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The myth of expensive shoes being more comfortable?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by MillionaireTeacher, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    Do you more specific examples of why/where your feet are hurting? Is it the soles (not enough cushioning?), the top (creases digging into your foot?). It's kind of hard to say what the problem is for you without knowing specifics.

    I do agree w/ you that sneakers are more comfortable then dress shoes. However, there's a much larger difference between wearing nice dress shoes w/ a size/last that fit well and wearing crappy KC or Aldo ones. And Ecco and Rockports, or at least the vast majority of them, are not dress shoes.


    We have to compare things which can be compared...

    My £2 Flip-flops are actually more comfortable than your $150 loafers and sneakers are also more comfortable than dress shoes.

    I still think that a well-constructed shoe is always more comfortable than one without good support.

    Your argument was solely based on money and price , but let me tell you something ,wearing a certain type of shoes is thansometimes more than a mere comfort issue.
     
  2. blofeld

    blofeld Senior member

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    Blofeld, the utility in a nondescript/ugly shoe is that they are comfortable as hell, and don't destroy your feet. Tome, its a clear a tradeoff b/w style vs. comfort. 95% of the time I prefer comfort. When I am dressing up for a party, I will suck it up, wear the expensive shoes, and tough it out. Just like a $5000 suit is not as comfortable in bed as sweat pants and a baggy sweatshirt. (I am sure someone will beg to differ)

    Agreed on the suit vs. sweatpants in bed, but you don't wear sweatpants outside the house (I hope). What I was trying to say is that with the the right choice, you do not have to make a trade-off between style and comfort. Keep looking and trying different things. Your current examples of "expensive" shoes are not good ones.
     
  3. MillionaireTeacher

    MillionaireTeacher Senior member

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    I am going to see if the A&E's improve once they are more broken in. (As with the vintage shells)

    nohomo, the creases aren't digging in. It's just that the expensive soles have no cushion.
    After a few hours, the balls of my feet are very tender.

    I believe the shoes fit reasonably well.
    They are neither too big or too tight.
    If they were too tight, I'd toss them ASAP without batting an eye.
     
  4. luk-cha

    luk-cha Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    price does not make the shoe fit any better, if it does not fit from the off then it never will, and price does not guarentee fit!
     
  5. Teou

    Teou Well-Known Member

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    have we not also consider the profile of your sole, feet? Flat footed etc? Some shoes have higher arch as support (my Allen Edmonds is an e.g).

    I have shoes from Cole Haan, Johnstons, Barker, tods and others. Frankly the Barker's sole is very hard but the leather is so supple. But the more expensive shoes, the leather do hold its shape really well.
     
  6. Jimbo26

    Jimbo26 Member

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    Es are stiff at first but I think most models have a cork layer that softens and molds to your foot over time. For my last pair that took two months of wearing them 2-3x/week, but now they feel great.

    One factor that hasn't been mentioned is that leather soles sound much cooler when you're walking in lobbies or hallways.
     
  7. MillionaireTeacher

    MillionaireTeacher Senior member

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    Teou, I do I have flat feet.
    But that is a constant across all 6 pairs.

    I think it's a very case of Occam's Razor. (padding = comfort)
    The A&E Polo's have zero inner padding and leather soles.
    The Barney's have no inner padding, but lug soles. I added Dr.Scholls inner soles.
    The J&M have inner padding and rubber soles.
    The Bass have thick rubber soles.

    Now that I've laid it out explicitly, I seriously doubt I will ever buy another pair of shoes that do not have padding.
    (or at least, not expect them to be comfortable)
     
  8. sully

    sully Senior member

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    price does not make the shoe fit any better, if it does not fit from the off then it never will, and price does not guarentee fit!

    Spot on my friend,and when it all comes together comfort is the result. I have one pair of Foster & son bespoke and I can wear them all day long and be as comfortable at the end of the day as at the start, but I do not wear them all the time as I'm not sure I can afford another pair soon, so they are for special occasions but they are so comfortable. Long live Terry Moore [​IMG]
     
  9. Prince of Paisley

    Prince of Paisley Senior member

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    Leather soled shoes without "padding" are far more breathable than sports shoes, and being in a hot climate, I know I'd rather wear a pair of C&J brogues around all day than a pair of nikes.
     
  10. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    This troll makes Cruiser look like vox.
     
  11. TheWraith

    TheWraith Senior member

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    A top-notch leather dress shoe with leather soles is the most comfortable footwear in the world BAR NONE!
     
  12. teddieriley

    teddieriley Senior member

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    Wait, you smell that?
    I guarantee you can't run a marathon, let alone in clogs. I call BS.

    But I disagree with the notion that C&Js are more comfortable than Nike Air Maxes running around a city for a day. The Nikes are much better for your knees and lower back. If I'm on a site seeing vacation whether in NYC or Europe, I need some sort of rubber sole for all day jaunts. Dress shoes are impractical.
     
  13. nohomo

    nohomo Senior member

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    If it's the bottom of your feet hurting, you either have overly sensitive feet or your feet are moving within the shoe. Padding inside the shoe should have very little to do with what you're talking about. If your feet fit well without moving around, then even if you do have padding, your weight ends up compressing it anyway.

    The only real detriment I have w/ dress shoes vs. sneakers is if I walk around for lenghthy periods of time. Then, my calves may get more sore then usual, but that's it.
     
  14. MillionaireTeacher

    MillionaireTeacher Senior member

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    I will focus on better fit, and breaking shoes in before passing judgement.
    I also have the Lazlo Vass book on order.

