Fashion FAQ: What are Monk-Strap Shoes?

Monk-strap shoes are leather shoes that come with a leather strap and a buckle in lieu of the more common shoelaces


Outfit by Banana Republic, shoes by Bally


The name came about as these shoes were originally worn by monks in Europe as an alternative footwear option to open-toe sandals.

These days monk-strap shoes have been elevated by many designers, to the point that some consider it the most advanced type of dress shoe.

Naturally, a wide variety of designs have emerged: with double or even triple straps and some decorative patterns. The single-strap variant is the perfect understated styling option, while the double- and triple-strap monk shoes can act as rakish statement pieces. Both brogued and suede monk-strap shoes are quite popular.

For the most part, monk-strap shoes are usually seen as acceptable for formal events. Still, it is considered less formal than a pair of Oxfords, but still a considerable step up from open Derby shoes.