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School me on mens shoe brands. Looking for dress shoes that can go with suits. - Page 2

post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A.K.A. View Post
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.

I will try Alden, there is a Brook Brothers not too far from Nordstrom.
post #17 of 34
I've never had any problems with comfort when wearing Allen Edmonds. They are perfectly fine for me, and after spending 9+ years in the military wearing combat boots, AEs are a welcome treatment for my feet.

You can pick up new AEs for less than $195 using their current sale (only a few models available). Just make sure you try them on in a store to find your proper size first.
post #18 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post
I've never had any problems with comfort when wearing Allen Edmonds. They are perfectly fine for me, and after spending 9+ years in the military wearing combat boots, AEs are a welcome treatment for my feet.

You can pick up new AEs for less than $195 using their current sale (only a few models available). Just make sure you try them on in a store to find your proper size first.

I stopped at Nordstrom Rack today and they had a bunch of AE in the $100-$150 range. I didn't like any of them. The design was nice, but the leather was very hard. The back of the shoe, the lip where the foot goes in, it felt like the kind of hard plastic that would cut the back of the foot if the shoe is worn more than an hour. Bummer.

Maybe they will have better examples at Nordstrom.
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by baseball_guy View Post
I stopped at Nordstrom Rack today and they had a bunch of AE in the $100-$150 range. I didn't like any of them. The design was nice, but the leather was very hard. The back of the shoe, the lip where the foot goes in, it felt like the kind of hard plastic that would cut the back of the foot if the shoe is worn more than an hour. Bummer.

Maybe they will have better examples at Nordstrom.

Definitely try regular Nordstrom first, they should have way more models/styles of AEs in your size, and someone willing to help you.
As for the hardness, I think what could be happening (besides the leather actually being really hard) is certain parts of your foot are simply not used to the stiffness of dress shoes, especially after a lifetime of wearing athletic shoes. I remember when I first started wearing leather soled shoes (and they were o course new) on a daily basis, I would get blisters on the back of my feet, and I had to wear thicker socks. But after the breaking-in period, generally the leather will soften up, and your feet will harden (at least the part where theres alot of friction with the shoe).
post #20 of 34
Nordstrom Rack sells crap AE models, don't even bother. The sale I'm talking about is here through AE directly.
post #21 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help! There is a Saks nearby too, maybe it is worth stopping there and looking around? There is a Neiman Marcus close as well and according to their website they sell mens shoes.
post #22 of 34
Slow down.. Go to Nordstroms and have them measure you, then try on shoes to see what fits best. Like others have suggested, I would also recommend trying Allen Edmonds. If this is your first pair of quality dress shoes, you don't need to get anything exotic, and you should try whatever shoe you intend to buy on in person. The Allen Edmonds Park Avenue is somewhat of a standard for a basic, quality, US made dress shoe. (It is many people's choice for "interview shoe.") This may or may not be what you end up getting, but it is a good place to start. Go; get measured; try shoes on; learn; report back.
post #23 of 34
baseball_guy,
You will find that many people are absolutely in love with Allen Edmonds and think that is perfectly acceptable for shoes to rub the achilles heel during a break-in period. I disagree. For those reasons, I don't prefer AE.

Not all of the AEs at Nordstrom Rack are the crap models. Usually a leather sole is the mark of their best quality shoes.

Still, take the time to go to a regular Nordstrom and get your foot measured. If you are going to drop serious money on a good pair of shoes, the shoes should fit properly. Hopefully you wouldn't wear a shirt if the collar was too small, or a suit that was too big. The same should apply to a pair of dress shoes.

I don't know where you live, so I can't tell you where to go to try on Aldens.

You can get John Lobb at Neimans and maybe at Saks, but you are talking about a shoe that goes for close to a grand.

If you live in DC, try SkyValet in Georgetown. They have top tier quality ready-to-wear shoes.
post #24 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A.K.A. View Post
baseball_guy,
You will find that many people are absolutely in love with Allen Edmonds and think that is perfectly acceptable for shoes to rub the achilles heel during a break-in period. I disagree. For those reasons, I don't prefer AE.

Not all of the AEs at Nordstrom Rack are the crap models. Usually a leather sole is the mark of their best quality shoes.

Still, take the time to go to a regular Nordstrom and get your foot measured. If you are going to drop serious money on a good pair of shoes, the shoes should fit properly. Hopefully you wouldn't wear a shirt if the collar was too small, or a suit that was too big. The same should apply to a pair of dress shoes.

