7 Best Monk Strap Shoes for Men in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

best monk strap shoes

Versatile and timeless? Check.
Dressy and elegant? Check.
Hardy and tough? Check.

Landing somewhere between loafers and Oxford shoes in terms of formality, monk strap shoes have a lot to offer. The hard-wearing shoes have earned a firm place in a gentleman’s wardrobe, with its fluid wearability as its best asset. They provide a distinctly different feel than the more common lace-up variety of shoes.

It’s incredible how these shoes have gained popularity to the point they have gotten classified as a must-have shoe for modern men, even though it is one of the older styles in existence. You may wonder why this enduring footwear has such an odd name. There is sound reasoning for the religious connection to these shoes. We’ll talk more about that later as we explore the best monk strap shoes for men, so strap in!

With a sole, a strap or two, and three leather pieces, an expert shoemaker can produce a pair of monk strap shoes. The materials may seem simple, but they are genuinely special. Monk shoes use a strap system instead of laces that fasten with one or two buckles referred to as a single monk strap or a double monk strap.

As the name may indicate, the shoes weren’t made by accident or random design. They are representative of monastic heritage that dates back to 1500 BC.

Types of Monk Strap Shoes

Like other popular dress shoe styles, the monk strap shoe comes in numerous variations. The wide selection can get confusing. Here are the key types you need to know.

Classic

With its smooth appearance, minimal stitching, and sleek surface, this is by far the most formal monk strap shoe. It is clean and uncluttered without a lot of fanfare. The best way to describe this design is simplistic elegance.

Cap Toe

You don’t have to be a master shoemaker to know what this type is about. Of course, this one features the toe cap. If you’re new to the men’s dress shoe arena, that means there’s an extra bit of leather stitched over the toe area. It gives the shoe a business-professional persona, making it the ideal shoe for a day at the office or a meeting with the boss.

Casual

It is appropriate to wear this version with a good pair of jeans or even a casual suit. You can find it in different materials, with rubber soles, and in different shades. Those components all give these monk strap shoes a softer appearance making them more accessible for everyday wear.

Wingtip

Here is a more decorative option for the guy who likes to stand out or make a statement. Wingtips are less dressy but very stylish. You can identify wingtip shoes by the w-shaped leather toe cap that resembles the wings of a bird. The wings can go down to the side or around to the heel of the shoe and may or may not have broguing throughout.

Boots

If you are looking for a gentleman’s boot for fall and wintertime wear that will not compromise the traditional appearance of the shoe, you have found your match.

How to Wear Monk Strap Shoes

You can easily interchange outfits with these shoes. Whether it’s a single or double buckle, there is a casual, dressy, or formal clothing option ready to be styled with the monk strap shoes. For some fine fashion tips, browse the style guide below.

Casual Style

  • Japanese indigo jeans, spicy cinnamon suede monk straps, gray corduroys, and an oxblood long sleeve shirt
  • Dark brown glasses, tan cable knit sweater, camel overcoat, brown leather watch, black colored ripped jeans, dark brown double monk straps (socks optional)
  • Long sleeve plaid dark brown shirt, black watch, silver bracelet, ripped blue jeans, suede double strap dark brown monks

Smart Casual Style

  • Brown wool pork pie hat, white dress shirt, white print tie, gray plaid blazer, black leather belt, white chinos, white and red horizontal stripe socks, brown leather single monk straps
  • Brown suede monks, dark blue jeans, brown plaid blazer, navy tie, white dress shirt

Formal/Dressy Style

  • Charcoal Fedora, soft violet shades, white dress shirt, charcoal tie, navy and white pocket square, gray double-breasted wool blazer, silver watch, beige overcoat, charcoal chinos, brown suede monk straps
  • Brown leather double monk straps, gray dress pants, black overcoat, black blazer, gray plaid scarf, navy turtleneck

Comparison Table

Product

Strap

Price

Magnanni Marco Monk Strap Shoes

Material: Single Strap

Single Strap

Mezlan Forest Monk Strap Shoes

Material: Single Strap

Single Strap

Ted Baker Ramink Monk Strap Loafer

Material: Double Strap

Double Strap

To Boot New York Men's Bailey

Material: Double Strap

Double Strap

The 7 Best Monk Strap Shoes for Men of 2021

1. Clarks Tilden Style Monk Strap Loafer

FEATURES

  • Leather
  • Synthetic sole
  • Ortholite removable footbed
  • Cushion Soft technology
  • Flexible TPR outsole
  • Available in black and dark tan

The Tilden by Clarks will add a sophisticated touch to your wardrobe. It is a single monk strap shoe with a classic silhouette. The premium leather uppers cover an Ortholite removable footbed that contains Cushion Soft technology that will keep your feet comfortable throughout the day. TPR outsoles provide flexible grip strength.

