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Help selecting new (dressier) shoes

nordicstyle

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I'm looking into improving my style a bit by dumping the trusty old Asics Gel-Nebraskas I usually wear to work, and replace them with a small selection of leather shoes (two or three pairs, for now). I want something that will go well with jeans, but ideally also can be worn with a suit.

I'm thinking it's best to start off with the basics, so I'm planning to get a pair of classic style oxfords or derby's in black and brown (i.e. no pointy or square-toed designs). I'm also considering getting a pair of more "rugged" boots.

The brands I have been able to find in retail stores so far are Aldo Brue, Paul Smith, Lotusse, Lloyd, Gant, Sand, Ricco Vero and Di Stillo. I don't really have any experience with either of these brands, but I assume they are somewhat high-end, as all their shoes are in the price range $200-$600. Some actually also said "hand made in Italy".

So now I'm wondering, does anyone here have any experience with either of these labels? I'm also wondering if I should start off by buying high-end shoes immediatly or rather pick up some cheaper knock-offs until I know what I would be comfortable with? I already own some odd brand dress shoes ($60 or so), and the reason I don't wear the much is because they a) look a bit tacky and "cheap" and b) are not very comfortable to wear.

I'm also wondering, how does $500 leather shoes compare with city walkers for comfort? One of the reasons why I wear Asics gel shoes in the first place is because I do a lot of walking. Can I expect to continue walking with leather shoes, or should I expect having to start taking the bus to work and do the walking/jogging in the gym instead?

When I wear normal city walkers/sneakers I have to replace them every year or so, because I simply wear them out. Normally what happens is that I wear out the "padding" inside the shoes (especially on the inside of the heel) and the inner soles. How will leather shoes be able to hold up with this? I know the shoes will last longer if I rotate them (i.e. wear a different pair every day), but I can't really afford to buy six pairs of $500 shoes right now...

Please, also, if anyone have links/pictures to what type of shoes would be best for "starting out" that would be much apreciated (i.e. some examples of basic designs suited for my needs).
 

fuji

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I havn't heard of any of those brands besides paul smith. I wasn't aware there were knock off mens dress shoes. Yes they will last longer then sneakers. You can also have them recrafted if thye begin to fall apart assuming you bought a well constructed shoe.
 

HalfCanvas

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Whoa. Hold on. Don't go buying any of those just yet. We'll direct you to some well-made, comfortable shoes for you. Where do you live?
 

nordicstyle

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Originally Posted by fuji
I havn't heard of any of those brands besides paul smith. I wasn't aware there were knock off mens dress shoes. Yes they will last longer then sneakers. You can also have them recrafted if thye begin to fall apart assuming you bought a well constructed shoe.

The brands I listed are not knock-offs. What I meant with "knock-offs" are the various brands that different shoe store chains etc. produce themselves or any cheap shoe brand.
That means, they are not actually copies of well know brands, they are just cheaper shoes (just like H&M makes cheap clothes), meaning they are typically not hand-crafted (or done so by underpaid children in Asia), does not have good quality leather, does not last as long, etc.
 

nordicstyle

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Originally Posted by HalfCanvas
Whoa. Hold on. Don't go buying any of those just yet. We'll direct you to some well-made, comfortable shoes for you. Where do you live?

Oslo, Norway. I noticed there's a bespoke shoemaker from Oslo here, but I assume his prices are even higher.

I know I can get all the brands you guys talk about online, but I don't really like the idea of spending $500+ on a shoe without trying it on first.
 

HalfCanvas

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L'Escalier
Olav V's GT 6-8
Oslo, N-0161
Norway
Phone: 47-22-40-28-50


They carry Allen Edmonds. Go try on some of those to see how they fit.
 

nordicstyle

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Originally Posted by HalfCanvas
L'Escalier
Olav V's GT 6-8
Oslo, N-0161
Norway
Phone: 47-22-40-28-50

They carry Allen Edmonds. Go try on some of those to see how they fit.


Cool. I will check that out. Thanks!
 

LookSharp

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Originally Posted by nordicstyle
Oslo, Norway. I noticed there's a bespoke shoemaker from Oslo here, but I assume his prices are even higher.

I know I can get all the brands you guys talk about online, but I don't really like the idea of spending $500+ on a shoe without trying it on first.


Loake and Barker are perfect for out and out classic styles. Both have elite ranges and more affordable offerings (around £130). I'm sure Oslo must have a few places selling Loake. Barker have the address of the Norwegian Export Agent on their site.

http://www.barker-shoes.co.uk/(xdvj0...ortAgents.aspx
 

Threadbearer

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Originally Posted by nordicstyle
I want something that will go well with jeans, but ideally also can be worn with a suit.

I assume they are somewhat high-end, as all their shoes are in the price range $200-$600. Some actually also said "hand made in Italy".

Please, also, if anyone have links/pictures to what type of shoes would be best for "starting out" that would be much apreciated (i.e. some examples of basic designs suited for my needs).

I've got a pair of these and I LOVE them. http://www.zappos.com/n/p/p/7394497/c/114009.html (Click on the image to get more and closer views.)

They're very comfortable, and I get loads of compliments on them. A lot of guys on these boards are dismissive of J&M shoes, but I'd replace my Alford cap toes without hesistation if they ever got stolen. They have the added benefit of being at the lower end of the price range you mentioned.
 

nordicstyle

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Originally Posted by Threadbearer
I've got a pair of these and I LOVE them. http://www.zappos.com/n/p/p/7394497/c/114009.html (Click on the image to get more and closer views.)

They're very comfortable, and I get loads of compliments on them. A lot of guys on these boards are dismissive of J&M shoes, but I'd replace my Alford cap toes without hesistation if they ever got stolen. They have the added benefit of being at the lower end of the price range you mentioned.


Yeah, those look nice. That's is very much the style I was thinking of. Being somewhat of a minimalist I have been looking at plain shoes without any wingtip or brogues, but I haven't seen many of those in the stores (actually, most shoes I have seen in stores have been pointy or square-toed or with "stitching" along the side up to the to (not sure what that's called, but I'm not much fan of the look unless it's a pair of boots, then it's OK, sometimes)). Most shoes have too much decoration for my taste. Maybe I should just change my taste, I'm not sure, but I'm thinking plain shoes would look better.

Also, I'm thinking that oxford (closed lacing?) looks better than derbys (open lacing?), but of the hundreds of shoes I've seen in stores, only a few have been oxfords, and they have been very expensive ($400+). I'm wondering, are oxfords generally more expensive, or are they just not very popular in Norway?
 

nordicstyle

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Maybe something like this?



Unless all plain is too formal or "boring" for jeans, and maybe I should get wingtips or captoes instead?

Someting like these?



 

Threadbearer

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Originally Posted by nordicstyle
Maybe something like this?



Unless all plain is too formal or "boring" for jeans, and maybe I should get wingtips or captoes instead?

Someting like these?




In my humble and ill-educated opinion, I think all three of these would look great with jeans, but if you want something that will also go with a suit, then the bottom one is your best bet because it's sleeker and has closed lacing.
 

whiteslashasian

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Originally Posted by Threadbearer
In my humble and ill-educated opinion, I think all three of these would look great with jeans, but if you want something that will also go with a suit, then the bottom one is your best bet because it's sleeker and has closed lacing.

I second this opinion.
 

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