Author Topic: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?  (Read 5607 times)

slb59

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Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« on: October 27, 2016, 06:06:54 AM »
Hi,

I have the hardest time getting my husband dress shoes. He used to get them from Target, but they looked cheap and barely eeked out two years of life. They certainly wouldn't have lasted that long if he was picky about them looking nice. I decided to pay more and got shoes from a department store. They started peeling just as fast as the Target shoes. When it was time to replace them, I went to Zappos and bought Calvin Klein leather shoes with really good reviews. These have also peeled a little and just don't look great, but at least we're on year 3 before he started asking about replacing them (though they scuffed almost immediately).

Are there nice men's dress shoes that hold up well? He wears his dress shoes pretty much every day. He teaches a couple of college classes, is a singer-for-hire, and will start interviewing for full-time jobs next year - they need to look nice but not Wall Street banker nice.

I'm willing to pay a little more for them, but we have a six-figure student loan debt at 5.3-6.9% interest so "a little more" to me is $50-75 and I'm willing to wait for a good sale. These will be his big Christmas gift.

Also - could this just be a maintenance issue? He never polishes them and our shoes all tend to pile up in the mud room. I'm wondering if changing that would get more life out of these, but my shoes all tend to last much longer than his without any extra effort.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2016, 06:18:47 AM »
I'm a big fan of Clarks. You might be able to get a pair in that range on sale. Sign up for their emails and they send coupons as well.

Taking care of them also makes a huge difference. Buying a pair of $50 shoes every year is going to end up being more expensive than buying a ~$100 pair of shoes that lasts longer than 2 years. Depending on the shoes, you may also be able to re-sole.

FLBiker

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2016, 06:50:56 AM »
These might not count as dress shoes in every workplace, but I wear Birkenstock Corvallis.  They cost more than what you're looking at (I think they were ~$110) but I've had them for 2-3 years already and they're still going strong.  I have plantar fasciitis, so I don't scrimp on shoes.  Maintenance-wise, all I've done is polish them.  They can be repaired / re-soled, though.

Daley

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2016, 07:06:24 AM »
Bates Lites Oxfords.

Good, solid leather upper, replaceable soles. If they're durable enough for the US Military and Law Enforcement, they should be good enough for civvy use. Just learn to take care of good leather shoes - don't do that, and no money in the world will make leather last longer. The debt is desperately important, but be willing to spend more, it'll be far cheaper over your lifetime. Think Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice.

Mine are currently on year eleven and counting.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 07:20:07 AM by I.P. Daley »

nereo

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2016, 07:15:38 AM »
I'm also a fan of Clark's, and the one time my sole started delaminating after ~6 months they replaced it with a brand new pair. My last two pairs have both been Clark's and they're both going strong.  Before Clark's I had Rockports - they were more comfortable than most dress shoes.

Cromacster

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2016, 07:27:26 AM »
I have a pair of Bostonian's that I've had since 2007.  I wore them daily for about 2 years and now I keep them if I need a fancy looking shoe.  They are pretty tired looking, but the soles have held up and the leather has kept good condition with minimal care.

After a quick google search it appears Bostonian shoes are a part of clarks.

Frugalman19

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2016, 07:33:16 AM »
Ecco and Cole Haan, best dress shoes for the money. I've always bought mine at outlets so roughly $100-$150 a pair. I easily have 3-4 years in these shoes and they still look new. They are amazing! I have to wear dress shoes everyday, and have tried many shoes, these are by far the 2 best I've tried, it pays to spend a little more.

boarder42

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2016, 07:38:25 AM »
man i just buy cheap shoes and they last 3-4 years, you guys running in your dress shoes or what?

slb59

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2016, 07:41:13 AM »
Thank you all! This was exactly what I needed.

Quote
Think Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice.

