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All right you boys, need dress/casual shoe brand recommendation

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It's all about the fit and the quality of the shoe. I sold shoes for the highest end retailer in Houston's Galleria decades ago, but the rules are the same. A quality shoe is simply better constructed. They can also be resoled multiple times, which is a LOT cheaper than buying a new pair.  There are a lot of good brands and like multiple others I pefer Johnson and Murphy's fit more than any other. Including more expensive brands like Bally. Every shoe brand has their own dimensions and sizing, narrow heel? High arch? Wide feet? Narrow Feet?  While all the better brands will several widths fit is the key.  Because if a shoe isn't comfortable you simply will not wear it as much. 

The other thing you should do is NOT wear the same dress shoes, day after day.  You should buy some cedar shoe trees and let them absorb the moisture that accumulates each time you wear them. If you wear the same shoes every day the leather and materials maintain a level of moisture that makes the leather softer and it will wear out faster, especially the interior.  So rotate your shoes, and use shoe trees.  Then your expensive shoes over time will actually cost less than buying cheaper shoes of much lesser quality and appearance!

You can also send J&M your old shoes to be reworked and they come back like new.

 

 

Edited by horn4life

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For the most part, I want all my shoes made in either America or England.  

Casual - Rancourt, Oak Street  

Dress - AE (unless you want to spend more, and then its Alden or  Crocket & Jones) 

 

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2 hours ago, GottaB said:

Allen Edmonds Black Friday sale has started. Some shoes 1/2 off.

thanks for the heads up, I kept meaning to check back.  I've been wearing "dress" (leather soled) shoes more frequently these days and kept thinking about getting a pair of Boulevards or other derbies to rotate in with my strands and fifth avenues.  Those are on sale at $200, which is pretty good, they've been at $280 for the past month or so.  Allen Edmonds is weird how they cycle prices.  I paid around full price on a pair of black park avenues that I needed for my wedding and then a couple weeks back they were on sale for $200 (and now back up to $395).

I ended up ordering a pair of plain toe bluchers from Grant Stone which are supposed to arrive today.  Am curious if they meet expectations.  Newish shoe company from a former Alden guy and an American with a bunch of years experience manufacturing shoes in China.  Way overpriced for made in China, but supposedly the standards are really high.

https://www.grantstoneshoes.com/collections/derbys-oxfords

 

Was also looking at Beckett Simonon, which of all the internet shoe companies seems to be moderately well liked (blake welted rather than goodyear which is still recraftable, but i think they have long wait times)

https://www.beckettsimonon.com/

Edited by Celery Man

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3 hours ago, GottaB said:

Allen Edmonds Black Friday sale has started. Some shoes 1/2 off.

Awesome.  Thanks. 

Waiting on some Park Avenues to go on sale.

Need a new bag and it looks like this one will work just fine

bag-1015846-korchmar-charcoal-brown-duff

 

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9 minutes ago, Celery Man said:

Anybody have danite soled "dress" shoes and care to comment on how they look and feel?

I have a pair of dressy, but not dress, chukkas with dainite soles.  They have a bit more traction than leather soles, but they're pretty hard rubber or polymer, so they're somewhere between leather and some type of rubber sneaker or outdoor boot sole.  They seem to be hard enough to keep the kind of square edge that's necessary (imo) to look like leather.  AFAIK, dainite only comes in brown, so the shoes should be brown because there's no edge dressing you can use to darken them up as the edges inevitably get kind of scuffed.

A good option, imo, for dressy shoes that might be a bit more utilitarian than flat out dress shoes.

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Dainite is usually black. Can be dyed other colors. Most of my dress shoes are custom AE ordered with Dainite soles, as I'm usually not wearing them indoors and I need to walk in wet areas often. They'll make basically any of their shoes with Dainite soles.

This isnt usually their biggest sale. They do a Discover America sale in late spring that usually is slightly better, and usually includes a discount on custom orders.

