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Contrary to popular SF belief, shoes with glued-on soles don't disintegrate immediately

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by BigRob, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. BigRob

    BigRob Senior member

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    For most of my life, I have only owned one pair of black dress shoes. They all had corrected grain uppers glued on to rubber soles, and each lasted me for years and years. I wore them to school on most weekdays -- in all weather, without shoe trees, and not in a rotation of shoes. It's hard to estimate, but I must have worn each pair easily 500 times. When I replaced them, it was either due to my feet growing out of them or the upper becoming irreparably marred (from salt etc.), not because they ripped or became unglued.

    I now wear only Allen Edmonds dress shoes -- I'm up to six pairs, bought over the last two years or so -- and although they look much nicer than the cheapos, it's clear to me that buying $200+ shoes is not a money-saving investment. These shoes would have to last a LONG time (read:fifteen years) to be in the ballpark -- and who knows how long my adhesive construction shoes would have lasted if I had treated them with the same care that I now treat my shoes with.


    TL;DR: In my experience, expensive shoes aren't an "investment" in the sense that they save you money in the long-run.
     
    4 people like this.
  2. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    you just realized this?
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. taxgenius

    taxgenius Senior member

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    You may have worn them for years but I suspect they looked like $hit from day one and certainly after 100 wears.
     
  4. BigRob

    BigRob Senior member

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    Maybe to you, but I'd bet that 99% of people couldn't tell the difference between $70 shoes and $700 shoes if they saw them on another's feet.

    The visible difference between sewed or glued soles is ~very~ subtle, and I doubt any more than 1% of the population knows the difference between corrected grain and full grain, let alone how to spot it at a distance of a few yards.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  5. redips

    redips Well-Known Member

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    Fwiw, my black cap toes are pushing 15 years and I they still look amazing. My only pair of black shoes, worn roughly 45/ year. A few soles and maticulous maintenance.... Money wasn't the reason, but in retrospect I saved a ton.
     
  6. zippyh

    zippyh Senior member

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    That "investment" bullshit is just what you use at first to convince yourself to buy nice stuff.
    Once you reach Styleforum enlightenment you will realize you just like nice stuff.
     
    13 people like this.
  7. TheWraith

    TheWraith Senior member

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    So? The masses are morons. That's not anything to crow about, mate.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. EBugatti

    EBugatti Senior member

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    Newsflash-- I doubt many people here buy shoes for (1) long-term "investment" purposes or (2) to impress the masses. People on this site buy high end shoes because they LIKE them.
     
  9. BigRob

    BigRob Senior member

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    Many people do try to justify buying higher-end shoes as a long-term investment.

    There are certainly reasons to buy nice shoes -- I have and will continue to do so -- but the investment argument doesn't seem to me to be valid. Nor the "they look like shit to the very-few in-the-know" argument.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  10. PiCcolocV

    PiCcolocV Senior member

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    Inaccuracies like this (which I am hoping is hyperbole) undermine any legitimate point you were trying to make, and just come off like a troll. Clearly far more than 1% of the population, at least in the U.S., could determine the difference between shoes at those price points.
     
  11. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The first pair of better, handgrade UK made shoes that I bought in London outlasted all the other shoes I had in my closet. I still have them. I bought them in 1984. Black cap toes. They have been resoled 3x.
     
  12. BigRob

    BigRob Senior member

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    I didn't try to pass the 99% figure as fact; obviously I haven't conducted a study and the number is an estimate based off of my experience.

    Still: If I could bet money on an over-under with even odds, I'd say fewer than 1% of Americans would be able to tell the difference between the following three shoes if they were able to hold them in their hand, let alone tell the difference by glancing at them on someone else's feet.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    (One of these shoes retails for more than twice that of another, which retails for twice that of the third.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  13. jdiaz26

    jdiaz26 Active Member

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    Come on, it's a piece of cake:

    The first pair are some example of ugly shoes from Johnston&Murphy which must retail at around $375.
    The second pair are some well known and (IMHO) quite ugly Allen Edmonds. Retail $345.
    The third pair are Gucci's Kyoto Cap Toe Oxfords priced at $660. You're paying the Gucci tag here.

    Choose wisely, choose John Lobb.
     
  14. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Exactly so.

    Surely one pays more for decent shoes precisely they do look better and not like shit. That said, better shoes can be resoled and with proper care can last a very long time and remain looking good until the end.
     
  15. jdiaz26

    jdiaz26 Active Member

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    I do not see the investment point. Really.
    Some of us just like owning high quality items. But I am pretty sure most of my friends will not spend during the rest of their lives the money I have spent last two years on shoes. Mine may look better, but I wouldn't dare to say I made a good investment in terms of long-lasting-good-looking shoes. I made a good investment in happiness as I'm happy with my shoes. Obviously, I never talk about my shoes with them and if I'm ever asked the price I just lie. They would never understand it if they ever got to believe it. But I'm happy wearing shoes none out of SF knows (well, my wife does).
    We cannot forget about people who show their nice shoes here to get lots of compliments and get back to their wives: "see what i told you? people who really know about shoes, love them". They are quite happy too, I guess.
    Invest in happiness not in shoes, life's too short.
     
    4 people like this.
  16. kulata

    kulata Senior member

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    I don't know why people throw the word "Investment" around. Just simply state that you are buying a luxury product just like people buy Aston Martins as opposed to Toyota Camrys.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  17. MZhammer

    MZhammer Senior member

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    You're entirely correct that buying nice shoes isn't an "investment" in the sense that you're saving significant sums in the long run. Just like a Savile Row suit won't save you a lot of money instead of buying a cheap $150 suit every two years but the idea is that the product will look good and feel better for the life of it versus a cheaper substitute.

    We're here because clothes/shoes etc are what we care about and dressing is about doing so to your own standard. I quite like that 99% of people can't pick out my sport coat apart from a Lauren Ralph Lauren one sold at Macy's, I don't want to be ostentatious, but I do think that people can subconsciously tell quality. I do think that wearing a finer garment is communicated through how it moves and how it looks with age and people could pick out the better dressed individual in John Lobbs and a Kiton suit vs a standard Kohls department store ensemble. They might not be able to articulate why they think one man is better dressed but I think it shows.
     
    3 people like this.
  18. BigRob

    BigRob Senior member

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    Yep. There are reasons to buy higher-quality shoes, but one is not that it is cheaper over time. People on this forum give glued shoes short shrift in that regard; that's all this thread is about. You should justify your purchases in some other way - if you feel the need to at all.

    Another subject, but brought up in your post: I think with suits, a lot has to do with fit - I'd be interested to see how people (both learned and un-) would rate an ill-fitting but high-quality suit (or a bespoke suit worn by someone other than he for whom it was made) vs. a well-tailored fused department store suit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  19. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    Again, if your justification is "most people wouldn't know the difference anyways", you are in the wrong forum. It's a bunch of clothing enthusiasts--aspiring to mediocrity or worse is not exactly what brings most folks here.

    It's like going onto a sports car enthusiast forum and saying "why bother? my econobox gets me from point a to point b just as well as your Porsche." Perhaps, but that is completely and entirely beside the point.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  20. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Senior member

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    I also like the environmental factor involved in well made shoes. A lot of the material and processed are very old world, and have less of an imprint.

    But yes, I also don't give the "investment" aspect much thought. The higher you go, the more artistry and tradition you get...
     

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