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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: dragoncar on February 25, 2014, 04:42:33 PM

Title: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: dragoncar on February 25, 2014, 04:42:33 PM
My current pair of shoes is a pair of Dockers Society, which I purchased 14 months ago for $34 shipped. 

They look like this:
(http://i.imgur.com/ftBHmem.jpg)

I walk 4 miles per day, and have a "funny" walk, so my heels tend to wear very quickly.  Fancy dress shoes with reheelable soles typically last 6 months or less (there's only about 1/4 inch of rubber protecting the wooden/leather heel).  Cheap shoes with foam-type heels last a year.  These Dockers heels held up really really well - almost no wear after 14 months.  However, the top leather is pretty low quality and has started to crack.

I'm looking for something similar that will provide the lowest annual cost.  For example, expensive shoes won't work because the annual re-heeling cost ($40-80) is high in these parts.  Another pair of Dockers might work, except the best deal I can find right now is around $44.  Any recommendations on something that combines the amazing heel of these Dockers with higher quality uppers?

Anyone seeking more info might also check here:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/shoes-cheap-expensive-or-in-between/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/shoes-omg-shoes/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/running-shoes/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/ladies-where-do-you-buy-your-shoes/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/reader-recommendations/women's-dress-shoes/
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: the fixer on February 25, 2014, 04:47:48 PM
Is your 4-mile walk including a walk to work and back? Could you walk to and from work in a different pair of shoes, then switch to dress shoes when you arrive at the office? This is something lots of women do because heels are so stupidly uncomfortable. In my experience cheap men's dress shoes aren't much better, so it seems best to me to buy good shoes and wear them as little as possible, much like controlling expenses on a car.
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: dragoncar on February 25, 2014, 04:54:58 PM
Is your 4-mile walk including a walk to work and back? Could you walk to and from work in a different pair of shoes, then switch to dress shoes when you arrive at the office? This is something lots of women do because heels are so stupidly uncomfortable. In my experience cheap men's dress shoes aren't much better, so it seems best to me to buy good shoes and wear them as little as possible, much like controlling expenses on a car.

Yes, but they would still need to look mildly respectable (no sneakers).  But I'm not sure a different pair would be more cost effective - what did you have in mind?

edit:  I think a lot of wear comes from me sitting at my desk, absentmindedly kicking things, etc.  So I'd rather just have a cheap "disposable" pair that I replace every so often.  Maybe 14 months ($30-40/year) is just the best I can do.
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: Shor on February 25, 2014, 05:01:41 PM
I was thinking something like all black sneakers. From the un-mustachian perspective (50 mph), it'll look like your work dress shoes. Even if someone calls you out on it, they would probably understand why you aren't styling $200 dress shoes for shuffling to work.

We know you already know this (you're a smart fellow). So what we want to know is why you don't want others to know you aren't wearing work shoes for work to walk to work.
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: dragoncar on February 25, 2014, 05:15:21 PM
I was thinking something like all black sneakers. From the un-mustachian perspective (50 mph), it'll look like your work dress shoes. Even if someone calls you out on it, they would probably understand why you aren't styling $200 dress shoes for shuffling to work.

We know you already know this (you're a smart fellow). So what we want to know is why you don't want others to know you aren't wearing work shoes for work to walk to work.

Do you know of black sneakers much cheaper than $34?  Or will they last far longer?  I guess I'm not seeing the advantage here over just wearing the shoes I already have (that are cracking) or similarly priced replacements.

Of course I care what my boss thinks -- if I don't appear presentable enough for clients then that's not good for my continued employment.  I can't guarantee I will make it into my office before seeing coworkers or clients. 

And the bar is actually pretty low around here.  I'm not aware of any particularly snobby coworkers or clients but it's not worth the risk.

edit: btw the cheapest shoes I know of are the $15 Costco Court Classics, which I use for painting and such:

(http://i.imgur.com/UlTnyrc.jpg?1)
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: the fixer on February 25, 2014, 05:23:30 PM
When you look at it as a yearly cost, I doubt you could get better than $40/year. I certainly can't beat that for any shoe I put a lot of miles on except my huaraches, but you definitely can't get away with that in a work setting!
(http://www.invisibleshoe.com/images/Bill%27s%20Green%20and%20Purple-SM.jpg)
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: dragoncar on February 25, 2014, 05:27:17 PM
When you look at it as a yearly cost, I doubt you could get better than $40/year. I certainly can't beat that for any shoe I put a lot of miles on except my huaraches, but you definitely can't get away with that in a work setting!
(http://www.invisibleshoe.com/images/Bill%27s%20Green%20and%20Purple-SM.jpg)

Reminds me of that other thread (or was it on ERE?)

