Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

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TigerNest
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by TigerNest » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:40 pm

What a timely topic. I have been so frustrated with my shoes.

I bought 3 pairs of identical black shoes for $130 each last year for a new job. My plan was to rotate them daily so they’d last longer. I got wooden cedar inserts too.

Now two of the pairs have holes worn through the leather soles, one straight through. Re-soling costs $100 accordingly to the quotes I’ve gotten here in New York- might as well just get a new pair.

If it were up to me I’d wear sneakers all day, but I am in a job that requires good looking shoes so I begrudgingly adhere to it. I also walk a lot in my commute so I am hard on shoes.

I’ve thought about upgrading to $300+ shoes but I’ve hesitated given how rough I seem to be on the $130 ones.

golfCaddy
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by golfCaddy » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:49 pm

TigerNest wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:40 pm
What a timely topic. I have been so frustrated with my shoes.

I bought 3 pairs of identical black shoes for $130 each last year for a new job. My plan was to rotate them daily so they’d last longer. I got wooden cedar inserts too.

Now two of the pairs have holes worn through the leather soles, one straight through. Re-soling costs $100 accordingly to the quotes I’ve gotten here in New York- might as well just get a new pair.

If it were up to me I’d wear sneakers all day, but I am in a job that requires good looking shoes so I begrudgingly adhere to it. I also walk a lot in my commute so I am hard on shoes.

I’ve thought about upgrading to $300+ shoes but I’ve hesitated given how rough I seem to be on the $130 ones.
Do you walk in rain, slush, or snow? That will destroy any leather soled shoe.

TigerNest
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by TigerNest » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:14 pm

golfCaddy wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:49 pm
TigerNest wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:40 pm
What a timely topic. I have been so frustrated with my shoes.

I bought 3 pairs of identical black shoes for $130 each last year for a new job. My plan was to rotate them daily so they’d last longer. I got wooden cedar inserts too.

Now two of the pairs have holes worn through the leather soles, one straight through. Re-soling costs $100 accordingly to the quotes I’ve gotten here in New York- might as well just get a new pair.

If it were up to me I’d wear sneakers all day, but I am in a job that requires good looking shoes so I begrudgingly adhere to it. I also walk a lot in my commute so I am hard on shoes.

I’ve thought about upgrading to $300+ shoes but I’ve hesitated given how rough I seem to be on the $130 ones.
Do you walk in rain, slush, or snow? That will destroy any leather soled shoe.
I try my hardest not to. I wear boots to work on snow days & switch off when I get to work.

michaeljc70
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:01 pm

Spedward wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:45 pm
I have acquired 8 pairs of Allen Edmonds over the last 15 years. All different styles and/or colors. Although no shoes last forever, having them resolved through Allen Edmonds is pretty economical - like 100 for full resole and reconditioning - after that like brand new. I have to wear professional dress all day, sometimes up to 15 hours before I can take off my shoes. And because of this comfort is very important to me. I can wear them all day long in total comfort. Cheaper shoes have never provided me with that.

About half off my Allen Edmonds where purchased on eBay in the 50-120 range depending of style/condition. Then as soon as I get them, I just take them to the Allen Edmonds story by my office - cause I am too lazy to ship on my own, and get them reconditioned.
8 pair? The guy above says said they last 30 years so you are good for 240 years! :shock:

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:23 pm

I only buy Allen Edmonds any more. Huge fan. Excellent shoe and excellent service. They're expensive, so a couple tips:
-keep your eye out for Nordstrom's semi annual sales, usually a number get goo discounts, and free shipping and returns
-check out the AE factory seconds. Discounts on shows with extremely minor blemishes, often you can't even figure out what the issue was.
-use the refracting service. For ~$120, you get more or less a new shoe.
-if you're okay with rubber soles (I really prefer the look of leather, but I bike or walk to work, so I'm gradually switching over to rubber), AE has several styles of sole that are decently attractive, and you can usually get any sole on any suit. They seem to last longer than leather soles.
-if you don't mind a clothing blog focused on young men in their Kate twenties and early thirties, dappered.com like AEs and does a pretty good job of flagging when they go on sale.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

golfCaddy
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by golfCaddy » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:00 pm

TigerNest wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:14 pm
golfCaddy wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:49 pm
TigerNest wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:40 pm
What a timely topic. I have been so frustrated with my shoes.

I bought 3 pairs of identical black shoes for $130 each last year for a new job. My plan was to rotate them daily so they’d last longer. I got wooden cedar inserts too.