Love Sam Vimes! This reasoning was exactly how I was able to talk him out of the Target shoes :) And it's a good reminder - I probably still have my price point too low, will bump it up a notch. Especially since you all recommended $100-$125 shoes, and I trust you to not be the types to throw money down the drain for a brand name or other useless feature.

slb59

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2016, 07:49:25 AM »
Quote
Just learn to take care of good leather shoes

Just read that link, so much good information in an easy format! All I knew about doing before this was using shoe polish... I'll try out those tips and just maybe his current shoes won't need replacing yet.

Jack

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2016, 08:16:25 AM »
They're not quite dress shoes, but I got some Dr. Scholl's work shoes almost a decade ago, and (surprisingly) they're still in good condition despite the fact that I've done zero maintenance to them. They're the kind restaurant workers use (because I worked in a restaurant at the time) with the slip-resistant soles, and have held up to having water splashed on them regularly and being stood up in for eight hours at a time, etc. Now, I haven't worn them full-time for the entire 10 years, but I have worn them more than the equivalent of the two years full-time that your husband has been getting out of his shoes.

I don't see the exact ones on Wal-Mart's website, but these are almost the same.

I don't know about interviews, but I would consider these "close enough" to dress shoes to teach college in. (But then again, if I taught college it would be computer science... so who would care what shoes I wore? YMMV.)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 08:18:55 AM by Jack »

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2016, 08:30:21 AM »
I've been wearing dress shoes daily (attorney here) for 2+ years now. The best pair I had were from Johnston and Murphy ($150ish), and those lasted about two summer jobs and one full working year. I bought a brown and black pair of dress shoes for about $75-$100 each this spring. Despite reading a lot of positive reviews, they are falling apart.

To go on a somewhat related tangent here, dress clothes are something I don't budge on. I have four tailored suits from Brooks Brothers that probably cost $2,100. They look good as new and are worth every penny. I also buy Brooks Brothers shirts ($29) and ties ($15-30) at their semi-annual sales every two years, and all of these shirts and ties have lasted. In fact, I've had some of these shirts for four years and they still look good as new. The ties look great and I don't see buying any new ones for the rest of my career.

Point being: I paid a decent chunk for most of my work wardrobe, and it is holding up well beyond my expectations. The one thing I've cheaped out on is shoes, and no matter what I buy this winter, I'll be going on pair #4 and 5 in just three years.

So this Christmas I'm going to finally take the plunge and buy Allen Edmonds. I'm going to buy two pairs, which should cost around $450-500. These will last a minimum of five years and, based on my research, could last 20-30 years if you take care of them. Seems well worth the investment.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2016, 08:31:33 AM »
man i just buy cheap shoes and they last 3-4 years, you guys running in your dress shoes or what?
I work in a downtown area and walk to the courthouse, another firm, or government office seemingly every day. I definitely put more strain on my dress shoes than a traditional person with an office job, and my dress shoes show it.


darknight

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2016, 08:44:32 AM »
Hi,

....He used to get them from Target, but they looked cheap and barely eeked out two years of life. They certainly wouldn't have lasted that long if he was picky about them looking nice. I decided to pay more and got shoes from a department store. They started peeling just as fast as the Target shoes. When it was time to replace them, I went to Zappos and bought Calvin Klein leather shoes with really good reviews. These have also peeled a little and just don't look great, but at least we're on year 3 before he started asking about replacing them (though they scuffed almost immediately).

Are there nice men's dress shoes that hold up well? He wears his dress shoes pretty much every day. He teaches a couple of college classes, is a singer-for-hire, and will start interviewing for full-time jobs next year - they need to look nice but not Wall Street banker nice.

I'm willing to pay a little more for them, but we have a six-figure student loan debt at 5.3-6.9% interest so "a little more" to me is $50-75 and I'm willing to wait for a good sale. These will be his big Christmas gift.

Also - could this just be a maintenance issue? He never polishes them and our shoes all tend to pile up in the mud room. I'm wondering if changing that would get more life out of these, but my shoes all tend to last much longer than his without any extra effort.

