’t disappoint. They are made with Italian leather and feel slightly thicker and softer than the Oxfords. Stitching? On point. Sole? Solid. The only weak link might be the horse-bit hardware. It feels cheaper and jingles as you walk, but that’s okay.
Comfort & Fit
Finding the right loafer size can be like hitting a moving target. The loafers’ size 9s are slightly shorter than the dress shoes, meaning my toes cozy up too close to the tip. Wear thin socks or go sockless, and it’s usually not an issue. If you’ve got regular feet, stick to your standard size.
Style & Design
The brand offers different loafer styles, from the classic “Beaumont” to the “Bernard” and “Cohen,” each with its quirks. While the Beaumont is a Gucci homage, the others might have you scratching your head. The Cohen and Bernard models have features that clash rather than complement, like elongated toe boxes and clunky heels.
Boots: More Than Just a Footnote
Quality & Construction
While not Goodyear welted, Beckett Simonon boots are Blake stitched, which is okay. It could speed up the break-in period. They’ve also avoided the usual corner-cutting on hardware—something you can’t say for all brands. The only minor setbacks? The rubber sole could offer better traction, and the pull tab feels flimsy.
Comfort & Fit
Comfort is not an issue here. The boots don’t feature foam layers but don’t need to. A surprise perk? Thanks to the boot’s high shaft, a half-size up fit me better than my regular size.
Style & Design
Whether you’re into combat boots, wingtips, or dress boots, Beckett Simonon has you covered. They offer many styles and materials, so odds are you’ll find something that tickles your fancy. Keep an eye on colorways; some can be unexpected.
Beckett Simonon vs. Allen Edmonds
Beckett Simonon and Allen Edmonds are both serious contenders in their own right, bringing unique value propositions to the table. Let’s break it down.
Quality & Materials
Allen Edmonds might not be as transparent as Beckett Simonon about their leather sourcing, but the proof is in the pudding—or, in this case, the shoe. The quality remains solid despite ownership changes and market fluctuations. So, if “Made in America” matters to you, Allen Edmonds delivers.
Beckett Simonon, on the other hand, has a commitment to quality materials that are ethically sourced. They’re transparent about where their goods come from, which could tip the scales if you care about that sort of thing.
In terms of build, Allen Edmonds wins for sheer tradition and heritage. Those 48 pairs of hands have been at it for a long time. The Goodyear welt and cork midsole? Tried and true techniques.
Beckett Simonon may not have the history, but their attention to detail and craftsmanship must be addressed. They’ve managed to carve out a niche in a market dominated by heavy hitters, which says a lot about the quality they bring.
When it comes to fit, Allen Edmonds takes the cake. The sheer variety of sizes makes them the better option for men needing something more specific. You can go right here with either super narrow or wide feet.
Unfortunately, Beckett Simonon’s one-size-fits-most approach is its Achilles heel in this battle. Unless you’re a standard D, it’s a game of chance.
Design is subjective, but Beckett Simonon clearly aims for the modern man who wants a mix of style and functionality. Allen Edmonds, meanwhile, is a nod to the classic and timeless.
So, are Beckett Simonon shoes worth it? In my opinion, hell, yes—if you fit the mold. You get a quality, stylish shoe for a fraction of the price of Allen Edmonds. That said, if fit is your top priority or you swear by the classics, Allen Edmonds won’t disappoint.
It’s your move, gents. Do you go with the old guard or the new blood? Either way, you’re stepping up your game.
7 Specific Shoe Styles That Beckett Simonon Offers?
- Oxfords: They offer the classic closed-lace design, with popular options like the Dean Oxford for that perfect blend of formality and modern style.
- Derbies: These open-lace shoes are a versatile option for those who want a slightly more casual look without sacrificing elegance.
- Loafers: If you’re looking for slip-on convenience and style, Beckett Simonon’s loafers, like the Valencia and Garcia models, are solid picks.
- Monk Straps: The double and single monk strap offerings provide a unique aesthetic for those who want something different but still formal.