Do we really need shoes? 
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: Russ on February 25, 2014, 05:42:32 PM
metal or nylon heel taps can increase the life of reheelable shoes and installing them is easy enough to do yourself, just drive in a few nails and you're done. I think they're like $5 a pair, just pull off and replace when they wear out. downsides: the nylon ones are a little thick and might change your heel height enough for you to notice. the metal ones are very clicky and can scratch floors.

Might tip the balance back in favor of nicer / more $$$ shoes
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: LanceBurkhart on February 25, 2014, 05:46:16 PM
These. These have lasted me a year and are still going strong, and I BIKE 6 miles a day in them. ZERO heal wear because the rubber is some special formulation. These'll last years if you take care of them. They look great in person too, better than they do in the pic.

http://us.shop.ecco.com/ECCO-Edinburgh-Buckle-Slip-On/632554,default,pd.html?dwvar_632554_color=01014#cgid=men-dress

Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: Daley on February 25, 2014, 05:58:32 PM
I walk 4 miles per day, and have a "funny" walk, so my heels tend to wear very quickly.

This sounds like a very familiar story, and it might be worth it to you to give a post about my own discovery of having something called Morton's Toe. http://www.techmeshugana.com/2012/12/how-to-change-your-life-for-75-cents/

It's dirt easy to diagnose, basically the second metatarsal is longer than your first with the condition (the one behind your big toe). You can just bend your toes down to see. Morton's Toe also has a unique callous pattern, with a spot to the side of the foot by the fifth toe, and a callous spot on the foot right behind the second toe. The condition is trivially easy to compensate for once you know about it with a simple shim under the ball of the foot. If any of this sounds familiar, give the post a read... you might discover that with a couple small felt pads, you'll suddenly get far more life out of your shoes like I have and possibly fewer back issues as you age as well.

Even if it isn't that, if you can get away with metal heel plates, that might help extend heel life of your shoes as well, but people will hear you coming and possibly make tapdancing jokes. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0033N7UHC/
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: dragoncar on February 25, 2014, 06:04:18 PM
I walk 4 miles per day, and have a "funny" walk, so my heels tend to wear very quickly.

This sounds like a very familiar story, and it might be worth it to you to give a post about my own discovery of having something called Morton's Toe. http://www.techmeshugana.com/2012/12/how-to-change-your-life-for-75-cents/

It's dirt easy to diagnose, basically the second metatarsal is longer than your first with the condition (the one behind your big toe). You can just bend your toes down to see. Morton's Toe also has a unique callous pattern, with a spot to the side of the foot by the fifth toe, and a callous spot on the foot right behind the second toe. The condition is trivially easy to compensate for once you know about it with a simple shim under the ball of the foot. If any of this sounds familiar, give the post a read... you might discover that with a couple small felt pads, you'll suddenly get far more life out of your shoes like I have and possibly fewer back issues as you age as well.

Even if it isn't that, if you can get away with metal heel plates, that might help extend heel life of your shoes as well, but people will hear you coming and possibly make tapdancing jokes. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0033N7UHC/

Cool... I actually knew I had this but didn't know there was a fix. 

Thanks for other good advice like taps and the Eccos which has an exciting "comfort shank technology"
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: mlipps on February 25, 2014, 07:14:25 PM
The cheapest website I've found for buying men's dress shoes is 6pm.com. My husband goes through a $40 pair about 3x a year. He has Morton's foot too as it turns out...we'll have to make a Home Depot run soon & see if that helps. I've been debating this same question of investing in nicer shoes, mostly because I am SO TIRED of shopping for men's shoes, it's so boring (sorry guys).
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: Sebastian on February 26, 2014, 02:38:35 PM
Got my dress shoes let's see... about 6 years ago? 120 bucks. They are definitely falling apart, but I honestly don't care how I look.. especically at work haha.

