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Shoe suggestions (max USD 500)?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I apologise in advance for starting a thread when I am sure that there are similar ones, but I have made a search without finding the one I am looking for.
I have quite sensitive feet, and I think that they may be broader than most - many of my dress shoes tend to hurt my wee toes if I walk a lot during the day.
I am looking for comfortable, nice-looking and good quality dress shoes (or ankle boots). My upper limit is around USD 500.
Is there any specific brand I should try? (So far I have tried Boss, Ferragamo and Bally, but from what I have seen here these brands are generally not well considered on SF, it appears to be for design and quality reasons).
I thank in advance for any suggestion.
(I guess that someone will tell me that I cannot get any decent shoes for less than USD 2000, and yes, I might consider some Sutor Mantellassi crocodile loafers in the future, but right now I want to stick to my USD 500 budget)
post #2 of 16
Since you're going Italian:
I'd say look on ebay for :

Tramezza by SF--is very well constructed==but only Tramezza.
Sutor Mantellassi
Crocket and Jones ---drummond for example---the more Italian lasts
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Oooops, I just realized that I forgot to mention that my USD 500 limit refers to retail price...
And I refuse to try to buy shoes on e-bay, I mean, even when I try them on for half an hour in the shop it happens that I end up with something that just hurts my feet too much at the end of the day...
Now, I guess that I may have to be a bit flexible with that USD 500 limit.
Thanks anyway!
post #4 of 16
You're in Spain - go for Carmina! http://www.albaladejo.com/

If I were looking like you I'd also consider Crockett & Jones Handgrades or Alden shell cordovans.
post #5 of 16
One of the reasons I tend to buy Allen-Edmonds shoes is that they're all available in a variety of widths--unlike most of the better English shoe makers. As a result (I have wide feet), they just fit me better.
post #6 of 16
$500 gives you quite a bit of room to play around, even at full retail. As fit seems to be your issue, definitely try before you buy. Also, if you're on your feet a lot, you may want to look for rubber soles (heresy, I know, but your feet may thank you). Some good brands you could get for $500 or less full retail:

- Allen Edmonds
- Alden
- Crockett & Jones (benchgrade and maybe some handgrade)
- some Mantellassi
- Gravati
- some Santoni
- Martegani
- Alfred Sargent
- Peal & Co (Brooks Bros)

The above list isn't exhaustive, but it gives you a range of makers and styles from which to choose.

If your job really entails a lot of walking, you may want to look at shoe brands designed for walking. Mephisto is a particularly good brand (although function sometimes gets in the way of form - they produce some butt ugly shoes, but also some perfectly passable dress shoes).

Hope this helps.
post #7 of 16
You can definitely get a pair Edward Green during semi-annual sale for $500 at Jermyn St., Saks & Polo. EG trumps every makers that have been mentioned in this thread.
post #8 of 16
FWIW, I sometimes have similar trouble with the little toe on my left foot, which is wider than my right. As a result, shoes than run to the narrow side tend to be very uncomfortable. I have found Alden (standard "D" width) to be quite comfortable in this respect. You can get their calf shoes even at full retail for well within your budget, and I believe even their shell cordovan shoes at full retail are within your budget or at least in that ballpark.
I love my two pairs of EGs, but the problem with picking up at the sale (and even during the sale they're likely to run you closer to $600 than $500 when all is said and done) is that you might pretty limited choices within a given size. So, in my experience, the EG sale is a great way to add to your inventory of shoes but if you really "need" a go-to pair of shoes counting on finding something you like and that fits well during the sale strikes me as a risky proposition.
BTW, are you sure that you're buying your shoes in the appropriate width? Obviously, from a comfort perspective getting the size right is going to be more important than buying the "right" brand.
post #9 of 16
for 500 retail, you can go with some santoni classics like the brenden moc toe derby i have , it is very cushiony comfortable and very sleek.

you can also do plal or pediwear to get any of the handgrade or benchgrade c&js that are all below 500 their retail price.

because of your broad feet, hopefully meaning wide?, then you can go to AEdmonds and find all sorts of wide sizes and alot of AEs have a last that comes in a rounded full toe that can accompany your toes all the way, not like an italian or elongated toebox last.

for 500 you can go to yoox right now they have some select a testonis that are very nice looking: some of these are 270 or 330 dollars

im tempted to get one of these myself and compare to my santoni, although so far the consensus is they arent any better than my FAM.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions. Now, it appears to be hard to find AE, CJ, EG, etc., in Madrid. It appears that most shoe-shops around here do not carry English (?) quality shoes. I went to Casa Exerez at Claudio Coello, they are supposed to carry a lot of high-end English shoes, but the staff was not very helpful so I did not feel welcome and left.

Originally Posted by zjpj83
You're in Spain - go for Carmina! http://www.albaladejo.com/

I did. I loved their shop (also on Claudio Coello, just around the corner from my gym). A lot of nice-looking shoes (actually, a lot of shoes in many different nice and unusual brown tones), and very helpful staff. Also, the staff appeared to give sincere advise (for example, telling me not to buy a certain shoe because it looked "uniform" like, and warning me that even if a pair of shoes felt comfortable in the shop, there is always a risk that it will end up hurting your feet when you wear it for more than half an hour...). I really liked the way they attended me. In the end, I bought a pair of burgundy ankle boots. I love the way they look, I just hope that they will turn out to be comfortable and durable. Retail price: EUR 270 (that is, around USD 350).
post #11 of 16
Congratulations. Great choice! I will be in Barcelona in December and look forward to going to the Carmina store there.
post #12 of 16
Congratulations! That's really exciting. They are very hard to get over here. A department store, Bergdorf Goodman, sells them, but they are quite expensive.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Lets se if I manage to copy in some pics:
post #14 of 16

I bought a pair of C&J handgrades (on the 330 last) on sale at Exerez earlier this year, and they are easily my most supportive and comfortable dress shoes. Of course, shoe fit is a very personal thing.

I agree they Exerez (or any shop in Spain with a photo signed by the king!) is a bit intimidating. Yet, they have a monopoly, so far as I can tell, on C&Js and EGs.

There is a Mephisto shop on Lagasca. Forget about elegant, chiseled lasts, but they are comfortable. I found them and Eccos to be lifesavers after I broke my Achilles tendon.
post #15 of 16
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