In Review: Beckett Simonon Shoes

Dave Bowden

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Beckett Simonon Durant Oxford ShoesYou’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 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 shoes.

And after trying out both their Durant and Dean cap toe oxfords, I have a lot of thoughts that will help you decide if they’re up to snuff and worth your hard-earned cash.

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

Assessing the Look, Feel and Quality of their Dean and Durant Oxfords

What Makes Beckett Simonon Unique?

Man crafting leather shoesBeckett Simonon has a slightly different business model than most shoemakers.

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 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 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 high quality, custom made 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.

Full Disclosure:

This review came about because Beckett Simonon reached out to ask if I would review their shoes. In response, I told them I’d be happy to try them, but would only write a review if there were NO STRINGS ATTACHED.

I made it clear that any review I write would be 1. completely honest, and 2. completely transparent about how it came about. (They were already familiar with my blog, so I didn’t have to tell them htat it would also be 3. awash in sarcasm.)

To their credit, they agreed and sent me a couple pairs. What follows are my honest, unfiltered thoughts after about a month of wearing the shoes multiple times per week.

Also note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, so if you click through and make a purchase, I may make a small commission.

And finally, please note that I am a huge nerd who has seen all 217 episodes of the show Smallville. That fact is not at all relevant here, just pretty embarrassing. (We didn’t even see him in the [email protected]¢king suit at the end! What a waste. But I digress.)

OK, disclosures over. On to the review!

Review Part 1:

Beckett Simonon Durant Review

Sharp Style

Beckett Simonon Durant Oxford ShoesWhen 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.


Visual Impact

Beckett Simonon Durant Oxford ShoesIn terms of visual impact, everything about these shoes makes them stand outs:

The toe shape is perfect. 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 Aladdin.

The broguing around the cap toe and the ankle adds a touch of ruggedness without going full wingtip and sacrificing some sophistication.

The color is rich (mine were tan) 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

Beckett Simonon Durant Oxford Shoes
The heels of these shoes look great and will likely last a long time, but be warned: in the first few days, there will be blisters

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.

Personal Comfort

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, but once the Durants were fully worked in, they came to feel like they were custom-made for the unique contours of my feet.

The Verdict:

Can the Durants help you look sharp and stand out?

Beckett Simonon Durant Oxford ShoesHell yes.

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 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

A scene from John Wick
Keanu’s #closetgoals are… very different from mine

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.

Beckett Simonon Dean Oxford Shoes
Are the Dean oxfords up to snuff? Read on to find out…

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.


The Color

Introducing Beckett Simonon’s Bordeaux
Beckett Simonon Dean Oxford Shoes
Beckett Simonon’s Dean oxfords in “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.

The Leather

Beckett Simonon Dean Oxford ShoesA big part of the reason why the color looks so crisp is because the full grain calfskin leather Beckett uses on its shoes is such high quality.

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

Beckett Simonon Dean Oxford ShoesThe Deans have virtually the exact same toe shape as the Durants, which is a very, very good thing.

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.

The Comfort

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.

The Sole

Beckett Simonon Dean Oxford ShoesAnother similarity the Deans bear to the Durants is the leather sole. While the result is a super-slick look that contributes to the shoe’s overall 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. 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.


The Takeaway

If you want to look sharp, you should wear these shoes.

Beckett Simonon Dean Oxford ShoesYou won’t be shocked to learn that the conclusion is simple: the Deans, like the Durants, are great shoes.

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.

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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More Resources ↓
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