Now two of the pairs have holes worn through the leather soles, one straight through. Re-soling costs $100 accordingly to the quotes I’ve gotten here in New York- might as well just get a new pair.

If it were up to me I’d wear sneakers all day, but I am in a job that requires good looking shoes so I begrudgingly adhere to it. I also walk a lot in my commute so I am hard on shoes.

I’ve thought about upgrading to $300+ shoes but I’ve hesitated given how rough I seem to be on the $130 ones.
Do you walk in rain, slush, or snow? That will destroy any leather soled shoe.
I try my hardest not to. I wear boots to work on snow days & switch off when I get to work.
What about rain? That can be worse than snow.

Spedward
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by Spedward » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:36 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:01 pm
Spedward wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:45 pm
I have acquired 8 pairs of Allen Edmonds over the last 15 years. All different styles and/or colors. Although no shoes last forever, having them resolved through Allen Edmonds is pretty economical - like 100 for full resole and reconditioning - after that like brand new. I have to wear professional dress all day, sometimes up to 15 hours before I can take off my shoes. And because of this comfort is very important to me. I can wear them all day long in total comfort. Cheaper shoes have never provided me with that.

About half off my Allen Edmonds where purchased on eBay in the 50-120 range depending of style/condition. Then as soon as I get them, I just take them to the Allen Edmonds story by my office - cause I am too lazy to ship on my own, and get them reconditioned.
8 pair? The guy above says said they last 30 years so you are good for 240 years! :shock:
Better adjust my retirement plan - wasn’t planning on living that long!

Marjimmy
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by Marjimmy » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:19 pm

Yall actually use shoe trees huh?

Also,
I'm curious what colors shoe people rotate between.

$250 + shoes
2 Black
1 Brown
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

randomguy
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by randomguy » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:41 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:01 pm
Spedward wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:45 pm
I have acquired 8 pairs of Allen Edmonds over the last 15 years. All different styles and/or colors. Although no shoes last forever, having them resolved through Allen Edmonds is pretty economical - like 100 for full resole and reconditioning - after that like brand new. I have to wear professional dress all day, sometimes up to 15 hours before I can take off my shoes. And because of this comfort is very important to me. I can wear them all day long in total comfort. Cheaper shoes have never provided me with that.

About half off my Allen Edmonds where purchased on eBay in the 50-120 range depending of style/condition. Then as soon as I get them, I just take them to the Allen Edmonds story by my office - cause I am too lazy to ship on my own, and get them reconditioned.
8 pair? The guy above says said they last 30 years so you are good for 240 years! :shock:
My dress shoes are going to be good for 240 years. I wear them like once every other year:) Some people like having a lot of clothes. Others don't. The two groups talk across one another a lot. And 100 dollar refinishing should give you a brand new shoe. After all that is what my shoes costs (200 bucks on sale for 99):)

Like any luxury good the believers will talk about how comfortable and the value they provide. The standard group will talk about paying 3x for the same item cause they don't care about the difference. This stays pretty constant between shoes, cars, tvs, vacations,.... You need to decide if you value it or not.

txmu541
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by txmu541 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:50 pm

I buy expensive shoes on ebay. My general rule is that if I can still read the original brand name on the bottom of the sole, then they only saw occasional wear. I've bought several pairs of 800$ shoes for under 100$. A pair of faragamos i am wearing right now are on their third sole eight years later after buying them extremely lightly used, and half that time I walked to work.

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climber2020
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by climber2020 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:03 pm

I stick to Rockports in the $80 to $100 range. They're comfortable, look good, and last me about 3-4 years before I replace them.

One experience that I had several years back that made me hesitant to buy really expensive shoes: I was on my lunch break and stepped in a big pile of dog crap. If it was a pair of athletic shoes, I would have cleaned them off by hand best I could, then run them through a washing machine with extra detergent. Can't do that with leather/faux leather. No matter what I did, I was not satisfied that the shoes were completely clean, so I tossed them out that day, drove to the shoe store, and bought an identical pair.

I had a similar experience a few years earlier where a colostomy bag fell on the floor and its contents got all over my shoes. Same routine: directly in the trash and straight to the shoe store. There's no salvaging the shoes after an incident like that.

longleaf
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by longleaf » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:07 pm

climber2020 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:03 pm
I stick to Rockports in the $80 to $100 range. They're comfortable, look good, and last me about 3-4 years before I replace them.

One experience that I had several years back that made me hesitant to buy really expensive shoes: I was on my lunch break and stepped in a big pile of dog crap. If it was a pair of athletic shoes, I would have cleaned them off by hand best I could, then run them through a washing machine with extra detergent. Can't do that with leather/faux leather. No matter what I did, I was not satisfied that the shoes were completely clean, so I tossed them out that day, drove to the shoe store, and bought an identical pair.

