The First Great Monkstrap Boot

The uber-British masterminds at John Lobb have married office form with weekend function.

The monkstrap is the consummate dress shoe: ultra-slick, clean-lined, simple. It’s popular, summer appropriate, and barely on speaking terms with the workwear boot, its older, muscle-bound brother. The boot, though, has a toughness that the delicate monkstrap can’t match.

A combination of the two shoe types would seem a sloppy mix, but the monkstrap boot is heating up, offering utility with a side of sophistication. It’s a high risk buy because like all hybrids, these slicker shitkickers don’t always work.

These do. British bootmaker John Lobb has mastered an emerging footwear genre with its William II. The iconic company makes the famous William double buckle shoe, so they’ve got the straps down. And they’re not half bad with boots. The new pairs come in black or luscious dark brown and subtly fortified with double-leather toe caps and soles. The twin nickel buckles add metallic contrast to the otherwise low-sheen, low-profile, low-risk boot.

For dress up, let the cuff of your suit cover the boot’s crown. Later in the day (or at night) you can always create a cuff and flash an ankle. These boots work all week and on the weekend, when you can pair your dapper mongrels with selvedge denim.

While other models are sure to follow in John Lobb’sbootsteps, we don’t see anyone overtaking the St. James Street staple any time soon. It just goes to show that when you’re following a new trend, it’s best to rely on old quality. [$1,750; John Lobb William II Boot]