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First Quality Pair of Dress Shoes

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for my first quality pair of dress shoes, preferably basic black oxfords (to start my collection). I have been searching on ebay for about a month now because I read you can find great deals on John Lobbs, Edward Green, and Vass but have been unable to find anything close to my price range (around $500). I have come to the conclusion I am going to have to buy retail, or close to it. My biggest issue is that I live in Boston and am unsure of where to find quality shoes. I have been wearing Johnson & Murphy's, Florsheims, and Cole Haans for a while and am ready for some real quality. I feel like my options are somewhat limited to Alden and A&E but would appreciate any suggestions for other brands. Any advice is appreciated. I am going to a wedding in 3 weeks and would like to have a pair by then.
post #2 of 8

1. Carmina from The Armoury http://www.thearmoury.com

2. Meermin has been gaining some momentum recently.  You can buy more than one. smile.gif  http://www.meermin.es

3. Check out Pediwear http://www.pediwear.co.uk/

4. Kent Wang sells DC Lewis http://www.kentwang.com

5. And of course there's B&S from SF members...

 

I'm sure other members will have some better suggestions.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Anyone else?
post #4 of 8

You're in Boston? And can't find a place that sells quality footwear? Wut?

Go to Allen Edmonds website, look at their retailers in your area. Then do the same with Alden (full name: Alden of New England). Likely their retailers will be shoe stores and not just their own brand stores, hit those up. As far as brands go: quality? Allen Edmonds and Alden have your back. You could also source out some Crockett and Jones for that price point (someone else may have to speak to their quality, I'm unfamiliar with their particular processes). For your reference, make sure you know why you're buying quality, or maybe said another way, what quality you're buying. You're buying shoes made of high quality leather that will, with proper care, last literally for decades. Also, the construction allows for recrafting/reconstruction when the soles eventually take their licking or you just want the insole re-done or the leather stretched over the original last. So if you get to looking and you see some other brands you like, make sure you do some research on their recraftability (not a real word) so that you don't just see the price and think "Quality!" These may be things you already know, but in good conscience I wanted to state it outright here.

 

A few tips on keeping those shoes alive:

Wear one day, let them rest the next, repeat. It's considered a little unhealthy to wear the shoes every day as this tends to not let the leather rest and (with the support of shoe trees) maintain shape.

Clean and condition as needed, many comments have indicated a once a month routine.

Don't wear leather soles in the rain (use Swims top shoes or your older pair).

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I feel like Alden is one of my only options because I don't have access to some of the other brands out there for around the same price, if anyone knows of a good shop in Boston please let me know.
post #6 of 8
For the price of Alden, you can order Carmina or Meermin (direct).
post #7 of 8
If you know your US size and width and presuming your width is 'D' or 'Standard' order one full size down from your US size.

post #8 of 8

I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but the EU slowdown has meant that a lot of high-end menswear stores in Europe seem to be offloading their stuff to eBay retailers. (Or maybe even selling on eBay.) A lot of these guys have "Best Offer" options on their listings. As long as they're making money, they're very reasonable. Vass is now within reach of the guy who's just starting out his high-end shoe collection. Granted, you're still looking at $500+, but that's NIB. Pre-owned Edward Green will run you about $300 on the B&S. You really can't beat that.

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