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Thread: Shoes

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Shoes

    Been a while since we had a footwear thread.

    So yesterday I replaced the second pair of shoes I'd gone through in 13 months. That's right, both pairs' tops started to crack where the toes bend. I went to the serious work shoe store and ended up paying twice as much (~$100) as I did for the previous two pairs, but in the end this is probably one of those cases where one can be penny-wise but pound foolish, as I expect the new pair should last several years.

    Anywho I got a pair of Rockports. I will never buy Dexters again (they used to make decent shoes once upon a time). When I walked in to the serious shoe place the employee looks at my cracking shoes and says 'let's take a look at what the tag says'....made in China? strike one.....made of manmade materials? strike two...no wonder they cracked, they're made out of plastic'.

    So are there any brands of shoes or boots you swear by? Are you much of one for impulse shoe purchases? What's covering your tootsies at work?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Most days I wear sanouks, which say they are sandals. The bottom is certainly like a sandal. Last week I had an important presentation and wore a shir and tie and my sanouks just so i could say I wore a tie and sandals.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I purchased a pair of Rockports two years ago and I still wear them reguarly. I have a pair of REI hiking boots that I purchased in 2000 and I still wear. I am sure they were made by somebody else, but do not know who. I used to like Merrell but they have not held up as well recently - the quality seems to be sliding. Garmont does better, but still not great. I now have a pair of Vasque hiking shoes that are the most comfortable shoe on earth. I am hoping they wear well.
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    I wear black combat boots quite a lot. I also have Bass black dress shoes.
    What do you mean I can't plan? My SimCity has 390,269 people with a 99% happiness rating (1/23/2017)!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Been a while since we had a footwear thread.

    So yesterday I replaced the second pair of shoes I'd gone through in 13 months. That's right, both pairs' tops started to crack where the toes bend. I went to the serious work shoe store and ended up paying twice as much (~$100) as I did for the previous two pairs, but in the end this is probably one of those cases where one can be penny-wise but pound foolish, as I expect the new pair should last several years.

    Anywho I got a pair of Rockports. I will never buy Dexters again (they used to make decent shoes once upon a time). When I walked in to the serious shoe place the employee looks at my cracking shoes and says 'let's take a look at what the tag says'....made in China? strike one.....made of manmade materials? strike two...no wonder they cracked, they're made out of plastic'.

    So are there any brands of shoes or boots you swear by? Are you much of one for impulse shoe purchases? What's covering your tootsies at work?
    I worked at one of those "Serious Shoe Places" during college and I can tell you that you get what you pay for, up to a point. For many years I bought Ecco shoes and have since expanded to include Clarks, Dr. Martins, New Balance, but the pair that I am wearing right now are Johnson Murphy. A really good pair of dress shoes might run $100 to $300, but I wouldn't pay more than that. Good work books are between $150 to $500 per pair.

    Rockport is a good brand. The irony is Rockbort is owned by Reebok, which is actually a division of Adidas. (Similar to how Aston Martin was once owned by Ford). They take the best technology from all of their bands and utilize it in the Rockport shoes if it fits the 'leather dress shoe' market.

    BTW, there is facinating history with Adidas... one brother broke of and started Ruda (later called Puma) because his name was Rudolf Dassler and the name Adidas comes from "Adi" nick name for Adolph and "das", first three letters in his last name Dassler. More so, it was perused "Adi-das". The comany division mainly because of the Nazi party because Adolph thought Rudolf was too close to the party.
    If you want different results in your life, you need to do different things than you have done in the past. Change is that simple.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I have a hard to fit foot. My big toes are straight, so any shoes that tapers at the front (90% of shoes) will not fit me. Red Wings and Keen shoes are what I usually buy. Even then I have to have them stretched.

    Shoes are definitely something you should not scrimp on.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  7. #7
    Cyburbian terraplnr's avatar
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    My husband has a few pairs of Rockports he's picked up on sale over the years and they must work out fine because he wears them all the time.

    I have two pairs of Keens and they are really comfy, but the strap on one pair broke after wearing them maybe 10 times, and the other pair makes a squishy-air sound when I walk now. So probably no more Keens for me.

    My favorite pair of shoes right now are Tevas but I probably couldn't wear them to work at most work places. They are actually fairly dressy for Tevas.

