In Review: Beckett Simonon Shoes

We’ve been wearing both the Dean and Durant Oxfords for more than five years now—and we have thoughts

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Stylish and well-made dress shoes are to the modern gentleman what guns are to John Wick:

Absolutely necessary, and impossible to have too many of.

A scene from John Wick
Keanu’s #closetgoals are… very different from mine
[image: Lionsgate]

But you’ve probably noticed that there are [checks notes] about elevanty gazillion different men’s shoes on the market, and the quality of both their style and construction can vary wildly.

If you want to step up your shoe game, the main problem is that price is not a particularly good indicator of quality.

It’s easy to waste a lot of money on a pair of shoes that looks good one minute, but falls apart the next. 

And it’s annoyingly difficult to figure out which ones are worth the investment and will actually hold up, especially when you’re shopping online and can’t see them in person.

Close up of Beckett Simonon Oxfords
Which category do Beckett Simonon’s Oxfords fall in: stylish but short-lived, or well-made and worth it?
Close up of Beckett Simonon Oxfords
Which category do Beckett Simonon’s Oxfords fall in: stylish but short-lived, or well-made and worth it?

So, which category does the online shoe company Beckett Simonon belong in? 

I’ve been wearing two pairs of their Oxfords for more than five years now, and have a lot of thoughts. 

Check out my full review below to find out if a pair of Beckett Simonon shoes is worth shellin’ out for. (Or just skim the bullet points if you’re pressed for time—no judgment!)

 Key Takeaways ↓

Overall, Beckett Simonon’s Oxfords are stylish, well-made and very well priced considering the quality. I’ll go (deep) into what I liked and disliked about them below, but here’s a quick summary of their pros and cons. 

The Pros: 
Materials and construction are high quality and have held up quite well
Comfort level is pretty high, especially considering they’re traditional dress shoes with no fancy foam or modern tech
Aesthetics are excellent: the almond toe shape is both substantial and sophisticated 
Price is extremely reasonable: when compared to their closest competitors, they’re some of the best value Oxfords on the market

The Cons: 
Long time to arrive: Beckett Simonon’s shoes are all made to order, so they take weeks to ship 
Some break-in needed: the leather is high-quality, but can be a bit stiff on the first wear, and take a few days to break in properly 

An In-Depth Review of Beckett Simonon Dress Shoes

Are their cap-toe oxfords as good as advertised?
An Irreverent Gent Investigation

Who Wrote This Article:

Irreverent Gent Founder and Editor-in-Chief Dave Bowden has been a service journalist for more than a decade, and his fashion advice and shopping recommendations have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, and Men’s Health, among many others.

Review Methodology & Disclosure

Beckett Simonon first reached out to Irreverent Gent (waaaaay) back in 2018 and asked if we’d like to review their shoes for the site. 

We agreed under the condition that there were no strings attached and we were free to write whatever the f*ck we want—good, bad, or unnecessarily expletive. 

They agreed, and sent a pair of the Durant Oxfords for us to test. One year later, they sent another pair, the Dean Oxford, and we’ve been wearing both pairs semi-regularly for more than five years now.  

This review draws from our personal experience wearing both shoes, and comparing them both to the style, quality and value of other popular brands. 

Par 1: The Durants

Beckett Simonon Durant Oxfords

Pair 2: The Deans

Beckett Simonon Dean Oxfords

Since first trying the Oxfords, we’ve also tested their Nolan brogue boots and Reid golf sneakers

We’ve kept this review focused on the Oxfords in the interest of being clear and (relatively) concise, but our experience with the other two styles has informed our assessment of the brand’s overall quality. 

Check out our product review and round up policy here to learn more about how we rate and review products.

Beckett Simonon

Founded in 2011 by Bogota natives Nicholas Hurtado and Andres Nino, Beckett Simonon is still a relatively young brand that distinguishes itself from other quality footwear brands like Allen Edmonds and Crockett & Jones by offering made-to-order shoes directly to consumers.

The made-to-order business model means that each pair of boots and shoes they sell is custom made for a particular customer, so they don’t have to pay the same expensive inventory costs as other shoe companies. 

Man crafting leather shoes
Beckett’s made to order model means that each pair of boots and shoes is custom made for the customer. The upside is that they don’t have to pay the same expensive inventory costs as other brands, but the downside is that they take longer to make and ship

(If you’ve ever bought a suit from Indochino then you get the idea; they use a similar model.)

