Today I wanted to talk about Double Monk Boots.
A style of shoe that is for me one of the hardest to get right in terms of design and appearance.
Read more to find out my own thoughts on the subject.
New Shoes, New Questions
As always, every few months I design and decide the newest collection for The Noble Shoe for the next season.
Lately, I focused heavily on shoes by Enzo Bonafe and Paolo Scafora as it becomes much harder to innovate in the lower price tiers.
My goal this season was to experiment with exotics, textures and specifically suede.
While this is not the first time I made Double Monk Boots, it is the first time we produced a jumper boot/double monk boot hybrid and in suede leather.
It is definitely not something I would go for as a first thought, but I have to evolve and think outside the box.
So I commissioned a pair from Paolo Scafora in brown suede with a Norwegian Construction.
It sparked some deep thought into me and I tried to understand what makes it appealing to people to try and adapt the monk strap design to boots.
Let’s take a look.
HarD To Get Right
Back in my notorious (and offensive to some) guide about The Best & Worst Dress Shoes I spoke about monk straps quite a bit.
In particular, how ridiculous triple (and god forbit quadruple) monk strap shoes look but also how hard it is to get a triple monk boot right.
So, where does the double monk boot sit?
One or two buckles look just about right on a dress shoe, but if you put them on a higher shaft it often feels that something’s missing.
In most cases, I think it’s best to have a good tasteful triple buckle design for boots.
However, there is some space for innovation and uniqueness in the double monk boots space.
As always, taste is subjective and you might not like what I like and vice versa.
But in many cases, even if we dislike the visual result and the aesthetics we can at least admire or respect the creativity behind it.
My Latest Paolo Scafora Double Monk Boots
A hybrid of jumper boots, double monk straps with suede leather and a 270 Chained Norwegian Construction.
All of that on a nice soft almond last with a hardwearing Vibram Studded Sole.
I also opted for a slight, contrasting upper stitching which I feel works well.
To be honest with you, I quite like them which was hard to tell from the images I based it on.
It Needed The Laces
Take them out of the equation and the boot would have such a gap at the top it would look disjointed.
To cover more space you also need to space out the buckles quite a bit, giving a more squarish look there.
I also feel double monk boots are a design that thrives on leather with texture or bi-material/color.
In such cases, coupled with a more “aggressive” modern commando sole and soft square last for a very unique look.
You can see the example of our Carlos Santos model from last year that was bold and well-received.
Here, the lack of laces is not so important due to the slightly lower shaft and it looks more like a dress monk/boot hybrid.
Inspiration From Chukka Boots
Chukka boots have an ideal height for styles such as Monk Boots.
The buckles can cover everything without needing too much fluff yet looking very good.
Crockett & Jones started a nice trend with the classic James Bond Camberley Black.
I replicated it via Carlos Santos with my own twist, which I feel worked out very well too.
And then there’s also Paolo Scafora who nailed it on the head once more.
Until I sat down and thought about this a bit more, I was unaware how much you can do with Double Monk Boots.
In the end of the day, it’s still a type of monk strap with varying levels of formality.
If done right, few would notice it’s a boot if you are standing.
Maybe you live in a colder climate or a less formal environment and you require something smart or passable.
The point is that there are choices but you do have to look around as it’s a very niche style.
You don’t have to get a mid-brown suede one like I did, but what stops you from having a nice smooth calf version?
Or a textured grain alternative of a Coniston Boot?
Buy Or Pass?
First of all, if you have less than 3-5 pairs of classic and versatile shoes in your collection don’t bother.
As a very niche design, it should not be your first priority.
Secondly, since this is so niche you need to be very careful what you buy.
Choose retailers and brands that know what they are doing and have a basic sense of style.
If you are not so sure, it is better to go for a triple monk boot instead by someone such as Septieme Largeur.
Lastly, I would consider buying regular monk strap dress shoes first if this your first encounter with the style.
Maybe they are not for you or maybe it will be your favorite new style.
As always, make smart, calculated and educated decisions on a pair of shoes that you might wear more sparingly, but look dashing in it.
For me, this is a style I can pair with jeans and smart chinos easily, or suits if we are talking about the smooth calf mentioned above.
Making models that were never really in my radar helps me change my perspective about them.
Often, I find myself not liking the result but still admire some creative thinking about the execution.
Double Monk Boots are certainly one of them and if done right it can look very nice.
For those with a decent starting wardrobe, it can be a great addition when done right.
Thank you as always for hearing me ramble about things!
Thank you for reading,