I was just thinking about this. When I started in college my mom bought me a nice pair of dress shoes, Johnson & Murphy, that have been AMAZING. I can wear shoes out in less than a year, and these have held up unbelievably well. You need to pass on any "coated" shoe that will peel. Get true leather shoes that can be re-soled.
FYI, I got my pair of shoes in 2007, have had them re-soled once and still wear them 3x week when I dress business for work (3-4 times a week). Learn how to polish shoes using a horsehair brush and polish, and your dress shoes will last 10 years no prob.
The shoes were $150 new, but have served me 9.5 years, and will get me another 8-10-seriously. check em' out https://www.johnstonmurphy.com/mens-laceup
I keep them fairly well shined and I actually get compliments on them. People are usually blown away that they're almost 10 yr old. When I got my shoes re-soled, I had them use a thicker rubber piece that has helped tremendously in wear/durability.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2016, 08:50:43 AM »
I've been wearing dress shoes daily (attorney here) for 2+ years now. The best pair I had were from Johnston and Murphy ($150ish), and those lasted about two summer jobs and one full working year. I bought a brown and black pair of dress shoes for about $75-$100 each this spring. Despite reading a lot of positive reviews, they are falling apart.

I have a pair of J&M Oxfords that have held up really nicely, and are able to be repaired. They were like $300 four years ago, but I expect them to last at least another 5 years without anything beyond new laces.

Daley

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2016, 08:51:24 AM »
Especially since you all recommended $100-$125 shoes

Actually, I think we're mostly recommending ~$100-150+ shoes here, and many of us who have spent that was about a decade ago. Maybe consider inflation, too, but YMMV. :)

plog

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2016, 08:51:58 AM »
This seems more like a logic problem along the lines of the fox, goose and beans (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox,_goose_and_bag_of_beans_puzzle) than a fashion/functionality issue.

Buy 2 pairs of the cheapest nice looking ones you can find.  1 pair becomes the everyday pair and 1 pair becomes the 'good pair' worn only for special occasions.  Replace the everyday pair as needed, never replace the good pair.   

Also, from what you've told us about your husband--he doesn't want to take care of his shoes.  I'm not judging, that's me too.  I'd rather wear them to shit and buy  a new pair every 2 years than spend 5 minutes a week maintaining them to get 3 years out of them. 
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 08:56:14 AM by plog »

boarder42

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2016, 09:13:47 AM »
what does resoling a shoe cost and how long does it last... and all these materials you're using to maintain the shoe.  i can find cheap good looking clearanced shoes for 9 bucks or less.  these shoes will last me 4-5 years before i replace them.

dividendman

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2016, 10:36:32 AM »
Amazon has lots of Clark's for ~$50. Good shoe, I wear them every day.

Jouer

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2016, 11:26:48 AM »
I'll second Cole Haan.....but only at Outlets. Great lasting power and super comfortable sole (used to be Nike Air but now have something even more comfortable). I usually spend between $100 and $125 at the Outlets - about the same price for a crappy pair from Aldo, etc. Fashion changes before these shoes wear out, as long as you take care of them.

And my word, take care of your shoes. Do not pile them up. Get a cheap shoe rack - not only will your mud room look more tidy but the shoes will last much longer.

I'll also add that having one pair of dress shoes for all occasions will reduce the life of the shoe. At the very least he shouldn't be wearing the same pair on stage as teaching. Find out where/how he is scuffing the shoes - does he need good dress shoes for those occasions or would a casual shoe be more appropriate. I almost never get scuffs on my dress shoes, mostly because I don't wear them anywhere they might get scuffed....and my boots and sneakers don't get piled on top of them.

curly1973

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2016, 11:35:58 AM »
I know that this may be a little out of line with your request, but for the last half decade all of my dress shoes are Allen Edmonds.  I tend to by from their shoe bank of "seconds" (I say seconds, because I couldn't tell you what might be wrong with the ones that I have received, but I guess that they did not make the final quality assurance cut), and wait for seasonal sales:

https://www.shoebank.com/

http://www.allenedmonds.com/clearance/

They are pricier, and I may get flogged with the Mustacian stick for suggesting such spendy pants purchases, but I have five pairs that I rotate through (black and brown, ranging from business casual to more formal).  With the occasional shoe cream and polish, they look as good as the day I bought them five years later.  I have not made any shoe purchases since these, and plan to wear them for the rest of my career (likely in the 7 to 10 year range), as they cover all eventualities that I may encounter. 

