Author Topic: Durable Women's Shoes  (Read 9455 times)

Britan

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Durable Women's Shoes
« on: December 10, 2015, 04:37:00 PM »
Does anyone have good recommendations on good, durable women's shoes? Every single pair of my shoes is losing their soles, so I'm actually going to need to replace them all soon. At some point, I can only handle so much walking in damp rain-soaked shoes.

I hate the cheap-o construction of the ones I've gone through. Now that my feet are back to their pre-foot-surgery size, I'm willing to pay for value as long as they are good quality and really last. I only need:

1. Running or athletic shoes, preferably a "barefoot" style. None of those ridiculous toe shoes, though.
2. A pair of black flats.
3. Nice brown oxfords.

I'd like it if they'd last more than a year without the soles falling off. Any recommendations?

MsPeacock

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2015, 05:16:38 PM »
In terms of black flats I've been fine w/ shoes from Kohls or the thrift store or DSW. I take the shoes to the shoe repair guy and have the super durable outer sole things put on and they last for years. I do find Clarks to be both very durable and very comfortable, although the shoes run about $100+.

My main pair of black flats are Vera Wang from Kohls and I've had them 7 years. They are just now do for a sole replacement of the outer special durable stuff (sorry - no idea what it is called).

In terms of running shoes I've had good luck w/ Asics - both the super expensive styles (I have a pair that is 12 years old and was about $150) and less expensive $70 or so.

Of course, all this depends on what you are doing in your shoes. I don't run and I don't walk much at work. I tend to wear hiking boots rather than tennis shoes for hiking....

Beardog

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2015, 05:17:38 PM »
While they're not waterproof, SAS Freetime shoes have soles that last for years and the shine on the leather is very durable.  SAS stands for San Antonio Shoes.  They're incredibly comfortable, and come in a wide variety of widths. 

MEER

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2015, 01:53:54 AM »
I've been wearing the same pair of Clark's black flats for three years now, and they're still in great shape and still comfortable. I wear them to work almost every day, so they have had lots of use. (I hate shoe shopping.)

MayDay

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2015, 06:23:23 AM »
I have switched to all barefoot style shoes.  I haven't had any of them long enough (I also had to do a wholesale replacement of a bunch that wore out at once).  But here is what I have, and my comments so far:

Exercise shoes:  Merrell vapor glove 2.  Fabric upper is not holding up well after ~3 months.  Will not buy again.  Will likely buy Lems, from reviews I have read.

Boots for hiking/winter general wear, possibly could pass as dressy-ish (although not mine, because I beat them up with the hiking:  Vivobarefoot Gobi Hi Top.  Super $$$ but the only think I could find that was warmish for winter, was all leather so it could be waterproofed, and was barefoot style. 

Black flats:  Currently a cheapo target pair, but I ordered a leather pair of black ballet flats with a mary jane strap across the top from The Drifter Leather.  Have not received yet.  The target ones are not super comfortable, but eh, they work.  I actually kind of regret the order of the more expensive ones, but maybe when they arrive they will be awesome. 

Vivobarefoot has a waterproof "trail shoe" that is $$$, but basically the only waterproof barefoot exercise shoe on the market as far as I have seen.


DeltaBond

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2015, 08:51:14 AM »
I second the Clark's recommendation.  A friend at work showed up with a pair that I love, and she said she inherited them from her mom!  They definitely last.

Good luck on the barefoot athletic style shoes that last - I tend to go with the Sketchers chunky looking shoes, which last about 6 years, but you would probably hate the thicker more sturdy souls.

OmahaSteph

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2015, 09:16:34 AM »
Yep, quality over quantity, especially if you've had foot surgery. I also lean toward Clarks (there are outlets plus a rewards card club). Most of mine last at least five years.

I have a pair of black leather boots I got from a consignment store for $9 and they are the best ones I've ever owned, but the sole patch (heh) under the heel is wearing off/chipping. Is it economical to take them to a shoe repair place? Can you give me a ballpark of prices? (I realize mileage may vary.)

Thanks!

jrhampt

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2015, 10:02:04 AM »
I'm not sure what you mean when you say that the soles are falling off...are they literally coming unstitched/unglued?  I have many pairs of dress shoes/boots with leather soles that I get repaired as needed (when the leather sole starts wearing through or the heel caps need replacing).  They are still going strong after 5-10 years.  As long as the leather uppers are good quality, I'd rather spend the $10-$20 on repairs than buy a new pair of shoes every time.  There's a Hakky in a nearby mall where I drop my shoes off for a half hour, and they do the repairs while I entertain myself at the mall.

As for running shoes, I replace those every 6 months or so...they get stinky eventually, and the midsole gets compressed after they get a few hundred miles on them.

