Broke and Bespoke

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Andrew Lock Shoes

Longtime StyleForum member and irreproachable ebay seller Angelicboris, aka Andrew Lock, has recently started an eponymous line of menswear clothing (MTM suiting), shoes, and accessories which can be viewed at his website: Andrew Lock Shoes

Andrew Lock Shoes come in two grades: benchgrade, and handgrade. All shoes are Goodyear welted, and made out of fine leathers sourced from tanneries in Italy, France, and Germany. From what I’ve seen, the shoes feature quality construction throughout. The double monks pictured above come from the benchgrade line, and are made in Spain. Andrew Lock handgrades are made in Northampton, England by Joseph Cheaney & Sons and manufactured to the exacting standards of their Imperial Collection shoes. Benchgrade shoes cost $250, and currently only come in 3 models, the double monks shown here, a captoe oxford (available in black or brown), and a brown derby with medallion toe. The 3 benchgrade shoes each have a different last, with the derby looking the most sleek and elongated. Handgrade shoes cost $450, and are available now for pre-order. $450 is not cheap, but it is about $65 less than Cheaney charges for their Imperial Collection, so in that sense, you’re paying less for what I assume is the same quality.

Though I rarely buy shoes new, I have been wanting a pair of double monks for a couple of years now, and I’ve never come across a pair while thrifting. I was intrigued by Andrew Lock shoes, and wanted to support a fellow StyleForum veteran’s new business venture. I’d recently cleared some nice profits on ebay (including selling some crocodile skin Bally loafers I paid $10 for for just shy of $200), and when Andrew offered me a generous discount on a pair of shoes to review, I jumped.

Andrew’s philosophy with the benchgrade shoes is to offer nice and simple dress shoes that are a slightly more affordable alternative to the likes of Allen Edmonds (which retail for $85 more than Andrew Locks) or Alden, but comparable in terms of quality and construction. At this I think he’s succeeded. I was a little concerned from the pictures on his website that the last for the double monks would be stubby with a too-rounded toebox, loaning the shoe a kind of plodding appearance—something akin to Alden’s Barrie last. I was pleasantly surprised when they arrived however, as they’re not quite as sleek as, say, the C&J Lowndes (which is a bit too dressy for my regular get-ups), but sleeker than an AE Park Avenue. I would say the overall shape of the Andrew Lock double monk is similar to the Run of the Mill ones I’ve seen.

The construction on the pair of shoes I received seems top-notch, and is very consistent throughout—easily comparable to Allen Edmonds at first glance (I’ll report back on these once they’ve logged some more miles). As you can see from the pictures the burgundy-brown calfskin has a rich color to it, and the stitching on the welt, sole (channel stitched), and captoe is even and robust. I could tell from the first wear that the creasing was going to grain nicely, and I imagine the shoes will age quite well with proper care. The sizing on the website seems fairly accurate, I wear a 10D in US sizing, and they sent me a UK 8.5, which fits perfectly. They were very comfortable to wear from the moment I slipped my feet into them, and I’m not sensing that there is going to be any significant break-in time required. 

Though $250 is by no means cheap, in the world of new double monks it falls fairly squarely on the lower end of the pricing spectrum, and I imagine it also falls within the budget of many of the readers of this blog, hence the review.

One last thing of import to note, the Andrew Lock double monks come with a Dainite-like rubber sole, which is a roughly $30 job that I would have had done to them if they had come with only single leather soles, which is something to consider if your pricing double monks for purchase, especially so if you’re planning on wearing them during the upcoming wetter fall or winter months.

I’m all together favorably impressed with Andrew Lock’s shoes, and would encourage anyone looking at getting some double monks to give these a try. The shipping is free, and there’s a 30 day hassle-free return policy on unworn shoes. 

To follow ongoing conversation about Andrew Lock’s products, check out StyleForum’s Andrew Lock Affiliate Thread.

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