I am currently working as a consultant and just completed my first project. Dress code was business casual, so I alternated between loafers. However, my next project will require suits Monday thru Thursday, so I'll need dressier shoes.
Should I go "all out" and get myself two pairs of nice oxfords? I've been eyeing the black Allen Edmonds Park Avenue for my black suit and the walnut or bourbon Allen Edmonds Strand for my navy suit. They are $350 each. Or should I go with cheaper alternatives such as the following:
1. John W Nordstrom Lido in black ($175)
2. John W Nordstrom Adrian oxford in brown ($175)
The reason I ask is because of the heavy traveling required in my job (100% travel) and the road/weather conditions that my shoes are exposed to - I wouldn't feel as bad if I roughed up some shoes that weren't as expensive. On my last project, my shoes had to endure the rain, snow, and rocky road surfaces when walking to and from the office (which could be a pretty good walk from the parking spots we got). Also, they salt the roads heavily when snow is expected (which is often), which aren't good for the shoes. I would definitely wipe them down and keep them clean if I invested $350+ per shoe, but I don't know if it's better to just wait til I switch jobs to a non-travel one (where conditions are more predictable on a daily basis) before investing in the higher quality shoes. In addition, the rush to take shoes on and off at the airport twice a week would increase wear and tear on the shoes as well I would think.
Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!