Essentially, you browse Beckett Simonon’s 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 high-quality shoes at a significantly better price point than traditional brands, who have to pay for all the overhead associated with inventory, warehousing and supply chain logistics.

The question is:

How high quality are we talking? And do Beckett Simonon’s shoes really deliver on what they promise?

Let’s take a closer look.

Quality and Construction


Close up of Beckett Simonon leather shoes

One of Beckett Simonon’s biggest selling points is the quality of their leather upper. 

Both the Durants and Deans are made with full-grain leather sourced from an Italian tannery that was certified “gold” by the Leather Working Group, a non-profit that inspects the leather industry. 

The gold rating means they practice a high level of environmental stewardship and sustainability, but those practices tend to be tightly correlated with leather quality. 

So even if you don’t care about the environment – you monster! – a high rating from the LWG is still a good thing because it indicates high quality leather. 

In person, the leather on both shoes is visually impressive, and was pretty supple right from the jump.  

Close up of leather on Beckett Simonon shoes
The leather was quite supple right from the start, and has developed a great patina after a few years of use

I own my fair share of cheap leather shoes that look kind of plasticky, but these have a texture and richness that identifies them as the real deal right away. 

It was a little stiff at the beginning, which is common with high-quality leather, but it worked in nicely after a few wears and now has a great patina. 

I’m pretty bad about proper shoe care so I’ll admit that I haven’t been oiling or shining them nearly as much as I probably should. 

But despite my negligence, they’ve held up pretty well. After five years (actually six for the Durants) both pairs of shoes have a few light creases on the vamp, but otherwise no serious signs of damage. 


In terms of construction, both shoes are blake stitched, which means the upper is attached between the insole and the outsole with a single stitch. 

This method is significantly better than cementing, which is cheaper and much more common nowadays, but not quite as durable as a goodyear welt, which adds a last and two-level stitching. 

(Tannery Guzy wrote a great primer on shoe construction for, well, Primer, that’s worth checking out if you’re a menswear nerd.)  

Close up of stitching on Beckett Simonon Oxfords
Some might prefer a Goodyear welt, but the Blake stitch has held up quite well, and allows for a lighterweight shoe

Some purists prefer a goodyear welt in any situation, but personally I think the blake stitch is a better choice for an Oxford shoe. 

In addition to being more expensive, a goodyear-welted shoe tends to be stiffer and heavier, both of which can be advantageous in boots, but I find the good year welt a little too cumbersome for dress shoes. 

The Durants and Deans both strike a good balance between solid build quality and comfortable weight. 

They’re comfortable once you break them in (on which much more below) and show no sign of any separation or need for resoling after years of use. 

Total Score for Quality & Construction:
4.7 / 5 

Comfort & Fit 

Initial Feel 

Ironically, one of the best ways to tell you’re wearing a quality pair of dress shoes is if they’re a little too stiff when you first put them on. 

Shoes made of full grain leather generally take a little while to break in, and Beckett Simonon’s Oxfords were no exception. 

Neither pair was uncomfortable, per se, but the Deans and Durants were both stiff at first, and a little snug. 

In fact, after trying on the Durants for the first time, I actually went back to re-check the size chart to see if I had accidentally ordered a half size too small. 

But after about three or four full days of wearing them, both the stiffness and the snugness started to give way, and the shoe felt a lot more comfortable. 

The Comfort Comparison:

Beckett Simonon vs Cole Haan (& Its Ilk)

I wouldn’t say Beckett’s Oxfords are the most comfortable dress shoes I’ve ever worn, but they’re definitely the most comfortable pure dress shoes. 

What do I mean by a “pure” dress shoe, you ask? 

A pure dress shoe, in my opinion, is one made with traditional shoe-making techniques and materials, leather being chief among them. 

Allen Edmonds, Ace Marks and Velasca are all examples of companies that make “pure” dress shoes with leather soles and traditional methods, as is Beckett Simonon.

In contrast to this traditionalism, what I would call a modern dress shoe is one that combines the look of an old-school dress shoe with the comfort and support of a sneaker

Image showing Beckett Simonon and Wolf and Shepherd dress shoes side by side
Brands like Cole Haan and Wolf & Shepherd offer a lot of support and comfort, but they also have a stacked heel that makes their shoes look a lot more casual

Brands like Cole Haan, Wolf & Shepherd and Amberjack are all examples of brands that offer memory foam insoles and/or padded outsoles that provide a lot more comfort than traditional dress shoes. 

