About the Author: Adam Terry is Dappered’s resident shoe expert. He’s a thirtysomething Technical Trainer in the heating and manufacturing industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, and raw denim. He’s also a new dad!
Spier & Mackay is no stranger to Dappered. If you’re a regular around these parts, you’ve surely seen one of their well-reviewed suits or sport coats featured in at least one of the annual “Best Of” lists, and for good reason. The Canadian brand originally opened their doors in 2010 with a focus on custom dress shirts at a killer price, but have since expanded to suiting, outerwear, and Goodyear welted shoes. Direct to consumer clothing companies are a dime a dozen these days, so what sets Spier & Mackay apart? Why should you (maybe) buy your shoes from these guys? Read on to find out!
- Brand: Spier & Mackay
- Style: Double Monk Strap
- Size: 10 D
- Last: N/A
- Construction: 270° Goodyear Welt
- Leather: Full grain box calf from Weinheimer (Germany)
- Sole: Open channel leather sole with a nailed leather and rubber combination heel
- Details: Vegetable tanned leather insoles, cork foot-beds, and antique nickel buckles
- Extras: One cotton flax-like shoe bag for storage
- Country of Origin: Portugal
- Price: $248 USD
This dark brown pair of their double monk straps was ordered and shipped on a Tuesday. They arrived on my doorstep three days later. Aside from Amazon’s Prime service, this quick turnaround is practically unheard of these days. It takes me longer to do laundry, so I’m super impressed.
FYI: Spier & Mackay offers a 30 day return or exchange guarantee with free shipping and free return shipping on your first suit, sport coat, or shoe order.
My pair arrived in a clean, simply branded recycled cardboard box. Since these are double monk straps, you won’t get any spare laces, but you do get one flannel lined cotton shoe bag for storage.
Score: 4/5 – throw in another shoe bag, guys!
Fresh out of the box, you immediately start to notice all of the little details that add up to a really nice pair of dress shoes. The full grain box calfskin leather upper from German tannery Weinheimer is crisp and firm with no visible defects such as loose grain. The simple and conservative cap toe is stitched on straight, which is a real challenge for a lot of shoemakers. I’m a big fan of these small, 0.75″ square antiqued nickel buckles; they don’t scream PILGRIM SHOES like some polished silver or brass buckles do.
The interior is lined in high quality calfskin with the heel cup section reversed, suede side out, for heel slip control. The leather heel pad has some foam cushioning underneath and the vegetable tanned insoles feel dense and very durable. There’s no left-over glue or rough stitching to catch your foot on.
The single layer leather sole is expertly stitched on. The 270° welt stitching, welt joints, and sole stitching are all super clean; no visible issues whatsoever. The leather and rubber combo heel is nailed and glued into place.
Fit, Sizing, and Comfort:
The S&M last is a fairly long, sleek dress shoe last. It features a snug heel, slightly wider toe box, and a subtly rounded “almond” toe similar to Allen Edmond’s 65 last used for their Strand and Park Avenue models. Spier & Mackay suggests that you should try one half size down from your Brannock measurement size, and I agree. This pair in 10 D feels exactly what I expect a 10 D to feel like. Those with significantly wider fittings may feel cramped in these as they do run a little narrow. They’re currently only available in a standard D width fitting.
For reference, I am a 10.5 D/E on a Brannock device and usually take a 10 D in most dress shoes, including Alden’s Barrie last and Grant Stone’s Leo last. I take a 10.5 E in Allen Edmonds 65 last, as that last runs too narrow for me. I also take an 11 in most Adidas or Nike sneakers.
In terms of comfort, it’s entirely subjective. These double monks were a little stiff out of the box, but given a few days of wear around the house on carpet, the leather insole and cork filling will break in and mold to your feet for “all day wear” comfort.
I highly recommend you look into a pair of Goodyear welted Oxfords, double monks, or loafers from Spier & Mackay. If you’re looking for a beautiful pair of shoes in the sub-$250 ballpark, I’m not aware of anything of this caliber that would be a better value. If you do end up trying a pair, let us know what you think!
Avg. Score: 4.75/5.00