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Beckett Simonon shoes

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
Anyone have any recent experience or otherwise have any thoughts?

In particular, how does the Blake stitching this outfit uses compare to the the Goodyear welt AE uses? Can these really be easily resoled or does one have to find a special shoe repair place? The prices are excellent and I do not mind the wait. My son got a pair and he thinks the quality looks good. I am thinking wholecut.

I have generally bought AE dress shoes in recent decades. Generally from discount outlets like Nordstrom's Rack and before that Syms, although sometimes from an AE bricks and mortar store. But I think the Nordstrom's Rack quality for AEs has gone down, and may never have been as good as Syms. Also, almost all of the NR AEs seem to be Derbys these days. I would prefer Oxford for something I am going to wear with a suit.
 

captp

Contributor
Rob, my understanding of Blake stitch is that it sews the upper directly to the sole, i.e. there is no welt as in a Goodyear welt. It is far less waterproof than Goodyear, and not as rugged. Not sure about how easy they are to resole.
 

captp

Contributor
If you go to YouTube and search Goodyear went vs. Blake Stitch you'll find a dozen videos explaining the differences, and pros/cons. Robert Powers has at least 2 on them. The 19min vid is the better one.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
Thanks, captp. I watched a number of those You Tube videos before I posted here. Maybe I need to watch some different ones. I ended up feeling like I had asked what time it was and the You Tube videos showed me how to build a clock, and I still did not know what time it was! :)

It was really hard to figure out whether it is easy or hard as a practical matter to find a place to get a Blake Stitch sole re-soled. I suppose my overall question is whether a Blake Stitch is something that looks and performs okay on a dress shoe. I do not want someone who knows what they are looking at to think, "well I see you went cheap on those shoes!" I do not think I care about durability or water resistance.

I did go ahead and pull the trigger on some wholecuts and a pair of their version of white Common Project Achilles sneakers. $149 with a 20% discount, versus $410 for real Common Projects.
 

captp

Contributor
Yeah, I know where you're coming from. I've watched several million YT vids on shoe repair and construction. (O.K. a slight exaggeration)
The Blake Stitch is used on a lot of high end dress shoes, and are meant solely (see what I did there?) to look good, not for anything rugged. You need a GOOD cobbler to resole/heel them. I think Bedos Leather Works has a video on doing a Blake Stitch.
To me, a dress boot (I don't actually have any wearable shoes) is something like the Thursday Boot Co. President in black or brown; I need to talk to them about sizing; I'll have a pair in the next month or so. Maybe 2 pairs, one in each color.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
The Blake Stitch is used on a lot of high end dress shoes, and are meant solely (see what I did there?) to look good, not for anything rugged.
That sounds pretty good for my current purposes. They are inexpensive enough that resoling may not be crucial. Although I seem to get my AEs resoled even at AEs resoling prices even when I bought the shoe in the first place at a big discount.

One reason I was willing to buy the sneakers from BS is they seem to claim their sizing runs true and consistent with AE dress shoes, number 65 last. I hate the way running shoes and such seem to be randomly sized!
 
Yeah, I know where you're coming from. I've watched several million YT vids on shoe repair and construction. (O.K. a slight exaggeration)
The Blake Stitch is used on a lot of high end dress shoes, and are meant solely (see what I did there?) to look good, not for anything rugged. You need a GOOD cobbler to resole/heel them. I think Bedos Leather Works has a video on doing a Blake Stitch.
To me, a dress boot (I don't actually have any wearable shoes) is something like the Thursday Boot Co. President in black or brown; I need to talk to them about sizing; I'll have a pair in the next month or so. Maybe 2 pairs, one in each color.
Blake stitch IMO does not indicate poor quality. Obviously it's not labor intensive as a full good year welt but the shoes do tend to look sleeker.

