Input for nice dress shoes for work

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ArmorPierce
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Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by ArmorPierce » 2015-06-29 08:39pm

I am looking to upgrade from crappy Aldo rubber soled shoes to leather soled shoes. Any suggestion for good companies or good deals?

I am looking at Allen Edmunds shoes:

http://www.allenedmonds.com/shoes/wingt ... xford-shoe
6235 Walnut Calf and 6205 Black Custom Calf
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I love the design so would be willing to do another company with similar design.

I am worried that I am going to mess up the shoes during the winter or not condition it and oil it correctly which would be a big waste of money.

Any one have any suggestions on good quality deals?
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by Thanas » 2015-06-29 09:39pm

Don't get me wrong, but I always think "Tacky" when I see this much embroidery on a shoe, especially if it is for an office. Might want to look into some very comfy, high quality shows with less embroidery instead, of which I would suggest getting some LLoyd oxfords, who are very fitting, comfy and best of all don't cost that much.
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400 dollar shoes are fine for going to the Opera, but for everyday work shoes....
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by Jub » 2015-06-30 05:16am

I'm sorry if the below sounds harsh, but I don't want you to end up getting odd looks due to your choice of footwear.

Those shoes really aren't very professional looking and wearing them would be like buttoning your suit all the way down; it would look like you didn't know how to dress properly. When it comes to men's shoes less is most certainly more and the plainer the shoe the more formal. From that same site, I would go for this style. They're going to fit in with almost any outfit and at most any function without drawing attention to yourself.

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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by Edi » 2015-06-30 05:47am

I also second Jub's suggestion on the style. Works with anything, from suits to jeans.
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by General Zod » 2015-06-30 05:57am

I'm a big fan of Clarks. Their shoes always end up being super comfortable and they usually aren't tacky. You might have to fork out up to $120 but they're worth it.
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by General Zod » 2015-06-30 06:03am

These ran me about $60, but they work well for most situations. Comfort first, style second.

Edit: resized.

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Last edited by General Zod on 2015-06-30 08:54am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by mr friendly guy » 2015-06-30 07:36am

I usually wear Hush Puppies or Airflex to work, the former is an American brand so you should be able to get it in the US. Again, just have it plain style.
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2015-06-30 08:32am

There's nothing wrong with full brogue wingtips like the ones you link to, there. Some people may find them tacky, but it depends on the outfit you plan to wear with it. I disagree with Jub about them not being professional; they are, in fact, dress shoes. Whether or not they are appropriate for your particular job is a different matter; different fields may have different expectations about style of dress. "Professional" is a very, very broad category, not a strict style per se.

For example, some offices tend to favor more "conservative" approach, which is what Jub is advocating; in that case, it may not be the best choice. In the tech field, on the other hand, people tend to dress more fashionably, and that kind of thing would be encouraged. It depends a lot on the look you want to go for and the particular context you will be dressing.

Here is a good overview of the broad categories of dress shoe. Oxfords or bluchers/derbys are the safest choices, in terms of looking good and working in a lot of different contexts. You could also go for a quarter brogue, which would be a bit of a compromise between the oxford and the full brogue shoe you like.

Another good choice for adding a splash of individuality to your outfit while still being professional are saddle/spectator shoes (see the link). In any case, you should be matching your shoes to both the type of outfit you will be wearing and your specific context.

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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by Elheru Aran » 2015-06-30 08:49am

They look fine for work. A bit flash, but they're fine.

Honestly I have always heard that there are only a few rules you must really stick to these days, as the business-professional workplace (in the US at least)-- on average, there are going to be differences either way-- match your shoes to your outfit or coordinate it in some way (don't wear brown shoes with black suit, for example). Shoe colour should match belt colour (this is less important but it's a nice touch). Don't wear casual shoes like runners, tennis shoes, or God forbid, sandals. Generally lace-up styles are considered more formal than slip-ons, but this is really not a big deal IMO-- observe what people are wearing at your work and go from there. Those Allen Edmonds brogues are nice, a little more 'going out' or 'dancing' shoes than 'work', but IMO they're fine.

