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most versatile shoe?

lorcar

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Hi Gents,

I am trying to find out a pair of shoes as most versatile as possible.
I mean, let's assume your are leaving for a (long) weekend and you know you are going to hang out with friends in a pub (very casual/sport scene) then maybe you are going to an informal restaurant with your parents in law, so sneakers would not be an option and maybe you are wearing a jacket over jeans, and perhaps the day after you need a confortable shoe for a long walk.
Obviously, you want to pack superlight and not to carry another pair of shoes besides the one you have on your feet.

I went to north of spain recently, and I knew it was raining, so I needed waterproof shoe, and I knew I had to walk a lot. At the end I thought a sort of black trailrunning in goretex was a good call (Salomon or nike or whatever), and I made the best choice, especially because spain is very informal even if you go to eat tapas. But there are many other scenarios where you need something different.
Any idea? Timberland? what else?

thanks in advance
 

curzon

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One shoe to go everywhere? The long walks in inclement weather rules out calf and leather soles. I'm unfamiliar with "black trailrunning in goretex"; perhaps a photo would help. I'd go w/ a cordovan shoe or boot, blucher rather than balmoral. Either brogued or a captoe. Oxblood or medium brown. Something like this burgundy cordovan Meermin, replacing the double leather sole with a Dianite one. Or this Alden, in #8 (or cigar or ravello if possible) but with the crepe sole.
 
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FlyingMonkey

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A black penny loafer?
That would be the opposite of versatile in my book. It would be almost the last shoe in the world I would choose to wear in almost every situation I can think of.

I'm with Curzon here. A brown or burgundy boot that has enough ruggedness to survive most weather conditions and work with jeans etc. but with sleek enough looks to be able to worn with a jacket and tie.
 
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Xenon

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Color: Burgundy or similar
Type: sleek boot or blucher or double monkstrap
material: calf or alligator or croc upper, leather single sole, with topy added
treated very generously with Saphir Super Invulnerabilisateur
 
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FlyingMonkey

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double monkstrap
alligator or croc upper
These are both rather specialist and not at all conservative things, therefore hardly 'versatile'.

I am wondering whether people understand what 'versatile' actually means - it means that the shoe in question could be worn in as wide a range of circumstances as possible - that means being conservative enough to be 'acceptable' in relatively formal settings as well as working in a wide range of casual fits and also being relatively hard-wearing.

What you're suggesting here is really too far towards the casual and fashion end of things to be truly versatile. I think if you stick to your basic suggestions, you're more in line with what Blackhood, Curzon, Quadcammer and I are all saying, more or less.
 
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Xenon

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These are both rather specialist and not at all conservative things, therefore hardly 'versatile'.

I am wondering whether people understand what 'versatile' actually means - it means that the shoe in question could be worn in as wide a range of circumstances as possible - that means being conservative enough to be 'acceptable' in relatively formal settings as well as working in a wide range of casual fits and also being relatively hard-wearing.

What you're suggesting here is really too far towards the casual and fashion end of things to be truly versatile. I think if you stick to your basic suggestions, you're more in line with what Blackhood, Curzon, Quadcammer and I are all saying, more or less.

OK since YMMV, but for instance I would wear a JL chapel in any setting from a boardroom (with suit) to a pair of jeans in a bar.
Also same for matt croc/gator in a sober color (perhaps less). Thing is though croc and gator are seriously durable/tough skins with a little care.

As for cordovan, it should never be given as a suggestion to newbs. This material is only for die hard fans: caveat emptor
 

chogall

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constructed a one-shoe wardrobe with several pairs of Alden Shell LWB.

Screw monkstrap, they are not versatile at all; too casual for dress and too dressy for casual.


As to answer OP's question, I think plain toe bluchers in black calf, #8 shell, oxblood, and in round last will both work fine. Alden All Weather Walker comes to mind, and as its name suggests, rain should not be a problem.

No need for boots. It's Spain, not winter in Newfoundland
 
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chogall

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OK since YMMV, but for instance I would wear a JL chapel in any setting from a boardroom (with suit) to a pair of jeans in a bar.
Also same for matt croc/gator in a sober color (perhaps less). Thing is though croc and gator are seriously durable/tough skins with a little care.
As for cordovan, it should never be given as a suggestion to newbs. This material is only for die hard fans: caveat emptor
Have you ever hiked or walked a lot in your JL Chapel or croc/gator shoes when its raining outside?
 

random-adam

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I'd go w/ a cordovan shoe or boot, blucher rather than balmoral. Either brogued or a captoe. Oxblood or medium brown.

Seconded. Last year on my honeymoon in the UK I went from dinner one night at a Michelin star restaurant to a day hike the next week along Loch Lomond. I took one pair of shoes for the entire ten days and they performed flawlessly:

 

Twotone

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Burgundy/oxblood cap toe and a pair of Tingley rubber overshoes when the conditions get messy.
 

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