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Monkstrap Shoes

The Rules of Monkstrap Shoes

The design conjures up images of the elderly and the infirm, but monkstrap shoes aren’t restricted to those who find tying shoelaces too difficult. Monkstraps have been around since the turn of the century and their history dates back to the traditional English fashion scene at the time. Today, they’re seen as a semi-formal shoe that gives gents the versatility to remain dressier when the situation calls for it, but also have the flexibility to be a bit more casual when the formal occasion comes to an end.


Monkstraps are more popular today than they were a decade ago, but even still they’re rarely seen on a man’s feet in comparison to Derby and Oxford shoes. This is because typical off the rack chain stores will only stock known sellers and lace-up shoes fit the bill more closely than a strap-based shoe. Men can rest assured that the buckle and the strap will be very noticeable on their shoes and compliment the majority of outfits. They’re particularly suitable for greys and charcoals, but may also be found suitable for tweed and denim when choosing a variant of brown.


Men should always use a shoehorn when putting on a monkstrap shoe. While the toe box and forefoot area will generally have quite a bit of room on a standard laced shoe, the buckles of a monkstrap often retain their tightness for quite awhile during the breaking in period. Many men find this to be a positive trait about the shoe, since the leather is less susceptible to wear damage and they tend to last longer because of their ability to hold a more natural shape to the wearer. However, it’s necessary to use a shoehorn to place the heel into the shoe properly and avoid damaging the heel caps.

The First Pair

Men should look for an oxblood for burgundy monkstrap shoe as their first pair. These darker colors lend themselves quite nicely to a variety of different suits and outfits, which ensures men have a truly versatile option when it comes to their first monkstrap. Shades of tan, such as those offered by GvS Clothiers’ Functional Switch Monkstrap Shoes, are also well-received across a variety of suits, but are normally better fits for navies and greys.

Michael Snell

Loving father and husband