Is it possible for a double monk strap to be conservative?
Even if it has a slight chisel toe to it?
The Neumora is a confident looking shoe which doesn’t boast. There’s no extra stitching or flashy details…other than the fact that it’s a monk strap. The cap toe is dead simple. No extra stitching or brogue details here. The buckles are small and keep the shine to a minimum. The one bit of flash is the slight, European-style rounded off chisel thanks to the 333 Last. It’s a divisive detail with some guys hating it, but it’s pretty subtle, and about as modern as Allen Edmonds gets.
Far from a square toe. Not perfectly round, but instead, a slight chisel.
The Neumora’s proportions are decidedly balanced and subtle. Sober even. But they’re still a double monk strap. These shoes are the guy at the party who always has a couple drinks, but just a couple. He knows his limits and never wanders outside of them. And when needed, he’ll be happy to call a cab for someone else who’s gotten downright loopy.
They balance tradition and trend, and should look terrific with a grey suit, light blue shirt, and black leather strap watch in the fall. Feel free to skip the tie if you wish.
Substantial, but lightweight. Anti-gravity soles are a custom option.
Online reviews are all over the place on these things, but the main complaints fall into two categories:
- The buckles used to sometimes tear clean off (an issue that has since been fixed)
- Many have reported creasing of the leather both on the cap and behind the cap of the toe.
They fixed the buckle tearing issue by installing those elastic bands that flex and give a bit more. Pretty standard issue on other monks. On this particular pair the construction of the straps feel pretty solid. For the creasing, yep, I’m experiencing that too, but it’s something that I’ve had happen before on other shoes (Allen Edmonds lace ups, a pair of Billy Reid Monks I snagged on a mega discount, and even the Mercanti Fiorentini monks). Seems to be an issue that’s found on shoes with a slightly elongated profile, but so far it’s pretty light and it honestly doesn’t bug me much. It will bug some though.
New, and not broken in yet.
It’s a more narrow, slightly elongated last, so finding the right fit might be a small challenge for some. Consider sizing down a half size (10D fits me great and my usual 10.5D would have been to big), and know that they do offer multiple widths, even though it’s a closeout.
And speaking of that closeout status… The Neumora stumbled out of the gates when it came to customer feedback. It got hammered by plenty in the reviews early on, and you gotta think that might have led to the eventual reduction in price/attainment of closeout status. Would you draw a line between those two?
Meanwhile, can you draw another line between the fact that double monks appeal to the younger end of the Allen Edmonds customer base, and the usually large amount of negative reviews early on?
And if Allen Edmonds continues to make shoes that appeal to a younger, more web-savvy customer base, can we expect the cycle of younger leaning design + complaints = price reduction/discontinued style to continue?
Or is connecting all of those dots just too much of a reach? After all, those busted straps on the first run were a major issue. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.