Not too long ago the company Carets reached out to me to review their minimalist dress shoes. I was very excited about the opportunity since I’ve long thought there was a gap in this area. I was provided the shoes for a review, but I told them I would only review their shoes with my honest opinion. I wasn’t interested in providing a favorable review simply because they sent me a pair of shoes. They agreed.
Are Carets The Perfect Minimalist Dress Shoe?
I spent several months wearing around the Carets minimalist dress shoe. Unfortunately, much of the area was on lockdown due to COVID, but I still managed to get a good amount of wear time with the shoes. Let’s start at the beginning with packaging. I was really happy with the way the shoes showed up.
The shoes each have their own storage bags to minimize dust, dirt, and scuffing. The shoe box is also designed so that you can continue to use it to store the shoes. It slides open from the side, and include finger holes, so the shoes are easy to access. I thought this was a really nice touch since many people may not wear dress shoes daily. Shoe trees are also included. At the price I think it’s a really good deal as shoe trees go a long way toward keeping your shoes from wearing out prematurely.
Carets was also very pleasant to work with. They have a fantastic return policy! You can wear the shoes up to 365 days, yes a full year, and still return them. And unlike other shoe manufacturers, you don’t have to only wear them around your house! Actually wear your shoes. If you’re not happy, clean em up and send em back.
What I Like About Carets Minimalist Oxford Shoes
I got a pair of the cap toe oxfords in ox blood. First off, the shoes look really good. The way they’re designed, most people would never notice that they’re minimalist. They’re also comfortable to wear all day. Like most shoes they take a little time to break in. My pair broke in pretty quickly after a couple days of wear. Like most leather shoes, it’s recommended that you give the shoes a day off between wears so they can dry out. This isn’t specific to Carets as that’s been the recommendation with other dress shoes I’ve owned. And shoe trees dramatically help with this process.
I also felt that the Carets were a good shoe for the price. Compared to other dress shoes I’ve owned, I was very happy with what you get relative to the cost. Carets also come with elastic laces. It’s a really interesting idea. You tie the shoes to get a good fit, and then they’re enough stretch in the laces so you don’t have to untie and retie every time you put the shoes on. For me, they didn’t do much, but I still like the idea. You may have different results though. Upon hearing that they didn’t do much for me, Carets offered to send me stretch free laces, but I didn’t feel it was necessary.
What I Didn’t Like About Carets Minimalist Oxford Shoes
So… this is a pretty short list. The major thing I didn’t like was the length of the shoe. They feel longer than most of the footwear I use. Disclaimer, I spend much of my time barefoot or in minimalist sandals, so any shoe at all feels like more foot than I’m used to. However, I spoke with Carets about the extra and they confirmed what I suspected. The extra length is so the shoe can have the profile of an oxford shoe and not a minimalist shoe. I honestly don’t see a way around this and it’s something I think is just part of making a minimalist men’s dress shoe.
The other thing that’s a bit of a deterrent for many people will be the price. While I feel the shoes are fairly priced, I think there are people who will see these shoes as outside their budget. Personally, I’d rather pay the money for a quality product and get what I want than penny pinch and get something I’m less happy with. I do also understand that not everyone feels that way though.
Carets Minimalist Oxford Shoe Review Summary
Overall I’ve been very happy with the Carets. In a market where I’ve long felt there weren’t many options, this is a great one. The shoes fit great, they look good, Carets has great customer service and a fantastic return policy. If you don’t mind the price I feel they’re well worth the investment!