Jared Lang Shoe Review – Monk Straps
My Hunt for New Monk Straps Started with a Miami-Based Brand
I’ve been on the hunt for some new monk straps. I’ve got some great brown ones that I wear quite often, but it would be nice to rotate with a pair of black ones as well. If you’ve never worn or though about Monk Strap shoes then you’re definitely missing out. There are a wide variety of Monk Straps out there from strap designs to the number of buckles each particular brand comes out with. Some do it way over the top and some keep it clean. I was looking for something in the middle with a blend of both elements.
Jared Lang eventually popped up under a monk strap search. It was the Jared Lang Double Buckle Monk Strap in navy that initially caught my eye. It was a beautiful deep blue with a slick, brown contrasting strap on the bottom. Would I wear navy as much though? My gut instinct said to go with black. I’d seen the Jared Lang menswear lines of stuff, but had never seen their shoes before. I thought I’d give a new brand a shot. Here’s what I had for the Jared Lang shoe review.
As I’ve said before I enjoy great packaging and the creative process that brands will decide to put into the whole unfolding of their shoes. Jared Lang kept it simple and modernistic. Sticking with an all black box and glossy labeling of the Jared Lang brand, it didn’t do much to impress nor make you think it was cheap. Would it catch your eye on a shoe shelf somewhere? Probably not. Jared Lang did put more thought into the bundle deal of the shoes by including a shine sponge and shoe horn. To me that did showcase their input into being involved with the whole footwear process of their consumer. From slipping on Jared Lang shoes with a Jared Lang shoe horn to retouching the shoe with Jared Lang polish. Props to them with that as many brands don’t include the small accessories that can make a memorable impact with customers.
To the Jared Lang Monk strap shoe itself. From the photos I initially scanned I was really caught onto some of the artistic features the shoe was designed with. One was the cross-stitching look of the strap coming across the top. Rather than being one flat piece of leather, the top had a layered stitching aesthetic of separate piece of leather. I thought that was a nice touch from Jared Lang. Would it have been even better as an actual separate strap? Yes, but I will still give them a plus for thinking a little different from the rest of the monk strap designers out there.
The other element was the perforations on the toe bed. I was more curious about how the perforations would look on the front toe box. Some brands blend in the perforations smoothly into the design where on some shoes it just doesn’t belong. I didn’t know what to expect looking at the photo with this one. I will talk about this a little later in the post. Once again though, I really enjoyed the distinguishing, creative elements Jared Lang tried incorporating within the shoe.
Great Fitting, Comfortable Monk Strap Shoe
The shoe fits great. With the European sizing system you’re always going to take a slight guess on how the shoes will fit. If you’re a true 42 then stick with a 42 as it is spot on. For the last design, I thought Jared Lang did great with the overall fit and silhouette design. The width is comfortably snug, eye-catching front toe box, and has a great fitting heel. Even once broken in I believe this shoe will keep its shape well. The overall shoe design is there and I believe a lot of guys will give the shoe a shot based on the looks.
The Knocks Against the Jared Monk Strap Shoe
A few things that will either make the shoe a keeper or returner. One of the biggest flaws for me was the leather finish. The leather seemed like a decent quality, maybe a tad on the stiffer side. However, what really kept me thinking was the finish on top. It made the overall shoe seem plasticy. The shoes have a little bit of a glossier finish which could ending up disappointing some customers. However, I did not like the plastic stiffness the shoe leather seemed to resemble. As the shoe fit was great, I do believe their could be some more insole padding popped in. It is a bit stiffer after walking for a bit and I have seen other reviews mention the same thing. Jared Lang did include some more padding in the heel which was great.
The more I looked at the perforations of the toe box, the more I grew to dislike them. It could have been a blend of the hole sizes and the way they overtook the front part of the shoe. Maybe I would have liked to see some different brogue styles punched in or different size perforations. It just ended up being too much to me.
The side of the outer sole seemed like a rush job on the finishing black layering of polish. There were noticeable areas where it was not layered over a couple times to make it look consistent. Seems like a lack of quality control.
Overall Thoughts for the Jared Lang Shoe Review
As a first-timer with the Jared Lang brand I will definitely dabble into some other footwear styles and check out their apparel lines. I like the creativity that the brand brings to men’s footwear as they have some other unique footwear choices online. It’s a little more gutsy to go out and try some different things on a classic design. I can appreciate that. For me it was the quality of the leather and just the particular designs of this shoe that will likely have me returning this Monk Strap. I would love to hear others’ thoughts on any Jared Lang footwear product that you’ve owned.