You’ve probably noticed that there are – and this is a conservative estimate – approximately one gazillion types of men’s shoes on the market, and the quality of both their style and their construction can vary wildly.
For guys interested in stepping up their shoe game (pun very much intended), this can be a big problem, especially since price is not a particularly good indicator of quality.
It’s way too easy to spend a fortune on luxury dress shoes that look good one minute but fall apart the next, and far too hard to figure out which ones are worth the investment and will actually hold up.
Unfortunately, you probably don’t have the time, money or closet space to try out dozens of different brands and put their shoes through the ringer, so you’ll have to settle for the next best thing: hearing from someone who’s tried the shoes you’re interested in firsthand.
That’s where this post comes in.
I spent about a month walking around my neighborhood, office and everywhere in between so I could put together a thorough review of two different styles of Beckett Simonon’s shoes.
Keep reading to check out my full Beckett Simonon review and find out if these shoes are worth shelling out for.
Beckett Simonon Shoes Review
A Closer Look at the Overall Quality of their Dean and Durant Oxfords
What Makes Beckett Simonon Unique?
Beckett Simonon is a relatively young brand with a slightly different business model than similar brands like Allen Edmonds and other shoe companies.
Rather than design shoes without knowing if anyone’s going to buy them, incur a ton of overhead costs, and then pass those costs on to the customer in the form of high-prices, Beckett uses a made to order business model.
(If you’ve ever bought a suit from Indochino then you’ll get the idea; they use a similar model.)
Essentially, you browse their website and pick the style you want. Once you place your order and specify your size, their shoemakers in Europe and South America begin the manufacturing process, and get to work making your specific pair, then ship it to you directly.
A big part of their pitch is that they’re able to deliver custom-made, high quality dress shoes to you at a much more reasonable price than most retailers, who have to pay the upfront costs associated with inventory, warehousing, etc.
The question is:
How high quality are we talking, and do they really deliver on what they promise?
Let’s take a look.
This review came about because a Beckett Simonon rep reached out to ask if I would review their product. As I always do when brands reach out, I told them I’d be happy to try it, but only if they were comfortable with me writing a thorough, honest and transparent review.
They agreed and sent me the shoes, and the opinions that follow are my own, as are the (lame) jokes, (random) asides and (grossly over used) parentheses.
Review Part 1:
Beckett Simonon Durant Review
When the Durants first arrived, I brought them into my living room where my wife Michelle was sitting.
I pulled them out of the individual shoe bags they came in and held them up to the light so I could get a better look.
Michelle had been working on her laptop when I first took the shoes out, but when I held them up, I heard a single word emanate from the couch behind me: “Wow!”
“Wow!” was right. Before I had even tried them on, I recognized that my newest shoes were almost certainly my most stylish.
The toe shape has a perfect, timeless style.
Pointed enough to look sophisticated and avoid the clunky “round” look, but not so pointy they look like something you’d see in the (presumably terrible) live action adaptation of Aladdin.
The broguing around the cap toe and the ankle adds a touch of ruggedness without going full wingtip and sacrificing some sophistication.
Another great thing is the color. My Durants came in a rich tan that was caramel colored and remarkably true to the photo on their website.
The sole is sleek and the stitching is a great detail that helps separate them from lower quality shoes.
Overall, they made a strong first impression. Of course, that was before I actually tried them on…
Breaking (them in is) Bad
As with all leather dress shoes, I knew that I would have to wear the Durants a few times in order to break them in.
High quality leather is sturdier than the lower-cost alternatives you often find in cheaper (and let’s just be honest, lesser) shoes. In the long run, this is a good thing: it’s not only the reason that high quality shoes look better, but also why they tend to last a lot longer.
But in the short term, it can be a real pain in the… well, foot. My heels developed blisters the first day I wore my Durants, and even after I put band-aids on they continued to hurt.
This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this problem with dress shoes, and as in the past, it was no longer a problem after the second day. But it’s worth flagging that for the first few days, there will be pain.
Fortunately, it’s pain worth going through.
Once the Durants started adapting to the unique shape of my feet, they went from painful to downright pleasant.
After a week they started to feel so comfortable that they were almost like a second skin. (A leathery second skin that was for some reason held together by shoe laces, but a second skin nonetheless.)
They felt moulded to my feet in a way that was kind of surprising. The only information I provided to the company was my shoe size, and when you’re ordering online it’s not uncommon to find that a given company is either a half size too big or too small than your usual fit.
But the Durants fit true right out of the gate, and once they were fully worked in, they came to feel like they were custom-made for the unique contours of my feet.
Can the Durants help you look sharp and stand out?
Overall, I honestly can’t say enough about the Beckett Simonon Durants.
They look great, they’ve settled into a surprisingly high level of comfort, and the quality of the construction (combined with their durability thus far) makes me feel confident that they’ll continue to hold up for years to come.
I definitely recommend the Durants to anyone who’s interested, and will look to pick up another pair of Beckett Simonons next time I’m in the market for new shoes (or a new pair of dress boots …).
The Durants set a pretty high bar for style, so I was quite curious to see how the Deans would stack up.
Review Part 2:
Beckett Simonon Dean Oxfords Review
Stylish and well made dress shoes are to the sharp dressed man what guns are to John Wick:
Absolutely necessary, and impossible to have too many of.
So after I reviewed Beckett’s Durant brogue oxfords, I was more than happy when they reached out again and asked me to try out another pair from their collection.
