Author Topic: Shoes. OMG, shoes.  (Read 7876 times)

maryofdoom

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Shoes. OMG, shoes.
« on: October 29, 2012, 08:51:57 AM »
(post title from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCF3ywukQYA)

I am curious about what Mustachians here do for shoes. I've seen some discussions about running with Vibram shoes, but nothing about normal, every day kind of stuff. Clearly we're going to wear shoes until they wear out, and we're also not overly concerned with the dictates of fashion. As a result, I'm pretty confident that most Mustachians have only a few pairs of shoes, all for different purposes.

However, is it also reasonable to assume that the few pairs of shoes you do have are of the highest possible quality?

I ask because I need a new pair of winter boots and am trying to justify the expense. My old boots are fine, but I had surgery on my toe this summer, and now I can't wear something that's too tight across the toe box or even has a heel, or else I will be in a world of pain. And as a bonus, I have muscular, shapely calves, and a lot of styles of lady boots won't fit them.

The whole point of having winter boots is to have shoes I can wear if it's raining or snowing or otherwise really squishy out. It would be great if they were at least moderately attractive, so they can be worn around the office, but really, if they're comfortable, then that's enough.

How do you solve this problem in your own life?

clarkai

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Re: Shoes. OMG, shoes.
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2012, 11:11:00 AM »
I've got a pair of vibrums, two pairs of merrell running shoes, a pair of sandals, and a pair of red wing hiking boots. I got all but one of the merrells and the red wings at the R.E.I. garage sale for $17-$29 bucks a pair. I also have a pair of garden boots that I'm about to throw out because they've sprung multiple leaks- I got them for free more than 4 years ago.

I wear the hiking boot during winter, the merrells during spring and fall and the sandals during summer. The vibrums I wear on hikes and trail runs or when I'm going to be walking around for hours- very comfortable.

I think good shoes are worth it. My boots are 4-5 years old now, and still going strong. On the other hand, it's hard for me to spend money, so I generally will find a way to get them discounted.

N

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Re: Shoes. OMG, shoes.
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2012, 11:28:59 AM »
I had surgery on my leg in July 11, and by winter, my foot was still too swollen to wear my regular boots (or shoes!) so I just got a cheapo pair of  fake uggs at target to get me thru the season. so maybe you could hit the thrift or target for a temporary pair. assuming that next year you will probably wear your regular ones again.

as for shoes in general-I have a pair of keen sandals that I bought this year to replace the pair I wore out after 8 years. I wear them 90% of the time, in cold weather, with socks.

I have a pair of Keen mary janes, keen winter boots, merrell sandals (got no wear ever since the surgery, but probably next summer) and a pair of indoor slippers from target.

eta: keen shoes generally have a very wide toe box and are pretty comfortable. the sizing is inconsistent between styles, though. I order thru zappos and return what doesnt work.

PJ

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Re: Shoes. OMG, shoes.
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2012, 11:34:24 AM »
However, is it also reasonable to assume that the few pairs of shoes you do have are of the highest possible quality?
 

I've been thinking about this lately, as I have trouble with my feet if I don't buy good quality supportive shoes, which tend to be fairly expensive.  I don't like most shoe trends (super pointed, kitten heels, etc) as they don't tend to make for comfortable shoes, but I'm not wanting to wear running shoes all the time either - my fashion sense is a step or two up from that.  I usually end up spending in the range of $100-150 per pair and I am pretty hard on my shoes.  The stage I'm at in the life cycle of my shoes right now, I would normally be retiring one of my pairs of everyday shoes, moving another pair down to dogwalking/bad weather status, and looking for a new pair (or two, if I miraculously found two pairs that I like and that fit!) 
 
Alas, there is no money in the budget for that right now, because I've got some other expenses (car, pet) and trying to pay down my debt.  So the solution is going to have to be rehabbing the shoes I've got, and I suspect that's a pretty typical mustachian approach.  So one pair will need to go for heel replacement, both will need to regularly be cleaned, odour control sprayed, and polished.  I'm trying to be in my sandals or my running shoes for dogwalking and bad weather as much as possible.  Hoping that I can hold off til the spring or even next fall before buying another pair.

nofool

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Re: Shoes. OMG, shoes.
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2012, 01:04:33 PM »
As somebody who works in financial services, pretty much all my shoes are business appropriate ballet flats and loafers. I walk to work, so it's not really practical for me to wear heels.

I'm very brand loyal-once I know of a brand that fits my wide feet well, I'll stick with it forever, unless I notice a decrease in the quality. I really, really like Coach shoes, as well as Michael Kors. They're both surprisingly affordable, in the $120-$150 range. However, I wait for the department store sales, and usually snag them at the $70-90 price point.

I'm very hard on my shoes, as I walk just about everywhere, so they need to be comfy and versatile but, as mentioned previously, still professional. I always buy classic styles which stay in style for the 3-4 years that I wear them and then I sell them to consignment stores to reclaim $10 or so when I'm done. That's the crazy part about brand names-even if shoes are well worn, most consignment stores will still buy them just because of their logo!