I had a similar experience a few years earlier where a colostomy bag fell on the floor and its contents got all over my shoes. Same routine: directly in the trash and straight to the shoe store. There's no salvaging the shoes after an incident like that.
Maybe that’s what others are selling on eBay.

Allen Edmonds is my go-to for casual/dress. Quality stuff.
Frugality, indexing, time.

InvisibleAerobar
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:11 pm

Marjimmy wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:19 pm
Yall actually use shoe trees huh?

Also,
I'm curious what colors shoe people rotate between.

$250 + shoes
2 Black
1 Brown
of course. shoe trees soak up moisture

and my maintenance supply probably cost another $100 (conditioners, lotions, actual shoe shine, horsehair brushes, etc). basically $30 for each color (black, reddish brown, chocolate brown)

I personally can't stand chestnut, and I haven't worn my black Park Aves in years. So it's all about the chocolate brown shoes and a pair of reddish brown

TigerNest
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by TigerNest » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:37 am

golfCaddy wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:00 pm
What about rain? That can be worse than snow.
Yes, I think it's the rain that did them in. That and perspiration. I only walk 5 blocks in the rain to get to the subway, and obviously don't step in puddles, but I guess that's been enough to ruin them.

Grr, what is the point of shoes you can't wear outside in mildly inclement weather? What do people do when commuting with a suit, wear an alternate pair of shoes? Galoshes look ridiculous and I never see anyone else wearing them...

acanthurus
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by acanthurus » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:20 am

Just find something that fits well and can be repaired, either blake stiched or good year welted. I've always been surprised at how the internet loves certain brands of shoes - does everyone have the same foot shape? Whatever last AE uses for their balmoral oxfords just doesn't quite do it for me.

My last pair of Johnston & Murphy cap toes (Meltons) lasted 8 years with the occasional half resole / full resole / polish. The leather eventually cracked at the flex point. They were $150 full retail, my repair prices were quite affordable in a LCOL area, and TCO was probably $75/year.

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ladders11
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by ladders11 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:03 pm

TigerNest wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:37 am
golfCaddy wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:00 pm
What about rain? That can be worse than snow.
Yes, I think it's the rain that did them in. That and perspiration. I only walk 5 blocks in the rain to get to the subway, and obviously don't step in puddles, but I guess that's been enough to ruin them.

Grr, what is the point of shoes you can't wear outside in mildly inclement weather? What do people do when commuting with a suit, wear an alternate pair of shoes? Galoshes look ridiculous and I never see anyone else wearing them...
I agree with this! I have worked in casual to very casual offices throughout my career. I recall my father wearing dress shoes and rubber shoe covers, 35 years ago. However this tapered off in ~ the year 1990. Have not seen since.

As a matter of fact, the only US place I have been (plenty of years of living in different places) where I saw tons of dress clothes was... traffic court. It seems attorneys still feel obligated to wear dress clothes and fancy shoes, at least the ones who appear in court, when they are in court. I also witnessed lots of fancy shoes on the tube in London, possibly because people don't have cars, so shoegazing is more popular there.

Otherwise, people on internet forums. Countless posters swear by the tactic of buying "lightly used" Allen Edmonds shoes for ~$100(+) and then sending them off to be resoled for another ~$125. I am personally willing to buy $100-$150 rubber soled shoes that I can spend the day walking and will handle a rainy day. I wear them a couple times per week, and replace them after about 3 years. Bonus, I will not slide down my driveway in these!

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ladders11
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by ladders11 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:12 pm

InvisibleAerobar wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:11 pm
Marjimmy wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:19 pm
[/b]Also,
I'm curious what colors shoe people rotate between.

$250 + shoes
2 Black
1 Brown
I personally can't stand chestnut, and I haven't worn my black Park Aves in years. So it's all about the chocolate brown shoes and a pair of reddish brown
I also have black dress shoes I never wear. And a pair of light chestnut brown shoes which are a struggle to match to anything. Maybe people with blonde or red hair who wear light grey or royal blue suits? I am not that man. Dark brown, or reddish brown, that is basically all.

Mickey7
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by Mickey7 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:25 pm

When it comes down to it, determining what you value most should be the final straw for your individual choice. My personal "go to" choice is Allen Edmonds. Look for store sales or Ebay, but first go to the store and get properly measured. If you go high end get the shoe trees and proper shoe accessories to make them last.
I've gone up to Cheaney and Church's for shoes, but while they are great I don't think the personal reward vs. price pay off warrant more purchases. I have bought Stacy Adams in the past for a particular style, but I know going in what the expected longevity will be.
So for myself, with what I feel is my work enironment and personal taste, it is AE.

