I often wear funky shoes, so when it starts a conversation, I always mention my jeans and the price (usually around the $200.00 range) and that's the only way people notice. Other than that, they have no idea that the jeans aren't a $20.00 pair from the local Old Navy shop.
I usually mention that no one minds paying $100.00 for a pair of sports shoes as casual wear or for the daily gym workouts. In 6 months to a year, the shoes get tossed. While a pair of jeans can last indefinitely, you're looking at a better value. When I get the "why pay so much when you can get a pair for less than fifty bucks" line, I repeat what I just said about the shoes.
Once in a great while, someone will say "Nice shoes! Is that designer jeans? What brand?"
Lunch is on me when I hear that