Best men's dress shoes under $200...?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by darlingfausty, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. darlingfausty

    darlingfausty New Member

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    Hello to all the wonderful gentlemen out there!

    Hoping you could please help me out with something? I am looking for a present for my brother, and want to give him a pair of nice looking dress shoes, since he has always been super-casual. He is a pre-med. student, so I want him to have something nice to go on interviews and meetings with.

    I know probably everything there is to know about women's shoes, having worked in the industry (as well as being an Imelda Marcos-like shoe collector), but admit that I don't know all that much about good CLASSIC men's dress shoes…I'm more familiar with modern Italian-style men's shoes, which is not exactly what I am looking for at the moment.

    I’m looking for a pretty simple, black, good-quality, smooth-grain polished leather (not shiny, cheap, & plastic-y), traditional lace-up oxford, pref. plain-toe, full leather-soled, made in Italy, England, or France. Obviously should be stitched, NOT glued, and would like a full leather, instead of rubber out-sole, but don’t mind a rubber edge on the heel. Definitely NOT a boxy square-toe, a super conservative round-toe, or a tooo elongated elf-like tip…but just an attractive modern version. I would like it a little more European in style than the traditional British & American versions, not only for looks & a more youthful feel, but also because he is only a sz. 10.5-11, so it can totally be pulled off, length-wise.

    I'm sorry to make this post so long! I just wanted to be clear on exactly what I am looking for, since it has been sooo hard to find! I've been searching for 3 straight days & nights, and am even more lost and confused as to what to get now! :(

    I had always been used to my ex-boyfriend's Lobb, Bontoni, Testoni, etc., but am now realizing those brand’s quality are unfortunately not in the price range I am able to look at right now, and everything else kind of sucks when I compare it to them. Just to be clear, I am not some naïve little fool expecting for anybody to provide me with the holy grail of shoes that provides Bugatti-like features at a Nissan price…but, just wondering (or hoping) if there is something out there, that maybe goes on sale, that could possibly fit what I am looking for?
    At least for women’s shoes, I have been able to get some amazing bargains in the past for like 95% off MSRP. I know that’s not the usual, but was hoping to look for maybe something like that, or the closest thing I could come to finding it…?

    Just really want to get my brother something special that is worth it, and could inspire a passion for beautifully crafted and well-made shoes for him to covet in the future! :)

    Thank you to all!
    J Your input is sooo appreciated!!!
     


  2. anginaprinzmetal

    anginaprinzmetal Senior member

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    if what you are looking is a well made black captoe in a conservative shape you can't go wrong with allen edmonds park avenues...
    it doesn't get more conservative than those, every man should own a black captoe and if your brother is in med school they'll serve him well for interviews...
    if you wait you might be able to get a pair for just below $ 200.00... don't know that you can realistically get them a whole lot cheaper than that
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011


  3. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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  4. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    gotta read her post.

    She wants a sleeker last that is more "european"
     


  5. zem52887

    zem52887 Member

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    Testoni's routinely go on sale on Gilt for near your price range. I can't vouch for them, or if they're a cheaper line made for Gilt, but might be worth checking out...
     


  6. cioni2k

    cioni2k Senior member

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    I can comment on this. Stay away from these. Maybe I ask too much of my shoes, but I bought a pair of Testoni loafers from Gilt and immediately returned them. Felt cheap and thin, wouldnt be surprised if they were specially for Gilt. (Same exact thing goes for Grenson on Gilt).


    To the OP: I think Loake is your best bet. Classic English lasts/constructions, good quality, only around $250 shipped (and I believe free shoe trees). Check out www.pediwear.co.uk (Make sure you look at the pricing without VAT).

    I recommend the Aldwych:

    http://www.pediwear.co.uk/loake/products/3940.php

    Also worth noting:

    http://www.pediwear.co.uk/loake/products/2606.php

    http://www.pediwear.co.uk/loake/products/2607.php

    http://www.pediwear.co.uk/loake/products/1883.php


    I dont personally own a pair (Will purchase the Aldwych's shortly), but from what I read, Loake's UK sizing is one full size down. For example UK7.5E = US8.5D. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011


  7. Sanguis Mortuum

    Sanguis Mortuum Senior member

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    It's not entirely clear what she wants in that respect, as she also says "not shiny, cheap, & plastic-y", but corrected grain is always shiny, cheap-looking and plasticky (imo). Maybe she can be convinced that well-shined full-grain calf is a better option.

    Going to be hard to find something for less than $200 though, I think some of the black Carminas on The Armoury website would be perfect but they're almost 2.5x that amount :satisfied:
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011


  8. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    yeah I wasn't sure either there. Problem is, sleek in the less than $200 price range usually means corrected grain
     


  9. darlingfausty

    darlingfausty New Member

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    Big THX to anginaprinzmetal & Quadcammer both for your quick replies! Esp. since this is supposed to be ordered in time to be an X-MAS prez.! THX!!! J Again, appreciate any & all input, tho!

    Yes, I am looking for a bit more of a sleek European-last shape (modern-cool, not sleazy Euro-trash!). ;P Don't get me wrong, I think the AE Park Ave, is a GREAT looking shoe, but I think it is a little more 45 year old gray-haired Oncologist (albeit a silver fox! ;P ), than a young, handsome, up & coming reconstructive surgeon...ya know? The AE Park's DO have the clean lines I wanted, but I was just hoping for a little more...I guess "sleek" is the only way to say it? I can't have it go too far that way, because it just will not fit his style, or shape*, but again, I don't want it too conservative, which could possibly make him look dated or old-fogey-ish...

    Quadcammer – OMG! Thx for the link to that Magnanni! I actually really jock that toe & last…that may be a winner in the looks dept., so far! Still on the conservative side, but def. a lil’ sexy…I likey! I’m gonna try and figure out how to put an alert on that one! ;) How are they on quality?

    *Shape = BTW, don't know if this will help any suggestions at all...but, he is about a 10.5 Med. shoe, approx. 5'9, very well-built muscularly in the upper body, with broad shoulders, and a little bit stocky shoulder-neck area, but with a somewhat longer torso and shorter legs, and slightly longer arms. Kind of like a typical well muscled wrestler's body, I think? Sorry! This probably makes him sound way more horrible & disproportioned than he is, but he is actually a very good looking guy…not that any of you guys judge, but, you know what I mean!!! ;P
     


  10. Plestor

    Plestor Senior member

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  11. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    you can use the ask andy discount code to get free trees at herring: HSAB
     


  12. kulata

    kulata Senior member

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  13. cioni2k

    cioni2k Senior member

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  14. Liquidus

    Liquidus Senior member

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    Those Magnannis aren't oxfords and I don't think plain toes work well as an all-purpose show. They're also too square-toed for my liking.

    I second the recommendation for Loake. It would be a pain to ship them back if they don't fit though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011


  15. GasparddeColigny

    GasparddeColigny Senior member

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    Why not package the idea as a shoe shopping trip with his big sis?
    95% chance the fit is off, hard enough to order shoes online for yourself, let alone for someone else.
     


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