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Shoe Novice......

rj9294

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I'm a first time poster, though I've been an avid reader for some time now. Currently I'm a third year medical student in my mid 20's getting ready to purchase my first pair of "real" shoes. I would like these shoes to be as versatile and low maintenance as possible...have a little flash, but able to work with a suite for a residency interview, with scrubs on the wards (NOT in the O.R.), with slacks in a clinic, or at night with cocktails.

I would really like to look at these shoes as an investment that will last a long, long time, not necessary the beginning of a larger shoe collection. Labels don't mean a lot to me, and I am very conscious to the point of dimensioning return in a product.

Right now I'm drawn to the characteristics of cordovan, but the styles and availability seem somewhat limited. I've been looking at the Alden Chukka boots and the Alden Monk Strap, but am worried the chucka's are too casual/limited, and I don't like the Alden monk strap as much as other monk straps I've seen at half the cost. Any suggestions or comment would be most helpful

Ray
Portland, OR
 

lawyerdad

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If you're leaning toward Cordovan, I think these are pretty versatile, and they're on my personal "desiderata" list:
http://www.alden-of-carmel.com/Catal....cfm/Shoe/.htm
I think that you definitely want something on the darker end of the palette (dark oak, burgundy, or
black) for a versatility's sake (unless, of course, you have a strong aesthetic prefence otherwise).
 

drizzt3117

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Originally Posted by rj9294
I'm a first time poster, though I've been an avid reader for some time now. Currently I'm a third year medical student in my mid 20's getting ready to purchase my first pair of "real" shoes. I would like these shoes to be as versatile and low maintenance as possible...have a little flash, but able to work with a suite for a residency interview, with scrubs on the wards (NOT in the O.R.), with slacks in a clinic, or at night with cocktails.

I would really like to look at these shoes as an investment that will last a long, long time, not necessary the beginning of a larger shoe collection. Labels don't mean a lot to me, and I am very conscious to the point of dimensioning return in a product.

Right now I'm drawn to the characteristics of cordovan, but the styles and availability seem somewhat limited. I've been looking at the Alden Chukka boots and the Alden Monk Strap, but am worried the chucka's are too casual/limited, and I don't like the Alden monk strap as much as other monk straps I've seen at half the cost. Any suggestions or comment would be most helpful

Ray
Portland, OR


To be totally honest, I think a lot of this depends on how much you'll use this in formal situations. You may want to consider a couple different pairs of shoes, as it seems likely you'll want some sort of black oxford for interviews/formal settings while for casual/clinic/etc you could use something a bit more casual (in fact, it's more or less wide open)
 

Sator

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Originally Posted by rj9294
I'm a first time poster, though I've been an avid reader for some time now. Currently I'm a third year medical student in my mid 20's getting ready to purchase my first pair of "real" shoes. I would like these shoes to be as versatile and low maintenance as possible...have a little flash, but able to work with a suite for a residency interview, with scrubs on the wards (NOT in the O.R.), with slacks in a clinic, or at night with cocktails.

I would really like to look at these shoes as an investment that will last a long, long time, not necessary the beginning of a larger shoe collection. Labels don't mean a lot to me, and I am very conscious to the point of dimensioning return in a product.

Right now I'm drawn to the characteristics of cordovan, but the styles and availability seem somewhat limited. I've been looking at the Alden Chukka boots and the Alden Monk Strap, but am worried the chucka's are too casual/limited, and I don't like the Alden monk strap as much as other monk straps I've seen at half the cost. Any suggestions or comment would be most helpful

Ray
Portland, OR


I agree with the suggestion for a decent pair of Oxford shoes. That's where you should start out. Leave your cordovan Chukkas for casual wear at home. If you were my medical student you would be welcome any time if you turned up to my ward rounds and clinics more professionally attired in a well polished black pair of black Oxfords.

I know most Resident staff or even Attendings are increasingly running around dressed rather contemptuously but please ignore their example.

Once again in the US the good ol' AE Park Avenues are a fine place to start - their best seller since 1935 - and for damned good reason. But a similar pair from Alden would be fabulous too, though a bit pricier.
 

josepidal

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Originally Posted by drizzt3117
To be totally honest, I think a lot of this depends on how much you'll use this in formal situations.
If you really want the same pair for your rounds, your interviews, and your miscellaneous evening affairs, how about a pair of black monkstraps? They're a bit more ambiguous compared to black bluchers such that I imagine they can pass for formal shoes in a pinch. Get something with a plain cap toe or with a wholecut look and just keep the toe brilliantly polished.
 

rj9294

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Thanks for the advice. At first, I was leaning towards black, but the more I read other post on this forum, the more I decided that a dark brown would be more versatile and “stylish”…what ever that may mean.