I will second Zod's recommendation of Clarks. I have a pair of Clarks Desert Boots-- a bit casual if you see the whole thing, but if your pants cover the top, nobody will know or care as the toe/heels look perfectly fine. Price range is ~60-130, but you can usually find a sale somewhere. Allen Edmonds are overkill, but if you can afford it, go for it. I do understand that they have extremely good warranties and they last a very long time, so that's a point in their favour.
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by Jaevric » 2015-06-30 09:12am

I actually own that pair of shoes in walnut. They are a little flashy and proper care is a must -- if you can't be bothered to shine shoes, don't get them. That said, I've found their shoes to be very comfortable for men's dress shoes. But my office isn't that conservative and I like dress clothes with "personality."

If you're in a semi-entry-level position, Clarks are a solid choice and a lot more reasonable. Erring on the side of conservative is not a bad idea, either.

[edit] I just realized how poorly that statement could come across. Oops. :oops: Really the thing about those shoes that partially justified the price tag to me was 1) they were on a good discount at the time, and 2) they should last for a long time. YMMV.

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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by ArmorPierce » 2015-06-30 10:45am

Thanks for the input gentlemen.i was considering leaving the shoes at work so that they don't wear out as quick. Maybe wait for factory seconds but that is a risk itself.
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by General Zod » 2015-06-30 10:51am

ArmorPierce wrote:Thanks for the input gentlemen.i was considering leaving the shoes at work so that they don't wear out as quick. Maybe wait for factory seconds but that is a risk itself.
Leaving your fancy shoes at work and wearing sneakers on the commute seems to be the popular thing in New York. Especially during the winter where the salt and other shit on the streets can really fuck up your shoes.
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by Exonerate » 2015-06-30 10:54am

Dress for your office. The darker shoes, the more formal/conservative they are - a dark brown is pretty versatile and should work for almost any office environment. Burgundy is often acceptable as well. Plain and cap toe oxfords are more conservative, then bluchers, then monk straps, loafers, etc. The more brogues the shoe has, the more informal it is. Match your belt color with the shoes. There is such a thing as too formal - I wouldn't wear the pair Jub posted with jeans or even chinos.

For my money, I think Florsheim hits a pretty good value/price point; I wear mine 4 days a week and expect them to last a few years. Johnston and Murphy is supposed to be ok as well. AE is higher end, many people prefer to get seconds (shoes with slight imperfections) from their shoe bank at a lower price or Nordstrom's upcoming Anniversary Sale. If you expect to do a lot of walking in water/snow and your office isn't too conservative, you might want to just stick with rubber roles.

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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by General Zod » 2015-06-30 10:56am

Exonerate wrote:Dress for your office. The darker shoes, the more formal/conservative they are - a dark brown is pretty versatile and should work for almost any office environment. Burgundy is often acceptable as well. Plain and cap toe oxfords are more conservative, then bluchers, then monk straps, loafers, etc. The more brogues the shoe has, the more informal it is. Match your belt color with the shoes. There is such a thing as too formal - I wouldn't wear the pair Jub posted with jeans or even chinos.

For my money, I think Florsheim hits a pretty good value/price point; I wear mine 4 days a week and expect them to last a few years. Johnston and Murphy is supposed to be ok as well. AE is higher end, many people prefer to get seconds (shoes with slight imperfections) from their shoe bank at a lower price or Nordstrom's upcoming Anniversary Sale. If you expect to do a lot of walking in water/snow and your office isn't too conservative, you might want to just stick with rubber roles.
I do most of my shopping at DSW. Lots of good deals for under $150.
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by The Infidel » 2015-06-30 01:02pm

I would say that less is more, and prefer neutral shoes.
I like Ecco shoes and think they're quite comfy.

What about these?

Hm, cheaper than I expected.
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by General Zod » 2015-06-30 01:34pm

Rockport also makes a pretty comfortable budget Oxford.
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by phongn » 2015-06-30 02:54pm

ArmorPierce wrote:Maybe wait for factory seconds but that is a risk itself.
AE factory seconds are still pretty nice.
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by ArmorPierce » 2015-07-01 06:17pm

In my opinion, any dress shoe that retails below $100 (pre-sales discounts) is garbage. With $100+ shoes I never had issues with having to 'break-in' the shoes that I had with cheaper shoes.
Jub wrote:I'm sorry if the below sounds harsh, but I don't want you to end up getting odd looks due to your choice of footwear.

