Author Topic: Help me find work shoes that last longer  (Read 4789 times)


  • Stubble
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Help me find work shoes that last longer
« on: May 28, 2016, 01:12:29 PM »
I'm continually puzzled by people who say they haven't purchased clothes in years. How do they do this? In particular, i'm trying to figure out how to reduce my shoe expenditures. I own 5-6  pairs at any one time, and end up replacing about three pairs each year. Usually this is because the soles fall off, they have a big hole, or I have had them reheeled 2-3 times. I buy decent-quality shoes, usually dress shoes made for nurses, so they're super comfy yet appropriate for an office environment, that cost about $60 each. I don't throw out my shoes until they are literally falling apart or are so worn out that my feet hurt, and I walk a decent amount (about 5 miles a day).

Any advice to bring down my shoe costs while still looking work-appropriate?


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Help me find work shoes that last longer
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2016, 01:15:41 PM »
Buy shoes that can be re-soled when you wear through them.  I wear Allen Edmonds - old school construction, made in America and tough as hell.


  • Bristles
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Re: Help me find work shoes that last longer
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2016, 01:33:34 PM »
I've found that the price point for shoes that last more than a year is more than that. I have a pair of Josef Siebel dress shoes for work that have lasted 5 years - I walk a lot at work. They do need a little work at this point, but if I get them fixed I'm sure I'll get a couple more years out of them. That said, I do need to replace at least 1 pair of shoes a year. I have 6 pairs in rotation.

Now what mystifies me are the people who don't have to buy clothes. I hang dry everything and I definitely have to replace at least 2-3 work shirts and 1-2 casual shirts a year. I have 5 of each in rotation in "summer" weight and 5 of each in "winter" weight. I replace them when they develop holes or have obvious stains that cannot be removed.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Help me find work shoes that last longer
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2016, 01:46:54 PM »
If sheer durability, hang the cost, is the goal then the luxury-priced traditional brands like Alden, Allen-Edmonds, etc. will do.  You will pay through the nose -- and that may or may not be something you enjoy doing for its own sake.

If value for money (or cost-per-use) is of any interest I'd say let the armed services do the basic research for you.  Not the bleeding edge of fashion but guaranteed to meet specifications, clearly labelled as to origin and durable as hell.

Look at:


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Help me find work shoes that last longer
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2016, 10:23:40 PM »
I imagine that you must be a guy.  Because women already know that you do NOT walk distances n office / work shoes.  The shoes just seem to "melt away"...  not to mention many are not comfy for walking.

Instead you buy a $100 pair of walking / hiking / warehouse supervisor type shoes that are meant to stand up to excess walking, and then you switch out at work.  Ideally the pair you buy are black leather, so not too noticeable.  These might be resoleable, but not mandatory. They should last you 1-2 years minimum, for one pair.       

In US you may be able to find good shoes for less money, or thrift it, but I am talking about hikers or "red wing" quality footwear.


  • Bristles
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Re: Help me find work shoes that last longer
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2016, 10:48:12 PM »
I think the op walks five miles while at work every day. But yes, if some of those miles are to and from work, changing shoes would be an easy fix.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Help me find work shoes that last longer
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2016, 07:12:15 AM »
I used to buy another $80 pair of shoes (with synthetic soles) from a department store (Julius Marlows, etc), every six months or so as the sole wore out.

A couple of years ago I spent a couple of hundred on some fancypants Italian leather shoes with a leather sole. With these, I can get the heels/sole repaired as they wear out (and I just did so again). Even if I'm no better off financially once repairs are taken into account, it just seems a bit more Mustachian to do so rather than throw out shoes all the time.

Look at how some of the more upmarket shoes are made and some of them either might be more durable or might be able to be repaired rather than replaced.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 07:17:04 AM by alsoknownasDean »


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Help me find work shoes that last longer
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2016, 08:09:30 AM »
DANSKO.  I cannot recommend them highly enough.  I actually had them recommended to me by a nurse, and any time I'm visiting a hospital I always spot a bunch of people (male and female) wearing them!

