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School me on mens shoe brands. Looking for dress shoes that can go with suits.

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
A little background on myself. I mostly stick with clothing that does not draw too much attention. 90% of the time I wear gym shoes with jeans or khakis. When I have to wear something more dressy it is brown leather timberlands. I know the timberlands don't go with suits or more formal clothing. I need something that I can wear with suits and formal attire, I am thinking black dress shoes.

I value comfort and I buy shoes one size wider than normal. I am looking for recommendations for dressy, comfortable shoes.

The Nordstrom store has Salvatore, Cole Haan, Allen Edmonds, Bruno Magli and a couple other brands on their website. Should I buy one of them?
post #2 of 34
A little background on the forum. There are TONS of threads about shoes, particularly for the noobies. Do a search, and if you have more specific questions, then I'm sure you can get more helpful advice.
post #3 of 34
If you 'value comfort' as you say, you would buy shoes that fit, not ones that are too wide.
post #4 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by baseball_guy View Post
A little background on myself. I mostly stick with clothing that does not draw too much attention. 90% of the time I wear gym shoes with jeans or khakis. When I have to wear something more dressy it is brown leather timberlands. I know the timberlands don't go with suits or more formal clothing. I need something that I can wear with suits and formal attire, I am thinking black dress shoes.

I value comfort and I buy shoes one size wider than normal. I am looking for recommendations for dressy, comfortable shoes.

The Nordstrom store has Salvatore, Cole Haan, Allen Edmonds, Bruno Magli and a couple other brands on their website. Should I buy one of them?

Do you value VALUE also?

If you do, may I suggest just painting your feet black.
post #5 of 34
Broadly speaking, Nordstrom is not a bad place to start when looking at dress shoes. You can get shoes made in the USA (e.g. Allen Edmonds), Italy (e.g. Bruno Magli), England or in third world countries. It depends on your budget for a dress shoe. Most people will say English shoes are the best, though some will swear by Italian made shoes. American-made shoes are quality shoes at a lower price point than the previous two mentioned.
post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BareSolid View Post
If you 'value comfort' as you say, you would buy shoes that fit, not ones that are too wide.

My shoe size is wide.
post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timeless Fashion View Post
Broadly speaking, Nordstrom is not a bad place to start when looking at dress shoes. You can get shoes made in the USA (e.g. Allen Edmonds), Italy (e.g. Bruno Magli), England or in third world countries. It depends on your budget for a dress shoe. Most people will say English shoes are the best, though some will swear by Italian made shoes. American-made shoes are quality shoes at a lower price point than the previous two mentioned.


I don't mind spending money on quality. I would rather spend $300 on nice shoes that are high quality and will last for many years, instead of spending $100 on something that is lower quality and won't make it a year.

I hope that whatever I buy can last longer than a year (which is about how long gym shoes last me).
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by baseball_guy View Post
I don't mind spending money on quality. I would rather spend $300 on nice shoes that are high quality and will last for many years, instead of spending $100 on something that is lower quality and won't make it a year.

I hope that whatever I buy can last longer than a year (which is about how long gym shoes last me).
+1 on searching the forum, there are lots of threads with info/opinions on the various brands, although many will be above this price point.

For me, Allen Edmonds was the perfect "entry" to higher quality shoes. Lots of opinions on AE here but IMO you can't go wrong with a pair of Park Avenues. Good quality for the $$ especially if you're just getting started.
post #9 of 34
then do $350 on C&J benchmades from plal or pediwear.
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by baseball_guy View Post
My shoe size is wide.

Do you mean that you have broad feet and need a wide size?
If so, Allen-Edmonds might suit you; they're easily available and often in various widths. Just go to a well-stocked store, try a lot of shoes on (don't buy yet! If you want to look good, don't listen to the salesman, listen to us!), then come back and report.
post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by teddieriley View Post
then do $350 on C&J benchmades from plal or pediwear.

I will check to see if any of the stores around me carry C&J or plal or pediwear. There is a Nordstrom and Macy's nearby. I am trying to do some research before I go in and buy so I have an idea what to expect price and quality wise.

I found this thread at this forum, and I really like how these shoes were restored. http://www.styleforum.net/showthread...ght=%2Ashoe%2A Is Bruno Maglis a good first choice for dress shoes? The shoes in that thread are brown, but if they were black I think I found what I want. Nordstrom has something like this for just under $400 which I am willing to spend. What I like is the author of that thread was able to take nice expensive shoes and restore them for what I assume is probably pennies on the dollar of what the shoes originally cost.

From the other thread, this is what they look like before restoration-

This is what they look like after restoration-


Every shoe I have ever owned, when it starts to wear, I throw them away. I've never considered that shoes can be restored. It makes it much easier to justify spending $500 on something that can be restored and enjoyed for many years.
post #12 of 34
Yup, that's what permanent style is about!
I'd also recommend, for your first pair of decent dress shoes, that you try them on. After that, you could maybe order online, if you have something to compare it to, but it's still risky.
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by baseball_guy View Post
I will check to see if any of the stores around me carry C&J or plal or pediwear. There is a Nordstrom and Macy's nearby. I am trying to do some research before I go in and buy so I have an idea what to expect price and quality wise.

Just so you know, C&J is a shoe brand (Crockett & Jones) but plal and pediwear are both websites that carry that brand, among others. Nordstroms really is not a bad place to start your search, and Edmond Allen has wide sizes, so start there. Once you know your size in several brands, you can consider buying shoes on-line. Or you can take advantage of zappos.com free return shipping.
post #14 of 34
As a shoe newbie, it is hard to beat the US manufacturers, Alden and Allen Edmonds.

Perry
post #15 of 34
My guess is that once you purchase a pair of well-made shoes in your proper size, you are going to wholly reject them.

I prefer Alden, but they aren't readily available in a variety of sizes unless you live in NYC, SF, or DC. I find Alden to be more comfortable than Allen Edmonds. I am 48. I lived with AEs for 20 years and my feet always hurt at the end of the day. I switched to Alden in 1997 and my feet don't hurt after a day in dress shoes. Aldens have a cushion in the heel. AE does not. It makes a difference.

Another word of advice, get your foot measured at a reputable shoe retailer. Do you live near a Nordstrom? They built their name in shoe retailing. Buy a shoe with a leather sole. Do not be swayed by Italian names. Spend some time reading this sticky: http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=12201

If you really are a D width, try Brooks Brothers, they have a black cap toe from Alden and one from Peal & Co. Go to a bricks and mortar store to buy your first pair of nice dress shoes. This isn't something you should leave to chance.
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