Dress Shoes for a Frequent Traveler

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by swetooth9, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. swetooth9

    swetooth9 Member

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    I am currently working as a consultant and just completed my first project. Dress code was business casual, so I alternated between loafers. However, my next project will require suits Monday thru Thursday, so I'll need dressier shoes.

    Should I go "all out" and get myself two pairs of nice oxfords? I've been eyeing the black Allen Edmonds Park Avenue for my black suit and the walnut or bourbon Allen Edmonds Strand for my navy suit. They are $350 each. Or should I go with cheaper alternatives such as the following:

    1. John W Nordstrom Lido in black ($175)
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/john-w-...d=0&fashionColor=&resultback=639#BVRRWidgetID

    2. John W Nordstrom Adrian oxford in brown ($175)
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/john-w-...tualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=639

    The reason I ask is because of the heavy traveling required in my job (100% travel) and the road/weather conditions that my shoes are exposed to - I wouldn't feel as bad if I roughed up some shoes that weren't as expensive. On my last project, my shoes had to endure the rain, snow, and rocky road surfaces when walking to and from the office (which could be a pretty good walk from the parking spots we got). Also, they salt the roads heavily when snow is expected (which is often), which aren't good for the shoes. I would definitely wipe them down and keep them clean if I invested $350+ per shoe, but I don't know if it's better to just wait til I switch jobs to a non-travel one (where conditions are more predictable on a daily basis) before investing in the higher quality shoes. In addition, the rush to take shoes on and off at the airport twice a week would increase wear and tear on the shoes as well I would think.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013


  2. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    Wearing cheap shoes will make travel worse. I travel often and wear my better shoes. They're comfortable, look good, and can handle the occasional abuse.
     


  3. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Consider a Loake plain toe single monk. Inexpensive, understated and easy on / off at the airport.
     


  4. swetooth9

    swetooth9 Member

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    thank you both for your responses. I am still considering getting the AE shoes if they can withstand the occasional abuse. Thanks for the Loake suggestions - they look nice! However, I'm leaning more towards oxfords
     


  5. Ilovelobbs

    Ilovelobbs Senior member

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    I used to travel and walk alot in my previous life....
    My best tip is to go for the following:

    1) Design/Style: Derby open lace-up, just as dressier & easier to slide on/off in planes/trains/autmobiles.
    2) Sole type: Rubber Dainite - It's discreet, doesn't look like you're climbing a mountain. Handles all types of surface to air chemicals; snow, rain, acid rain; salt and more bloody salt.
    3) Leather: rich black calf leather
    4) Budget: Spend at least $400-$500 on makers like C&J's. Vass is top-end $550/$600

    Follow the above rules and your shoes will easily last 10+ years, mine have. In that period I have gone through several German cars; 2 wifes and 3 houses....I still have the same pair of C&J's...The good thing about the 2 pairs you picked from Nordstrom - they will get to visit the re-cycle bin within 6 months wear.

    Give Crocketts factory shop a call every saturday morning and they will have many subs for sale costing no more than $250. Tel +44 1604 631 515 ask for Shirley/Barbara if she still around.

    Oxford close lace
    http://www.crockettandjones.com/Product/Hallam-Black-Wax

    Derby open lace
    http://www.crockettandjones.com/Product/Norwich-Black

     


  6. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Don't worry about sole options; you could always resole to danite/rubber sole after the original worn out.
     


  7. Ilovelobbs

    Ilovelobbs Senior member

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    Depends on the shoe he buys - if they are gluey stick-on jobs then it's a gonna once the're worn.
     


  8. swetooth9

    swetooth9 Member

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    Thanks so much for the detailed post! Very helpful information that I'll definitely consider for my purchase. I appreciate the phone number as well for the factory shop!
     


  9. swetooth9

    swetooth9 Member

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    thanks so much for the input! I'm definitely considering rubber soles for these, since I expect to do a lot of walking in the elements and parking lot surfaces

    Thanks!
     


  10. Kwaker

    Kwaker Senior member

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    You don't have to compromise with synthetic-soled dress shoes ... go with the AEs and bring along some Totes galoshes. They're light, packable and inexpensive (<$20 vs >$50 for Swims).
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013


  11. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    What I meant is that he could always resole his AE PA or Strand or any GY Welted shoes to Danite shoes once the original sole/heel is gone.
     


  12. RogerC

    RogerC Senior member

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    Meermin is your friend.
     


  13. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    I bought a pair of Gucci loafers from Bluefly that were awesome for travel. The red and green ribbon is a little pretentious maybe, but people know it just means quality. Definitely cool if you're in Europe or someplace sophisticated like that.
     


  14. nishan22

    nishan22 Active Member

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    I found myself traveling a lot last year. Picked up a pair of the Allen Edmond graysons - super easy at the airport and can be dressed up or down as appropriate.
     


  15. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    I just looked those up because I was curious. The tassels are kind of out-of-fashion, but I guess if you can balance them with other eccentric details (metal tie clip with an animal head on it, a tweedish cabbie hat, an old-fashioned looking vest, etc.), you might be onto an interesting look. Definitely wear them with some nice broken-in jeans--you know the ones with the selvedge that shows when you fold up the hems? Yeah, now I'm digging it. You just need to totally run with the "sartorial" theme. Like, I'd definitely not wear a suit jacket, but maybe it would be cool just to carry one over your shoulders. You have to look accessorized and layered but not in an artificial way.
     


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