From what I've read/watched, Beckett Simonon (love the name, an amalgamation of an Irish playwright and a Clash bassist) quality has been steadily getting better and hits the sweet spot in the best bang for the buck. They seem to have a permanent 20% coupon code so the price/pair is more like $160. I am certainly willing to pay ~$50 more for a pair of Allen Edmonds on sale, but not $200 more for Allen Edmonds retail. I'm not suggesting that AE quality is not worth $3~400/pair, just what I'm willing to pay for a good pair of shoes.

Beckett Simonon's business model is a good one IMO. Little/no inventory with a direct distribution channel (no middlemen) and batch production runs for orders in place for the customer who is willing to wait a bit. I suspect if Allen Edmonds or Alden were to follow the same business model, they too could sell at a significantly lower price.

Additionally, Beckett Simonon offers a limited size offering with no wide sizes. Just hitting the sweet spot again. Guys with a outlier size are out of luck. I'd bet that AR and Alden make very little money on those. The BIG advantage Beckett Simonon has over Allen Edmonds is consistent Brannock Device sizing. I've had AE shoes with wildly inconsistent sizing.

FWIW, I've ordered a pair of double monk straps from Beckett Simonon a while back and they will arrive in June. I'll be able to tell first hand in a couple of months.
 

captp

Contributor
Blake stitch IMO does not indicate poor quality. Obviously it's not labor intensive as a full good year welt but the shoes do tend to look sleeker.
Didn't mean to imply that Blake Stitch is poor quality, just that there are 2 areas where they are lacking, water resistance and longevity, at least without good care. I think they are at least as labor intensive as Goodyear Walt, maybe more so; if they're more difficult to resole, they should be more difficult to make.
Of course, where they shine is comfort and style. I treasure comfort, but not at the expense of longevity. I don't think they would stand up to the use and sometimes outright abuse I subject boots to.
If I were a dressy kind of guy instead of jeans and t-shirt, I'd be looking at this brand, probably even have a few pairs.
 
William Lennon boots use the Blake method and I think they's survive a nuclear strike they are so tough. Don't leak either. Have three pairs!
 
Another option. I was at the Meermin retailstore in NYC a couple of weeks back. Looked at their shoes and came away very impressed. Great materials and workmanship.

They use closed channel Goodyear welting which I thought were all but extinct. For a ~$200 shoe, I thought the quality was better than AE.

Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
 
Let me suggest glue-on sole guards, often called "Topys" (actually a British brand name). As they wear down, they can simply be stripped off and replaced, with no wear to the original sole. They don't affect the shoe construction at all.

You may also want to inquire if it's Blake or Rapid Blake attachment. The Blake basically has a hole from the inside of the shoe through the outsole, whereas the Rapid Blake sews the upper onto a midsole, then the midsole onto the outsole separately, with no penetration into the shoe.
 
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Got a pair of Beckett Simonon Hoyt double monks for my son. One of the litmus tests on the quality of the leather is how well it takes to polish. Here's a photo of the initial protective polish. Lighting doesn't do it justice, these are parade ready. Shoes were new so it took less than 20 min to build up a nice mirror finish. The leather is not quite the consistency/quality of a $400 pair of shoes but definitely excellent for a $160 pair.

 

malocchio

Contributor
Blake stitch IMO does not indicate poor quality. Obviously it's not labor intensive as a full good year welt but the shoes do tend to look sleeker.

From what I've read/watched, Beckett Simonon (love the name, an amalgamation of an Irish playwright and a Clash bassist) quality has been steadily getting better and hits the sweet spot in the best bang for the buck. They seem to have a permanent 20% coupon code so the price/pair is more like $160. I am certainly willing to pay ~$50 more for a pair of Allen Edmonds on sale, but not $200 more for Allen Edmonds retail. I'm not suggesting that AE quality is not worth $3~400/pair, just what I'm willing to pay for a good pair of shoes.

Beckett Simonon's business model is a good one IMO. Little/no inventory with a direct distribution channel (no middlemen) and batch production runs for orders in place for the customer who is willing to wait a bit. I suspect if Allen Edmonds or Alden were to follow the same business model, they too could sell at a significantly lower price.