180_FromEvil

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2015, 11:02:33 AM »
As someone who has worked in the healthcare field... Dansko shoes rock.
They are actually really supportive for your feet and started out as a company that made clogs for nurses on their feet for 12+ hours a day.
If you look at their website, they have a ton of variations now. Yea I'm not going to lie they are pricey, but they last forever and are usually all leather.

fdubz

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2015, 12:47:52 PM »
I had bunion surgery on both of my feet when I was 21, and have been VERY picky about shoes ever since. 

For athletic shoes, I have prescription inserts, so I have to buy what works best with those.  It's always been Adidas, but I realize those aren't the best running shoes.  I play volleyball and walk a lot.

Flats always kill me.  I'm excited to see the recommendations on here.

Brown Oxfords: Sperry Topsiders, hands down.  For the past 9 years, I have owned only 3 pairs and I wear them EVERY SINGLE DAY, all day.  (Actually, of the three pairs, I'm still wearing 2.  One pair is for work, the other got demoted for wearing at the lake, farm, gardening, etc.) Even though they are a bit pricey (~$70), when you get as much use from them as I do, I feel it's well worth it.  They have the support I need for my flat feet with the post-surgery screws and plates, and they look professional enough to wear to work.  At least my work. :)  I DO wear socks with them, so that might be why they last so long. 

TrMama

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2015, 01:09:16 PM »
Clark's. I've been wearing the same pair of black flats for over 5 years. I may eventually wear through the sole, but not for at least another couple years.

Kitsune

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2015, 07:40:07 AM »
Clarks and Dansko - seconding both. Pricy (though not unreasonably so), but comfortable and they last a long time. Also they're constructed in such a way that a cobbler can usually replace the sole/fix the heel and get a few years more wear our of them. (Dansko are slightly more comfortable, but much more expensive and not as cute).

For Clarks, check out online retailers, or sales in department stores (I've bought mine for about 80-100$ CAD at the local department store, compared to 160-180$ original pricing).

Britan

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2015, 07:56:17 AM »
Quote
I had bunion surgery on both of my feet when I was 21, and have been VERY picky about shoes ever since.
Oh hey me too! :) I am bionic now, I have pins in both my big toes! Part of my issue is that my heel is very narrow, but my toe box is still pretty wide. So shoes that are ďWĒ are too wide in the heel for me, shoes that are normal or narrow are too small in the toe box, and getting a size up only gets them longer so I get blisters in the back. ):
Quote
I'm not sure what you mean when you say that the soles are falling off...are they literally coming unstitched/unglued?  I have many pairs of dress shoes/boots with leather soles that I get repaired as needed (when the leather sole starts wearing through or the heel caps need replacing).
Yup, literally coming unglued. Sadly, these are cheap-o $20 max shoes, so resoling is probably not possible. Not to mention, thanks to the above issues with my toes in the toe box, some of the uppers are getting stretched and torn around my pinky toe join. Iíd like to replace them with leather upper+sole shoes so that I can do that when they wear out instead.
Quote
What are you looking to do in the minimalist shoes?
Not running, really. I hate running. Lifting, maybe HIIT once a week.

Thank you all for the recommendations! Iíll have to look at some of the styles of Clark's and Dansko and others. I found a really neat pair of oxfords from Tomís (all leather) that Iím considering. I like the charity behind Tomís but always hated their signature style. And maybe when I drop my latest ďoutboxĒ of things I donít want at Goodwill, Iíll take a look at their shoes. Itís always hit or miss, though, if they have anything that fits me.

Dicey

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2015, 11:32:41 AM »
I have skinny, bony feet, so a lot of the "comfy" shoes fall off my feet. I have had good luck with Mephisto. Expensive as hell, but very durable and comfortable. Once you know what styles and sizes work for your feet, they can occasionally be found very gently used on line. I even found a pair once at Nordstrom's Last Chance Store in Phoenix.

Student loan stomper

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2015, 12:30:12 PM »
I am interested in this topic,  I am tall and have very large feet 11-12 (US sizes)  and I have always felt discouraged by shoes... It takes me a long time to find something that at least sort of fits and they never last as long as people say...  Like I will wear a par of running shoes for a year but they often look or feel like they should be replaced after 3 months.  As for shoes from work I usually end up with Payless or DSW sales but they are never ideal...  I tried some naturizers a while back after a friend said they lasted forever and they were falling apart after 3 months.   I wonder if it has to do with being a heavier person (180lbs).  Or maybe I just walk way more, or maybe it is because I have flat feet...  I also run into the issue that a lot of places don't carry more expensive brands in larger sizes.  They will order them, but I have spent days trying on 80+ pairs of shoes to go home empty handed so I am weary to pay for shoes to be ordered just for them not to fit...   Thoughts.

mozar

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2015, 12:39:18 PM »
I had Born shoes for awhile. Those are sturdy shoes. Although my latest pair don't fit well.

yyc-phil

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2015, 02:20:03 PM »
I had Born shoes for awhile. Those are sturdy shoes. Although my latest pair don't fit well.

