After a lot of waiting, I finally got my hands on a pair of the Beckett Simonon Premium Oxford Brogue dress shoes, and I’m excited to share the details with you. You can also take an additional $15 off your Beckett Simonon order with promo code PRAKTICALA15! Keep reading below! (EDIT: Unfortunately, our promo code is no longer valid. However, you can still get the same discount by following our link here!)
I first checked out their Caine oxfords after discovering them online as a more affordable alternative to high-quality but normally expensive shoes (with full-grain leather uppers, leather outsoles, and Goodyear welts being notable features).
Now, I have a cool new pair of “premium oxford brogues” (model unnamed) and I’m stoked to give them a whirl!
What you get
The new premium oxford comes in the same red box as the Cohens did. Along with the “thank you” card, dust bag, and extra laces, the package now also includes foam inserts, in case you need some extra padding in your shoes, and rubber sole protectors, which you can either glue on yourself or take to your local cobbler for installation (helpful instructions are also included). I was pleased to see this, since as much as I love leather soles, rubber really makes a difference in wet weather, and also greatly extends the life of the sole.
Oddly, Beckett Simonon again omitted the plastic shoehorn they included with the original Caine oxfords. I’m not sure why, since can’t possibly cost more than a buck or two and would have been a nice touch. Oh well.
My first impression was that Beckett Simonon finally got their leather done right. The Caine oxfords looked good but creased easily; the Cohens held up better, but the burnishing was a bit “harsh” and unnatural-looking.
Here, the leather has that “depth” I always look for in dress shoes, with natural variations in the color and burnishing that give the shoes character. Very nice job!
As with all their shoes, the leather is full-grain, which is probably the single most important difference between a quality shoe and a total piece of crap. Full-grain leather will withstand a lifetime of wear and develop a beautiful patina; anything else (including “genuine” and “top-grain” leather) will give you a year (at best) of daily wear before falling to pieces, and will look cheap in the meantime.
I should note that the leather seems thinner than on some other shoes I’ve reviewed (such as the Carter wingtip boots from Jack Erwin or the similar-looking Clarence brogues from Charles Tyrwhitt); that’s not necessarily a knock, as these feel flexible and broken-in right out of the box.
Beckett Simonon seems to be sticking with the Blake stitch; while not as durable as the Goodyear welt, it’s still resoleable and provides a low-profile, lightweight shoe. Indeed, these new shoes are the lightest so far, even lighter than the Cohen loafers.
The details have also been improved since last time – from the solid inking around the outsole to the decoration on the rubber heel to the cool patterned insole.
Still, they’ve left some room for improvement with minor elements that can be cleaned up for next time: for example, the heels still had some rubber flashing left over, and the stitch one the back of one of the shoes was slightly off center (see pictures). Nothing worth griping about, but they are nevertheless (small) inconsistencies that you likely would not find on a well-known high-end shoe.
A key differentiation for Beckett Simonon is their pricing – much lower than traditional brand name shoes with similar characteristics and construction. Most of their men’s shoes hover in the $150 range, which is a killer deal for a long-lasting, great-looking pair of shoes.
Customer service has, in my experience, always been first-rate, and shipping is free both ways. If they don’t fit, exchanging for another size is simple and easy.
Regarding sizing: Both the Caine oxfords and the Cohen loafers fit me in size 9 (my normal dress shoe size), but the new premium shoes were noticeably tighter fitting, although externally they are almost exactly the same size.
I asked Santiago in customer service about this and he said they made some minor adjustments to sizing, but the new shoes break in much more easily.
Because Beckett Simonon now operates on a pre-order business model, the styles of shoes available are constantly changing. Keep checking the site to see what is available for order now. You can browse the men’s selection here, or the women’s selection here.
Also, as a special discount for our readers, take an additional $15 off your order from Beckett Simonon by using promo code PRAKTICALA15 at checkout! (EDIT: Unfortunately, our promo code is no longer valid. However, you can still get the same discount by following our link here!)
Let us know about your experience with Beckett Simonon – leave a comment below!