Your choice is fine with me.

edge
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by edge » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:49 pm

I only fit in the AE 97, 511, 201. But I do notice that inexperienced buyers just adjust the width till their foot fits.

Regarding the rain/snow. First, these shoes are kinda dangerous in slippery conditions. If you intend on wearing them all the time you should get rubber applied to the forefoot. AE and other brands have a specialty half leather/half rubber sole for when you get them re-soled.
acanthurus wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:20 am
Just find something that fits well and can be repaired, either blake stiched or good year welted. I've always been surprised at how the internet loves certain brands of shoes - does everyone have the same foot shape? Whatever last AE uses for their balmoral oxfords just doesn't quite do it for me.

My last pair of Johnston & Murphy cap toes (Meltons) lasted 8 years with the occasional half resole / full resole / polish. The leather eventually cracked at the flex point. They were $150 full retail, my repair prices were quite affordable in a LCOL area, and TCO was probably $75/year.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by jabberwockOG » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:14 pm

Haven't purchased a leather heel or sole shoe in over 20 years. Leather heels and soles on shoes are some seriously obsolete technology. Try Ecco, ABEO, or Mephisto shoes instead - high quality, very comfortable, and will last a long time. And at least a few folks will notice you are not wearing shoes designed in 1923.

Caduceus
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by Caduceus » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:16 am

Try Allen Edmonds' Factory Seconds. These are shoes that are basically new but which have some kind of minor cosmetic blemish. I couldn't really see what was wrong with the ones I got. I bought mine a few years back for $160 or so, and they have lasted until with polishing and shoe trees.

They are really comfy and I think they will last for a long, long time. I might resole them at some point but the rest of the shoe is great.

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yatesd
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by yatesd » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:38 am

The first few shoes early in my career were cheap shoes, mid-priced Rockports, then I moved up to Florsheim/Bostonian brands. I like Allen Edmonds because I can usually find what I need in the clearance section for $125 - $175. These are US made, recraftable, and comfortable.

- When I needed to wear suits only, I stuck with leather soles. The soles won't last much longer than something that costs $50 less, but it is still a good choice. The rubber soles will last longer and can be chosen for recrafting on the second round. :wink:

- I now work in a business casual environment (wear sport coat). For this reason I now use rubber soles for everyday usage

- Boring colors, dark brown or black

- Tree shoes and occasionally polish (now with low luster options)

Example of price and sole:
https://www.allenedmonds.com/outlet/cle ... &prefv1=12

Please scroll down to look at sole types. Some models already come with my preferred sole (Dainite (lasts long and is relatively thin) or Othello).
https://www.allenedmonds.com/discover/o ... fting.html

This sole is made in the U.K. and has lot's of history
https://www.allenedmonds.com/discover/s ... shoes.html

http://www.dainite.com/
I believe these were even featured in a James Bond movie.

To some extent the question of which type of shoe comes down to the dress requirement at work. For me, dress shoes are worn 5-times a week so I need something decent.

gtd98765
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by gtd98765 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:21 am

climber2020 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:03 pm
I stick to Rockports in the $80 to $100 range. They're comfortable, look good, and last Rocme about 3-4 years before I replace them.
+1
Rockport DressSports for around $120/pair also last me 3 - 4 years (I have three pair in continuous rotation), are very comfortable, and fit well enough that I can just order them from Zappos without trying them in a store first. In my profession, business attire is the uniform, but these shoes have never looked cheap to me, or my wife.

Carter3
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Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Post by Carter3 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:55 pm

edge wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:39 pm
The Allen Edmonds 'Independence Collection' is more sleek and elegant than many of the British shoes. To be clear, the trade off is a durability penalty.

These shoes also come with a very comfortable lambskin lining and extremely high quality calf.
pejp wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:31 pm
Allen Edmonds are good quality, but the they have the typical clunky american design. You've got to go British when buying dress shoes...

Church
Loakes
Grenson
Cheaney
Barker

And yes, in general, you get what you pay for. Obviously on a site like this you'll find people trying to convince you that a $75 pair of shoes will last just as long and look just as good, but it's nonsense. Just look around your average office to see that most Men have zero idea when it comes to shoes. A high quality pair of shoes will run $250+, but they can last a lifetime if looked after correctly. Never go cheap on shoes.
That's what I've got. The independence collection is truly elegant, supple, and durable leather.

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