Nordstrom’s in-house, exclusive brands like Calibrate, 1901, John W. Nordstrom, and Nordstrom’s Men’s Shop are quite nice for the price. That’s been established. They rarely miss on a product. And shoes aren’t easy to master. Lots of companies have tried to make good shoes for a not-too-expensive price, and failed miserably. But Nordstrom somehow gets it done and done well, with consistency.
These double monks are just more proof.
The “Tan Suede” shown here is surprisingly nice. It’s darker and richer than a sandy tan… more of a tobacco brown, but not a chocolate brown. It’s not some super-luxury suede like the Massdrop Allen Edmonds, but it’s got a good, noticeable nap to it, and no silly burnishing. They’re made in China, but that’s no surprise. They do NOT smell like gasoline out of the box, they’re soft to the touch, and they look and feel like a quality shoe.
Yes they’ll excel in the warm weather. They could easily be swapped in for the BR Suede Penny Loafers in all of the outfits seen here. But these are absolutely a year round shoe (barring inclement weather). I can see them with jeans and a sportcoat (business mullet!) or with a navy or mid blue suit to dress down that suit a bit. And who doesn’t want to get more use out of their suits?
They’ve got a great shape to them. Not overly elongated, not stumpy like a buck either. The toe box is nice and sleek, but not toe-crushingly short. I feel like I can speak on this topic. I have, wait for it, “tall toes.” So when a shoemaker slaps the roof of a shoe’s toes at super short levels, I feel it. I don’t feel that here.
The welt is evenly (faux?) stitched, the non-slip subtle grip is a nice bonus, and the buckle placement is perfect. Put a buckle on a monk a little too close to the opening, or too close to the toe, and things start looking funny. Not here. They are a chrome-polish, but they’re gunmetal instead of a bright silver. So that knocks down the flash a little bit.
Fit seems pretty true. A 10.5D fit my normally 10.5D feet pretty well. And thanks to the straps, you can cinch down or ease up depending on how your feet are feeling (cold? swelled up a bit from walking?) that day. That’s one of the benefits of a monk over just a regular slip on loafer. Insoles were nice and comfortable out of the box. Not running shoe comfy, but not cardboard and cement either. A bit of spring. Some give. Should get even more comfortable with wear.
Good shape. Nice materials. Contemporary but not silly or trendy. Accessible price. Ships and returns for free. Nordstrom does it once again.