Thanks guys, I appreciate your warnings. I guess I'd better continue "kicking tires!"
You may notice I have another thread here, basically complaining just how difficult it is to find a STYLISH dress shoe that is ALSO supportive for my flat feet and COMFORTABLE to wear for hours at a time standing on my feet, which my job requires. For many of my longest days on my feet, I'm presently wearing some
Clarks, which I got dirt cheap from a shoe store who recommended them for comfort. They ARE pretty soothing to my feet but stylish, they are NOT. Ugh! They look a lot like snow boots!
On the other hand, I recently succumbed to temptation and purchased a pair of close-out Sutor Mantellassi lace-up dress shoes, regularly $1,000 for $400. I figured I'd treat myself, because they're my first new pair of shoes in over ten years. I think they're both beautiful and beautifully built, but unfortunately, they give little indication yet of being comfortable- although I've only worn them three times thusfar.
But I reckon I'd better forget Varvatos and Jacobs. They'd cost me at least as much as the Sutor Mantellassi and from your experiences, be NEITHER well-built nor comfortable.
I'd really like a repairable shoe, and the Clarks, the Eccos and the SAS are not that way.
Some other repairable shoes that have somewhat of a reputation for long-term comfort or foot support include Minor, Mephisto and Taryn Rose. I've seen some Taryn Rose models online that LOOK attractive, but the "toe box" area looks rather cramped on many of her shoes. The Minor and Mephisto seem to have a generous foot area in front, but look clunky.
Among the British shoes, I've read on here some promising comments about Tricker's as a kind of "dark horse" but I don't know if they would be comfortable?
Also I have a size 12 medium to wide foot and I've heard that most of the British shoes are sized narrow...I could get a deal on some Tricker's through Sierra Trading Post.
Another problem for me is that I live in an area where I can't personally inspect the shoes I'm mentioning.
Online sources like Shoes.com and Zappo's.com are GREAT to look at (I found the Varvatos and Jacobs ideas at Zappo's) but in the end, I just CAN'T seem to find ONE shoe that is repairable, well-built, stylish and built for long-term standing! Am I asking for something that doesn't exist? I think some shoe manufacturer could really clean up if they could invent the "everything" shoe!