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2016, 11:57:26 AM »
I know that this may be a little out of line with your request, but for the last half decade all of my dress shoes are Allen Edmonds.  I tend to by from their shoe bank of "seconds" (I say seconds, because I couldn't tell you what might be wrong with the ones that I have received, but I guess that they did not make the final quality assurance cut), and wait for seasonal sales:

https://www.shoebank.com/

http://www.allenedmonds.com/clearance/

They are pricier, and I may get flogged with the Mustacian stick for suggesting such spendy pants purchases, but I have five pairs that I rotate through (black and brown, ranging from business casual to more formal).  With the occasional shoe cream and polish, they look as good as the day I bought them five years later.  I have not made any shoe purchases since these, and plan to wear them for the rest of my career (likely in the 7 to 10 year range), as they cover all eventualities that I may encounter.

I would argue the concept of "buy it for life" is in line with MMM philosophy. Not only is the amortized cost similar or lower, buying fewer shoes is generally better for the environment (materials, production, transportation, etc). Obviously, you can take this to an extreme, but that's not really the case here.

mrbrightside695

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2016, 11:58:39 AM »
I'll add my voice to the Allen Edmonds recommendations. Yes, they do require maintenance (shoe trees, occasional brushing, polishing, etc.) to get enough use out of them to make up for the purchase price, but I find that's often the case with items designed to be long lasting. I'd highly recommend checking out "seconds" at shoe bank, and once you know your size, ebay. I've regularly  found brand new "first" quality shoes for less than shoe bank, and if you're willing to look at used shoes (many times only enough to just scuff the soles) I've regularly seen pairs under $100.

I've tried the outlet store route for brands like Cole Haan and I was sorely disappointed. I think Nike has ruined the quality of the brand - my pairs fell apart just as quickly as a $20 pair, and looked terrible while doing it. On the other hand, my pairs of Allen Edmonds are going on 5 years and still look great. I expect to get another 5 out of them at least.

Connemara

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2016, 12:35:01 PM »
I have Allen Edmonds and Alden (both made in USA, Goodyear-welted, etc.) dress shoes and think they are a tremendous value. These are shoes that can last 20-30 years. Obviously you'll need to replace the soles, lining, heels, etc. throughout that period but that's the benefit IMO.

Catbert

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2016, 02:42:36 PM »
Can't answer specifically since I don't know much about men's shoes.  I do know, however, that it's not good to wear the same pair day  after day (and night).  They need time to dry out and rest between wearings.  Aim for two pairs.  Maybe that means starting out with one good pair and a cheap pair.  When the cheap pair dies, replace with a better pair.

I'll second the suggestion to find out if there is something in particular that is causing the shoes to get scuffed.  Avoid that activity when wearing the good shoes if possible.

Joggernot

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2016, 08:11:48 PM »
"Buy it for life" always leaves off, "and then take care of it".  Cleaning and polishing helps shoes last.  Always look for shoes that can be resoled.  Many new shoes are not re-sole-able because of insufficient welt (not enough to sew the new sole to).  Even my New Balance leather shoes have lasted 5 years, and they can't be resoled.  I do clean and polish them to help them look good.

gmp029

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2016, 08:32:58 PM »
Highly recommend Clarks. I get at least 5 years out of a pair, or more.

Although I would like to step up to an Alden or AE for my next pair.

FIFoFum

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2016, 11:51:09 PM »
I also feel that dress shoes are a buy quality and take care of it purchase.