    My Christmas present to myself this year were a pair of Bandolino brown knee high boots and they are super cute and comfy, but it has been too warm to wear them lately.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    I can't say much for my shoes. I have a nice pair of dress shoes that cost me about $150 and have lasted for years, but most of the time I buy a cheap pair of shoes that cover the feet and have to buy a new pair every few years.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I like Clark's a lot. I am not much of a dress shoe wearer since I spend most of my time dressed down and on a construction site. My dress shoes last 10+ years because I rarely wear them. The Clark's I have on today are the Privo slip ons, they needs to be retired after 6 years. They've been good to me and have walked a lot of miles on 3 continents.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    I have wide feet and own many Propet shoes. Nunn Bush is another decent less expensive brand for wide feet.
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  11. #11
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Do you ever wonder why you see tall (and tallish) women sometimes wearing high heels? Aren't the point of those to make one look, well, taller?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  12. #12
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Do you ever wonder why you see tall (and tallish) women sometimes wearing high heels? Aren't the point of those to make one look, well, taller?
    High heels actually also make your calves look more shapely. Well, women's calves, Maister. Not yours specifically.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  13. #13
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Do you ever wonder why you see tall (and tallish) women sometimes wearing high heels? Aren't the point of those to make one look, well, taller?
    Incorrect. High heels are for any woman, tall or short. If you applied that logic than as a short woman I should only wear high heels and never wear flats. Women don't need a logical reason for some shoe choices. This is why I have 5X the amount of shoes my BF has.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  14. #14
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ursus View post
    High heels actually also make your calves look more shapely. Well, women's calves, Maister. Not yours specifically.
    Thank you for making that clarification, ursus.

    Quote Originally posted by beach_bum View post
    Incorrect. High heels are for any woman, tall or short. If you applied that logic than as a short woman I should only wear high heels and never wear flats. Women don't need a logical reason for some shoe choices. This is why I have 5X the amount of shoes my BF has.
    Not gonna respond. Wouldn't be prudent.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  15. #15
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post


    Not gonna respond. Wouldn't be prudent.
    That is the correct response. I can have as many shoes as I want/can afford.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Do you ever wonder why you see tall (and tallish) women sometimes wearing high heels? Aren't the point of those to make one look, well, taller?
    The point is to make their legs look more shapely.

    I wear Red Wing work boots; the pair I have is 5 years old and they're still in good shape. I've just about worn out a pair of Bass Weejuns. Today I'm wearing a pair of Carolina boots that I got half price. They're pretty decent. I don't think that I've ever spent more than $70 on a pair of shoes.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    As a self-admitted men's shoe snob, I am using this space to reserve my right to comment more fully later when I have more time.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  18. #18
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I'm a firm supporter of not scrimping on shoes and boots. I think I really got into that mindset when I was in the Marines and was given the worst fitting, cheapest possible pair of combat boots at boot camp and after miles and miles of humping, my feet paid the price. One of the first thing I did when I got out to the fleet was buy a new pair of boots - the highest quality ones I could afford at the time. They lasted me six years of active duty, deployments to South Korea, Thailand, Kosovo, Australia, Tunisia, and the Horn of Africa... not to mention countless trips to "the field" in North Carolina and Virginia. I had them resoled a few times and they still look great today, about 16 years after I got them although I don't wear them anymore.

    Besides my running shoes, all of my shoes and boots are leather of some sort (calf, shell cordovan, or suede) and must be welted so that they can be resoled by a cobbler if so desired. I prefer brands made in the U.S. but also like some English makers (for instance, today I'm wearing a pair of calf loafers from Joseph Cheaney & Sons made in the UK). My favorite brand of shoes are Alden and I have quite a selection of them, although I often find myself wearing the same two or three pair over and over again. Occasionally, I will buy a pair and keep it for a few months without taking it out of the box after the initial inspection, only to realize later that I'm likely never going to wear them. Thankfully, there's a nice resale market for Alden (and some other brands) and I can almost always turn around and sell them online with no loss (and the occasional gain) if I've passed the return period.

    I have a few pair of Alden that I have had more than a decade. They've each been resoled a few times and had some other work done and they still look fantastic. The nice thing about getting something in shell cordovan leather is that it doesn't crack or wrinkle, instead they develop gently rolling creases as they age. They'll also develop a distinctive patina over time based on their exposure to the elements. A good pair of shell cordovan shoes, properly taken care of, can easily last the owner 30+ years and pay for themselves many times over. Unfortunately, the price of shell cordovan has gone up in price quite substantially over the past 5 or 6 years corresponding to the rise of the "work wear" movement and popularity of "heritage" brands in men's fashion.

    Taking care of my shoes is also very important to me, as well as something that gives me some relaxation. Everyday when I get home, I take off my dress shoes or boots and give them a vigorous brushing with a horsehide boot brush to clean any dirt, debris or water off of them (this time of year, I also hit them with the brush when I arrive at the office in the morning to remove any salt, snow, or slush that they accumulated on my commute in) and put a pair of shoe trees in them to help them maintain their shape and dry the interiors. On Sunday evenings while I am watching Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Sunday Night Football, or whatever else my wife doesn't want to watch with me, I usually will sit in the den with a few pair of shoes and boots and give them a very thorough cleaning, brushing, and buffing. I will use a cream or paste on them maybe once every 4 or 5 months if they have been worn frequently. But I only use the cream very lightly - just enough to give a bit of moisture back to the leather. You can achieve a very nice shine on calf and shell cordovan with just a brush, a tiny bit of water, and a flannel cloth.

