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Beckett Simonon Morgen Trainers Review: A Quality GAT Well Worth the Wait

6 min

Are you interested in owning a pair of quality German Army Trainers (GAT)? Here is my review of Beckett Simonon's take on the classic sporty footwear.


The German Army Trainer (GAT) is a great way to add flair to your wardrobe if you want to expand beyond the essential white sneaker variant. They're exceptionally versatile in their own right, come in various colorways, have a sleek and sporty silhouette, and have a pretty interesting history.

Whether you're looking to expand your sneaker collection or want something different to throw into the options available in your closet, I recommend a pair of GATs to every guy.

For sneaker or style enthusiasts, the Maison Margiela Replicas are often considered the quintessential GAT and have existed since the mid-2000s. However, for a steep price of around $550, it's no wonder you don't see more stylish gents rocking these sneakers.

Enter Beckett Simonon. You'd be hard-pressed to find a high-quality GAT made from fine materials for under $200, yet Beckett Simonon has done just that. But there's a catch to all of this.


Beckett Simonon's objective is to offer high-quality items for an exceptional price. Beyond this effort, they seek to minimize waste and offer unique and engaging experiences to the customer while being able to continue hand-crafting their products and passing the savings off to you and me.

"Our vision for success is based on more than offering a great price. We believe in providing an exceptional experience to our customers and to our craftspeople." - Beckett Simonon

With goals like these, it's easy to recommend Beckett Simonon. Still, of course, there are drawbacks; the biggest one is that the made-to-order model means you'll have to wait several months for your sneakers (and other products) to arrive. If you're impatient, this is something to consider.

"Made-to-order" means that your products are constructed after you order them online. This means longer wait times, in general, to minimize waste, ensure quality control, and charge a competitive price.




Based in Bogotá, Columbia, the founders learned through their own experiences that retailers price many products at eight to ten times the original manufacturing cost. Additionally, retailers will consider that items in their inventory offered in stores will never sell. This means that what little is sold must also cover the operations of the entire outlet.

This model affects consumer prices and allows waste to build up, which inspired Beckett Simonon to do things differently.

"We believe in the power of well-made products that make you look and feel your best, even if you just want to take a walk. You can wear these products year after year and repair them rather than replace them." -Beckett Simonon


The Morgen Trainers are made from full-grain calfskin leather sourced from a Gold-Rated tannery based in Arzignano, Italy. A Gold rating (the highest level of recognition awarded by the Leather Working Group) means that the leather manufacturer meets very stringent standards for leather while demonstrating a commitment and competency in mitigating environmental impacts.

Aside from the quality materials, Beckett Simonon offers an experience for their customers to learn and celebrate their employees' craftsmanship by sending updates that detail the various stages of the assembly process for the sneakers, even going so far as to introduce the members who are crafting them. This is an excellent touch for some folks that can make waiting much easier, but it might not be as important for others.


Full-grain leather is the good stuff. The complete and most natural animal hide provides the most durability for an item made from full-grain leather. Additionally, goods manufactured from full-grain leather often retain richness in color and texture, a quality commensurate with premium leather products.

Full-grain is apparent when you notice the characteristics of the animal hide, such as imperfections, marks, or scars left on the skin.

Top-grain leather is a step below full-grain and, as a result, is weaker because it is usually sanded down. This process breaks the fibers and diminishes that premium richness and sheen, which has become synonymous with full-grain leather goods.

A "cleaner" looking leather where the imperfections commensurate with full-grain leather have been sanded down and thus eliminated.

Genuine leather is often marketed to sound extremely high quality; this is not the case. Genuine leather is synonymous with “technically leather” in that it is still made from the hide of an animal.

This is an important distinction because leather is no longer defined as needing to have originated from a “cowhide” as it once was but now includes the hides of other animals. This means varying scraps of the lowest grade of leather can be rebuilt and embossed into a product marketed as “genuine leather.”


Beckett Simonon's GATs are made with a vachetta leather lining that assists your feet with breathing, absorbing moisture, and regulating temperature; I would still recommend using socks, though (no-show if you want to show some ankle).

The durable rubber soles are rugged, sturdy, and resist excellent abrasion. The leather-lined insoles will begin to take the shape of the wearer's foot and adapt to their unique properties, which is a nice touch.


When I first opened my pair of Morgen Trainers, I was pleased to see a handwritten note from Oscar, the head of the production. I love these little touches, and it helps reaffirm the company's commitment to its customers. When I read their mission and vision statements, I can see that they mean what they say when reading the note.

The dust covers are lovely, and the small sticker on the lid's inside details the sneaker's specs, giving it an artisan feel that I dig. As small as it is, I appreciate the extra set of laces they include. Perhaps it's just that they're waxed-cotton laces that I like most, but having a different set of them always makes me feel like the manufacturer truly cares for the product's longevity.

The sneakers are lighter than expected, but the supple and gorgeous leather cannot be denied. Instantly, I was met with that new leather smell, not one of the "artificial" varieties. When I threw them on for the first time, the leather was quite stiff, and I started to worry.

Fast-forward about two weeks (with a modest amount of wear), these GATs got more comfortable and even looked better after a little over a month of wear, which is precisely as it should be when it comes to products of this nature.


Despite the price point not being considered "luxury," the build of these sneakers is undeniably superb. I recommend this product from heel to toe box and leather to soling. I often wear these sneakers and find new ways to style them. If you're willing to wait a few months, these are an incredibly well-made and handsome set of sneakers for an even better price.




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