Those shoes really aren't very professional looking and wearing them would be like buttoning your suit all the way down; it would look like you didn't know how to dress properly. When it comes to men's shoes less is most certainly more and the plainer the shoe the more formal. From that same site, I would go for this style. They're going to fit in with almost any outfit and at most any function without drawing attention to yourself.
What if I want to draw attention to myself? You don't get ahead by being just like everyone else.
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by Jub » 2015-07-01 06:54pm

ArmorPierce wrote:In my opinion, any dress shoe that retails below $100 (pre-sales discounts) is garbage. With $100+ shoes I never had issues with having to 'break-in' the shoes that I had with cheaper shoes.
Jub wrote:I'm sorry if the below sounds harsh, but I don't want you to end up getting odd looks due to your choice of footwear.

Those shoes really aren't very professional looking and wearing them would be like buttoning your suit all the way down; it would look like you didn't know how to dress properly. When it comes to men's shoes less is most certainly more and the plainer the shoe the more formal. From that same site, I would go for this style. They're going to fit in with almost any outfit and at most any function without drawing attention to yourself.
What if I want to draw attention to myself? You don't get ahead by being just like everyone else.
Go right on ahead then if you'd like. Just know that any shoe with crazy amounts of broguing is going to look super tacky to at least some people, standing out means that you'll make stronger impressions but does not mean that they'll be better impressions. You're the one wearing them though.

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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by General Zod » 2015-07-01 09:22pm

Clarks normally retail between $100-200, but I like the brand because there's no break in period. They're comfy right from the get go.
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by Enigma » 2015-07-04 07:54am

ArmorPierce wrote:In my opinion, any dress shoe that retails below $100 (pre-sales discounts) is garbage. With $100+ shoes I never had issues with having to 'break-in' the shoes that I had with cheaper shoes.

<snip>
I never paid more than $100 for a pair of dress shoes and they've all been fine. My current two pairs of dress shoes are black, pretty basic in design and are rubber soled. I've worn a few leather soled dress shoes but were never impressed with them. Too stiff and have horrible traction.

To me, I do not care about the make, just that it looks good, have good traction and that it lasts. The pair I use is about I believe almost 9 years old (I originally purchased them for my wedding) and still looks decent. I only bought another pair last year as a back up just in case my regular dress shoes falls apart.

I only use my shoes twice a week so I guess having them still in good shape after 8+ years is normal.

But for you, I can only say that buy a pair that'll last you in the conditions you'll be using them in. I switched to rubber soled shoes because they give me traction in the winter whereas leather soled shoes might as well been a pair of skis\skates. If you're going to leave them at work, then I guess leather soled shoes is fine.

Look at the shoes your co-workers and managers wear to give you an idea, I guess. :)
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by ArmorPierce » 2015-07-14 07:01pm

Do any of you condition/oil the dress shoes in addition to polishing it? Do you feel it's necessary to maintain the shoe?
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by Thanas » 2015-07-21 07:32am

Most decent polishing oils/pastes also protect the shoes. That said, I replace my shoes every two years anyway so I don't waste a lot of time polishing them.
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by LaCroix » 2015-07-21 08:22am

Thanas wrote:Most decent polishing oils/pastes also protect the shoes. That said, I replace my shoes every two years anyway so I don't waste a lot of time polishing them.
^This.
In some line of business you will wear them every day - depending on how much you walk around and how bad your way of walking is on the shoes, you will be lucky if they last long enough to actually need optical maintainance apart from an occasional wipedown.

Mine hardly ever lasted more than one year before I would have to emulate Corporal Knobbs to keep using them. (My heels dig into the sole until there is a hole, in no time.)
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Re: Input for nice dress shoes for work

Post by Pinjar » 2015-07-24 09:22am

I can't offer any style advice but all stock shoes are sold by the pair with both shoes being the same size. It was only recently that I started getting two different sizes of shoes. With your feet it might not make a difference but I did not realize my feet were uncomfortable until I got one size for the left and one 1/2 size bigger for right.

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