Hartt Shoe Review: The Montgomery Loafer

When it comes to quality hand-crafted footwear for men, where does one really start?

I’ve been a sneaker fan for as long as I can remember. They’re a casual choice and they work well with pretty much any outfit  - plus, they’re comfortable. While there’s nothing wrong with sneakers, I have always wanted to refine my shoe choices. As I’ve grown older, I’ve wanted shoes that will pair well with both suits and casual attire. Sneakers just don’t cut it.

Looking back at when I first got into menswear, I have always been inspired by guys who could pull off stylish looks, even when wearing the most minimal pieces. I wanted to know how I could replicate that, and elevate my style game. It didn’t take me long to understand that shoes can really make or break a look. I realized the important component to every complete look that I appreciated was the perfect shoe choice. Shoes inevitably mesh the whole outfit together. Now, I firmly believe that an outfit can look good on it’s own, but it can look great if the footwear is right.

Wanna know if a guy is well dressed? Look down. —George Frazier

It was to my surprise that you could get quality leather loafers that don’t feel like “dress shoes”. I would constantly try on shoes that had higher price tags, and they didn’t feel much different than a sub $100 dress shoe. This all changed when I tried a few brands that I’ll never forget - Hartt Shoe Company, Allen Edmonds and Alden.

About 10 years back (time flies, I know), I decided to go with the Allen Edmonds, Saratoga loafer. They’re still holding up great, which is a testament to their overall quality. Fast forward to now, with summer in full swing in Toronto, there’s no better time to upgrade into another great pair of quality loafers. However, this time around I wanted to go for a premium Canadian brand. With that in mind, one particular brand stood out to me, the Hartt Shoe Company.

If you’re not familiar with The Hartt Shoe Company, they’re a Canadian heritage brand that has been around since 1898. Quality footwear is embedded in their DNA. Every boot or shoe I’ve come across has always looked well-constructed and timelessly stylish. I finally had the chance to get up close and personal with the brand when I picked upHartt’s Montgomery loafer. I wanted to share my initial thoughts and review the shoe for what it is, and how I’ve enjoyed it thus far.

Unboxing experience, first impressions and quality observations

The Hartt shoe box is a simple and clean white box that comes with handy fabric shoe bags and a friendly thank you note from the CEO, Andrew Bedford. As with most unboxing experiences, the slow revelation of the Montgomery loafer was thrilling. 

At first glance, I was immediately impressed by the colour of the Montgomery loafer. The boldness of the medium brown stood out to me - complimented with that distinct, new leather shoe scent. Another thing that caught my attention was the great craftsmanship of the loafer (designed in Canada and handcrafted in Spain). They feature a premium French calf leather upper, stacked leather heel and Goodyear welt. The quality of the construction is visible and I couldn’t help but appreciate the overall composition of each shoe.

Just from these observations, I’m confident that the Montgomery loafer will be a solid, versatile shoe choice for years to come. Perhaps these initial thoughts won’t necessarily be the same in a few years, but I do know that quality leather products do in fact, get better with time. I’m really looking forward to wearing them in and doing another review down the road!

The fit and feel

For the most part, Hartt’s Montgomery loafers are extremely comfortable. I would recommend starting out with wearing a loafer sock, as you ease into them. Although, I’m the type of person who prefers to not wear loafers completely barefoot anyways. With that said, I didn’t find breaking these loafers in to be too bad. After the first few wears at home, I started to wear in the soles and they felt great. They come in US sizing that is fairly true to size. I picked up a size 12D and so far I haven’t felt looseness or awkwardness in the fit. Since leather can stretch over time, it’ll be a matter of seeing how they fit  down the line. It is worth noting that these loafers are resoleable, so you can expect to have these for a while.

The verdict

In my opinion, the Hartt Montgomery (or the Aberdeen) is the ideal shoe for the refined gentleman - regardless of style. Their timelessness works for a guy of any age, and any occupation. You can easily dress them up, just as easy as you can dress them down. I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing how these loafers age, whilst maintaining them. I was fortunate to have gotten the Saphir shoe cream in the colour Cognac, which will go hand in hand with keeping these bad boys in premium condition. 

Ultimately, they are a bit of an investment. Though, I firmly believe that spending the extra money on a quality product that will last, is worth every penny. With sustainability in mind, there will be no need to replace these loafers every few months, or years for that matter. They will age gracefully alongside you. Over time, I believe that you’ll develop a real appreciation for these shoes and the quality of the Hartt brand, just like I have. Referring back to my experience with a similar pair of Allen Edmonds, I envision a similar experience with my Hartt’s down the road. I am happy that I’ve supported a premium Canadian brand this time around.

And remember: “Good shoes will take you to good places”.

(All opinions expressed in this article are mine. Thank you to the Hartt Shoe Company for providing the product for this review, and stay tuned for another review on my Montgomery loafers down the road).

Thanks for reading!


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