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STILL Obsessing About Stylish Shoes! Help!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
OK, in the past month, I've bought two diametrically opposed pairs of shoes- and I'm NOT a wealthy man that can forever do this! Therein lies the dilemma...

One pair is a beautiful pair of Sutor Mantellassi lace-up cap toe leather dress shoes from Italy. $400, regularly $1 grand. I'd post pix except I don't have a digital camera. Trust me, they are drop-dead gorgeous, almost as sexy as some of the avatars around here, LOL!

The second pair, a pair of ridiculously cheap Clarks walking shoes, throw-away types with the neoprene heel/sole, designed for comfort. Closeouts, practically a steal at $35. But not worth a picture, they look like damned goloshes/ snow boots!

The problem: I WANT some style, some luxury, some flair. But I NEED support for my feet because I have flat feet, and one of my feet tends to bend inward at the ankle and also when I'm walking turns outward. OK, I SHOULD go to a foot doctor, but I don't like going near any doctor, another story.

The most I can spend on "one more pair" of lace-up dress shoes is about $200-300 and then I must be DONE!

But what's really frustrating is that the beautiful, sleek dress lace-ups seem NOT to be the answer for ten hours of standing on my feet, whereas the clunky "walking" shoes ARE somewhat more comfortable, but seem to uniformly be the rubber or neoprene bottomed non-repairable types.

I've had brands like the Clarks, Ecco, SAS and Birkenstock strongly recommended to me as good "comfort" shoes but these are non-repairable and most look like "clogs" or snow boots.

A couple of more traditional dress shoes such as Minor and Mephisto are evidently repairable, with the leather or leather/rubber soles, and have a special reputation for orthopedic support, but these also seem to lack real pizazz. Even the Alden orthopedic shoes such as the 757's I've owned for about 15 years (still available) aren't really ultra stylish, although those 757's aren't too bad.

So, my guru friends, IS there an answer? Some nicely-styled cap toe or split toe or plain toe blucher/derby lace-up that is repairable, has decent leather (not the faked-up corrected grain), has some style finesse AND is quite comfortable to stand in and walk in for long hours, nearly every day??? AND available around $300? My preference would be to a British or other European shoe, but I need a 12 C shoe as my foot is at least medium-width, which seems to rule out many of the imports.

I had thought about stuff like Sanders & Sanders or Tricker, but I'm really not sure if they are supportive and comfortable.

Bottom line, I know I can't be an idiot and ruin my problem feet because I want a sexy-styled shoe, yet I keep hoping there's one out there with beauty AND "brains!"

EEK! OY VEY!

Jerry
post #2 of 20
I would say that with a limited budget and a requirement for comfort then you have to go with your Clarks. There's really no way to tell if a pair of shoes is going to be comfortable in the long term without trying them long term, but those with lots of padding etc are more likely to. Since you can only afford one pair of 'good shoes', unless you decide to thrift or buy and sell, to find your comfortable 'good shoes' by trial and error, you are pretty much restricted.
post #3 of 20
Clarks and Ecco's are both some of the most comfortable shoes that I own.... the style edge would be for Ecco IMHO. You can always add arch supports to any pair of shoes that you have as well though. - Jonathan
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks to chobochobo and JonF for your replies and taking the time to give your thoughts. I would have expected this would be the kind of thread that would have attracted a lot more opinions, but maybe folks are tired of my constant whining about shoes, LOL! I get sick about it myself sometimes.

Sure, the Clarks ARE quite comfortable most of the time, but when I look down at them I get really disappointed. Doesn't any shoe manufacturer make one shoe that is repairable, great-looking, well-built and comfortable?

Even though the Eccos probably do look a bit nicer than the Clarks, they're still no Santoni, Vass or Lobb! But I can't afford those fanciest shoes and I'm not sure if they're suitable to stand in for long hours most days...

Maybe by definition a "dress shoe" isn't a walking shoe???

Thanks again guys!
Jerry
post #5 of 20
There are comfortable dress shoes. Almost all of mine are very comfortable (barring a couple of ebay purchases that were a touch too small/tight). For example, last year on holiday in NYC, I walked pretty much the length and breadth of Manhattan over a week in a pair of EG Dovers.

The 'problem' in your case is that you can only afford one pair of 'good shoes' and there's no way to guarantee that they'd be comfortable particularly if you are prone to pains in your feet.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chobochobo View Post
The 'problem' in your case is that you can only afford one pair of 'good shoes' and there's no way to guarantee that they'd be comfortable particularly if you are prone to pains in your feet.

