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Knowledge is Power: The History of the Monk Shoe

Monk shoes, or monk straps as they’re also known, are a divisive style in the world of men’s fashion. The most distinctive feature of a pair of monk shoes is their lack of laces and the buckle fastening straps that keep them secure. The style often features a toe cap and can also feature brogue detailing across their uppers for added intrigue. You might love them or hate them, but have you ever wondered about the origins of this unique style?

It probably won’t be too much of a surprise to learn that monk shoes began their life as just that, monk’s shoes. During the middle ages, the style became very popular as a work shoe in monasteries as it gave a higher level of protection than traditional monk’s sandals. Even during the middle ages, monk shoes came in a wide range of styles and different designs. The most popular was a style that closely resembled a sandal, fastening with a metal buckle and featuring a closed toe cap but open sides.

The version of the monk shoe we know today has changed quite a bit over the years. The style now more closely resembles a derby shoe than a sandal and is manufactured in a wide range of materials and finishes. While the single strap variant of the style was traditionally the most popular, the two-strap version has become the most commonly seen in recent years.

Styling Your Monk’s

When wearing monk shoes there are a few key rules to keep in mind: 

1. Don’t treat your monk shoes as a slip on pair.

While it may be very tempting to buckle your monk’s up once and then treat them like a loafer, it is always best to put monk shoes on by buckling and unbuckling them each time you wear them. This will help prevent damage and help your shoes to last longer.

2. Monk shoes are generally not considered formal attire.

This rule might raise a little bit of debate as opinions on the formality of monk shoes vary greatly around the world. However, monk straps should not be worn with highly formal clothes such as a tuxedo and are far better suited to smart/casual wear.

3. Match the colour of your monk shoe’s buckles to your other accessories. 

When pairing your monk shoes with an outfit it is incredibly important to take the buckles into account. For example, if you have gold buckles on your shoes you should pair these with a gold buckled belt and gold watch.

If you’re feeling inspired to try out a pair of monk shoes for yourself then make sure you check out our fantastic range today. We’ve got monk shoes from all of your favourite brands!

Copy by Tom Mankin.




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