    Marathon was figurative, though I ran one in my Brooks Beasts for my flat feet.
    Speaking of which, which dress shoe brands are good/bad for flat feet?


    PS: I don't mean to sound like a troll.
    I am learning a great deal from this forum in a very short time.
    Love the expertise and objectivity that dissects bad fads and "emperor has no clothing" designs.
    I look forward to making more meaningful contributions as I learn more.
     
  15. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    You might as well call the topic The myth of expensive clothes being more comfortable, and then make your comparison to a pair of sweats being more comfortable than a $5000 suit when laying in bed. You're not busting a myth, you're just making an invalid argument.

    If you wanted to argue that $500 suits are more comfortable when laying in bed than $5000 suits that would be a difficult argument to win.

    If you want to make the argument that rubber soles are softer than leather soles then make that argument and you would probably win.

    If your argument is that more money can't always buy you more comfort in a true dress shoe (not a rubber soled clog), then you could win that argument as well.

    Money doesn't get you comfort in a dress shoe, fit get you comfort in a dress shoe. Coincidentally the more expensive (north of $300) shoes are typically shaped better for the foot than the less expensive shoes, and therefore fit better. But fit, not cost alone, will determine comfort.

    A $300 Alden shoe on the Barrie Last would fit a person that needed a wider toe box much better that a $1200 Edward Green shoe on the 888 last. In my case I don't need the wider toe box so the EGs fit me better than the Alden's do.

    To see that the more expensive shoes are designed to fit better overall look at the shape of the soles (more narrow at the waist of the shoe allowing the upper to wrap around the foot better), the shape of the heel counter (more curved around the shape of the heel of the foot), the quality of the leather (more durable and flexable), and any number of smaller details.

    I would however avoid climbing rocks in most of my dress shoes.
     
  16. pkiula

    pkiula Senior member

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    I own a pair of Allen Edmonds; two pairs of Johnston & Murphy (Italian line); an Italian shoe the name of which I cannot remember now (Lorenzie or something, handmade in Milan); and a Crockett & Jones handgrade medallion called Selbourne.

    Personally, I love the CJs but for me they took a long time to break in. Because of their baroqueness I have now relegated them to infrequent evening outings.

    By far, for me, the Johnston & Murphy's are an incredible brand. The leather is superb, the sole is goodyear-welted, and the styling is very Italian. I'm not talking of J&M from the US, which are imho very "uncle shoes" variety, but their Italian line is stunning. The leather is so soft that it does not require breaking in at all for my feet (low arch, and harder to fit in general) at all. They're comfortable from day 1.

    I have them in black captoe and a brown medallion. Both are superb shoes.

    J&M is not as expensive as to be "shoe porn" but they make very high end shoes imho.
     
  17. pkiula

    pkiula Senior member

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    Btw, glenjay, that was a fabulous post just above mine. Thanks!
     
  18. SamSpade

    SamSpade Senior member

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    While I don't quite buy the OP theory, my problem with expensive shoes/clothes that there are rapidly diminishing returns to price.

    While I obviously don't like the "payless shoes"/basse/ecco type of merchandise, up to 300$ shoes are of perfectly fine quality and comfort. I would not have a problem paying $600 for shoes, but the issue is that $600 shoes are NOT twice as good as 300$ shoes. Maybe they are 20-30-50% "better".

    The same applies to suits and anything else. Unless I actually make millions, I find it basically silly to pay 3000-4000 for a suit. Yes, these suits are spectacular, but they are not 3-5 times as good as a 1000$ suit etc...
     
  19. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

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    I managed to temporarily paralyze my left foot a few months back (spinal injury) and I couldn't wear athletic shoes without pain. Something about having too much "support" just killed me, I had to wear dress shoes (or at least rubber soled "dress" shoes) all the time.

    I'm a relative newcomer to "real" dress shoes. I've got a pair of the requisite ignorant youngster Kenneth Cole New York's that are just horrible, a pair of competent Johnson and Murphy's, a pair of AE's, and a pair of C&J's. The AE's and C&J's are by far the best, and the most comfortable to boot.

    Helps to figure out the right size, of course. Your foot will tolerate some slop in padded shoes, but it'll hurt like a bitch in dress shoes. I ended up learning that I need to go down a half size from what I wear in sport's shoes.

    I'm a convert to the whole "expensive shoe" thing. I'll wear my beater Timberlands when it's raining or with jeans, but there's something sublime about having real quality leather shoes to complete an outfit. Putting up with the break in period is worth it.
     
  20. baseball_guy

    baseball_guy Senior member

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    While I don't quite buy the OP theory, my problem with expensive shoes/clothes that there are rapidly diminishing returns to price.

    While I obviously don't like the "payless shoes"/basse/ecco type of merchandise, up to 300$ shoes are of perfectly fine quality and comfort. I would not have a problem paying $600 for shoes, but the issue is that $600 shoes are NOT twice as good as 300$ shoes. Maybe they are 20-30-50% "better".

    The same applies to suits and anything else. Unless I actually make millions, I find it basically silly to pay 3000-4000 for a suit. Yes, these suits are spectacular, but they are not 3-5 times as good as a 1000$ suit etc...


    I agree with what is posted above.

    Cheap shoes lack style. Go in a Payless shoes and look around, then go to Neiman Marcus and look around. The more expensive shoes look better and are higher quality.

    There is a choice to buy shoes made with rubber or pleather or some artificial material. If you like leather, then your choices become more expensive.
     

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