How do you justify spending $500+ on shoes?

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

  1. Count de Monet

    Count de Monet Senior member

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    I think the OP's use of "justify" was perfectly fine. I think every purchase any of us makes beyond cheap necessities involves a cost-benefit analsys - whether conscious or otherwise.

    As DWFII eloquently pointed out, one's "benefit" can mean different things to different people or even can change for the same person as their own situation evolves.

    As for me, I suppose I can more easily talk myself into spending more on a "staple" for daily coat and tie wear than, e.g. a pair of bucks or spectators. On the other hand, I can easily imagine someone else choosing the shoe equivalent of buying an inexpensive daily driver for commuting to work and splurging on the red convertible for the weekends.
     


  2. HEPennypacker

    HEPennypacker Senior member

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    This probably comes down to a resource question. If you have the resources, then why would you purchase a product that has a less-than-ideal fit and which uses less-than-ideal materials? If you can afford the best, then why not get the best?

    But of course, if purchasing a $1000, $2000, $5000, whatever shoe is going to cause you to skip a meal or, in my opinion, run up credit card debt (or even force you to scale back retirement savings), then you probably shouldn't buy it or anything else that will cause you to do so.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013


  3. SurfSteam

    SurfSteam Member

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    As a longtime $60-$150 shoe buyer, I was largely ignorant of shoe construction and manufacture process, focusing only on appearance and price as the barometer for shoe purchases. Earlier this year, I took a more critical look at my shoe collection and found all of them were made in China, India, or Brazil.

    After some research on the internet, most notably on AAAC, I kept seeing "AE" mentioned. So I went on the site and looked. The more I learned about shoes, the more I was curious about quality footwear.

    In November I had the opportunity to visit the AE store in Washington DC, where I made my first purchase, black/red Ridgeways.

    [​IMG]

    When the shoes arrived a month later, I wore those Ridgeways to work paired with a black pinstripe suit and red tie, I received more comments about the shoes in one day, than in the last 3 years combined. Prior to that I spent 22 years in the military. Boots didn't get much fashion play.

    Since then, I have bought 4 more pairs of AEs and retired some worn pairs (cole haan, Stacy Adams, Aldo, Johnston Murphy)

    In the span of about a month, I now own 5 pairs of AEs with plans for purchasing more. I'm eye-balling the Boca Ratons and a few others.

    Having made the jump from $100-$150 shoes to $230 Ridgeways and $345 Park Avenues, I can no longer justify spending money on glue-construction $100 Chinese made shoes. It's like making the jump from PC to Mac: once you go MAC, you never go back!
     


  4. harlequin782

    harlequin782 Senior member

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    Great thread, and Great question. Its a question that I recently have posed to myself after noticing just how little effort men really put into shoes nowdays, including dress shoes. My most expensive pair so far is in the $600 (Allen Edmonds shell) range and quite frankly, I dont see myself buying another pair in that price range; or even close to it. I dont mind plunking down $250 - $350 for a really decent pair of shoes, but beyond that is just excessive in my opinion. While I enjoy walking around looking great, that kind of expenditure of money is just not necessary nor warranted for my feet to look good. I just dont think its that serious to most men, or hell, even to most people in general. There arent even enough occasions for a man's wardrobe to really call for that quality of shoe from what I can tell; not even for a high powered man in most instances.

    So while I once aspired to upgrade my shoe collection with hopes of being able to purchase a $700 - $1500 pair of shoes by one of the premium shoe makers, personally, I now feel as though that kind of purchase on shoes is just stupid for my needs, or really most of the needs that people with regular lives have. I was noticing in the mall around christmas time and around about 90% of the other public places in which men convene in my area, that men hardly care what goes onto their feet, and nor do their wives and girlfriends. Just as long as they look neat and presentable. And this trend became so noticeable, that I almost feel silly and overdressed walking around in a pair of $600 shoes just to go out on the town a little.

    So Ive come to accept my shoe purchases for what they are: a fleeting fetish spurred by the frenetic hullaballu over high end bespoke shoe of which I first learned right here on Styleforum. Unfortunately just as I began my quest for higher shoe quality here, so shall it end here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013


  5. AmericanGent

    AmericanGent Senior member

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    Thanks for your service. I'm at 15 1/2 years now and I still have my first leathers from boot camp and wear them a lot!

    AE is a great shoe and more than most guys will ever need. You can buy much fancier shoes that are made with much better attention to detail- but AE is the best shoe for the money. I just bought some AE Leeds in shell cordovan for my new dress uniform shoe. My old ones are finally starting to show their age.
    Welcome to the forum.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013


  6. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    Not correct about most MC guys being wealthy middle aged.

    Sorry, for some reason you text did not come up in the quote. :(

    --

    Great post, DWF.
     


  7. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    :cheers:

    'Ppreciate that.Thank you.
     


  8. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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    + 1, buy with your heart and mind.
     


  9. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    +2, good sense here.
     


  10. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Orwell wrote extensively on the use of the English language. The only other author I can think of who dedicated more time and effort into parsing what makes a good sentence into a bad sentence is E.B. White.

    Anyway, your phrasing reminded me of this line from "Politics and the English Language":

    (i) Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
    (ii) Never use a long word where a short one will do.
    (iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
    (iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active.

    (v) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
    (vi) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.


    I'll admit that I enjoyed the clever use of Δ , my love of Orwell notwithstanding.
     


  11. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Double Plus Good!
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013


  12. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    ^^ if you like this sort of stuff, William Zinsser's book is also good.
     


  13. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    Which meal do you guys skip that enables you to buy $5k shoes?
     


  14. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    [​IMG]

    Every meal.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013


  15. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    Interesting discussion. I find the longer I am on SF the less I spend on clothes. I have reached a point that I don't use cost or brand as proxies for quality. I realize that many of the characteristics of higher quality do not matter to me, so I don't pay for them. With careful shopping on eBay I can find old used shoes, GY wleted, well made in USA, from manufacturers no longer in business. So no advertising to support the price of the used market. I have occasionally found near new Alden's at deep discounts, under $100, and my out-of-business brands were about at the same level. I have looked at more expensive shoes in store and online, but they hold no appeal for me.

    I am happy with my under $100 used shoes, although frankly $100 is seeming pretty extravagant now. They fit, shine up as much as I want, support my feet, and I don't fret if they get rained on.

    I also like the idea of maximizing use once resources have been consumed to make a product. Reuse is a critical element of conservation.

    At this low price point shoes do for me what I need shoes to do. I have never paid as much as $200 for a pair of shoes and, knowing better now, I cannot imagine paying over $100.

    To each his own.
     


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