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Dress shoes -- best bang for your buck

johnnynorman3

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I'm going to buy some black dress shoes -- probably cap toe or moc toe -- to wear exclusively with suits. Ideally I'd like to spend less than $200, but I want a pair that will hold up for 12 months while being worn at least 4 times a week.

Putting aside ebay and super sales, what brand normally priced at 200 or less gives me good buy?

Note: I'm first going to try to find a steal at outlets/Century 21, etc.
 

shoefan

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I would try to pick up a pair of Allen Edmonds from one of their outlets; on sale you can definitely get them for less than $200. As repeatedly mentioned here, Aldens are even better, but aside from e-bay you will be lucky to find them in your price range this time of year.

Whatever you do, make sure to get some cedar shoe trees -- Nordstrom Rack sells some decent ones for $15; if you're going to wear the same shoes 4 times per week, you'll really be tough on the shoes, as they won't have time between wearings to lose the moisture they absorb from your feet. As such, cedar shoe trees will at least reduce the moisture content of the leather and help to prolong the shoes' life and keep them from getting too smelly. FWIW, I would also recommend you wear wool rather than cotton socks, as the wool will keep your feet drier than will cotton; this may be more important given your inability to rotate between different pairs of shoes.
 

johnnynorman3

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Yeah, I'm planning on buying 2 pairs so I can rotate -- I know I should treat my shoes better. I guess maybe the best plan for me would be to pick up one higher end pair and one medium end pair -- you know, not junk (i want to look good), but nothing that will set me back a ton.

Thanks for the advice.
 

NavyStyles

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I own a pair of black dress shoes by Bally. I've had them for almost four years now. I've been wearing them more than I used to. They're still in very good condition and were under $200.
 

AlanC

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I hear folks suggest Mezlan, which can be had for less than $200, especially at discount. Try Sierra Trading Post which has some Mezlan cap toes right now, as well as some others (Polo, perhaps).
 

VMan

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I hear folks suggest Mezlan, which can be had for less than $200, especially at discount. Try Sierra Trading Post which has some Mezlan cap toes right now, as well as some others (Polo, perhaps).
I haven't owned a pair of Mezlan, but the quality looks good for the price. I always see a bunch of pairs at Sak's Off Fifth and at Filene's Basement for under $120 a pair.

I'd also recomend Bruno Magli. I've heard the quality is on par with Gucci and Ferragamo. I've also seen Magli's at Off Fifth, Filene's, and Nordstrom Rack for $80-140 a pair. I have a pair of brown suede loafers by Magli that are very comfortable.
 

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