They do feel a little different. The sole is thicker and less flexible, and doesn't "roll" as smoothly as you step. Especially since it has the distinct lugs in the Dainite.

Edited by Sam Lin
Typo

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Allen Edmonds has gone down a bit in quality over the years, but they're still a good value if you are smart about when you buy and you maintain them. Worst part is they have that jackass Mayfield as a spokesman.

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I could see adding a pair of danite's into the rotation, although probably more so if I moved somewhere with more frequent rain.  I had only ever seen them in whacky colors like blue or brick and didn't think of them as more an all weather option that is close to leather in appearance (at least profile).

The Grant Stone's came in.  They are tanks - quite heavy.  Quality seems every bit as high to higher than AE.  I wear a 12 in the AE 65 last (strand/parks/5th av) and an 11.5 in these is perfect.  I pinged their support for help sizing and got an e-mail back from the founder of the company.  Heel is snug (but slipping right now because these guys are sturdy and going to take... a number of wears to break in).

gsblucher3.jpg

gsblucher2.jpg

Weird niche for a shoe company - heavily Alden inspired but made in China so less expensive but still expensive and the quality is there.  These are nice shoes though.  Their black friday stuff is up - the more walnut colored (and saddle rather than chromoexcel) version of these is interesting as well as the brown suede longwings.  But I'm good on shoes for now.

https://www.grantstoneshoes.com/collections/black-friday-collection

More in depth review

https://www.heddels.com/2016/03/grant-stone-french-calf-derby-shoe-review/

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12 hours ago, Sam Lin said:

Dainite is usually black. Can be dyed other colors. Most of my dress shoes are custom AE ordered with Dainite soles, as I'm usually not wearing them indoors and I need to walk in wet areas often. They'll make basically any of their shoes with Dainite soles.

This isnt usually their biggest sale. They do a Discover America sale in late spring that usually is slightly better, and usually includes a discount on custom orders.

They do feel a little different. The sole is thicker and less flexible, and doesn't "roll" as smoothly as you step. Especially since it has the distinct lugs in the Dainite.

I checked, standard colors are black and sepia brown.  I've only seen brown.  So my bad.

http://www.dainite.com/dainiteproducts.html#

They evidently make several variations on sole "lug" patterns, but I have only seen studded.

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30 minutes ago, Celery Man said:

I could see adding a pair of danite's into the rotation, although probably more so if I moved somewhere with more frequent rain.  I had only ever seen them in whacky colors like blue or brick and didn't think of them as more an all weather option that is close to leather in appearance (at least profile).

The Grant Stone's came in.  They are tanks - quite heavy.  Quality seems every bit as high to higher than AE.  I wear a 12 in the AE 65 last (strand/parks/5th av) and an 11.5 in these is perfect.  I pinged their support for help sizing and got an e-mail back from the founder of the company.  Heel is snug (but slipping right now because these guys are sturdy and going to take... a number of wears to break in).

gsblucher3.jpg

gsblucher2.jpg

Weird niche for a shoe company - heavily Alden inspired but made in China so less expensive but still expensive and the quality is there.  These are nice shoes though.  Their black friday stuff is up - the more walnut colored (and saddle rather than chromoexcel) version of these is interesting as well as the brown suede longwings.  But I'm good on shoes for now.

https://www.grantstoneshoes.com/collections/black-friday-collection

More in depth review

https://www.heddels.com/2016/03/grant-stone-french-calf-derby-shoe-review/

Anything can be well made in China with the appropriate QC, see, e.g. Apple.

At 2/3 the cost of Aldens, I suspect that Grant Stone is making a mint on what they sell.  Unfortunate that they don't offer widths (D and EE is not widths).

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Allen Edmonds Black Friday sale has started. Some shoes 1/2 off.
I've needed to replace an old, cheap pair of Bostonians for a while and picked up a pair of Boulevards this weekend. Thanks for the heads up.