It's an added bonus as well because it just weeds out all the dbags out there because if they honestly judge me from looking poor then why would I wanna talk to them in the first place?
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: frugaldrummer on February 26, 2014, 03:04:58 PM
My BF has expensive taste in shoes, and is kind of (definitely) a clotheshorse.  He has amassed the most amazing collection of nice shoes (I call him Imelda ;) ).  He gets them at thrift stores. 

He finds some new in the thrift stores; others look new, or will look new once he's done treating the leather etc.

He'll look up the shoes online while he's right there in the thrift store - finds brands that sell for $200-300 dollars for ten bucks.
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: dragoncar on February 26, 2014, 03:23:21 PM
My BF has expensive taste in shoes, and is kind of (definitely) a clotheshorse.  He has amassed the most amazing collection of nice shoes (I call him Imelda ;) ).  He gets them at thrift stores. 

He finds some new in the thrift stores; others look new, or will look new once he's done treating the leather etc.

He'll look up the shoes online while he's right there in the thrift store - finds brands that sell for $200-300 dollars for ten bucks.

Hmm, I didn't consider thrift stores.  I am dumb! 
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: Sebastian on February 27, 2014, 08:11:04 AM
My BF has expensive taste in shoes, and is kind of (definitely) a clotheshorse.  He has amassed the most amazing collection of nice shoes (I call him Imelda ;) ).  He gets them at thrift stores. 

He finds some new in the thrift stores; others look new, or will look new once he's done treating the leather etc.

He'll look up the shoes online while he's right there in the thrift store - finds brands that sell for $200-300 dollars for ten bucks.

Wow! I might try this when I go there next time.
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: JanMN on February 27, 2014, 01:12:53 PM
Hi Dragoncar -  I would probably wear sneaks for the majority of the walk, change in the last 1/4 mile to my office shoes and hoof the rest of the way in with those, no one the wiser. 
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 27, 2014, 02:31:12 PM
Not cheaper, but because I'm on my feet all day AT work, I need something more comfortable than what you posted. I get all-black walking shoes (I call them "grandpa shoes"). They look reasonably dressy but they do cost about $50-$60 if you get a brand like New Balance.

I would say $40/year is already pretty damn cheap.
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: dragoncar on February 27, 2014, 02:40:49 PM
The cheapest website I've found for buying men's dress shoes is 6pm.com. My husband goes through a $40 pair about 3x a year. He has Morton's foot too as it turns out...we'll have to make a Home Depot run soon & see if that helps. I've been debating this same question of investing in nicer shoes, mostly because I am SO TIRED of shopping for men's shoes, it's so boring (sorry guys).

I did find these for only $25.. but I've seen them before at Walmart and I'm guessing the quality is terrible and price per year may not be worth it.

(http://i.imgur.com/HBxZGvy.jpg)

http://www.6pm.com/deer-stags-optic-black

I think I'm over-optimizing at this point.  I'll check out some thrift shops and if not, continue with what I have.

edit: also, "nice" dress shoes tend to be too slippery in the rain for me.

edit2: wow, it looks like 6pm is owned by Zappos, which is owned by Amazon.  Crazy how many layers of obscurity they make to maximize profit (if you buy the shoes on amazon it's more expensive)
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: mlipps on February 27, 2014, 03:36:00 PM
The cheapest website I've found for buying men's dress shoes is 6pm.com. My husband goes through a $40 pair about 3x a year. He has Morton's foot too as it turns out...we'll have to make a Home Depot run soon & see if that helps. I've been debating this same question of investing in nicer shoes, mostly because I am SO TIRED of shopping for men's shoes, it's so boring (sorry guys).

I did find these for only $25.. but I've seen them before at Walmart and I'm guessing the quality is terrible and price per year may not be worth it.