I don't know where you live, so I can't tell you where to go to try on Aldens.

You can get John Lobb at Neimans and maybe at Saks, but you are talking about a shoe that goes for close to a grand.

If you live in DC, try SkyValet in Georgetown. They have top tier quality ready-to-wear shoes.

I got a great deal of insight from the "starting over thread", which asked what people would do if they were starting over. Most said they would get quality instead of quantity. With that in mind, I don't mind spending $500 or a little more on very nice shoes. I expect whatever shoes I get will last me the next 10 years and I plan on making friends with a cobbler in the near future. If I did not believe these shoes can last that long, I would probably end my search with a $250 pair of Allen Edmunds.

I stopped at Nordstroms and the Allen Edmunds were a big improvement over what I saw at Nordies Rack. The AE's were double leather sole and felt much better, but still heavier than Bruno Magli. I really liked the Bruno's. They were lightweight, but they had a rubber sole. The one that caught my eye the most was Salvatore Ferragamo. It is $100 more than the Bruno Magli I like, and $250 more than AE. I decided I will stop at Saks and look at Prada while I am at it, they are in my price range of $500 give or take a couple hundred. Before I started looking at shoes, Prada was the only name I could recognize, unless we're talking Nike or Puma. I have Nordies Notes which would make it easier on the wallet to buy at Nordstrom. If they had a sale soon, I think I would go with Ferragamo. I am going to ask an employee of Saks if they have any sales comming up soon.
post #25 of 34
Thread Starter 
I went to Neiman Marcus tonight, they have a very small selection of mens shoes, maybe three small tables of shoes. Once again, Ferragamo caught my eye. I looked at Prada and was not impressed. For the money I don't know if Prada is worth it.
post #26 of 34
I think that for $500.00 you also ought consider Brooks Brother English made, the RL English made (look for sales) and Alden. I wear AE, but would not if they rubbed. I am not a huge fan of the Italian makers unless I am wearing Gravati, Santoni, better Sutors, or Martegani. Good luck.
post #27 of 34
I have learnt a lot in the shoe porn thread, have a look at it.

I love Santonis, Testonis and Canalis. Yes I´m european and I like pointed and narrow ones. Dislike unpointed Crockets.
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by baseball_guy View Post
I went to Neiman Marcus tonight, they have a very small selection of mens shoes, maybe three small tables of shoes. Once again, Ferragamo caught my eye. I looked at Prada and was not impressed. For the money I don't know if Prada is worth it.

Most of the Prada shoes are made in Spain my country and they are totally overpriced for a " vulcan" ( I think means blake rapid construction in english ) shoe.

Great design, 5/10 construction and 1/10 price.
post #29 of 34
Just a coupla points to (hopefully) help your hunt:

If one model of Allen Edmonds doesn't fit your foot, try another. There a number of different "lasts" that AE uses to form it's shoes and each will fit differently. This is true for other brands as well.

Shoe trees. Get em and use em. Everytime you take those shoes off, put the trees in. Most important thing for keeping your shoes in good condition.

You can't get by with one pair. Everyday wear will destroy your new shoes. Let 'em dry out and reform around the shoe trees with at least a day's "rest".

I also like Ferragamo, but the "Studio" line is poorly made (though often gorgeously styled). The Lavorizone Originale (sp?) and especially the Tramezza line are much higher quality.
post #30 of 34
To the OP, as others have said, if the Allen-Edmonds shoes abraded your heel, that was a fault of the fit, not of A-E shoes in general. I own 42 pairs of A-Es. I wouldn't have bought any of them if they had rubbed my heel.

The Allen-Edmonds shoes you find in Nordstrom's Rack are most likely to be closeouts. These make excellent bargains. They are not made to lower quality standards than the A-Es you will find in a regular Nordstrom's store.

Others will tell you otherwise, but it is my belief that until you get up into the $1,000+ price range, any improvements in quality and materials over Allen-Edmonds are going to be at best very marginal. Whether the $1,000+ shoes are worth the price differential over A-Es, especially if the latter are purchased at bargain prices, may be debatable. (I've paid $129 for a lot of my A-Es on deep closeout.) However, at least at that point the differences in quality and aesthetics start to become discernible. Bottom line: Wearing A-Es you be better and more elegantly shod than 99% of the male population, at least in my part of the country.
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