I can’t tell you how many different kinds of boots I’ve worn in the last handful of years but it’s upwards of three dozen. And the thing is, many of them are good, but only a handful of them are really special — and when it comes to footwear, special is what makes an impression. Through all the Chelsea boots, the combat boots, and even the sneaker sole boots I’ve received, I keep coming back to the Beckett Simonon Dowler Boots in the Bordeaux color.
The Beckett Simonon Dowler Boots have been in my rotation for something close to four years now and among the six or seven pairs of boots I wear regularly, nothing looks as regal nor as versatile as this pair.
In the last two weeks, both my basketball-playing lumberjack of a brother-in-law and a dear, shoe-obsessed friend of mine have purchased the Dowler boot after having seen them (and in one case wearing them without asking) atop the shoe tower in my bedroom and in at least 10 photoshoots in which I’ve worn them. They’re the first thing people notice in my room, as well as when wearing them, because of the illustrious red-brown color, and are easily one of the most handsome pieces I own.
So finally, I think it’s time to SPY a Beckett Simonon Dowler Boot review. Allow me to caution you before proceeding — these boots are freaking fire.
- Eye-catching color (four other options)
- Zero break-in period
- Ample arch support
- Outfit versatility
- Ethical manufacturing
- Leather sole can be slippery
- Laces unfasten on rare occasions
- You have to wait to get them (trade-off)
|Available Sizes||US Men’s 7-14|
|Available Widths||D (Medium) Width, but generously cut|
|Materials||Italian full-grain leather, leather sole, leather lined, rubber heel cap|
Beckett Simonon Dowler Boots Features
The Dowler Boot is a classic cap-toe style boot that’s handcrafted in Bogota, Colombia using Italian full-grain leather. Beckett Simonon has added a leather sole and block heel using a Blake stitch, allowing the boots to be easily resoled by a cobbler in the future when it comes time to replace, but four years in, they’re still holding strong for me. The leather itself is sourced from an Italian tannery that boasts a Gold Rating from the Leather Working Group, which is the highest achievable accolade for ethical manufacturing and committing to practices that alleviate environmental impact.
The interior of the shoe is also leather-lined. This helps in the comfort department, as the leather softens as it warms from your body heat and eventually conforms to the shape of your foot, leaving you with a pseudo-custom fit pair of boots.
The most important feature to note here, as with any product from Beckett Simonon, is that every shoe they offer is made-to-order and ships directly from the factory. This is both a good and bad thing for consumers.
It’s a good, more like excellent, thing because it drastically decreases the retail price. This boot, if offered in a standard retail business model, could cost upward of $400 because of all the in-between stuff that happens from factory to warehouse. By using the DTC model, those savings stay in our wallets. The downside here is that with the made-to-order concept, we have to wait to get our stuff. For example, if you were to order this boot today, it would have an estimated shipping window of April 2023. Yeah, waiting sucks, but I’m telling you these boots are worth it and more.
How Do the Beckett Simonon Dowler Boots Fit?
The last time I measured my feet for my story on the most comfortable dress shoes, it came out at a 10.5D, so I got a 10.5 in the Dowler Boot. Trying it on for the first time, I still remember, it was such a perfect fit and just needed a little warming up for the leather insole and vamp to mold into that custom shape mentioned above.
The lacing of the shoes is very simple, using a waxed cotton lace to secure the boot appropriately through metal-lined eyelets and boot hooks.
These boots are so, ridiculously comfortable. They’ve smartly added a very minimal, but generous amount of space width-wise to accommodate D through, I’d say, EE width feet. For feet wider than EE, I would recommend sizing up by one half. At no point, ever, has the top of the boot shaft been bothersome on my calf, but mainly because I wear these with a dress sock or a wool sock at all times.
If there’s one downside to wearing the Beckett Simonon Dowler Boot, it’s that on specific surfaces, they can be a little slippery. Aside from a rubber cap on the block heel, which helps with stability, the leather sole is so smooth and needed five or six wears before it got roughed up enough to produce its own traction. Now, you could easily toss some rubber on there from the cobbler, but I chose not to in order to preserve the wonderful craftsmanship of the boot.
How to Style the Beckett Simonon Dowler Boots
This is the most fun part of the Dowler Boot — styling it. So, with this boot, we’ve got a classic cap-toe style with very clean, minimal lines. Style-wise, this is as timeless as it gets, meaning it’s incredibly versatile to use in outfit coordination.
I cannot tell you how many different types of outfits I’ve thrown together with this thing. I’ve grunged it up with distressed denim and a black jacket before. I’ve also done an old-timey photoshoot with a pair of blue twill trousers and my favorite slim fedora, one of the best hats I own. I’ve also worn the Dowler Boot with a beautiful wool suit from J.Crew — they can be THAT dressy if you do it right. And honestly, if you’ve never considered it, this type of boot looks so freaking good with a suit.
As a rule of thumb, know this one thing: If pairing with your best jeans, give the jeans two 1-inch cuffs. The bottom of the jeans should sit at the curvature of the boot’s instep or slightly higher. If pairing this boot with a more formal look, only use the cuff of your trousers, if they have one, or don’t cuff at all.
The Verdict: Should You Buy the Beckett Simonon Dowler Boots?
This is an immediate, astounding “YES!” Listen to me — for under $250, with just a little bit of patience, you can have one of the most timeless, versatile, and comfortable boots you’ll ever find. They’ll work for a night out with friends just as well as the wedding you have to go to next weekend (unless it’s summer, please don’t wear these in the sweltering heat).
For four years, these boots have turned heads everywhere I’ve worn them because of the deep richness of the unique color, so I’m recommending the Bordeaux. But if that’s not your flavor and you just want a bomb-ass boot, grab it in one of the other four colors, like Oak or Black. They have given me precisely zero issues, neither cosmetically nor comfort, and appear to be in it for the long, long haul.