But their shoes also have a distinctly athletic look that casualizes them, making them less appropriate for special occasions with more formal dress codes. 

Shoes that combine the upper of a dress shoe with the sole of a sneaker are pretty hard to beat when it comes to comfort, so pairs that fall into the “pure” category really have to be graded on a curve. 

When you consider them in that context, Beckett’s Oxfords are pretty hard to beat for comfort once they’re broken in. 

The leather of the upper is supple enough to hug your foot without suffocating it, and the insole molded to my foot shape quite nicely after about a week. 

It’s definitely not the same as memory foam, but for a pair shoes this formal and sophisticated, it’s pretty impressive. 

Total Score for Comfort & Fit:
4 / 5 

Style & Aesthetics

First Impression 

Assessing a shoe’s comfort and construction requires wearing the shoe for a long time to see how it holds up, but assessing a shoe’s style is quite different. 

If it doesn’t look great right out of the box, it’s not going to look good six months from now, nevermind six years. 

On that front, Beckett Simonon’s Oxfords made a pretty strong first impression. 

Close up of Beckett Simonon Durant showing the toe shape
My wife: “Wow!”
Me: “Well, thank you…”
Her: “I meant the shoes.”
Me: “Fair.”

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:


And she wasn’t wrong. The Durants and Deans both have a lot going for them when it comes to style, including an almond toe shape that’s classic and sophisticated, a sleek heel, and the aforementioned leather of the upper, which looks just as good in real life as it does on their website.

Both shoes also have a toe cap, which is a nice touch that helps distinguish them from plain-toe Oxfords (at least in my opinion). 

The broguing on the Durants gives them a (slightly) more rugged vibe, while the Deans are a straight shot of pure sophistication. 

Appearance Over Time

As I mentioned above, a lot of shoes look great initially, but start to crease, crack or fall apart relatively quickly. 

One sign of a high quality product is that it maintains its good looks as time goes on, and after years of wearing both the Deans and Durants pretty frequently, I’ve been impressed with how they’ve stood the test of time. 

Beckett Simonon Dean Oxfords in Bordeaux
Unlike me, who has more weight and less hair than I did five years ago, both the Deans and Durants have maintained their looks quite nicely

I (very) occasionally dust them off with a cloth and rub in some leather oil, but beyond that I haven’t done much maintenance over the years. 

The heels have a few minor scuff marks, but overall both shoes still look great today, despite my negligence, which is a testament to the quality of both the leather and the construction. 


The other thing that’s impressed me about Beckett’s Oxfords is how versatile they’ve turned out to be. 

Both of my pairs are in the brown(ish) family, and I’ve worn both with a blue suit multiple times, which is pretty much how I expected to wear them. 

But I’ve also worn them both with jeans, and they look just as good. The Bordeaux-colored Deans tend to work well with dark denim and really help elevate my business casual game, while the tan Durants look better with a medium-blue jean or an olive chino.  

When my brother-in-law got married last year I actually recommended the black leather Deans as a good option to wear on his wedding day, because they were sophisticated enough to pair with a tux, but versatile enough to be worn with suits and semi-formal getups in the future. 

He agreed and was quite happy with the pick, but his name also happens to be Dean, and he made it very clear that his choice had more to do with the shoe’s name than my recommendation. 

Total Score for Style & Aesthetics:
4.8 / 5 

Price & Value

Beckett Simonon Price Comparisons 

To understand how Beckett Simonon’s Oxfords stack up in terms of price, let’s take a look at Oxfords from some of their closest competitors, which are comparable in terms of both style and quality:

BrandPriceLeather QualityConstruction
Allen Edmonds Park Avenue$425Premium European calfskinBench welt construction
Velasca Giacalustra$360“Smooth calf leather”Blake-rapid construction
Ace Marks Cap Toe Oxford$324100% premium calfskinBlake flex construction
Taft Noah$275Spanish calfskinBlake construction
Beckett Simonon Deans & Durants$219Full-Grain LeatherBlake stitch
Thursday Boots Chairman$180Full-Grain LeatherBlake stitch
Allen Edmonds Park Avenue$425
Velasca Giacalustra$360
Ace Marks Cap Toe Oxford$324
Taft Noah$275
Beckett Simonon Deans & Durants$219
Thursday Boots Chairman$180

Beckett Simonon Price Analysis 

The Durants and Deans both retail for $219, which puts them near the bottom of the list when compared to similar-quality cap toe Oxfords from other respectable brands. 

