How do you justify spending $500+ on shoes?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by JezeC, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    ^^^ What Cleav said.
     
  2. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    awesome scale, bb.

    i dont think anything needs justification. i have found that no matter how strongly i feel about why what i buy is worth what i paid, be it from a quality, aesthetic, hand worked, or other point of view, it is impossible to explain it to someone else. either you appreciate it and are ok with it, or you are not. you learn about it over time and either it appeals to you or it doesnt. either way is fine, but trying to explain/justify one side to the other is a fools errand ime.
     
  3. ezlau

    ezlau Senior member

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    Justification: Ever since buying >$500 shoes, I've been getting twice the amount of ladies.

    Twice the amount of zero is still zero :hide:
     
  4. AmericanGent

    AmericanGent Senior member

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    Sadly, we Americans have learned to accept the notion that buying a shoe that cost $5 to make in China by unskilled laborers for about $65-80 is normal. Spending $100 on shoes is absurd to most Americans (unless they are buying Jordans for their kids).

    Consequently, American men buy shoes at DSW for $65 that look like a festering turd, but because the have laces and are made from something that resembles leather they are "dress shoes". After about 10 months, they fall apart so they buy some more like that because they are "not expensive". These are horrible corrected grain, cemented pieces of shit that are a massive waste of money.

    Of course, we know that you can buy a pair of AE for $200-300 and wear them for 10 years. This jump - from the <$100 to $300-400 range is where the real, factual, palatable justification lives. You can sell the reasoning behind this jump to anybody.

    So, the next leap is from the $200-300 range to the $500-900 range (a leap I have only made twice) becomes a little harder to justify by facts.

    The OP asked "How do you justify spending $500+ on shoes? Better put- is there enough of a difference between the $200-300 and $500+ price points to make the purchase justifiable? That depends on a lot of factors. If you buy Louis Vuitton or Ferragmo shoes I think you are paying the additional money for a name, not actual quality- so the justification becomes personal, not measurable in terms of quality.

    I doubt there is an answer to this.

    It really depends on how you dress, your profession, etc. If you buy fantastic bespoke suits and shirts you had better justify some $500+ shoes to go with them. Average shoes will kill a fantastic suit. Fantastic shoes can make an average suit look like a million bucks. ...Ok, maybe not, but it will sure help.

    **EDIT- missing coordinating conjunction.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  5. suited

    suited Senior member

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    $500 is right around the max I've spent on personal shoes. Find me a $150 shoe with quality leather that matches the styling typically found in more expensive shoes and I'll buy it. In fact, I have in the past, although I can't comment on the quality of the leather because I didn't pay attention to those things at the time. I had 2 pairs of Saks brand shoes that were nicely styled and held up pretty well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  6. Cleav

    Cleav Senior member Dubiously Honored Moderator

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    My point made I was determined not to get drawn back into this...

    " you can always tell a man by his shoes and his wristwatch" is a maxim (one of many) of my late grandfather that I learned to appreciate.

    This is not about £$€ btw
     
  7. AlexE

    AlexE Senior member

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    Aren't those two questions, the first being how to justify buying shoes in this price category overall and the second how to justify buying unusual shoes at high price points. I cannot comment on the latter since I do not buy what I would call 'unusual' shoes. At the same time you seem to consider Strands, i.e. Half brogues which come in black, dark brown, chili, merlot, walnut (all very versatile colors), playful or flamboyant.

    So why do I buy shoes in this category, which covers everything from C&J benchgrades up to EG/JL/G&G: Number one I think that shoes in this price category are of higher quality (material, finishing) then their below $500 counterparts (case in point is a direct comparison of AEs and C&Js) even though I admit that the delta in quality does not necessarily justify the full delta in price. Else I simply enjoy the looks of the lasts in this price categories and I enjoy the ability to customize my shoes by buying e.g. my EG MTOs. Probably it is also the joy of buying something 'rare' and the good conscience of having supported the payroll for craftsmen in England. An important factor, last but not least, is also that I can afford this little eccentricity without hurting my overall financial stability.
     