This time around I tried out their Dean oxfords, which are similar to the Durants in that they’re both cap-toed oxfords, but have a sleeker style, in addition to a few other distinctions.
And while the results were in some ways similar to my experience with the Durants, there were some key differences that made wearing the Deans a unique experience.
Introducing Beckett Simonon’s Bordeaux
The first and most obvious difference between the particular pairs of Durants and Deans I tried was the color.
The Deans came in a gorgeous red-hued color that Beckett Simonon calls “Bordeaux,” invoking the famous wine region. This color is also popularly called Oxblood, invoking a super gross reference to animal plasma (you can see why they went with “Bordeaux”).
Whatever you call it, the color on these shoes is amazing, and immediately helps them (and me) stand out.
When I’m standing on the concrete grey subway platform amidst a sea of boring black and brown shoes, the Bordeaux beckons the eye like a lighthouse that’s dapper as hell.
In the past I’ve worn cheap Oxblood shoes, but because the leather wasn’t as good as it is on the Deans, after a few wears they started to take on a color that was less Oxblood and more nose-bleed. Not a great look.
But the color on the Deans hasn’t wavered at all in the six weeks since I’ve been pounding the pavement with them. In addition to maintaining their color, they’ve also proved remarkably durable for shoes that look this refined.
They’re quite resistant to scrapes and scuffs, even after some fairly heavy wear. So far I haven’t encountered any scuffs that couldn’t be cleared up with a quick pass of a disposable shoe wipe, which leaves them looking as good as new.
The Toe Shape
In my review of the Durants I noted that those shoes may very well have been the nicest pair I owned to that point, and the toe shape is a huge part of the reason why.
Like the Durants, the Deans have the same perfect balance between rounded and pointy, creating a silhouette that looks sophisticated and mature, but not stuffy.
The Deans lack the broguing found on the Durants, but when combined with the toe shape and the color, it’s very much a situation where less is more.
The Deans feel more refined and more formal. They pair perfectly with a navy suit, but can also be used to elevate more casual looks, like a dark pair of jeans and a blazer.
As with the Durants, the Deans took some breaking in. My size nines fit me perfectly, but after the first day I did have blisters on both my heels, and on the upper part of my right foot.
This was expected, since the Durants had nearly the exact same effect, but a bit annoying on that first day. A few days later I wore them again, but strategically placed bandages where the blisters had popped up, which completely solved the problem.
Because the damage had already been done, and blisters on my feet tend to take an annoyingly long time to heal, I kept wearing the bandages every time I pulled on the Deans, just as a precaution.
But after about five wears or so this was probably overkill on my part; as I continued to wear the shoes and move around in them, they began to mold to the shape of my foot, getting more comfortable with each wear.
Now I can comfortably wear them all day at work without thinking twice about it, no bandages necessary.
While the result is a super-slick look that contributes to the shoe’s overall quality and refinement, leather soles are notoriously slippery.
I forgot to properly score the Deans before I left the house for the first time, and felt like I could have skated across the smoother, more recently paved parts of the road.
But again, this isn’t unique to the Deans—any leather-soled shoes will have this issue. And while that first wear was a little slidey, I’d still much rather have a sleek leather sole on my dress shoes than a chunky rubber sole.
Make sure you score yours properly before you go out for the first time; after a few wears, the concrete jungle will naturally scrape, scratch and score the bottom of them, making them much more resistant to slips and slides.
Beckett Simonon vs Meermin
Since first publishing my original Beckett Simonon review, I’ve had a few guys reach out to ask how Beckett’s shoes compare to Meermin, the Spanish shoe brand known for making shoes with a high-quality goodyear welt.
Unfortunately I don’t own any Meermins so I can’t speak from personal experience. But after being asked about the Beckett Simonon vs Meermin comparison a couple of times, I decided to do a little digging to see what I could find.
The most helpful information I found came from reddit. (There’s a dangerous sentence if ever there was one.)
In a since-deleted post on the reddit thread r/goodyearwelt (yep – there’s an entire subreddit dedicated to goodyear welting), one redditor asked about whether to go with Beckett Simonon or Meermin for a pair of loafers.
After spending more time than I care to admit reading through the responses, it seems like the general consensus is that Meermin offers a slightly higher quality, but at a steeper price point.
Actually, they pricer is steeper in two ways:
Generally speaking, their shoes are more expensive, and the full-grain leather they use takes even longer to break in than Beckett Simonon’s.
Based on what I saw on reddit and other forums, it seems like Meermin is a great option for those who have both the money and the patience to invest in the highest quality full grain leather.
But for those who still want high quality, but would prefer to spend less money and less time breaking in shoes, Beckett Simonon is an excellent alternative.
A great pair of shoes if you want to look sharp
If you’re looking for a good everyday pair of dress shoes that you can wear with jeans, I suggest the Durants over the Deans.
But if you want a more dressed up pair that you can wear with suits or in business casual settings, I highly recommend picking up a pair of Deans, which both look and feel like they should cost twice as much, providing great value for your money.
Of course, while shoes can be a secret weapon that help you stand out, they’re still only one piece of the overall menswear puzzle.
Men today are dressing sharper than they did a generation ago, meaning you need to step things up to keep up with the crowd—and if you want to stand out from it, you’ve got to go next level.
The good news is that taking your look to the next level isn’t as hard as you might think. You just need to know – and nail – the details. Enter your email address below and I’ll send you a nine-point checklist outlining the most important details you need to nail.
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