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Suggestions for FIRST pair of GOOD shoes/boots?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by bigskydream, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. bigskydream

    bigskydream Senior member

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    So I'm just beginning a complete upgrade of my wardrobe, and would like to now focus on getting good shoes/boots (anxious to get rid of my Kenneth Coles!). Brown is my first choice, and I would like to wear them with everything from jeans to a navy suit. This is a big decision for me because I see them as the foundation of my new wardrobe. Looking for versatility, quality and of course style. Willing to spend up to $350. Ideas? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. juniper

    juniper Senior member

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    For 65 pounds, you could order:

    http://www.herringshoes.co.uk/produc...sp?si_id=40230

    (It says Loake Shoemaker, but they're actually Loake 1880, so much better quality.)

    I have a pair, and they polish up very well indeed, and look good with jeans. I wouldn't wear brown shoes with a suit, but if you do, I guess that would look fine too.

    This would leave you money spare for another pair.
     
  3. Michael1981

    Michael1981 Senior member

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    That is a terrific deal. How would I know my sizing in Loake. Here in Canada I only have access to Allen Edmonds to compare. I could try a pair on in the store and then buy based on that.
     
  4. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'll recommend AEs, if you like the look. They're very good shoes, even at full retail, but can be had on deep discount easily. You could get two pairs for your money. And they're commonly available, so you can try them on to get a good fit.

    I can't really second the suggestion of Loakes, even the top-end range. They're OK as a beater shoe, in my book, but mine are neither particularly comfortable nor well made. Had they been my first good shoe, I'd have wondered what the hype over good shoes was about. (Size-wise, Loakes run very large. Most people suggest sizing down at least a whole size -- 9 to 8, say -- from their U.S. size.)

    Other options: Sierra Trading Post and stores such as Century 21, Saks Off-Fifth and Marshalls often get in some nice shoes. You could read up on quality brands here and at AA and see what you can find. Jcusey's shoe pyramid is a good starting point, if you haven't seen it:
    http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/T...seyOnShoes.htm

    Good luck, and let us know what you end up with.
     
  5. designprofessor

    designprofessor Senior member

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    Second the vote for AE. It's where I started and I still use every pair.
     
  6. bigskydream

    bigskydream Senior member

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    Thanks a lot guys for the tips. I think I will go the AE route. Which of the AEs below do you like best. To help you get an idea of my lifestyle and what I would like to wear the shoes with, out of 10 days at work, I wear jeans (dark, dry) 5 days, wool slacks 2 days, cords 2 days, and a navy/charcoal suit 1 day.
    [​IMG]
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  7. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    I like the first ones
     
  8. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    You're asking a lot of one pair of shoes stylistically and also use wise. You'll wear a pair of shoes out very quickly if you wear them every day. You need to rest them. Keep your Coles around until you get enough quality pairs to rotate.

    If only buying one pair, I would consider the monks, which actually could go from jeans to cords to suits. If buying two pairs, I would make one of them a black Byron or Park Avenue to wear with your suits. Later you can add brown shoes to wear with your suits. Start with black then diversify. I'd make the more casual shoes (monks, split-toe, maybe) certainly brown.
     
  9. gamelan

    gamelan Senior member

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    agree with AlanC. you really need another pair for rotation. assuming that the styles and sizes agree with you, STP seems like the best way to go. two pairs of AEs plus the 15% SF discount (which expires soon i might add) should put you under $350.

    -Jeff
     
  10. designprofessor

    designprofessor Senior member

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    Monks will transition easier from jeans to suits IMO.
    Just try them on first, then hunt for the deals. They have a shoe bank which is factory seconds at a good discount.
    Burgundy and chili from AE goes well with most clothing colors mentioned.
     
  11. blee017

    blee017 Well-Known Member

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    I second the vote for AE.

    AE has a few sizes of fairfax on eBay right now, which would go well with jeans.
    Here's the link.
    Buy a matching pair of shoe trees from them (free shipping) and you would still have $200 to spend on more dressy ones (plenty of them on eBay).

    Good luck!
     
  12. lockey2k

    lockey2k Senior member

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    I like the first ones.

    I picked up a pair of jodepher carmina boots from Peter Elliot's outlet for $300 even including tax.

    There are some loafers still there, good deal imho.
     
  13. denarii

    denarii Active Member

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    I'll agree with AlanC - having tried the same tactic you mentioned myself you'll simply tear any single pair of shoes apart if you wear them every day. Yes, the better quality shoes will last a little longer, but still, you will wear them out faster than if you can rotate them. So how about waiting 'till you can pick up 3 pairs that can be rotated?

    And a suggestion? RM Williams Craftsman - they're great boots
     
  14. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    I won't recommend specific shoes, but stylistically, I would buy a monkstrap or a chelsea boot for maximum versatility. They're acceptable with a suit and good with anything else. If you wear mostly suits, I might suggest a wholecut oxford, perhaps with a floating medallion. The wholecut style is unquestionably fashionable with a suit and OK with jeans.
     
  15. NoVaguy

    NoVaguy Senior member

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    i agree - keep your KC's in the rotation, get the monks (which i think is on sale on zappos). whatever you do, don't wear the monks on back-to-back days.

    if you're flexible, you can just lurk on ebay and see if you can snag a second pair of brand new AE's for $80-$150.
     
  16. Jerry52

    Jerry52 Senior member

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    You might also check out Alden shoes. They're a decent shoe and still made in the USA so far as I know. I've owned several pairs through the years, but now I'm trying to "upgrade" to a British shoe. If you want an English shoe, several guys here have recommended Grenson to me, but I'm still not clear if there is a dealer in the USA.

    In case you like Aldens, you might want to contact Delmar Bootery in Albany, NY. They have a sale on them once a year.
     
  17. cmrocks

    cmrocks Senior member

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    I don't mean to hijack the thread but I really like the style of the 3rd and 5th pair of shoes that bigskydream posted. Is it possible to get a pair of boots in a similar style? I'm looking for a pair of brown boots that are decently priced. It rains a lot where I live and I want something to wear casually to class in the wet weather.
     
  18. fashionnoob

    fashionnoob Senior member

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    I don't mean to hijack the thread but I really like the style of the 3rd and 5th pair of shoes that bigskydream posted. Is it possible to get a pair of boots in a similar style? I'm looking for a pair of brown boots that are decently priced. It rains a lot where I live and I want something to wear casually to class in the wet weather.

    http://www.onlineshoes.com/productpa...n=m&pcid=63142
     
  19. bigskydream

    bigskydream Senior member

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    Thanks all for your advice. My untrained eye is attracted to this AE shoe for business casual. What do think about it? Does the sole ruin it for most of you? Would it be better to go with a boot or shoe that is a bit more dressy and one that has a leather sole?
    [​IMG]
     
  20. whoopee

    whoopee Senior member

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    Try the Crockett & Jones Chelsea. Best looking, and probably constructed, boot at that price point.
     

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