  8. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have never seen delta used like that. George Orwell would be turning in his grave ^_^
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  9. chichester

    chichester Member

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    'Justify' is an interesting word, meaning something along the lines of 'prove to be reasonable' and I wonder whether it would have been used at all were this discussion taking place thirty years ago when we, typically, had fewer consumer choices to make and agonised less about them.

    The argument that JezeC made where he ended with ‘So for shoes with scotchgrain or python material, how often do people really wear these footwear to justify the expense?’ is really a challenge based on the assumption that frequency of wearing is the primary justification for the purchase of shoes beyond a certain price point and that anyone who wears them infrequently lacks a ‘justification’ for their decision. It reads like a pseudo-moral judgement (which I’m sure he didn’t mean), but that’s the problem with language. If I have to ‘justify’ consumer choices against a test of ‘reasonableness’ then I would probably have no high-end shoes at all. Reasonableness doesn’t come into my aesthetic choices and therefore neither does ‘justification’, I can either afford to buy something that I like, or not.

    My position on this is simple, if you want them and can afford them, then go ahead and buy them. If, instead, you find yourself engaged in a moral crisis about men’s shoes and are seeking validation for your choices, then I think that you need to take a long, hard look at your personal moral framework.

    Chi
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  10. Distorbiant

    Distorbiant Senior member

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    Most people on Classic Menswear are wealthy middle aged white men. What else are they going to spend their paychecks on?


    Why, the dead skin of animals painted and molded in the shape of a human foot, of course.
     
  11. AlexE

    AlexE Senior member

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    :wow:

    I used delta as the symbol for a difference. Never encountered it in literature outside of brave new world. In which context did Orwell use it...please educate me.
     
  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    The truth is that in a world where there is no recognition of hierarchies of quality and/or value, there is no justification for spending even $500.00 on shoes. There is no significant, substantive difference between a $300.00 shoe and a $500.00 shoe. Sure, the shape of the lasts may be more au currant, the always ephemeral finish brighter, the cachet more sophisticated. But all such considerations are both illusory and subject to change.

    Mind you I'm not saying that there is no reason to spend more than $500.00 on shoes. But what I am saying is that the reasons break down into two categories--the substantive and the superficial.

    To the extent that shoes are priced, or purchased, based entirely on designs, or shape of lasts or perceived fit (for one person) or the way in which they emulate recognized standards of acknowledged quality the reasons are entirely subjective and based in emotions.

    And there's nothing wrong with that...up to a point. Most people gravitate towards acceptance if not eventual admiration by their peers. "Fashionable" is the raison d'etre. Most people like to know that the things that they surround themselves with have a "magical" character--a "glamour," so to speak, either as a result of an acknowledgment of quality, novelty or wealth. In a certain sense, all of that is just a reaching out for the approval of other people.

    Other people find great satisfaction is surrounding themselves with things that are demonstrably, objectively, the best that can be had at any price. If only as a result of an appreciation of the difficulty in achieving such quality. An appreciation for things that are not common...simply because, well, common is "common." There is, despite the cynics, a joy in the pursuit of excellence whether it be from the perspective of a maker or the perspective of one who studies and values excellence. Realistically or not, it is a reaching for the heavens...an aspiration for the transcendental.

    For many, of course, price is the critical factor and if it's "good enough for government work", it's good enough for them. And price will always be the limiting consideration regardless of approval or aspiration. Some people will always "know the cost of everything and the value of nothing" to paraphrase an old saying.

    And for many, of course, it's a progression from one state of mind to the next...no harm, no foul--all learning is progression, although many are the retrenchments along the way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  13. AmericanGent

    AmericanGent Senior member

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    I suspect this is a translation error, the only use of delta that I know of is the area around the opening of a river- Mississippi delta in the US. Oh- and the Tri-Delts from SNL's old skits.
     
  14. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    Commonly used in math to indicate a change or difference. Math and science types use it in conversation pretty often too.
     
  15. AmericanGent

    AmericanGent Senior member

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    You guys are making me feel stoopid.
     

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