Allen Edmonds is probably the brand that Beckett Simonon gets compared to most frequently, but at more than $400, their much-loved Park Avenue Oxford costs nearly twice as much as the Deans and Durants. 

To be fair, the Park Avenue is bench welted as opposed to black stitched, and some people might feel that the difference in construction justifies the huge discrepancy in price. 

(Although I’m not one of them, because as I mentioned above, I actually prefer a blake stitch for Oxfords.) 

Another pair near the top of this price bracket, the Velasca Giacalustra, is also blake stitched, but notably a lot less transparent about the quality of their leather, describing it only as “smooth calf leather.” 

But at $360, it costs 65% more than Beckett Simonon’s Oxfords, despite the vagueness around its materials. 

The only comparable pair of Oxfords I found that was cheaper than Beckett Simonon was the Chairman from Thursday Boot Co.

I have a pair of Thursday’s Captain Boots and love them, so I suspect the Chairmans are quite good. 

But like Velasca, Thursday is a little coy about their leather (although they do say it’s full-grain, which is more than Velasca is willing to commit to), and the Chairmans only come in three colors, compared to five for both the Deans and the Durants. 

To make a long story short: 

When compared to their closest competitors, $219 is a more than fair price for cap-toe Oxfords that are this well made. 

Total Score for Price & Value:
4.7 / 5 


After more than five years of wearing Beckett’s Oxfords regularly, I’m pretty impressed. 

The materials and construction are both top tier and have held up quite well; the comfort is high for a pair of “pure” dress shoes without any fancy foam or modern tech; the aesthetics are damn-near perfect; and the price is utterly reasonable considering the quality. 

Beckett Simonon Durant and Dean Oxfords
After five years, the verdict is in: they’re well-made, well-priced and, in my opinion, very much worth it

No shoe is perfect, and there are certainly a few nits I could pick. I wish the break-in period period could have been shorter, for one. 

And I wouldn’t mind adding just a bit of modern technology to the bottom of the leather outsole, so they could get a better grip without needing to be scored. 

But in the grand scheme of things, these are minor quibbles. 

Overall, I’m very impressed with both the Dean and Durant Oxfords, and would strongly recommend them to anyone looking for a well-made, high-style and even-higher-value dress shoes.  

In fact, I already have—you’re welcome again, Dean-O! 

(Errr, I mean, congratulations! That’s what you’re supposed to say when someone gets married, right?) 

Overall Score for Beckett Simonon’s Shoes:
4.7 / 5 

The Recap ↓

Total Scores for Beckett Simonon Durant and Dean Oxfords 

Dave Bowden

Quality & Construction: 4.7/5
Comfort & Fit: 4.5/5
Style & Aesthetics: 4.8/5
Price & Value: 4.7/5
Total Score: 4.7/5


Overall, I’m very impressed with both the Deans and Durants, and would strongly recommend them to anyone looking for a well-made, high-style and even-higher-value dress shoes. 



Special Discount

I enjoyed the Deans and Durants so much that I contacted Beckett Simonon and asked them to set up a discount code for Irreverent Gent readers.

Use use code GENT20 at checkout to receive 20% off any of their shoes, boots or accessories.

More Resources ↓
More Advice on Men’s Shoes from Irreverent Gent:

About Dave Bowden

Dave Bowden

Founder, Irreverent Gent
Author, Man in Command and Stop Doubting, Start Dating
Writer, Really Wordy Author Bios

Dave Bowden is a style blogger, menswear expert and best-selling author (in Canada—but still!) whose advice on how to look good and live well has been featured in New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Men's Health and more.

When not obsessing over style and self-improvement, he can usually be found spending time with his wonderful wife and two amazing sons, indulging in a hoppy craft beer, or sobbing over the woeful state of Toronto's sports teams.

Check out Dave's Style Story to find out how a chance encounter with his friend's step-dad taught him the value of looking good and living well (don't worry—it's less creepy than it sounds!), or email him at [email protected] if you want to get in touch.

2 thoughts on “In Review: Beckett Simonon Shoes”

    • They’re definitely the real deal Morris. I’ve tried quite a few dress shoe brands at this point – many of which I bought myself, some of which were provided to the blog as promotional material – and Beckett is as-good or better than pretty much all of them.

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