Look. They’re good. Real good. This is the shoe embodiment of “less is more”.
First, allow for a short extolling of the single monk strap design’s style virtues:
- They’re less flashy than a double monk (one less buckle = 50% less shine)
- They’re still different than a standard lace up
- All that leather = a smoother looking top side. So, sleek enough for most suits (kinda like an oxford)
- But no laces = slightly more casual, so they work well with smart casual stuff too
And for this single monk in particular, the brand new Allen Edmonds Warwick, it nails it. All of those things. And then some.
Formed around the new 201 last (shared by the new “Rogue” blucher), the Warwick is a little elongated and a lot elegant (…unlike the finish to that sentence, which was clunkier than a pair of Crocs). The description of the 201 profile says there’s a “slight chisel” to the toe, but I ain’t seeing it. It’s nowhere near the chisel of the Franciscan, which is already reasonably subtle thanks to its gradually rounded edges.
Like almost all Allen Edmonds shoes, these come with a Goodyear welt. But the way the leather is shaped and curved as it nears the sole, the thickness of that sturdy sole is visually minimized. When you look at the shoe from above, the sole doesn’t jut out nearly as much as it does on some other goodyear welted shoes, and that keeps the shoe looking lean, while still substantial.
The buckle on the Warwick is nice and trim too. It’ll still peek out at the hem of your pants, but it avoids the stockiness of a larger buckle, such as the buckle on the more casual Allen Edmonds Norwich. The addition of a small roller on the Warwick’s buckle is a nice addition too.
Without any extra stitching or perforations, the “walnut” shade of their calfskin really gets to be the star. It’s much better looking in person than on the web, where the cold & flat pixels of a computer screen can rob it of its depth and marbling. Also available in black and the pretty-darn-red “oxblood”, the style could benefit from another, more traditional option. Like dark brown. Dark brown… would be nice.
One note on fit: It seems like these run narrow. If you’re a borderline wide width (like me), you’re probably going to want to opt for the wide option. The toe box was hugging (not strangling) my feet, but the top of the “quarter” and the tongue was oddly tight. I’m usually a 10.5 D. Tried on a 10.5 D. I’d exchange these for a 10.5 E.
If you’re a monk-strap type, get your fit right and these should become a favorite for years to come. Here’s to hoping Allen Edmonds makes these in their standard dark brown, and maybe their not-as-red-as oxblood Merlot.
Enter here to win a pair of Allen Edmonds Wawricks in your size. Deadline for entry is 12:59 PM ET on 4/14/15. Many thanks to Allen Edmonds for providing a pair of shoes for giveaway!
UPDATE: Congrats to A. Yousef who won the drawing for the Allen Edmonds Warwick single monks!