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How long do good shoes truly last?

NAVA23

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We discuss the attributes of fine shoes such as Lobb, Vass, C&J, AE, etc. And, we are aware of the cost associated with such caliber of footwear. With that being said, how long does a well taken care of shoe last, considering frequent care and maintenance?
 

Concordia

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A pair of soles can last up to, say 200 wearings. Some of the English makers have seen shoes come back for 3 or 4 new soles. Probably more in some cases.

So if you wore nothing else but your one pair, you'd get 2 years of wear. (Obviously, that won't work since you need to let shoes breathe between wearings.) If you rotated a group of seven, you'd get 14 years.

Another way to look at it would be to price a bespoke pair for something like $2,500, plus 4 re-soles (at a little over $600 each). $5,000 for about 1,000 wears. $5/day, or if you were maintaining a bespoke collection, just over $1,800/year. That works out to a new pair of shoes every other year and a new pair of soles plus a few other repairs in the odd years. If you buy carefully, of course. Not every shoe you will see is one you'd want to wear once a week.
 

uhurit

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Will last with proper maintenance + repair for as long as you live/willing to spend money on it...but who in the world would want to wear the same pair/s of shoes for the rest of his life?
 

radicaldog

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Originally Posted by uhurit
Will last with proper maintenance + repair for as long as you live/willing to spend money on it...but who in the world would want to wear the same pair/s of shoes for the rest of his life?

Me. Going back to the OP's question, I think 200 wears per sole is a reasonably accurate ball-park figure, other things being equal. But things rarely are. Some people walk for miles on cement every day; others walk from their living room to their garage, and then spend the day on carpeted office floors. Also, I have to say that I haven't noticed a lot of difference in how leather soles of supposedly different quality wear: my Church's and C&J soles don't seem to last less than my Vass soles.
 

Bandit44

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Here's my anecdote. Back in the 90s when I worked in sales, I wore the same pair of J&M Aristocrafts five days a week. Rain or shine (in Houston, lots of rain), they did their job. I would resole probably every six months when they wore through. Shoes tended to last me about two years before the leather would rot and crack near the welting. I knew nothing about rotating shoes, but I did keep them polished regularly.

My guess is that if properly cared for (conditioned, rotated, used galoshes when it rains), they should last more than 200 wearings. I would guess double that number, but of course, YMMV.
 

Dewey

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A lot of men with very good shoes own 12-24 pairs.

If that is the case, they generally last until you are bored with them, or no longer wear them and dispose of them somehow. It is hard to wear out a pair of shoes when you have a dozen or more.

I wear my various shoes and boots seasonally. I have pairs that get heavy wear, but that's once or twice a week for maybe half the year. Then I clean them up and put them away until the weather comes around and I want to wear them again.

The point about some people putting more wear on them than others is a good one, too. I don't think a "wearing" is a very good unit of wear. There's not only hoofing it on concrete vs. padding around on carpet, there's also that some men have a gait that causes more damage to concentrated areas. Some burn through heels, others destroy the toe, etc.
 

Will

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I have more than one pair that is twenty years old and still worn regularly. I have given some away in near-perfect condition after thirty years when my tastes changed. And I will be wearing my current collection plus the odd purchase for decades (hopefully) to come.
 

Harold falcon

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My first pair of Aldens, a gift from my grandpappy, are over a decade old, have been resoled 4 times and are still going strong.
 

Made in California

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Originally Posted by Will
I have more than one pair that is twenty years old and still worn regularly. I have given some away in near-perfect condition after thirty years when my tastes changed. And I will be wearing my current collection plus the odd purchase for decades (hopefully) to come.

I'm impressed.
 

Made in California

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Originally Posted by apropos
He hasn't given a frequency, which makes the statement somewhat useless. I could wear a pair of shoes 'regularly' once a week, once a month, once a year, once a decade, etc for 20 years.

Good point I suppose, however I would never count once a month as "regularly".
 

rfranca

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Originally Posted by uhurit
Will last with proper maintenance + repair for as long as you live/willing to spend money on it...but who in the world would want to wear the same pair/s of shoes for the rest of his life?


I do...
That's why I just buy classic models...
 

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