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New Shoes Under $500: What's your preference?

  • Alden

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Carmina

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Meermin

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Church's

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • John Locke

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


New Member
Aug 24, 2015
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Hello, everyone. I've done a fair bit of browsing and reading on this forum for a while without actually joining. But, I've finally joined and would love to hear what everyone's thoughts are on choosing dress shoes. I realize this is a fairly nebulous topic, so I'll help narrow.

I have owned Allen Edmonds in the past and enjoyed how they both wear and feel. I've never had any trouble, but I'm looking to get a new pair of brown dress shoes (oxfords) to replace my current brown pair in my regular lineup. They were a pair of AE Fifth Avenue in Dark Chili sized 13A.

No different than anyone else, I want a pair that will age well, and that I can have refinished/restored as they age. I'm not made of money (first decent job out of college), but I'm willing to go for anything up to $500. I know there are several tiers above that: anything more than $500 isn't a sound investment for me at the moment. That being said, I'm not looking for the cheapest thing out there. If it's $150 and crap, I'll pass. I'm happy to spend all of $500 to get something that's excellent.

I'm looking to move beyond Allen Edmonds simply to explore my options, and see what I like--also, variety is nice. I've looked into Alden, Meermin, Carmina, Church's, and John Locke thus far. From what I understand, Meermin tends to have some quality issues, at least in the last few years. Church's seem to get pretty mixed reviews especially since being acquired by Prada. Carmina seems to be pretty consistent and produce shoes with generally good-looking lasts. Alden tends to be a reputable brand that has lasts that are good-looking.

I'd love something that's dressy enough to be appropriate at weddings, classy dates, and other semi-formal get-togethers. Having the option of dressing down would be nice but isn't necessary: I've got a few other pairs of shoes/boots that can handle everything else.

As far as suits go, I've got charcoal, medium, and light gray suits (shades of gray seems to be the world's most popular wedding suit option right now) as well as a tan suit, and blue suit hopefully to come. Dark jeans, chinos, and other such fare is standard wear. Lastly, I tend to have fairly large feet, and 13A's are on the narrow end. Shoes that don't make my feet look-like aircraft carriers or pointed boots would be excellent--I've had my share of miserable shoe experiences growing up.

Also, sorry if this has been answered a million times before. I looked through the archives and other various posts, but I didn't see anything that quite answered what I was looking for. If there is a post that answers this, please just refer me to that, and I'll leave well enough alone.



Distinguished Member
Mar 15, 2006
Reaction score
Poll expired: Nov 30, 1999
Beyond Allen Edmonds means trying on something first, to be safe, which in turn is best done at the store.. What's the approximate location?

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