Honestly, I believe I would rarely be using the shoes in a formal setting like in an interview. Most of the mileage would be put on in professional/social situations. The Park Avenues have a great classic design, but do you think they work well after work, or are they too stuffy?

Any specific recommendations for a solid pair of monk straps?
 

amerikajinda

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Originally Posted by rj9294
Any specific recommendations for a solid pair of monk straps?

I recommend these two:


This is the Welland (EG)


And this is the Bibury (also EG)

These two shoes will last you many years -- just be sure to wear them on alternating days.
 

drizzt3117

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Originally Posted by josepidal
If you really want the same pair for your rounds, your interviews, and your miscellaneous evening affairs, how about a pair of black monkstraps? They're a bit more ambiguous compared to black bluchers such that I imagine they can pass for formal shoes in a pinch. Get something with a plain cap toe or with a wholecut look and just keep the toe brilliantly polished.

I wouldn't wear monkstraps to an interview, especially if you are competing for very few resident spots in a competitive sub-speciality. Sure, it might not make a difference, but would you take the risk it might to save a couple hundred dollars? I wouldn't.
 

chobochobo

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Presumably you're a third year medical student in the States? If you were in the UK, say, then you've a while to go yet.

Be aware that you will be doing a lot of kneeling/bending by the bedside for blood-taking and looking carefully for finger clubbing so that you will crease up the shoes more than most other people. Depending on your budget, if cordovan isn't an absolute must, then perhaps two pairs of calfskin shoes may be better than trying to get all the 'functions' from one pair.
 

philosophe

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I agree that you need two pairs of shoes. Wearing the same shoes all the time will wear them out quickly. Lots of folks here buy discounted Allen Edmonds when AE has its sale events or from Sierratradingpost.com. AE's are excellent shoes. Another very good sources for shoes (assuming you wear a standard size) is the Ebay seller grapevinehill.
 

zjpj83

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I also would steer clear of monks at this point. Get a pair of laced shoes.

Alden shoes in shell cordovan are about $500-$550 retail and will last you until you retire if you take care of them. You can also buy them from Brooks Brothers if that is easier for you. They will have a bit more "flash" than a regular old calfskin Allen Edmonds or something like that. But at the same time they are completely classic. Thus I would get a pair of lace-up shell cordovan Aldens in your position. A second pair of something like Allen Edmonds would be great, but now you're talking quite a bit of money.
 

josepidal

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Would you hold out these thoughts on monks as an absolute rule? I was thinking that certain EG and Lobb monks in black, such as the Jerymn II or the EGs above, would look extremely dressy, and only impercetibly less formal to the general eye if at all.
 

itsstillmatt

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Originally Posted by josepidal
Would you hold out these thoughts on monks as an absolute rule? I was thinking that certain EG and Lobb monks in black, such as the Jerymn II or the EGs above, would look extremely dressy, and only impercetibly less formal to the general eye if at all.
I personally love monks, but black monkstraps strike me as very, very odd. Monks are really not that formal, and the black color is kind of a contradiction. I am starting to like black shoes more lately, but the only ones that make sense to me are two-eyelet bluchers and oxfords. Monks, most derbys and loafers kind of seem odd in black.
 

william

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Originally Posted by iammatt
I personally love monks, but black monkstraps strike me as very, very odd. Monks are really not that formal, and the black color is kind of a contradiction. I am starting to like black shoes more lately, but the only ones that make sense to me are two-eyelet bluchers and oxfords. Monks, most derbys and loafers kind of seem odd in black.

These are looking pretty good to me though:

 

NoVaguy

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Originally Posted by josepidal
Would you hold out these thoughts on monks as an absolute rule? I was thinking that certain EG and Lobb monks in black, such as the Jerymn II or the EGs above, would look extremely dressy, and only impercetibly less formal to the general eye if at all.

Not absolutely, but I would never wear anything but a conservative black dress shoe to a job or school interview in the States. It can be a wingtip, a cap-toe bal, cap-toe or plain blucher, or even a tassel loafer, but it has to scream American business.
 

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