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  #1  
Old April 25th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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Dress shoes - recommendations needed

Stupid thread I know, but I'm kind of stuck and just looking for some recommendations based on comfort and reliability - oh and looks and price as well. Hopefully this doesn't come off too douchey, it's not my intent.

So I've been out of college for a few years now and I'm pretty lazy when it comes to trying to find new shoes I guess. I've basically been wearing Johnston Murphy shoes since I was 18 because they were easy to find, looked OK, were fairly comfortable, and the price was fine. I basically have a pair of these

http://www.johnstonmurphy.com/produc...hoes&pid=76443

for wearing with jeans and with khakis, etc. I don't really wear sneakers unless I'm at the gym, so these are my go-to I guess. Pretty standard shoe, kinda ugly I guess but look fine with jeans - the problem is that I've been going through two pair of these A YEAR in addition to my other shoes by them. Their "craftsmanship" is not what it used to be, it's all glue instead of stitching, and I get holes in the soles of the shoes at the balls of my feet in just a few months, which leads to water and dirt ingress when they're cleaning the sidewalks with water...so I end up just throwing them out. I brought them to JM a few months back and they gave me another pair for free (same style, etc.) but the same crap just happened again, and so I think it's time to look for a new shoe company.

Same story with the wingtips I've had when I used to have to wear a suit to work on a daily basis. Now that almost everyone I know is getting married I have to go and get some new black shoes, but I don't really want to keep throwing money at JM for shoes that break apart in under a year.

I know we have a good mixture of people here, and I figured I'd throw this out there while there was also an active luggage thread going on.

PS, my body is built like a hobbit, so I'm not really all that tall, I have some large gams, feet are anywhere from 11.5 to 13 depending on the manufacturer (usually a 12), and I have an abnormally large big toe (or so I've been told) on each foot.
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  #2  
Old April 25th, 2012, 01:26 PM
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Allen Edmonds, Alden

Former can be found on sale for $200 or so, push or shove, latter cost a bit more.

BTW JM aristocraft series are good, the rest are crap.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 01:27 PM
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While more casual than JM (I've had a few pairs years back), give Born a look. Hard to beat the comfort and construction at this price point, especially if you are on your feet a lot.
http://www.bornshoes.com/

Now can get get back to talking about rubber for our rigs?
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Old April 25th, 2012, 01:29 PM
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Unfortunately I have to where dress clothes everyday so I can give you my 2 cents.

The Cole Hanns i have are very comfortable, but i wore through the sole in over a year. Not a fan of JM.

I prefer Allen Edmonds. I know they can be a little pricey, but they are comfortable, well made, and made in the USA. Plus they have a nice refurb program. I've got three pairs and love em. I personally steer clear of the square toe shoes.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 01:35 PM
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I have the rockport dressports

They are as lightas a running shoe and look dress/dress casual
great if your feet sweat

http://www.rockport.com/aderner-mens...dyncatnew=null
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Old April 25th, 2012, 01:37 PM
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Awesome, thanks, guys! I for the most part also steer clear from the square-toe fronts as well, and these don't have much of one - just enough to make the toe box nice and comfortable (read hobbit feet above). I was actually going to buy something similar to these

http://www.johnstonmurphy.com/produc...hoes&pid=87256

this time around but figured it's finally time to look at other companies. I'll look into these Allen Edmonds since there are already 2 recommendations for them. I had Cole Haans once and the front did the duck bill in a few months, so I've never looked at them again. My first few pair of JMs were perfect, but have sucked since (comfortable, but broke).
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Old April 25th, 2012, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waveridin1959 View Post
I personally steer clear of the square toe shoes.
Bingo! Square toe shoes are dated. Rij - Throw them out now

Allen Edmonds (i agree great refurb program)
Alden
Peal & Co (from Brooks Brothers)
JM Weston
John Lobb, etc so many shoes to choose from
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Old April 25th, 2012, 02:14 PM
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Yeah yeah yeah the square toes (however faint or subtle they may be) are getting thrown out!! You guys are acting like I'm wearing these around.

PS there were requests to see my big toe.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 02:15 PM
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Rockports, hands down.