(http://i.imgur.com/HBxZGvy.jpg)

http://www.6pm.com/deer-stags-optic-black

I think I'm over-optimizing at this point.  I'll check out some thrift shops and if not, continue with what I have.

edit: also, "nice" dress shoes tend to be too slippery in the rain for me.

edit2: wow, it looks like 6pm is owned by Zappos, which is owned by Amazon.  Crazy how many layers of obscurity they make to maximize profit (if you buy the shoes on amazon it's more expensive)

Haha very true. Price discrimination at its finest. The last pair we bought were $55 on 6pm and $85 on Amazon. Not sure you get the awesome Zappos customer service with it though, and definitely not the free returns.
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: Kriegsspiel on February 27, 2014, 07:26:55 PM
Shoes... omigod, shoes!

I recommend Clark's desert boots. They last a long time (and can be resoled, I believe), and they look classy.
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: chasesfish on February 27, 2014, 07:57:57 PM
The cheapest website I've found for buying men's dress shoes is 6pm.com. My husband goes through a $40 pair about 3x a year. He has Morton's foot too as it turns out...we'll have to make a Home Depot run soon & see if that helps. I've been debating this same question of investing in nicer shoes, mostly because I am SO TIRED of shopping for men's shoes, it's so boring (sorry guys).

Try Allen Edmonds, try on the full price ones at a store to get your size, then call up the outlet store (Destin FL or Burlington, NC, ask them what they have on clearance,

I usually get $329 dress shoes for around $150, then they last forever.  Thicker soles, great construction, wear them every day.  Then find a cobbler
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: cats on February 27, 2014, 08:14:22 PM
Definitely check the thrift stores.  My partner gets practically new dress shoes there pretty regularly (at least one pair per year).  I think your odds are probably better if you are a more "average" size.  I'm a women's 11 and there is almost nothing in my size, and whatever there is is typically VERY worn.  I've gotten two decent pairs of thrift store shoes EVER (and really, they are both a little snug.  Fine for short periods, would not walk any distance in them).  He's a men's 11 and it seems like we find something that at least fits every time we go into the local Goodwill.
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: dragoncar on February 27, 2014, 09:20:24 PM
The cheapest website I've found for buying men's dress shoes is 6pm.com. My husband goes through a $40 pair about 3x a year. He has Morton's foot too as it turns out...we'll have to make a Home Depot run soon & see if that helps. I've been debating this same question of investing in nicer shoes, mostly because I am SO TIRED of shopping for men's shoes, it's so boring (sorry guys).

Try Allen Edmonds, try on the full price ones at a store to get your size, then call up the outlet store (Destin FL or Burlington, NC, ask them what they have on clearance,

I usually get $329 dress shoes for around $150, then they last forever.  Thicker soles, great construction, wear them every day.  Then find a cobbler

I have 4 pairs of Allen Edmonds and they definitely do not stand up to daily 4 mile walks.  They are high quality shoes, but I'd rather burn through a set of $40 shoes every year and save the AEs for special events and business meetings.  They were purchased in my less mustachian days.  It's also very expensive to reheel and resole around here. 
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: mjb on February 27, 2014, 09:21:50 PM
If you're willing to spend some $$ (and if they're "dressy" enough), these are the greatest shoes I've ever owned:

http://www.redbackboots.com/ecommerce/footwear.cfm

I've had my "Easy Escape" Boots for almost three years and they might as well be brand new. I'm on my feet all day for work, and they're just the best.
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: dragoncar on February 27, 2014, 09:31:25 PM
If you're willing to spend some $$ (and if they're "dressy" enough), these are the greatest shoes I've ever owned:

http://www.redbackboots.com/ecommerce/footwear.cfm

I've had my "Easy Escape" Boots for almost three years and they might as well be brand new. I'm on my feet all day for work, and they're just the best.

Those look great.  They won't work for my current wardrobe but I'll remember them if I ever go for work boots.  Are they good for hiking?
Title: Re: Lets Get Some Shoes! (Seeking cheapest Men's work shoes)
Post by: rocklebock on February 27, 2014, 09:48:36 PM

This sounds like a very familiar story, and it might be worth it to you to give a post about my own discovery of having something called Morton's Toe. http://www.techmeshugana.com/2012/12/how-to-change-your-life-for-75-cents/

Whoa. I've always known I had Morton's, but had no idea it affected gait. I also knew I was a hardcore heel striker but had no idea why. I'm trying this. Thanks!