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Casual shoes, wingtips, other ideas?

bvbellomo

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41, divorced, and almost all my coworkers are in their 20's and wear athletic shoes exclusively. I have nothing against athletic shoes, and own several pairs of running shoes which are usually caked in mud. It doesn't make sense to reserve a nice pair of running shoes for the office or wear shoes from a sport I never did (e.g. basketball shoes).

Last winter, I picked up a pair of Allen Edmunds LAX Derby Shoes. Allen Edmunds is the first and only shoe maker I've tried that I appreciate the quality enough to buy from them again, although I have limited experience with quality brands. The derby shoes are nice, especially if I am wearing a suit and tie, which is usually court against my-ex wife or funerals. But they are too formal for everyday, or a first date (very important to me) or grad school (also a group 20-somethings in athletic shoes).

I live in Ohio, and similar to running shoes, I appreciate good hiking boots, but cannot keep them clean enough to wear day to day if I actually hike in them. I lost my first pair of Allen Edmunds to salt damage, frequently deal with parking lots full of mud, salt, snow, slush, ice and deep puddles - although for short distances. I don't mind wet feet from shoes that leak, but hate sweaty feet from shoes that don't breath.

I am tempted to get a pair of wingtips, as I've heard they are less formal than bluchers or oxfords, but am worried they may still be too formal. My ex-wife never let me look at wingtips because she hated them so much, and I almost want a pair because of her. But country western has never been my music, so I want to avoid that look.

AE also has some nice boots, but I worry about hot sweaty feet.
 

Razing

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I'd consider penny loafers and plain white sneakers. It's unlikely one shoe is going to cover every adventure life throws at you so don't be afraid to switch up your footwear based on the situation. In the winter you might want to go with some beater boots with commando soles, in the summer loafers or boat shoes without socks will allow your feet to cool off.

I understand you're surrounded by a lot of people younger than yourself but don't be afraid to be the person who dresses up a bit more, you're older and it's somewhat expected.
 

madhat

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41, divorced, and almost all my coworkers are in their 20's and wear athletic shoes exclusively. I have nothing against athletic shoes, and own several pairs of running shoes which are usually caked in mud. It doesn't make sense to reserve a nice pair of running shoes for the office or wear shoes from a sport I never did (e.g. basketball shoes).

Last winter, I picked up a pair of Allen Edmunds LAX Derby Shoes. Allen Edmunds is the first and only shoe maker I've tried that I appreciate the quality enough to buy from them again, although I have limited experience with quality brands. The derby shoes are nice, especially if I am wearing a suit and tie, which is usually court against my-ex wife or funerals. But they are too formal for everyday, or a first date (very important to me) or grad school (also a group 20-somethings in athletic shoes).

I live in Ohio, and similar to running shoes, I appreciate good hiking boots, but cannot keep them clean enough to wear day to day if I actually hike in them. I lost my first pair of Allen Edmunds to salt damage, frequently deal with parking lots full of mud, salt, snow, slush, ice and deep puddles - although for short distances. I don't mind wet feet from shoes that leak, but hate sweaty feet from shoes that don't breath.

I am tempted to get a pair of wingtips, as I've heard they are less formal than bluchers or oxfords, but am worried they may still be too formal. My ex-wife never let me look at wingtips because she hated them so much, and I almost want a pair because of her. But country western has never been my music, so I want to avoid that look.

AE also has some nice boots, but I worry about hot sweaty feet.
I personally don't find the Allen Edmonds LAX all that dressy for a first date (or daily use); you can easily pair them with dark jeans for a smart casual look. I would also recommend dropping the ex-wife comments before said first date.

Wing tips and country music? I live in Texas and don't understand this comment... don't you mean western boots? Wing tips are a classic dress style; buy them if you like them.

As far as sweaty feet, it's relative. I find true leather shoes breathe plenty well. Consider unlined for a lighter feel.

As above, I would recommend several pairs for different occasions. I wear dress shoes and loafers all summer and dress boots all winter. You prefer a more casual look, so throw in some more workwear styled items that can be a bit more multi tasking than hiking boots: Alden Indy boots, clean pair of classic sneakers (not running shoes), etc.

And, as said above don't be afraid to dress your age even if your younger coworkers don't.
 

johng70

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Your story sounds very similar - I'm also from Ohio, 40s, etc. For work, it's going to cost, but invest in some Swims over-shoes for the winter. It will save your shoes.

Now, the LAX, especially in Chili, is not a formal shoe - perfectly fine for casual dress. You want to get at least 2, preferably 3 different shoes in your rotation to start. This gives the leather time to dry out in between wearings.

I'm going to suggest getting shoes that are mid-to-dark brown & oxblood as they are going to be the most flexible for work. For casual, natural Chromexcel (CXL) is great.

For winter time, I prefer boots with a good rubber tread for casual (for work, it's dress shoes with the swims).

AE is a good choice (I think I have about 8 or 9 pairs). Just click on "Casual shoes" on their site if you want ideas. Strand Mock are a nice casual, McTavish as well and the Wilbert. But any derby makes a good casual shoe.

Rancourt & Co, Oak Street Bootmakers are also 2 other American Made shoe companies that make exceptional shoes/boots.

Now, a couple other things: There isn't anything country about wingtips. Cowboy boots are not usually wingtip. So, having wingtip shoes or boots isn't going to make you look "country".

Finally, I'm going to echo the advice above: In one short post, you mentioned your ex-wife twice. You also mentioned dating. As someone who was divorced, and now remarried, you gotta get over your anger towards her before you're going to have any success dating. Nobody wants to hear about someone's ex. And the fact you mentioned her twice when it's hardly relevant to buying shoes is a big red flag. I wish you luck with the divorce and getting your life back on track. Updating your wardrobe can certainly help with the change and fresh start!
 

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