Also have a pair of black dress shoes from Dockers in case I have to run for a bus in the rain. But seriously, Rockport is king for the comfy dress shoe. Or Ecco is also not bad.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 02:19 PM
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Go to a DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse). It sounds low brow, but it's not. Nordstrom Rack is alright too, but DSW is better.

I could waste hours hunting around boutiques with overpriced shoes and no selection, or I could walk into a DSW and come out in 30 minutes with a pair of shoes I'm comfortable in and look good to boot.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talleyrand View Post
Rockports, hands down.

Also have a pair of black dress shoes from Dockers in case I have to run for a bus in the rain. But seriously, Rockport is king for the comfy dress shoe. Or Ecco is also not bad.
and they are comparatively cheap
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Old April 25th, 2012, 02:33 PM
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Thanks for the recommendations, guys. Lee, those John Lobbs are $1,600!!!!!

http://www.neimanmarcus.com/p/John-L...ci_kw={keyword}

I think I'd rather buy these and replace them once a month!!

http://www.johnstonmurphy.com/produc...hoes&pid=83842
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Old April 25th, 2012, 02:33 PM
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I'm a big fan of both Alden and Church's. They are not inexpensive, but you get what you pay for.

A tip on the soles, specifically leather soles...before wearing a new pair take them to a shoe guy and have him glue on a thin rubber sole. It doesn't change the look of the shoe and you'll only wear through the rubber sole, which is easily and cheaply replaced. The integrity of the shoe is maintained and you won't end up with dirt and water on your feet.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 02:35 PM
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Old April 25th, 2012, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoellis View Post
I'm a big fan of both Alden and Church's. They are not inexpensive, but you get what you pay for.
I believe that for most things, but my experience so far with dress shoes has been that the $200 pair wore out just as quickly as the $400 ones I thought I'd be able to keep for a few years, so I just went back to $200 and have just gone back to sticking with the $200 price point the past few years. Ready to experiment again and see if I can get a few pair based on these recommendations and see how long they last me this time.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 02:53 PM
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I have a few pairs of Mezlan's. I am happy with them.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 02:53 PM
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Nike bought Cole Haan a while ago and have integrated Nikw Air tech into the soles. I have CH Santa Barbara's in 3 different colors and love them. I worked at a campus that we had 10min walks between meetings and they are very comfortable.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 02:58 PM
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[QUOTE=rijosho;344847]Thanks for the recommendations, guys. Lee, those John Lobbs are $1,600!!!!!

Really, I thought they'd go for $160 only, lol. I'm missing a zero. I can guarantee you will not have to buy shoes every 6 months.

In all seriousness I think you should try Allen Edmonds ($295 and up range) or Churchs. If you break them in 6 months my treat to Peter Luger's steakhouse. How's that?
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Old April 25th, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rijosho View Post
I believe that for most things, but my experience so far with dress shoes has been that the $200 pair wore out just as quickly as the $400 ones I thought I'd be able to keep for a few years, so I just went back to $200 and have just gone back to sticking with the $200 price point the past few years. Ready to experiment again and see if I can get a few pair based on these recommendations and see how long they last me this time.
The two AE's that are inbetween that price point are still looking new and I've got 5+ years on them. Yet to wear the soles out. Polish often and your leather will appreciate it. Plus shoe trees. Park Ave's are my fav shoe.

Also, i don't live/work in Manhattan. I'm sure shoes take more abuse up there.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rijosho View Post
I believe that for most things, but my experience so far with dress shoes has been that the $200 pair wore out just as quickly as the $400 ones I thought I'd be able to keep for a few years, so I just went back to $200 and have just gone back to sticking with the $200 price point the past few years. Ready to experiment again and see if I can get a few pair based on these recommendations and see how long they last me this time.

As with most things, you have to take care of them properly if you want them to last. Don't wait for the soles to wear through before repalcing. Worn soles are not a reflection on the quality of the shoe. They are supposed to wear. Avoid rain and snow, cycle your shoes and don't wear the same pair days on end. Finally, use shoe trees whenever you aren't wearing them.

You get what you pay for with shoes, but you have to take care of them.
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