Back in September, we became aware of Beckett Simonon and the footwear they’re producing (you can see that here). What we thought was great about those shoes and boots were all the steps they took to produce a high-quality (and able to be resoled) shoe that comes in at a very affordable pricepoint. Think it sounds too good to be true? Well, read on to see what we thought about a pair of Beckett Simonon Gallagher boots that we had come in.
As we mentioned in that original article, they don’t have a huge stock sitting on the shelves. Once the orders come in and they hit their next batch date, they then produce what they’ve got orders for. In other words, when you buy your shoes or boots, they are made-to-order for you. Hence, it took us a little bit to get these in. While their more-familiar leather finish options might be what most go for, I was very intrigued by their pull-up leather option.
So, let’s talk about what pull-up leather actually is. Beckett Simonon has this created at a Gold-rated tannery in Arzignano, Italy. Here, the full-grain hide is packed full of waxes and oils as part of the tanning process, giving it an incredible look and feel (in my opinion). As you wear the boots, you then get marks and lines as those waxes and oils shift around, giving things a two-tone look that reflect you and your wear. It’s a very intriguing look, and should be able to be touched up with some leather conditioner a few times per year. If you’ve spent time looking at boots and digging into the leathers used, you may have come across pull-up leather in the form of the Horween Chromexcel, about the most popular name I’ve come across for the style. If you want to read more about pull-up leather, this article gives a quick background.
Inside the Beckett Simonon Gallagher, you’ve got more leather. There, it’s a very soft Vachetta leather (more on that here). This is a leather usually used on high-end bags and luggage. Here, in a boot, it’s just an extra layer of comfort, giving a smoother surface against your foot than the exterior leather would suggest. It’s also a layer that can help draw moisture away from your foot, keeping things a bit more comfortable.
You might think that having these two layers of leather means that you’re in for a very long and painful break-in period. I can reassure you, that is very much not the case. When the Beckett Simonon Gallagher boots first came in, I put them on to wear them in the house for my work day, just to start loosening things up. I was very pleasantly surprised when, after having them on just a few hours, they felt perfectly comfortable. No pinching across the top of the foot, no heel pain, nothing. These are very much boots that you could throw on and immediately go about your day.
The one caveat here is the sole. With it’s Blake stitch construction (more on that here), the sole is thinner than what you’d have with a Goodyear welt. Still, it is stiffer, and that will require some wearing over time to get some flexibility built in, and not have it feel like you’re wearing a pair of new boots. Still, if I had the choice between a tough upper or a tough sole that needed to be broken in, it would be the sole all the way. Here, it’s just a slight adjustment to your gait (at least, that’s how I noted it) while those soles get used to what you’re putting them through, and then truly fit you like a glove when you head out the door.
I will say this – if you are the sort who likes their boots and shoes done up to a high polish, the pull-up leather option is not going to be the one for you. This sort of leather is meant to reflect the life that it’s living, and showcase a few different shades as you wear them. Myself, I like the look, and think you could easily dress these up if you wanted to, or just have them looking sharp with a pair of jeans for a more casual look. The fact that they have a narrower silhouette (though, still plenty of roomy in the instep) also helps them to be a bit of a chameleon like that.
The true test of these Beckett Simonon Gallagher boot will come over time, of course. By that, we mean how the leather looks, and how the rubber soles hold up on them. Still, wanted to get this review out for you (rather than wait a year) in case you were thinking about picking up a pair from the brand. With them coming in at $239, this is a price you could easily pay at a shoe store without getting something a nicely crafted as these, and with not as nice of a leather involved. From the time I’ve spent with these boots over the last month, I’d say they’re definitely worth every penny, and should be checked out if you want a pair of boots that should reasonably last you decades with proper leather care (and some resoling). Check them out, and all of the other options, over at beckettsimonon.com