 $120 but they're going on three years now wearing almost every day.  They're a little scuffed, but there's definitely nothing wrong with the soles.  It took me about 1 week to get used to them; I was VERY skeptical of the clog style, because I have skinny heels and nearly every pair of shoes I've owned falls off the back of my foot, but it really works!  And they're hands down the comfiest shoes I've ever worn.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Help me find work shoes that last longer
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2016, 08:17:18 AM »
I've had a pair of Danskos for eight years now, and they are my go-to winter shoe. They're a little scuffed at this point but overall still in great shape. I'm also a big fan of Merrells. I have a pair of barefoot flats I wear most days in the summer, they're four years old, and a pair of leather boots that are three - but they've aged sooner than I'd like. I don't walk much at work but I do commute by transit and end up walking quite a bit as part of my commute. These are all comfy to walk good distances in.

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  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Help me find work shoes that last longer
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2016, 08:20:09 PM »
I don't own a car so I splurge on shoes since I rely on my feet to get me everywhere.  And I want to be active into old age so I figure investing in my comfortable and healthy footwear is non-negotiable.  The last couple of years, I've gone to Comfort One Shoes and laid out $200-300 for work shoes.  They're not particularly fashionable but they work well enough with dress pants or skirts and of course, they're super comfortable.  I expect the shoes to last a minimum of 5 years and look to be well-made.  Comfort One also has good sales, particularly if they're closing and/or moving a store.  I just paid $35 for a pair of summer slip-ons that were originally $185.  These shoes replace a pair Bjorn slip-ons that I paid about $100 for about 10 years ago.

Nordstrom Rack also has some good sales for some decent shoes.  I bought a pair of Keen suede slip-ons for non-summer wear and at $80, they are the most comfortable pair of shoes ever. 


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Help me find work shoes that last longer
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2016, 10:11:24 AM »
You never really told us exactly what you do, what kind of shoes are appropriate for your work, the exact type of shoes you are currently wearing for work, whether you are male or female, etc etc - so this advice might be totally off base. You said you buy "nurses dress shoes", and when I search that in google I basically get clogs. 

If you are a nurse and are always on your feet, then going through a few pairs of $50 shoes a year may simply be a cost of doing business. You don't want to destroy your feet / back so $150 a year to keep you comfortable and presentable is probably not a bad expenditure.

Or perhaps they make more expensive shoes that are appropriate for your line of work and will hold up better. Personally, I work in an office and wear Allen Edmonds dress shoes. They are expensive, but hold up well and look great (which is important for my job). The trick I found for them is to buy 4-5 pairs and then rotate them. This way I only wear a single pair once a week or so. I also use shoe trees and clean and polish them regularly.

So ultimately my advice would be to consider a higher quality shoe, and then consider buying several pairs and rotating them. The up front cost can be considerable, but you will likely get much more life out of the shoes this way than if you simply buy cheap shoes and then wear the same pair day in and day out. 


  • Bristles
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Re: Help me find work shoes that last longer
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2016, 03:16:02 PM »
I recommend SAS shoes.  They hold a shine forever and need very little polishing and last for years and years.  You can get them in many colors and widths.  If you have a very wide foot, which I do, the shoes minimize the size of your feet and you can wear them with narrow leg pants.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Help me find work shoes that last longer
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2016, 08:51:28 PM »
Another vote for Danskos. I'm a veterinarian in a very busy corporate (ie. understaffed) clinic, so I'm typically on my feet for 10 hrs per day.

After years of wearing mostly Merrells, I finally decided to try Danskos.... but I hate the clog style (I always seem to roll my ankles in shoes like that), so I tried these instead:

I've only had them two months right now, but I LOVE them and they show absolutely no signs of wear.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Help me find work shoes that last longer
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2016, 09:46:00 AM »
I also love my Danskos. They're not super-stylish, but they do come in hundreds of colors. They're pricey but mine are going on 6 years of long days and abuse. Plus, you can usually find a great deal on ebay.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 04:48:39 PM by Choices »


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Help me find work shoes that last longer
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2016, 01:02:55 PM »
My work shoes are Birkenstock Corvalis's.  I think they cost ~$100.  I've had them for ~3 years, and after I polish them, they're good as new.

That said, I don't walk 5 miles a day in them.  I wear sneakers when I bike in.  I've been very happy with them, though.