The fall/winter season is official boot season and one of the many reasons why I consider it to be the best time of year for men’s style.
I consider these to be the best all around casual boots out there. Durable and high in quality, these boots look great with things like denim jeans, chinos, cords etc. They are perfect for putting together stellar casual looks when the temperature starts to dip.
But what if you wanted to “dress up” a pair of boots with some nice dark denim or wool trousers? Could you do it with the Red Wing Iron Rangers?
Not really. The Iron Rangers just don’t stand up well with formal items like suits and wool trousers. So if you’re super keen on the whole “suited and booted” look then the Red Wing Iron Rangers definitely won’t cut the mustard.
What you need are a pair of quality dress boots.
What separates a dress boot from a casual boot like the Red Wing Iron Rangers are two things: the finish of the leather and the overall design/aesthetic.
A good dress boot or casual boot will both be made from quality leather (i.e. full grain leather) with the difference being that the leather on a casual boot will have a more natural look and feel to it because less finishing materials have been applied. The leather on a dress boot, on the other hand, will tend to have a bit more of a “sheen” to it because of the different finishing materials used.
The second major difference between a dress boot and a casual boot is the design. A dress boot well have a much more more sleek/refined design and include such details as broguing. A casual boot, on the other hand, will look almost pedestrian next to a dress boot. They will often be chunkier and more heavy duty with perhaps a cap toe detail at the most.
Now that you know difference between a dress boot and a casual boot, I’m sure you’re wondering: who makes a killer dress boot these days?
There are a lot of companies out there making dress boots at various price points and levels of quality.
But before I get into my review I think it’s important to briefly discuss the company behind the product.
Beckett Simonon is a different type of shoe company. Unlike many other shoe companies out there they do not carry a large inventory of goods. Instead, each month Beckett Simonon creates a campaign of a bunch of unique and stylish products which people can pre-order from. These products are then handcrafted in ethically run factories before being shipped directly to do your door. This type of business model allows Beckett Simonon to offer high quality leather dress shoes at a very competitive price point.
Of course, what you want to know is this: are their shoes any good?
After throwing these things on for a test spin I have to admit these boots tick all of the boxes for a high quality leather dress boot. Here are just some of the features:
- Full grain calf skin leather. This is a MUST for any quality leather shoe.
- Rounded (not square!) toe box. Very classy. The last thing you want are clunky dress shoes.
- Blake stitched. Not quite as good as being Goodyear welted but it’s still a big step up from being cemented.
- Rubber sole for extra traction. Won’t be slipping and sliding on black ice when wearing these.
- Brass speed hooks. Makes these bad boys much easier to lace up and take off.
For sizing these boots fit true to size. I wear an 11 D in Allen Edmonds in their 108 (8) and 65 (5) lasts and the boots you see are a size 11 US. The fit is superb.
The other great thing about these boots is that they are handcrafted and ethically made. Beckett Simonon are not pumping these out of some shady third world factory with substandard working conditions for the workers. Beckett Simonon’s products are made in reputable factories with fairly paid workers.
Another thing I liked about these boots is that when they arrived they came in a nice box along with a dust jacket/bag, shoe horn, and extra laces. These are small touches that really make a big difference. When you buy quality shoes this is what you expect and Beckett Simonon certainly delivered.
Lastly, Beckett Simonon offers a full one year warranty on their shoes. Not too many companies offer a warranty like this and I think it’s a real testament to the quality of Beckett Simonon’s shoes.
In terms of pricing the Nolan Brogue Boots retailed for $220 US. More than reasonable given the quality. In fact, I’d consider them to be a steal.
Notice how I mentioned “retailed” above? Remember how I said Beckett Simonon doesn’t carry inventory and that they make their products in batches during monthly campaigns? Well, what this means is that the Nolan Brogue Boot is no longer available as it has been sold out.
Bummer, I know.
But here’s the good news: depending on how popular they are Beckett Simonon may bring them back in the future. In the meantime, Beckett Simonon has another boot currently available that is awfully similar to the Nolan Brogue called the Dowler Cap Toe Boot:
Yup, these are some fine looking boots. A good substitute for the Nolan Brogue and actually more versatile too. Not only will these look good with a suit but you can dress them down as well with some chinos or cords.
If you have your heart set on a pair of dress boots then I recommend snagging the Dowler Cap Toe before they are sold out. You won’t be disappointed.
If you’re in the market for some high quality shoes but don’t want to break the bank then I highly recommend you check out Beckett Simonon. They are making some outstanding shoes at incredible prices. I was very impressed by the quality of their Nolan Brogue Boot and have no doubt in my mind they are putting an equal amount of thought and care into all of their other products.
Here’s to looking sharp!