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Which is most important to consider when assessing the quality of a dress shoe?

Smlaz

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Thank you for this thread! My own feet are 3E with a high instep and I am looking for a half decent shoe that wont break my very small bank. I have an old pair of Alden but I can't afford the $600. I would appreciate any suggestions as to brand and/or venue.
Many thanks,
 

aj2603

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Thank you for this thread! My own feet are 3E with a high instep and I am looking for a half decent shoe that wont break my very small bank. I have an old pair of Alden but I can't afford the $600. I would appreciate any suggestions as to brand and/or venue.
Many thanks,
What is the price range ur looking at ?
 

aj2603

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I'm embarrassed to say... Is $200 bucks unreasonably cheap?
At 200. I am afraid there are very few options. Unless u wanna buy second hand shoes from ebay or something similar.

Meermin is something that u can consider at that price.
Loake is another one that u can get on sale sometimes.
Beckett Simonon's shoes are also a option in that range.
 

norMD

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Thank you for this thread! My own feet are 3E with a high instep and I am looking for a half decent shoe that wont break my very small bank. I have an old pair of Alden but I can't afford the $600. I would appreciate any suggestions as to brand and/or venue.
Many thanks,
The 3E will limit your selection. I think Allen Edmonds on clearence or factory seconds is your best bet.

I am very interested in Greenson, the sale prices are truly incredible; the website is easy for US based customers.. I don't yet have a pair myself but Mr. Porter considers their Stanley Leather Wingtip Brogues to be an essential. The Dylan is on sale for $132.00, but sizes are limited. Allen Edmonds is having a summer clearance sale and I would start there. A pair of black brogues will work with a suit or dark denim and dark blue chinos.
I dont think a black brouge is a good choice as an only dress shoe. Black or dark Brown cap toes is better.
 

HRH_David

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The 3E will limit your selection. I think Allen Edmonds on clearence or factory seconds is your best bet.



I dont think a black brouge is a good choice as an only dress shoe. Black or dark Brown cap toes is better.
I was considering the brogue with a rubber sole as well, so I wasn't thinking in terms of a dress shoe, but a versatile shoe that would suit a capsule wardrobe and all types of weather. I value your opinion and I am glad that you shared it.
 

BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes

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I'm embarrassed to say... Is $200 bucks unreasonably cheap?
At 200. I am afraid there are very few options. Unless u wanna buy second hand shoes from ebay or something similar.

Meermin is something that u can consider at that price.
Loake is another one that u can get on sale sometimes.
Beckett Simonon's shoes are also a option in that range.
I believe Allen Edmond seconds should be within that range (Shoebank). AJs suggestions of second hand shoes including Meermin, Loake, Beckett Simonon..Add in sales from Herring shoes, A Fine Pair of Shoes, certain Jack Erwins,
Löf & Tung by Skoaktiebolaget, sale shoes from Sons of Henrey. The most critical obstacle you will encounter is the sizing.
 

BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes

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I was considering the brogue with a rubber sole as well, so I wasn't thinking in terms of a dress shoe, but a versatile shoe that would suit a capsule wardrobe and all types of weather. I value your opinion and I am glad that you shared it.
I'll second MDs suggestion of a black captoe or dark brown captoe. Depending on work environment, I would go with black first. If it is a more casual environment, you will get more mileage (outfit options) with the Dark Brown.

Grenson's are actually a very well made shoe (Northhampton made). I would be leery of the more inexpensive options, as I believe they are made in India. From reading member experiences, it appears they are 50/50 in regards to longevity.
 

Pieman

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I'll give you a hundred bucks to stay away from those JMs. You can't afford them anyway because you'll pay $125 and wear them for a year, maybe year and a half when you find that the cobbler won't be able to resole them, and the uppers will probably look like hell anyway. I doubt there's any decent lining to them so after a year you'll toss them and be ready to drop another $125 on a pair of shoes. Double your price and you'll have shoes that will last at least five years & they'll be more more comfortable.
 
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aj2603

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I believe Allen Edmond seconds should be within that range (Shoebank). AJs suggestions of second hand shoes including Meermin, Loake, Beckett Simonon..Add in sales from Herring shoes, A Fine Pair of Shoes, certain Jack Erwins,
Löf & Tung by Skoaktiebolaget, sale shoes from Sons of Henrey. The most critical obstacle you will encounter is the sizing.
i agree, Herring is a very good options. They often have sales when u can get them from 20-40% off.

