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Good shoes for bad weather

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Here's an information request for the forum.  It would be useful to compile updated information on good options for nice-looking shoes, say suitable to wear with a sportcoat and tie, that can survive moderately bad weather (rain, puddles, ice, etc.)

 

I had a decent-looking pair of Salvatore Ferragamo Studio shoes with a vibram sole for this purpose, but they completely came apart after six months.  As in, the toebox literally separated from the sole, and I had to limp home with my big toe peeking out of my shoe.  This has made me swear off glued shoes (again!)  So now I'm looking for something more durable and of better quality.

 

Is it better to specifically purchase a tough pair of shoes for these conditions, or to sacrifice a decent-but-not-premium pair of regular dress shoes?  Older threads on this subject recommended rubber-soled shoes from brands such as RM Williams and Heschung, and Paraboot makes a nice double-monk with a rubber sole (Vigny).  Others have recommended Dr. Martens or various chukkas, but it is difficult to find good options there (Dr. Marten Bennett or Caine might be acceptable, but I'm looking for something better).  I also have a pair of AE Boston monks that I could sacrifice for this purpose, and I suppose they might do OK topy'd and with a good coat of wax polish to help waterproof the uppers.

 

Where else should I look?  Which of the top brands specifically offer good shoes that will stand this type of wear?  I presume this would mainly be British country shoes here, but it is hard to identify good options.  Are there any makers that do a particularly good job of this?  And what's the extent of degradation likely to be on a weatherized regular shoe like an AE compared to a shoe specifically built for walking in bad weather?


Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.

post #2 of 6

Some useful reading that belongs in this thread:

 

A thread from week ago about dress boots for snow.

 

An article about shoes for wet weather, written by the excellent dieworkwear, though it seems to have more to do with boots. If you go with something from this, you should remember that C&J actually recommends against cordovan for wet weather.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jmills View PostSome useful reading that belongs in this thread:

 

A thread from week ago about dress boots for snow.

An article about shoes for wet weather, written by the excellent dieworkwear, though it seems to have more to do with boots. If you go with something from this, you should remember that C&J actually recommends against cordovan for wet weather.

 

The links are helpful, thanks -- interesting reading.  But I'm looking for shoes, not boots.  If there is a major snowstorm then I will get out serious gear (Asolo goretex trail shoes or boots).  My work environment is eclectic so casual shoes are normally fine, and in the Chicago area everyone makes allowances for bad winter weather anyway.  Here I'm looking for something more intermediate in terms of weather threat.  What are the options at the level of brands like C&J/Alden/Church/Cheaney/AE?  Not necessarily those brands in particular, but around that level of shoe quality.


Edited by apack - 11/9/12 at 8:13am
post #4 of 6

I'm sure someone better informed than me will come along and talk about storm welts soon, which prevents water getting into the joint between the upper and the sole. There are some C&J and Alden's with storm welts and dainite soles, but I only know of the Grasmere, which is probably not quite dressy enough.

 

Edit: Turns out you can type "storm welt" into the search page on Crockett & Jones website, there are a few reasonable options.

post #5 of 6
I've found that any shoe that i've used with a rubber sole and not glued works great in crappy new jersey weather. I also have an older pair of Bostonians (no idea of the model, but they're similar to my Allen Edmonds Stockbridges with a less rounded toe) that I wear when it's snowy. I can't imagine the welt isn't glued on those (although I could stand to be corrected) but i've never looked. They stand up to anything I throw at them and they're almost 10 years old!

As for buying "tough shoes" vs buying "cheap beaters" for the bad weather, i'd recommend somewhere in the middle. I had a pair of cheap, corrected grain, Florsheim wingtips that completely fell apart one rainy trip into the city. The plasticky finish actually cracked and peeled/flaked off.

-James
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by apack View Post

It would be useful to compile updated information on good options for nice-looking shoes, say suitable to wear with a sportcoat and tie, that can survive moderately bad weather (rain, puddles, ice, etc.)

I had a decent-looking pair of Salvatore Ferragamo Studio shoes with a vibram sole for this purpose...

You know you're on SF when you wear Ferragamo's as beaters.




(I do the same.)
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