Mens Monk Strap Shoes: Not Just for Monks

The men’s leather monk shoe is just about the most stylish thing to ever come out of a monastery. I know, that’s not the highest bar, but this classic shoe has stepped straight out the Abby and into our offices with it’s distinctive double buckle fastening and smart comfortable finish. Find out more about why our London Brogues monk straps shoe might be your match made in heaven.

Two leather Leonard monk strap shoes, one black on tan are propped up on a velvet cushion

Where does the leather monk strap shoe come from?

Like many classic shoe designs, the precise time the modern monk strap shoe appeared is a bit hazy. However, cobblers believe that the shape and form of the monk strap shoe originated (no surprise) from monks. Specifically it was first believed to be from monks in 15th century Europe. Monks typically spent their days in prayerful labour, seeing their work as worship to God. This meant that much like the traditional brogue, these shoes were first created to stand up to walking and working over different terrains. 

Prior to the development of the monk shoe, monks tended to wear distinctive monk strap sandals. These were open sandals with two straps arching over the foot and fastened with two buckles. Unfortunately this design left their feet open to the elements and so a new solution was needed. 

Two leather double mens monk strap shoes one in black one in tan

What does a men’s monk strap shoe look like? 

Just like the original monk strap sandal, the modern monk strap shoe has either one or two fastening straps which are secured by a buckle. These arch over the top of the shoe in place of a set of laces. The rest of the shoe has a similar silhouette to an Oxford, earning it a space between Oxfords and Derbys on the spectrum of smartness. The style of this shoe has altered very little since it’s original creation, the main changes being the materials used and the introduction of modern design technologies to increase the fit and comfort of the style.

London Brogues have honoured the original double monk strap form for their Leonard Monk shoe. They have developed both black and tan options and the design is elevated into more of a men’s dress shoe through the addition of their unique brogueing pattern. This is applied on the wing tips, strap panel and edge of the back quarters. The contemporary silver buckles and distinctive method of fastening make our Leonard monk shoe a style icon amongst our product range.

A man sat on a wall wearing Leonard monk shoes in black leather

What should I wear with my monk shoes?

Slightly more formal than a boot or derby, the monk shoe is the perfect smart shoe for someone who likes to make more of a statement. Its buckled fastenings stand out amongst a sea of lace ups. This means that you can wear your monks with a formal suit, or dress down with a more casual chino and shirt. 

Our model wears his black Leonard Monk shoes with a dark pinstripe suit trouser, white shirt which is open at the collar and a set of braces to create a relaxed smart casual alternative look. 

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