    When I travel, I like to look to research what high end men's shoe stores are in the area so that I can check them out and see if they have something new and interesting that I cannot find locally or online. Speaking of online shopping, once shoes become a hobby, you learn of quite a few sites to check in on to find discounts on the high-end brands and if you can get over the stigma of buying a used pair, you can find even better deals. Besides Cyburbia, the forum I spend the most time on is probably a men's fashion forum.

    And I agree with Michaelskis that a good pair of dress shoes will cost between $100 to $300 but if you want something like shell cordovan that's going to start a bit higher than that. Do I need to spend the equivalence of somebody's mortgage payment on a pair of handmade brogued suede boots or benchgrade Norwegian-tip hand-stitched moccasins? Of course not... but they do look damn good!

    Alden is my go to brand for dress shoes, casual shoes, and boots of all types but Rancourt is another great American brand. In the past few years they began marketing their shoes and boots directly to the consumer (instead of only making shoes and boots for other companies) and now they have an application on their website that allows you to build a custom shoe quite easily with very little upcharge. They aren't quite as refined as similar Alden shoes but for casual stuff they are phenomenal and their customer service is second to none. Allen Edmonds is probably the only other dress shoe maker still making a good product here in the U.S., but they also make some of their products offshore now (India and China I believe). I have had a few pair of AE in the past and they were fine shoes, but eventually ended up selling those to make room for others. My closet was getting a bit full a few years ago so I now have a one-in/one-out policy: If I buy a new pair of shoes, I have to get rid of at least one other pair.

    I could go on and on but I've already stuck around the office an extra 25 minutes this evening to write about shoes. If I go on any longer today, somebody will have to tell me to get a life!

    Today's Scotch-grain strap loafers on rubber Danite soles:
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  19. #19
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I need to go shoe shopping with WSU.
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  20. #20
    Cyburbian Faust_Motel's avatar
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    About five years ago I stopped buying cheap junk for clothes and shoes. As the cheap junk has worn out I have been trying to replace it with less stuff that is better made and that I really like. These shoes:

    are my go-to office shoes. We are pretty casual around here (many wear sneakers) so these work pretty well. They aren't all shined up in this picture because I just waterproofed them with Nikwax. They were made by Fye, since discontinued, I think. They are resolable and have taken almost six months to break in (and I work at a standing desk!).

    My basic criteria for shoes other than running shoes are that they should be leather, resoleable, and I should like them enough that I'd be willing to wear them every single day for five years. My black dress shoes are these awful Aldo things I bought a decade ago with the nasty sort of wrinkles that patent leather gets (even though they aren't patent leather). I keep them around because I haven't bought decent black dress shoes yet, but every time i wear them I hope nobody notices how bad they look.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    I wear a cheap version of those shoes. They don't look near as good, but the way I treat shoes is a crime so why waste my money on them.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Faust_Motel View post
    My basic criteria for shoes other than running shoes are that they should be leather, resoleable, and I should like them enough that I'd be willing to wear them every single day for five years. My black dress shoes are these awful Aldo things I bought a decade ago with the nasty sort of wrinkles that patent leather gets (even though they aren't patent leather). I keep them around because I haven't bought decent black dress shoes yet, but every time i wear them I hope nobody notices how bad they look.
    The shoes are probably what's called "corrected grain" leather. Because cows have naturally have imperfections in their hides, there are portions of the hide that are generally unsuitable for use as shoes or jackets where a large, unblemished surface area is needed. Lower end dress shoe makers will use these imperfect pieces and then sand off a few layers of the hides to get to an even, unblemished layer. Unfortunately, once they sand off so much of the natural hide they need to add massive amounts of wax, dyes, and chemicals to get back to a surface that will accept a shine. With normal wear, these types of shoes will quickly begin to show noticeable cracks in the surface of leather. Not only can the cracks be unsightly, but they can significantly lessen the life of the shoe because they allow moisture and debris to get in under the surface, are more difficult to apply a fresh shine to, and are not worth the cost to have professionally refinished.

    I like those Frye shoes you posted and I have a very similar looking pair from Rancourt. Yours appear to be made of natural colored "chromexcel" leather. The chromexcel leather is made of calf hides that are first tanned in chrome and then moved on to the typical vegetable tanning process (vegetable tanning is the preferred method for most quality calf and horsehides). The chrome tanning produces a finish that pulls the natural oils to the surface which produces a slightly waxy surface that is extremely durable and almost impervious to water and salt. The chrome finishing also helps produce a nice, supple leather that can become very supple and extremely comfortable over time.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  23. #23
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Faust_Motel View post
    FM, those certainly are....colorful pants you've got on. Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about your, um, wardrobe or living arrangements?

    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  24. #24
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    FM, those certainly are....colorful pants you've got on. Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about your, um, wardrobe or living arrangements?
    Judging by Faust_Motel's "New England" locale, those pants appear to be a nicely faded pair of Nantucket Reds.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  25. #25
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    Judging by Faust_Motel's "New England" locale, those pants appear to be a nicely faded pair of Nantucket Reds.
    Well, I suppose the fact his shoes still have shoelaces in them suggests his attire was not provided courtesy of the state.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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