Following because DW is looking for a good pair of everyday shoes. I recommended her to get a pair of Blundstones, tough enough for light hiking and outdoors activities and traveling on the rough, but cool and stylish enough to wear in the city. I wear mine practically everywhere since I got them.

I also have a pair of Born Chelsea boots, bought in 2006. I wore them almost non-stop for work and play until 3 years ago, including in all my overseas travels. They still look great with jeans or a suit. I think these boots, quality wise, will outlast my blundstones.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2015, 06:30:43 AM »
I have a pair of Frye's engineer boots that were very expensive but I'm fairly certain will last forever.  They are scuffed on the toes, because I'm clumsy, but otherwise look and feel brand new after a year+.  The soles are well-stitched, which is harder and harder to find these days. 

If you're not the type of person that has to have the latest fashion I think it makes sense to shell out for something so well constructed, even though it is a lot of money upfront.  I can't personally speak to the quality of their flats but I imagine it is better than you would find most anywhere else.

I have a pair of Danskos that has lasted a decade with fairly heavy use (walking the dog & working at the barn), but also, they are hideous. Clarks don't hold up quite as well in my experience -- the leather isn't as good quality and flakes off after a few years.  The soles have stayed in decent condition, though.

norabird

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2015, 01:55:50 PM »
I had a pair of clarks boots fall apart on me last year--after four months!! It took a lot of effort on my part to get a (different style) replacement--had to request a ticket to send back the pair to the factory for evaluation. That one is proving more sturdy, but I think thei quality standards must ahve gone down. I bought the pair wanting it to last for several years.

pmk

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2015, 08:39:06 PM »
For flats check out Soft Star Shoes. Minimalist, vibram sole, $$$ unfortunately, but seriously comfortable. My feet seem to hurt in anything except minimal shoes or blunstone boots and I love my soft star flats. I only wear them about once a week, but no noticeable wear so far in 6 months

maco

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2015, 08:34:20 AM »
I had Born shoes for awhile. Those are sturdy shoes. Although my latest pair don't fit well.
The leather around the stitching holes gave out within 2 days when I bought Born shoes :(  But I didn't have another pair of shoes to wear if I sent them back, so I just walked around with the upper not reaching the sole over my instep for a year.

At the recommendation of r/GoodYearWelt I got Wolverine 1000 Mile boots recently.

tthree

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2015, 07:27:22 PM »
Love my Vivobarefoot black flats.

AMandM

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2015, 09:07:39 PM »
I started buying good shoes when we were living in Germany, so mine are German: Josef Seibel, Rieker, and Mephisto.  I've had good luck buying them on Ebay cheap--$400 Mephisto black suede flats for $45!  I tried some Danskos but their arch support doesn't match my foot shape.

Distshore

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2015, 04:45:26 AM »
I started buying good shoes when we were living in Germany, so mine are German: Josef Seibel, Rieker, and Mephisto.  I've had good luck buying them on Ebay cheap--$400 Mephisto black suede flats for $45!  I tried some Danskos but their arch support doesn't match my foot shape.
+ 1 German shoes.  I've tried a lot of other different brands from Clarks and Naturalizer; Aerosoles, Ara, but have found only Merrells, La Canadienne, Patagonia and the German brands that hold up to the wear I put on them, with an acceptable level of comfort.

I have also developed the habit of, as soon as I buy decent shoes and determine that they're comfortable, taking them to the cobbler and getting a heel cap and sometimes a patch under the ball of the foot put onto the sole.  Then when those wear through, I replace them.  It costs about $18 for heel and toe and turns a decent pair of shoes into a long term prospect (10+ years if you take care of the leather).

jrhampt

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Re: Durable Women's Shoes
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2015, 07:39:06 AM »
I started buying good shoes when we were living in Germany, so mine are German: Josef Seibel, Rieker, and Mephisto.  I've had good luck buying them on Ebay cheap--$400 Mephisto black suede flats for $45!  I tried some Danskos but their arch support doesn't match my foot shape.
+ 1 German shoes.  I've tried a lot of other different brands from Clarks and Naturalizer; Aerosoles, Ara, but have found only Merrells, La Canadienne, Patagonia and the German brands that hold up to the wear I put on them, with an acceptable level of comfort.

I have also developed the habit of, as soon as I buy decent shoes and determine that they're comfortable, taking them to the cobbler and getting a heel cap and sometimes a patch under the ball of the foot put onto the sole.  Then when those wear through, I replace them.  It costs about $18 for heel and toe and turns a decent pair of shoes into a long term prospect (10+ years if you take care of the leather).

Yes, Merrells are good.  I have a waterproof pair of boots by Merrell that is fantastically comfortable and a great travel shoe when you know you're going to be doing tons of walking.  They are NYC-proof. 

And I do exactly the same thing with the cobbler.