The monk strap was an immediate success, quickly embraced by everyone. It provided a much-needed, fashion-forward alternative to the typical dress shoe. Double monk strap shoes have been very fashionable in recent years, so it’s about time we spoke about them, including their history and what to look for before buying one.

Monk Strap Shoe History

Many centuries ago, the monk strap shoe began in Europe when holy men in physical labor needed a closed-toe version of their sandals for additional safety. Given that monks are an unusual source of fashion inspiration let us just be grateful that the shoes, not the tonsure hairdo, became fashionable. After all, no one wants a broken toe.

Later on, the look made its way into the mainstream. Leather shoes with strap and buckle fastenings were popular in the 1700s and 1800s for a long time before fading into obscurity as men lace-up shoes regained popularity. Still, it wasn’t until the mid-noughties that it became mainstream again. The monk strap was famous throughout the twentieth century.

Today’s fashion-forward but traditionally-inclined contemporary gent wears a sleek pair of monk strap shoes. Beautifully straddling the line between traditional and modern.

Double Monk Straps vs. Single Monk Straps

It’s a topic that’s sparked a lot of heated debate in the menswear world. Is it true, however, that two straps are better than one?

It’s all a matter of personal taste. Single monk straps tend to attract less notice than their dual-strapped counterparts, providing a little more subtlety. Due to its clean, stripped-back appearance, a single-strap monk shoe is better suited to a formal environment, whereas the ‘dub monk’ is the stomper of choice for parties, weddings, or any other occasion where your outfit permits a touch of personality.

A Guide for Buyers

So, you’ve decided to purchase your first pair of monk strap shoes, but what should you look for while making your selection?

1. Soles

The construction must have a name, such as Blake-stitched, Goodyear-welted, or Bologna construction. This is not a sole that has been put on because it is not quality, comfy, or stylish.

2. Upper

If you want quality and longevity from your shoes, opt for genuine leather or suede. Synthetic alternatives will seem inexpensive and will break down quickly. Keep in mind that excellent shoes are an investment.

For a traditional look, go for full-grain calf leather, which has a sharp finish. The monk should be a clean shoe. For both comfort and elegance, the lining should always be leather.

3. Buckles

Brass should be used for the buckle since it is high-quality and lasts longer than lesser alternatives.

If you’re unsure, try it out. A decent buckle should feel weighty and sturdy; the last thing you want is for it to break five minutes before you leave the house, or worse after you’ve already gone.

So, now that you know everything, which monk do you prefer: the single or the double? How many pairs of shoes do you have?


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