I suppose if push came to shove, I could bust enough piggy banks to try one more $400 pair of shoes. But naturally shoe shops (rightly so) have policies that a pair of shoes can't be returned for refund once the bottoms get scuffed. It's only when wearing them on pavement and other abrasive surfaces that one can really determine something about the comfort.
post #7 of 20
Jerry-

Have you tried orthotics, or even the foam insoles runners use for support? They might make standing and walking in your Sutors more comfortable. Also, maybe Johnston & Murphy is in your sweet-spot for price, style and comfort. Best of luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry52 View Post
I suppose if push came to shove, I could bust enough piggy banks to try one more $400 pair of shoes. But naturally shoe shops (rightly so) have policies that a pair of shoes can't be returned for refund once the bottoms get scuffed. It's only when wearing them on pavement and other abrasive surfaces that one can really determine something about the comfort.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your suggestions and words of encouragement, letmebefell. Even though I've worn special shoes for my flat feet since childhood- Aldens exclusively for many years- my foot problems never were quite severe enough that I needed braces or special orthotics within the shoe, except for a small "arch support" glued inside the shoe to support the arch/heel area. The problem with adding some of the supports you mention is that it would take up some more room inside a shoe with limited space. There must be dozens of foot inserts marketed, but maybe I shouyld experiment a bit with more of them...

I'm considering a brand of shoe called "Minor" for my next. These are designed for foot comfort and support with an "extra depth" line especially designed for adding inserts. The problem is that many of their models are rather "stodgy" in appearance.

My dad loved his Johnston & Murphy shoes. They were his brand for many years. But they have changed ownership over the years and the general opinion of them seems to have "gone South" since the 1950's and 1960's when he owned them.

Jerry
post #9 of 20
With your price limitations, you don't really have much right to be claiming that Johnston and Murphy "went south". If they fit you right, they will be comfortable. They are not bad shoes and they fit your price.

With your price range the only thing you can do is try on a ton of shoes. Go to some place which has Aldens, Allen Edmonds, Clarks, etc. Everything which looks halfway decent, try it on. I've owned clarks and they were not comfortable for me. My most comfortable shoes at the moment are probably some Aldens. But it all depends on the individual foot. You need to try more on.
post #10 of 20
With your limited financial standing, why not walk away? Save your money for another day.
post #11 of 20
if these are beat 'em up shoes, which it sounds like they might be, johnston & murphys are not bad. i have a few pairs of j&ms which are very comfortable. many of their mid-tier offerings in the $120-$180 range have gel-cushioned insoles. those types of insoles can sometimes be gimmicky but i found theirs to be extremely comfortable.

my most comfortable shoes would be from taryn rose however. at full retail they are overpriced ($400) but i got mine for $100 from grapevine hill . the leather is incredibly soft. the designer is a former orthopedic surgeon so i guess she knows a thing or two...
post #12 of 20
I agree that Taryn Rose is a most comfortable shoe.
High quality, thin soled shoes are not really meant for 10+ hours a day on one's feet. Clarks, Doc Martens, Born, etc are most likely to meet the being on one's feet all day need.
post #13 of 20
There are dress shoes built deeper to accomodate a cushioned insole. I think the Allen Edmonds Last #8 is made with this in mind. And one can always buy a shoe a half or full side bigger to accomodate a cushioned insole even when the maker had not intended that.

Go on the Allen Edmonds website, and you will find cushioned replacement insoles for sale. I haven't used these in particular, but about twenty years ago I bought a pair of Ferragamo wingtips that were too big, but about 60% off so I bought them anyway. I took a pair of blue rubberish K-Swiss insoles from the Classic White tennis shoe in the closet, put them into the Ferragamos, and voila! Extremely comfortable!
post #14 of 20
Here is the link to some Allen Edmonds cushioned, orthotic leather insoles. No reason the could not be put in any dress shoe, so long as the shoe is purchased on the roomy side to make room for the orthotics.

http://www.shoebuy.com/allen-edmonds...-_-none-_-none

Here are other orthotic inserts... I haven't used them, but they seem like they would address your need for support within a dress shoe:

http://www.footsmart.com/P-FootSmart...ull-10129.aspx
post #15 of 20
Given your budget, how about some Charles Tyrwhitt shoes? Many are on markdown for just under $300, I believe.

http://www.ctshirts.co.uk/content.as...level2=Shoes#3
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