PROS

CONS

2. Calvin Klein Robbie Tumbled Monk Straps

FEATURES

  • Rubber sole
  • Double buckle
  • Cushioned foam insole
  • True to size
  • Available in leather and suede

Calvin Klein delivers a double monk strap shoe available in black or brown suede or black leather. If this is your first pair of monks, I recommend the brown suede. You can effortlessly wear them with jeans and a t-shirt or a suit.

PROS

CONS

3. Magnanni Marco Monk Strap Shoes

FEATURES

  • 100% leather
  • Burnished leather upper
  • Leather sole
  • Cushioned footbed
  • Made in Spain

These are a sleek and elegant pair of monk straps. Unlike brogues, these shoes have simple detailing and a smooth surface for a professional look. Consider this an upgraded loafer. It is a dress shoe that can also dress down if it wants to. You can walk the town in confidence wearing these Magnanni single monk strap shoes.

PROS

CONS

4. Mezlan Forest Monk Strap Shoes

FEATURES

  • Single strap
  • Rubber and leather soles
  • Calfskin uppers
  • Brogues with wingtips
  • Memory foam-injected insole
  • Available in black and cognac colors

The rich calfskin and exquisite broguing create these handsomely decorated single strap monk shoes with wingtips. Strut your confident fashion sense in these comfortable shoes that get handmade in Spain. You will be the toast of the party and leave an impression that cannot easily get forgotten.

PROS

CONS

5. Ted Baker Ramink Monk Strap Loafer

FEATURES

  • Leather and textile
  • Synthetic sole
  • Double strap
  • Padded topline and tongue
  • Molded footbed
  • Available in black and  tan

The combination of smooth and textured leather adds visual appeal to these classic double monk strap shoes. The soft distressed leather features zig-zag counter stitching while the soles boast a geometric tread. Padding on the tongue and topline provides comfort when you put these shoes on.

PROS

CONS

6. To Boot New York Men's Bailey

FEATURES

  • 100% leather
  • Rubber sole
  • Double strap
  • Cap toe
  • Made in Italy
  • Multiple color options

These monk straps get handmade in Italy through a process of more than 200 steps using the finest quality French and Italian leathers. The gorgeous double monk strap shoes are produced in small factories by skilled artisans to bring you the best double monk straps possible.

PROS

CONS

7. Paul Evans Poitier Double Monk Straps

FEATURES

  • Full grain calfskin leather
  • Hand-painted by Napolitano artisans
  • Blake construction
  • High gloss finish
  • Multiple color options

Are you a man of taste and style? Do you enjoy wearing haute couture? If you crave the highest caliber fashion and accessories, the Poitier double strap monk shoes from Paul Evans will exceed your extraordinary standards. Even your keen eye for the finer things will be impressed with this striking footwear.

PROS

CONS

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Monk Strap Shoes Fashionable?

You must be new to the men’s fashion scene. YES, the monk strap shoes, both single and double strap styles, are very fashionable. Even though they are dress shoes, you can wear them casually without socks or formally to a high-class affair.

You’ll see these monk strap shoes on popular guys like Chadwick Boseman (miss his talent), Matthew McConaughey, and Chris Hemsworth (he can bring the thunder my way anytime).

Are Monk Strap Shoes Comfortable?

In general, monks are comfortable shoes. However, each guy prefers a different fit when it comes to shoes. The best way to ensure comfortable wear is to look for the features you want before buying. If you like a molded footbed, cushioned insole, or padded tongue, be sure to buy footwear that has those features.

Why Are They Called Monk Strap Shoes?

The 16th century in Europe was a time when monks worshipped and worked through manual labor. Their everyday foot coverings consisted of flat sandals with two straps. To increase efficiency, a modified version of the sandals got created.

The new foot coverings were closed in but still featured the well-known straps found on the sandals. Those new monk strap shoes gave the monks the freedom they needed to complete their duties quicker and safer.

Can You Wear Monks With a Suit?

Monks are a natural companion to the suit. They are handsome dress shoes that come in a variety of styles that can get easily paired with numerous suit types and materials. Adding monks with your suit is a classy way to round out your look.

What’s the Difference Between Single and Double Monk Strap Shoes?

Monk strap shoes have a piece of leather that covers the vamp and closes the shoe with either a single or a double strap. Both styles feature a buckle on each strap. It is a matter of preference which strap style you choose. Both can get worn from casual to formal occasions.

Final Thoughts!

Monk strap shoes have come a long way from their days as in the field footwear. No longer shoes built for labor, today they are a prominent piece of formal or informal foot coverings depending on the occasion. The lace-free style with buckled straps provides the wearer comfort and style.

From the 1500s to now, the monk straps have evolved into a classic wardrobe piece and practical dress shoe.


Christi Lee

Christi Lee

Christi Lee has been a freelance writer for the past 27 years. She began her career writing for numerous organizations, churches, and charities as a volunteer. Christi has a passion for fashion and loves to write about the latest trends, designs and brands on the market today. She currently lives in the midwest with her six children and an incredibly sweet Guinea pig. If you would like to learn more about Christi, you can visit her website here.

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