durability of shoes seem to be a priority

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by eddiecibrian, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. eddiecibrian

    eddiecibrian Senior member

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    Ok, I have come across numerous posts on the forum insisting on the quality and build of shoes, whether its goodyear welt or blake stitched, now having owned mostly cheap shoes my whole life, non of them have actually fallen apart, the only thing i could see is that they change their shape a little bit....but so far, none of the soles have fallen apart...so do a lot of you guys actually have had shoes that are not well constructed fall apart ? because then again i dont walk as much as someone who lives in NYC, also the reason why I ask is because if it's not a huge difference in style and if the main difference is only durability i can save a few hundred bucks on a shoe. sorry for the terrible grammar
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011


  2. Sanguis Mortuum

    Sanguis Mortuum Senior member

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    Are you still wearing cheap shoes that you bought 10+ years ago? If not, why not, if they didn't fall apart? Good shoes can be resoled and ultimately last decades.

    The durability thing may be a bit exaggerated though, but it's not the only reason to buy better shoes. Cheap shoes tend to look cheap - they may have bad styling, be made on inelegant lasts, or be made from cheap or flimsy leather. Some expensive shoes on the other hand, just look sexy as hell :devil: You're not going to find a $100 pair of shoes which looks identical to a pair of G&Gs but just isn't as 'durable'.
     


  3. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    I have only had slippers, basketball shoes, and running shoes fell apart and became not repairable. Other than those, no.

    And I do agree that durability of the expensive shoes is exaggerated somewhat. But I am not old enough to own a pair of high end shoes for 20+ years.
     


  4. eddiecibrian

    eddiecibrian Senior member

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    I get it... the look of good construction is a big part of the style
     


  5. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    If you're buying G&G's only because they will last longer, you're missing the point and wasting money IMHO.
     


  6. michaelvl

    michaelvl Senior member

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    The reason I buy higher quality shoes because they are:
    - built allot better then cheaper shoes
    - are made of nicer, high quality full grain leathers that age beautifully with time
    - more durable (because the soles can be replaced) and if you use shoes trees and condition the leather well they will remain looking beautiful for a very long time
    - wonderfully styled (classic styles that won't go out of style by next season)
    - they offer allot of comfort due cork insoles that form to your feet
    - often fit very well
    - I have a passion for excellent quality shoes, I feel like a million buck's wearing my EG's, low quality shoes just don't give me that feeling
     


  7. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    - built better in terms of what?
    - everything ages with time and beauty is in the eyes of beholder.
    - no.
    - you always find the same 'style' shoes for lower prices.
    - no. there's cork insole and there's also Nike Air. and my double leather sole Trickers is less comfortable than walking bare foot.
    - only if you are lucky to find a good fitting last. or MTO w/ fit adjustments. or bespoke.
    - thats why we all here on SF. [​IMG]
     


  8. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    This is the part I disagree with
     


  9. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    Please learn a little more before you post. Just about everything you said is wrong, apart from the bits about the fit of your personal shoes. Which probably mean you're wearing the wrong size.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011


  10. swiego

    swiego Senior member

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    I actually [mostly] agree with the OP. I think the idea that you are paying for more durability is largely an illusion. My John Lobbs and Kitons have some improved finishing in some areas, some repairability-by-design, and a few pretty tough pieces here and there, and without question they LOOK well-made. The reality is that the leather scuffs as easily as my much cheaper shoes, if not more so, the leather soles wear about as fast if not faster than a typical rubber sole, particularly when rocks, road and water are involved, the shoe laces snap about as quickly, the leather creases are about as ugly (cordovan excepted of course) and so forth.

    I'd concede that they are better built, but only slightly, and nowhere near in proportion to the order of magnitude increase in cost. I think buying a $1,000 shoe for durability is a little like buying a 20 oz soda for $15 because it comes in a glass bottle that seems more durable. In reality the glass bottle may be a bit tougher, but it has its own failure modes, and it would be better to simply accept that you're buying it because the glass bottle is super cool looking and makes you look impressive when photographed drinking from it.

    I buy some nice shoes because of the styles (which are great: elegant, balanced, great mixes of classic and modern), because the finishing sometimes can be gorgeous, and [largely] because the construction is, if not necessarily more durable, more precise, more elegant, more thoughtful. It's like a checkered shirt; the $40 shirt may have the patterns unaligned at seams while the $400 shirt has the patterns perfectly aligned wherever possible along with straighter, cleaner stitching and fewer random loose threads, but overall it may not actually stand up to the test of time any better than the cheap shirt, and if the cheap shirt is falling apart after three wears then either you are mistreating it or you are not being a smart shopper.

    I do believe that if a person buys a $1,000 shoe because he/she believes that is the only way to get a decade of life out of a shoe, he/she needs to take better care of shoes. If it's because he/she thinks that's the only way to get a comfortable shoe, then he/she needs to see a doctor ASAP. If it's because it has pretty leathers and amazing stitching and awesome shoe bags and drop-dead gorgeous looks, though, that's OK by me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011


  11. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Well, time for you to wake up and realize that your feet won't fit well in every last.
     


  12. musicguy

    musicguy Senior member

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    I need to stop reading threads like these. It makes me lose faith in humanity.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011


  13. viator

    viator Senior member

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    I think the emphasis on durability is for real - to a certain price range. A pair of $300-400 shoes from AE, Alden, or CJ will last more than three times as long as a $100 pair of shoes from a place like Aldo. But in my view once you get to higher price ranges, durability becomes much less of a purchasing consideration. And that's fine.
     


  14. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Senior member

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    It could be worse, we could be discussing the weighed benefits of plastic vs. MOP buttons. :plain:
     


  15. swiego

    swiego Senior member

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    See, I question this. If your argument is based upon how the basic structure of the shoe holds up, then I disagree, my evidence being the tens of millions who took care of cheap shoes and kept them going for multiple decades. I'm no fan of shoes from Aldo, but there are just too many sub-$100 johnston and murphy's that will put in a couple of decades of good service. Now, if the argument is based upon the ability to resole, then my response would be that at least in my area, every half-decent cobbler is charging what is rapidly approaching $100 to resole a shoe. For just the cost of the resole, you could buy a brand new shoe. Again, I just don't see the durability-per-dollar equation holding up.

    Again, not arguing against the value of expensive shoes; I own several. I just don't think the purchases should be rationalized on the basis of durability. Frankly speaking, if durability-for-the-dollar really is the goal, then one would be better off with a larger collection of less expensive shoes of greater variety, to better distribute the wear and tear. Three pairs of $100 dress shoes and one pair of $100 boots for the bad weather days is going to last far, far longer than a single pair of $400 shoes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011


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