Carlos Santos is another one i forgot to mention. For the money, i think they are excellent. I really like their last shapes. And they are often available on sales.
 

HRH_David

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I'll give you a hundred bucks to stay away from those JMs. You can't afford those shoes anyway because you'll pay $125 for them and wear them for a year, maybe year and a half when you find that the cobbler won't be able to resole them, and the uppers will probably look like hell anyway I doubt there's any decent lining to them so after a year you'll toss them and be ready to drop another $125 on a pair of shoes. Double your price and you'll have a pair of shoes that will last at least five years & yhey'll be more more comfortable.
This is excellent advice. I wish that I had known this many years ago. I have learned to look for shoes made in Northamptonshire England and Allen Edmonds. It is entirely my opinion but I would rate Italian shoes third in quality after them.
 

HRH_David

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I'll second MDs suggestion of a black captoe or dark brown captoe. Depending on work environment, I would go with black first. If it is a more casual environment, you will get more mileage (outfit options) with the Dark Brown.

Grenson's are actually a very well made shoe (Northhampton made). I would be leery of the more inexpensive options, as I believe they are made in India. From reading member experiences, it appears they are 50/50 in regards to longevity.
Thanks, this is so helpful, I knew that something was just too good to be true concerning the price of some of their shoes. I discovered that the following shoes are 100% made in England:
Church’s, Crockett and Jones, Edward Green, John Lobb and Tricker's. These brands make some lines for Ralph Lauren and Peal and Co. and possible other labels.
 

BoydsShoes

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ok thanks I am looking for shoes to wear to internship/job interviews as well as the occasional wedding, not for a daily shoe. So you say the JMs would fit that purpose well? and you would recommend them over Florsheim, dockers, clarks?

Everything that was said here was interesting, but to answer benglayton, I would say the following. If using a few times over a few years, I am sure JM is fine if it fits you, doesn't hurt and you feel comfortable wearing it. Most of the people who look at your feet are women, and they don't think the same way as Styleforum guys (although everything in this blog pretty much rings true to me, since I am a Styleforum guy).

Regarding JM, I bought a pair of JMs in 1990, wore them about 25 times/year until 2007 when I replaced them with another JM, that took about 5 years to start looking awful with the same amount of wear. I threw them away, and went back to wearing the 1990 guys. In other words, if you are talking less than 10 times/year, I think 5 years from now you will probably still be wearing them, and they will be similar quality to what most of the people you are interacting with wear. Your time is probably too valuable to go out looking for a good pair of vintage shoes.

. . and my 1990 JMs are not for sale, and I can't imagine anyone but me feeling comfortable in them.
 

Oshare

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Thanks, this is so helpful, I knew that something was just too good to be true concerning the price of some of their shoes. I discovered that the following shoes are 100% made in England:
Church’s, Crockett and Jones, Edward Green, John Lobb and Tricker's. These brands make some lines for Ralph Lauren and Peal and Co. and possible other labels.
If you can comfortably afford any of the shoes made in Northhampton, you would be buying quality shoes that, if reasonably taken care of, will last you decades to a lifetime.

I'd recommend Crockett & Jones as a starting point. EG and JL if you can afford them. Church's can be hit or miss, and I don't have any experience with Tricker's yet.

I also have sub-$250 made-in-Vietnam and made-in-India GYW shoes as well... and while they are generally better than the cemented Aldos and such, they are clearly not made to the same level as made-in-England or vintage made-in-USA shoes. The quality differences could manifest themselves in a variety of ways from excessive creasing or cracking of the leather, squeaking, uneven construction, or even things like non-breathing "leather" that makes your foot feel clammy.

I also have some made-in-Italy and made-in-Spain shoes... but I just find the English and vintage American shoes to be more comfortable and durable, and overall money better spent in the end.

And whatever you buy, be sure to buy shoe trees, a shoe horn, a brush and some conditioner later on.
 

Count de Monet

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Thank you for this thread! My own feet are 3E with a high instep and I am looking for a half decent shoe that wont break my very small bank. I have an old pair of Alden but I can't afford the $600. I would appreciate any suggestions as to brand and/or venue.
Many thanks,
I would echo @norMD’s suggestion of AE’s Shoebank given your need for EEE. Most makers have few width options and expect people to simply extend their length until an adequate width is found. I would only add that some AE’s in oxfords are poor for folks with a high instep, particularly their popular 5-65 last.
 

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