Would add that once you are paying more, buy from a place that will stand behind the product and has a good policy if you do buy something that falls apart way too fast for what it is (like a Nordstrom's).

boarder42

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2016, 04:16:51 AM »
All of you who feel this is better what's your actual annual site expense

slb59

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2016, 04:31:04 AM »
Thanks for all of the great tips and recommendations.

I ran the idea of regular maintenance past DH and he looked at me like I'd grown two heads. So, we'll work on that. I'll start with actually using our mud room shoe rack. He's come leaps and bounds in the last six months on our previously spendypants habits, so there's hope, but no point really investing in a pair that will last forever if he takes care of them since he won't. He has another pair of shoes he loves but are just starting to look worn, so we'll start there. I think those also rather hit on the second pair a lot of you have suggested.

I have to say, to his credit, when I suggested just cleaning up his existing shoes he showed me everything wrong with them - he has been wearing shoes with cracked leather, a split seam opening so big you could fit both thumbs into it, and uppers that have completely separated from the heel for about two inches. His definition of "worn out" is rather accurate and not just an excuse for new shoes. Even with all that, he just suggested I buy him new shoes for Christmas :)

Clarks are on sale 20% off right now, so it looks like those are the winner.

curly1973

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2016, 04:58:02 AM »
In response to boarder42: if I understand, you're asking what the annual dress shoe budget might be for those of use proposing spending more on shoes.

For myself, I don't have one.  When I got an office position where business attire was the norm (about 7 years ago), I began purchasing Allen Edmonds.  I bought classics styles that are unlikely to go out of fashion, once every 6 months to a year (when the sales popped up), until I had a rotation of 5 pairs of shoes that I can wear year round with different types of staple outfits (I don't wear a suit every day, but switch between suits and jacket / trouser combos). 

For the last several years, I have simply been maintaining my shoes (as suggested: shoe trees, occasional cleaning, cream and polish), and plan to do so for the foreseeable future.  I may pick up the odd pair as the years pass, but my base is covered.

As such, my annual work / dress shoe budget has, at this point, amortized to approximately $125 / year, and goes down every day (until I buy a new pair).  In the meantime, I wear really well made shoes that are often complimented - a nice bump to my puffy ego.

boarder42

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2016, 05:28:01 AM »
In response to boarder42: if I understand, you're asking what the annual dress shoe budget might be for those of use proposing spending more on shoes.

For myself, I don't have one.  When I got an office position where business attire was the norm (about 7 years ago), I began purchasing Allen Edmonds.  I bought classics styles that are unlikely to go out of fashion, once every 6 months to a year (when the sales popped up), until I had a rotation of 5 pairs of shoes that I can wear year round with different types of staple outfits (I don't wear a suit every day, but switch between suits and jacket / trouser combos). 

For the last several years, I have simply been maintaining my shoes (as suggested: shoe trees, occasional cleaning, cream and polish), and plan to do so for the foreseeable future.  I may pick up the odd pair as the years pass, but my base is covered.

As such, my annual work / dress shoe budget has, at this point, amortized to approximately $125 / year, and goes down every day (until I buy a new pair).  In the meantime, I wear really well made shoes that are often complimented - a nice bump to my puffy ego.

so mustachians needing to wear shoes of this caliber daily should retire in 10 maybe max 15 years.  so your annual shoe budget is 60-100 dollars per year.  no thanks.  but if its a luxury you enjoy fantastic.  i just fundamentally disagree with the premise that its more cost effective. 

OPs husband doesnt take care of shoes now, i highly doubt he would start with 100-300 dollar pairs of shoes.  you can make cheaper shoes last longer as well practicing similar care methods.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 05:32:07 AM by boarder42 »

curly1973

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Re: Mustachian Men's Dress Shoes?
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2016, 10:08:05 AM »
We're just laying out options and perspectives; each individual needs to make the call as to which option best meets their needs under their unique circumstances. 

by the sounds of it, the OP has made choice that meets their needs as they currently stand.  For others of us, the longevity of certain goods offset the initial cost - no need to get fundamental :-)