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On 11/22/2019 at 10:20 PM, Celery Man said:

Anybody have danite soled "dress" shoes and care to comment on how they look and feel?

Like shoes.  Really.  I spec them on boots worn on wet days, because getting leather soles soaked is not so healthy. 

Otherwise for typical day use (i.e. home to parking lot to office), they're just like anything else.

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I have a pair of Allen Edmonds Rush Streets with the Dainite soles and have never gotten used to them. I just like how the leather soles break in and mold to your foot better. I probably just need to wear them more.

 

If I had to walk in bad weather regularly I'd definitely get them though. Or at the very least get tap soles.4c9bd34de796288ebeda603f41ac2a59.jpg

 

 

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20 hours ago, Okie State said:

I have a pair of Allen Edmonds Rush Streets with the Dainite soles and have never gotten used to them. I just like how the leather soles break in and mold to your foot better. I probably just need to wear them more.

 

outsoles dont mold to anything.  a cork footbed does, and good leather insoles are durable (rather than wear out at toes, heel, etc)

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outsoles dont mold to anything.  a cork footbed does, and good leather insoles are durable (rather than wear out at toes, heel, etc)
Yes I understand the cork insole. Do the Dainite shoes have cork? They sure don't wear like they do.

A leather outsole and cork insole is the only combo that has ever molded to my foot. That's my point.

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21 minutes ago, Okie State said:

Yes I understand the cork insole. Do the Dainite shoes have cork? They sure don't wear like they do.
 

Dainite only make the outsole layer, so however a manufacturer wants to construct the shoe is entirely up to them -- shank, filling, welting, etc

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Yeah maybe it is cork on mine. Which leads me back to the outsole. Leather breaks in better than Dainite. At least in my limited experience.

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Eh, the outsole may not "mold" to your foot, exactly, but it is going to shape itself a bit depending on how your foot pulls the upper.  Dainite is less likely to do that.

You're not insane.

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is allen edmonds dark chili a dark brown or is there some red in it?  usually wear dark gray or charcoal color pants

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Mine are burnished chili and there's definitely red in it, but not overdone. I wear it with various shades of gray all the time and think it looks great.

 

 

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i have a pair of 5th aves that i *think* are walnut and so i definitely don't want that color again (also i'm ordering wides cuz these fuckers never did loosen up)

Edited by elfenix

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Here's a pic for reference. Walnut, bourbon, chili, merlot, dark brown. Oxblood not shown, but it's basically the same as merlot except a little lighter.9a35991d7a1ee0045fe9ae1e54eea699.jpg

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I like those merlot strands

That was actually my first pair of AE's. They ran a made to order special on Merlot Strands which was the exact combo I wanted and they weren't available otherwise at the time.

 

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I take it to mean shiny shirt stuff, which is well taken as we're in here talking about shoes, but I feel like that conversation would focus more on monk straps and magnannis

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Heads up that every Allen Edmonds shoe is on sale today.

Came here to post this. Got some boulevards for $160

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Josef Seibel have been nails for me on comfort for years.  But molded rubber sole means no resoling.  I can get 2--3 years out of a pair.

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On 11/27/2019 at 11:55 PM, NotActuallyALonghorn said:

I think he means there's not a single pair of boots in that photo..

I was gonna say it was so middle management with all these got damn Allen Edmonds in here.

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45 minutes ago, Okie State said:

Could just go with what most of the other guys at my office wear.55135c8f458173b2e22ffbea07ef9f12.jpg

giphy.gif

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47 minutes ago, Okie State said:

Could just go with what most of the other guys at my office wear.55135c8f458173b2e22ffbea07ef9f12.jpg

I wear a similar Docker shoe almost every day.  Easy, comfortable, nondescript, goes with everything.

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2 hours ago, Okie State said:

Could just go with what most of the other guys at my office wear.

slips on and off quickly for when you make that weekly flight to audit the team in Peoria

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