Additionally, Beckett Simonon offers a limited size offering with no wide sizes. Just hitting the sweet spot again. Guys with a outlier size are out of luck. I'd bet that AR and Alden make very little money on those. The BIG advantage Beckett Simonon has over Allen Edmonds is consistent Brannock Device sizing. I've had AE shoes with wildly inconsistent sizing.

FWIW, I've ordered a pair of double monk straps from Beckett Simonon a while back and they will arrive in June. I'll be able to tell first hand in a couple of months.
I'd say the biggest advantage is 100% offshore labor , whereas AE only has partial offshore manufacturing...
 

malocchio

Contributor
Anyone have any recent experience or otherwise have any thoughts?

In particular, how does the Blake stitching this outfit uses compare to the the Goodyear welt AE uses? Can these really be easily resoled or does one have to find a special shoe repair place? The prices are excellent and I do not mind the wait. My son got a pair and he thinks the quality looks good. I am thinking wholecut.

I have generally bought AE dress shoes in recent decades. Generally from discount outlets like Nordstrom's Rack and before that Syms, although sometimes from an AE bricks and mortar store. But I think the Nordstrom's Rack quality for AEs has gone down, and may never have been as good as Syms. Also, almost all of the NR AEs seem to be Derbys these days. I would prefer Oxford for something I am going to wear with a suit.
Can't say about the Nordstrom's rack quality of AE , but a recent trip to an AE shop near me was disappointing... The Dominican made shoes were sub par, and on the top flight models the quality and finishing of the leather is just not what it used to be...
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
I visited with my son this weekend. He turned me on to these shoes and has a pair in some sort of standard cap toe.

I thought they looked good. No noticeable flaws. If I had to hazard a guess, maybe the quality of the leather was not up to the best of my AEs, but perhaps on par with what I have bought recently, largely from Nordstrom Rack. Although the last pair I got from NR seemed up to par. I had to order those over the net. I never saw them in the NR stores. Time may tell on the BSs.

I almost ordered a pair of double monk straps. They have single monk straps out now I thought I might be more attracted to. I am on the fence though. So far, for $160, I do not think anyone is going to go wrong.
 

BigJ

Ambassador
Got a pair of Beckett Simonon Hoyt double monks for my son. One of the litmus tests on the quality of the leather is how well it takes to polish. Here's a photo of the initial protective polish. Lighting doesn't do it justice, these are parade ready. Shoes were new so it took less than 20 min to build up a nice mirror finish. The leather is not quite the consistency/quality of a $400 pair of shoes but definitely excellent for a $160 pair.

Great looking!! :a14::a14:
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
Follow up: The Beckett Simonon shoes arrived Saturday, August 24--the Reid Common Project-like low white sneakers and whole-cut black dress shoes.

I will not comment on the whole-cuts until I get a chance to wear them. They look good so far.

I am wearing the Reid sneakers today. I do not own a pair of Common Project Achilles and have never seen them in real-life, only in photos, so it is hard to compare them. These look and feel good. The fit is nice, unlike other European sports shoes, which always seem narrow for me. I see no flaws. Very sleek. The leather is quite soft and smooth. My sense is they my crease more than the CPs would. Not creasing seems important to some folks writing on-line. I think I paid about $120 for them. That seems like a good deal. They are very white and very plain, both of which are good qualities to me.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
I am wearing the whole-cut BS shoes today. Nice fit. I would say consistent with whatever last AE uses for Park Avenue in D width. Very comfy, but with dress shoe stiffness.

No flaws visible to me. They look good, but I am guessing the uppers are of not as good a leather as more expensive shoes. Maybe a tad less in quality that full price AEs. Although I am probably not a good judge. Also time will tell, and I will be able to tell better after polishing them. They do not look to me to be corrected leather or anything. Excellent deal at whatever I paid for them which I think was around $150 when all was said and done. I do not think I would pay $400 for them. They certainly suit my purposes.

Sorry to be too lazy to post photos!
 
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