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Old 12-04-2009, 02:04 PM   #1
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Leather Dress/Work Shoe Recommendations & Advice Please

I buy a standard pair of leather dress shoes from Aldo annually for work attire. They usually cost between $70 and $100 and last me eight to ten months, and if put extra care into them, one year. Areas with the most extreme wear damage are always the soles (duh) (become slippery), especially the outer heel, and the inner ball (leather tears away from rubber sole). With shoes in this price range, their durability is no surprise - I take half hour walks every weekday after lunch in my feeble attempts to keep the calories from my waist.

It's new work shoes time again and I'm off to hunt for a new pair, armed with this piece of new advice: Buy two pairs, as shoes need "time off" and will last longer as a result.

Aside from this, I know that I get what I pay for, and am therefore looking for recommendations for shoe brands and/or stores I should investigate further. In this area, I care almost nothing about brand names and am looking merely for style, comfort and durability. I'm more than willing to shell out more than what I currently spend on shoes as long as I'm confident the shoes, with proper care, will last longer than the ones I currently buy. I find that shoe salespeople in popular chain retail outlets are lacking in sales skills and/or product knowledge, and might as well be selling leaf blowers.

My style preference is simple and I usually look for something that is neither cowboy-boot pointy or I'm-still-stuck-in-the-mid-90s-backstreet-boy square toe:

The advice and recommendations I value most are from those with personal experience.

Much love

PS - I bought a pair of Steve Madden loafers a year ago on sale for about $140 - love 'em.

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Old 12-04-2009, 02:17 PM   #2
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I too am always on the lookout for simple classic-looking mens dress loafers with a thin sole.

So many of the affordable stuff out there are over-stylized Aldo crap with pointy or square toes and thick soles. I am fairly picky with my shoes, but the characteristics I'm looking for are extremely basic and 'classic'; I don't know why mainstream manufacturers don't make any like it (instead they overstylize them with random decorative stitching and weird toe shapes).

I found a pair of brown Perry Ellis bicycle-toe dress shoes from Winners a few years ago for $30, which are awesome.

More recently Aldo two seasons ago had a basic plaintoe and brouged dress shoes that were awesome. I believe they have at least one simple-styled shoe per season now (whereas before they never had anything plain and classic).

This is the pair I got:

I also like these:
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:36 PM   #3, where our google ads make absolutely no sense!
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try some kennth cole and steve maddans
they will be in ur price range
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:10 PM   #4
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(yes i'm plugging one of my clients heh)

seriously though, 8-10 months / pair? wow that's shit.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:25 AM   #5
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^ maybe because he wears only one pair. In my opinion you should buy at least 2 pairs of leather shoes. Wear one so the other one can breath and relax for atleast a day.
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:39 AM   #6
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Pretty much in the same boat. The job I started back in Jan had a dress code so naturally I hit up Aldo and the shoes I got are already starting to show signs of heavy wear and tear. I don't even go for walks in them! I strictly wear them in the office and to and from my car lol.

With that said, I just splurged on a pair of Prada ones and although I can't comment on how long they last yet so far I love them. It was comfortable, nice looking, and price was decent so can't ask for much more.
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by carisear View Post

(yes i'm plugging one of my clients heh)

seriously though, 8-10 months / pair? wow that's shit.
I dropped by Ingledews and was shown a few pairs ranging from $150 - $300, though I would still need "toppies" installed by a shoemaker for another $30. I was told that with proper care, I could easily get at least two years from each pair.

The shoes are nice and I'm sure that I can make sure they are regularly polished, but am unsure about how easily the leather can separate from the sole.

As well, I suppose that it would be possible to just replace the "toppie" when it gets worn out? $200 for good shoes that last a few years requiring only toppie replacements make much more sense than $80 shoes every ten months.

I wonder how the grip is on these toppies. I'm afraid of dislocating a hip in the winter.
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:39 PM   #8
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Kennth Cole shoes are nice but the quality is beyond shit.
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