- Boots: From the sturdy and practical Dowler Cap-Toe boots to the sleek and versatile Durant Brogue boots, they’ve got you covered for colder weather or bolder fashion statements.
- Sneakers: Believe it or not, they even offer sneakers. Their Reid and Morgen styles are minimalist and luxurious, built with the same level of craftsmanship as their more formal options.
- Chukka Boots: If you’re looking for something versatile that bridges the gap between formal and casual, their chukka options, like the Hughes, are worth considering.
5 Potential Downsides To Be Aware Of In 2023!
When we talk about Beckett Simonon, the brand gets a lot of praise for its ethical manufacturing and premium materials, but no brand is without its caveats. Let’s look at a couple of things you might want to consider:
- Wait Time: Their made-to-order business model means you’ll wait a while to get your shoes—sometimes up to three or four months. This might not be your route if you need a pair of quality dress shoes quickly.
- Limited Sizing: The brand primarily offers standard D-width sizes. This could be a downside for those with exceedingly narrow or wide feet looking for a precise fit. While you can try to size down or up, it’s different from having a shoe designed for your foot width.
- Materials Transparency: While they’re open about their manufacturing process and ethics, they could be more transparent about where some of their materials are sourced. It’s not a significant issue, but transparency is crucial.
- Design for some consumers Limitations: The brand leans towards a modern aesthetic. If you prefer a more classic or unique design, you may find their range could be more flexible.
- Consistency: As with any brand that employs hand craftsmanship, shoes might have minor inconsistencies. Most people won’t notice, but it could be an issue if you’re highly detail-oriented.
None of these are dealbreakers, but they are points to ponder. Ultimately, weigh these aspects against what you find most valuable in a shoe—be it craftsmanship, ethical manufacturing, or a particular style—before making your purchase.
How Do Beckett Simonon Loafers Compare To The Rest
Beckett Simonon has earned kudos for their dress shoes and loafers, but each offers a unique experience in terms of comfort and quality. Let’s break it down:
- Materials: Both the dress shoes and loafers use premium full-grain leather. The attention to detail is consistent across both categories.
- Construction: Both types feature Blake-stitch construction, which means they are both reliable. The craftsmanship is equally meticulous whether you opt for a dress shoe or a loafer.
- Finish: The quality of the finish is equally high across both types, so expect a consistent level of polish and finesse whether you go formal or casual.
- Breaking In: Loafers, generally speaking, are easier to break in than dress shoes, thanks to their more relaxed design and absence of laces. But this isn’t to say that Beckett Simonon’s dress shoes are uncomfortable; they’re also designed for comfort but might take a little longer to break in.
- Arch Support and Insoles: The loafers and dress shoes offer good arch support, although the slugs might offer a slightly more laid-back feel for your feet.
- Versatility: Loafers offer more flexibility and freedom for your feet, making them a more comfortable option for extended wear or walking. Dress shoes, designed to be more structured, may provide a different level of freedom but offer excellent support.
- Last Shape: The last (mold around which a shoe is constructed) for a dress shoe is often more elongated and might offer a snugger fit compared to a loafer. While this can be stylish and add a level of formality, it can affect comfort if you’re on your feet all day.
Here’s the deal: Beckett Simonon and Allen Edmonds bring a lot to the table. Beckett’s got your back if you’re on a budget but want to maintain quality. Just be prepared for a longer wait, and make sure you’re a standard size D in terms of fit. Now, if you need that custom width or are big on tradition, Allen Edmonds is your go-to, no questions asked. The risk? Well, with Beckett Simonon, it’s primarily the sizing and waiting game. With Allen Edmonds, it’s the hit to your wallet and recent issues of quality inconsistency. Either way, the key is to know what matters most to you—fit, style, or ethics. Once you’ve got that down, making a choice is a no-brainer. So, get out there and invest in a pair that makes you feel like a million bucks without necessarily spending it. Trust me, your feet will thank you.