The Dress Boot to Buy if You are a Rugged Guy
A look at the Beckett Simonon Gallagher boot; A dressy alternative to the classic Red Wing and Thorogood Moc Toes
The Moc-Toe design in men’s footwear has become a versatile look found on slippers, camp mocs, boat shoes, rugged boots, and now even dress boots. Originally made for Native American Moccasins, the round stitching is both handsome and functional.
But whichever moc-styled shoe you pick will largely depend on your lifestyle. (Unless of course you’re like the Mensch and want to try out every shoe ever made!)
In this article we will take a look at a boot that I think should have a place in every guy’s wardrobe, no matter which moc toe you normally lean on - the dressy, classic, but still rugged, Beckett Simonon Gallagher boot. It’s a boot for the guy who wears business attire, but enjoys taking a short walk through Central Park during his lunch break.
We have already covered two of the most iconic rugged moc toe boots on the market in the Thorogood American Moc Toe, and the Red Wing Heritage Moc Toe. But along with those classic rugged designs there is also a market for more casual boots, the most iconic of which is the Alden Indy (Model 403), made popular by the beloved Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. I think what’s safe to say is that the moc toe design carries a very stout and robust association but also retains understated good looks. (A similar, more affordable option that takes a lot of inspiration from the Indy is the Sutro Ellington)
But when we venture further down the rugged-dressy spectrum, we find ourselves looking for a boot that not only can get away with being dressed up, but is MADE for being paired with dress pants and a blazer. And that’s where the Beckett Simonon Gallagher boot swoops in and saves the day. We’ll get into the details further into this article, but I think this boot is the perfect and ideal option for every guy who enjoys a rugged aesthetic but undoubtedly needs to get dressed up on occasion. The tan version I have is what I call the dressy alternative to the iconic Red Wing Heritage 875 in Oro Russet- If that doesn’t get you giddy, I’m not sure what will!
The leather is a sturdy full grain calfskin usually found on dress shoes. This is the most obvious way that this boot retains its strong dress boot identity. It is well burnished on the toe which gives it a very vintage appeal, and will also take polishing really well. I was actually really surprised at how tight the leather on my pair was and the creasing after a few weeks of constant wear is minimal - there is virtually no loose grain on this boot. The leather has a very soft handfeel but still has that “break in period creaks and squeaks” that is characteristic of a hearty and tough leather.
What I love about this moc toe, even more than the Alden Indy, is that it has a raised moc toe stitching, whereas the Indy has a false or decorative moc toe stitching. It gives it a more substantial look and to me looks a lot more authentic. It’s a subtle difference but makes a much stronger impression.
Fit/Shape of Last
The sizing of these boots is consistent with the rest of the Beckett Simonon shoes, but I think they’re right on track with the typical American Dress shoe sizing.
I really want to stress to you that these shoes fit my foot perfectly - and I know every foot is different and no shoe will ever two different people the same way. But I think the last (the physical mold they use to make the shoe) they use is universally ideal. It is sleek and still has a distinctly dressy appeal, but also provides a wider midsection that most dress shoes/boots which makes these extremely comfortable. Instead of squeezing your foot, these gently hug all the natural curves of the foot without constricting your toes. It also hugs your heel really well and I don’t experience any slippage in that department. When you look at the overhead view of the boots you can really appreciate the balanced perfection of the wider but still sleek silhouette.
Welt and Construction
This boot has a decorative storm welt which is usually uncharacteristic in a leather dress shoe. But I think this gives the boot a more laid-back appeal and actually allows it to be dressed down more easily. It doesn’t look out of place and does not give the impression that it clashes in formality.
I also appreciate that they have matched the color of the stitching to the color of the leather itself. This tan pair uses orange stitching. There is also a decorative “lip” on the welt that give an elegant three-dimensional look. The sole protrudes a bit around the edges and lends to a heartier and chunkier appearance - kind of like those canned Campbell’s soups!
The boot is constructed with a blake stitch, which is very similar to goodyear welt and can be resoled after years of wear. Blake stitch is usually praised for greater flexibility but the thick leather sole on this boot is actually quite stiff and does require some break in. I love that they have put a dense rubbed cap on the heel, which really looks like it will take a beating before it shows any wear.
The insole is a solid leather that is not for the faint of heart. It is not a cushioned foam footbed found on a lot of lower tier brands. But unlike other brands like Allen Edmonds or Alden, this insole does not have a cork filling, just layers of hardened leather. That means that the shoes will be very sturdy once broken in but it will take a while for that leather to soften up and mold to your foot.
It is a good idea to take break in slowly and allow your foot’s natural moisture deposit to help soften that hard leather footboard. Still, if this is not ideal for you, the generous last shape will definitely allow for the addition of an orthotic or foam insert if you have sensitive feet, and this could be a huge advantage for the Gallagher over other dress boot options.
Another way these boots preserve their rugged DNA is with the speed hooks on the top three eyelets. They give a more workwear inspired portrayal but also make life so much easier when putting on and taking the boots off. On a similar note, I also like the inclusion of a subtle nylon pull tab.
They’ve chose to use thin, waxed cotton laces that are a must for a dressy look. Additionally, there is a subtle piping around the edges of the vamps that pairs well with the clean lines and minimal stitching you want in a dress boot.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of this boot is THE PRICE! The Gallagher boot comes in at just $175 (after their ongoing 20% off codes - feel free to use MENSCH20) with free shipping and returns, which is incredibly competitive especially when comparing it to boots of similar quality. The Alden Indy comes in at $565 USD, just so you have an idea of what other brands are charging for a high quality product! Sure, the Indy is the better boot and the Gallagher doesn’t have the name, heritage, and doesn’t use iconic Horween leathers, but the point is that the Gallagher is a competitive boot at a way more affordable price. And you know the Mensch puts value above anything else.
The way Beckett Simonon is able to keep costs down is by crowdsourcing their orders, similar to Gustin. They have month-long campaigns where they order the exact number of products in demand. They are able to ship the shoes directly from their Columbian factory to your door without the waste of unsold product and cost of storing inventory. So not only is it more conservational, but it keeps prices down! The only downside is that you have to wait for the product to be made for you which can be anywhere from 8-12 weeks.
I think their sparkling customer service makes up for this though and there are free exchanges and excellent communication. Also, they stand behind their products and offer a warranty against any factory defects or to be frank, any sort of legitimate cause of dissatisfaction. Overall, Beckett Simonon is a really great brand, that is bringing real value and great values to the men’s footwear marketplace.
Every guy is going to need to dress up on a rather frequent basis, whether it be for a date, business meeting, holiday party, or a night out with the buds. If you are the type of guy that likes to have a rugged, masculine, and robust edge to their style, even when dressing up, I think this is THE boot for you.