Also, good cobblers are worth their weight in gold. I have 2 pairs of Frye boots that I bought at a crazy sale ($130 instead of $450!) and have since completely replaced the sole on one pair for a measley $20. Much cheaper than purchasing a whole new pair! Although the upfront investment on great shoes/boots can be steep, if you can maintain them for a relatively low cost, their cost/wear can make them completely worth it.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 04:21:50 PM by nofool »

jpo

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Re: Shoes. OMG, shoes.
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 02:07:53 PM »
I bought Merrells when I needed new ones because they're one of my stock investments. Got a pair of Moabs and a pair of Tough Gloves earlier this year, both of which have been great.

smalllife

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Re: Shoes. OMG, shoes.
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2012, 06:37:22 PM »
I will second the make friends with a cobbler suggestion.

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However, is it also reasonable to assume that the few pairs of shoes you do have are of the highest possible quality?

In my personal case, yes.  Maybe not the highest possible, but of definite quality that I know or hope will last for years to come.  I look for leather (repairable and waterproof-able), durable soles, and arch support. 

If I could pick my shoe wardrobe from scratch I could lose a few pairs but as it stands I have some overlap due to pre-minimalist shoe purchases.  I've got a dozen pairs of shoes when all is said and done, but four true work horses. I have a pair of heels that once they die I won't fix/replace and two winter boots that if I had sprung for the flat boots I initially wanted I could get down to one.  (YMMV but I've found that getting what I want the first time around, even if expensive, saves me money and irritation down the line)   That also includes a pair of dressy dancing heels that get worn maybe once a year but are worthwhile keeping because they fit well and there is no real substitute for dressy heels.  All in all I wear 2-3 shoes per season, rotating to keep the style fresh and to suit the weather.

I say find a *good* pair of flat boots that will go with everything.  Depending on your style, Frye is a good place to look.  I've also heard good things about DUO but have no personal experience (no personal experience with Frye either for what it's worth).  Your toes and muscular health are worth the extra.  I say this as someone whose suffered an injury that got a lot worse than it needed to in good part due to my footwear choices at the time.   

I'm Mustachian in a lot of areas, but I take care of my feet. :-)

Will

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Re: Shoes. OMG, shoes.
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2012, 09:44:31 PM »
You have to like a thread with a reference to Kelly and Shoes!

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Shoes. OMG, shoes.
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2012, 10:33:55 PM »
You have to like a thread with a reference to Kelly and Shoes!

Yes!!!

CG

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Re: Shoes. OMG, shoes.
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2012, 03:11:37 AM »
Four years ago I bought a pair of Ecco goretex-lined black leather boots something like this:
http://www.ecco-shoes.co.uk/shop/womens-shoes/haze.php
and I've worn them virtually every day in winter and on all wet days and they are still going strong, and still wonderfully comfortable. Expensive, but I've never regretted the purchase.

catalana

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Re: Shoes. OMG, shoes.
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2012, 03:55:56 AM »
I am curious about what Mustachians here do for shoes. I've seen some discussions about running with Vibram shoes, but nothing about normal, every day kind of stuff. Clearly we're going to wear shoes until they wear out, and we're also not overly concerned with the dictates of fashion. As a result, I'm pretty confident that most Mustachians have only a few pairs of shoes, all for different purposes.

However, is it also reasonable to assume that the few pairs of shoes you do have are of the highest possible quality?

I ask because I need a new pair of winter boots and am trying to justify the expense. My old boots are fine, but I had surgery on my toe this summer, and now I can't wear something that's too tight across the toe box or even has a heel, or else I will be in a world of pain. And as a bonus, I have muscular, shapely calves, and a lot of styles of lady boots won't fit them.

The whole point of having winter boots is to have shoes I can wear if it's raining or snowing or otherwise really squishy out. It would be great if they were at least moderately attractive, so they can be worn around the office, but really, if they're comfortable, then that's enough.

How do you solve this problem in your own life?
The number of shoes/boots I own is decreasing, and I am finally at a point where I am (gasp!) having to replace some styles that I now realise are my daily workhorses.

For winter I have riding style boots - they are comfortable to walk in and smart enough for office wear if I wish to leave them on at work.  You can usually find them in variable calf widths, and with enough space for a pair of warm socks underneath!  I keep smart heeled shoes in my office drawer, so other than the coldest days I change once I get to work.  As I walk to work through snow at times, it means the smart shoes stay smart.

Those daily use shoes are the most comfortable I can buy, but not necessarily the most expensive or long lasting.  I guess you would say they are mid-range price wise, and will have leather uppers and  arch support but not leather soles.  I can usually get 2-3 years out of them before they pass over the rainbow bridge.  I don't repair because they are usually worn inside as well as outside and are looking pretty tired by the time I am done.  The summer version are ladies brogues.

The winter boots do cost quite a bit however, because they are knee-high and hence there's quite a bit of leather in them.  I always try and plan ahead and get my new pair in the sales to keep costs down.  Will you manage to last until the sales start where you are?

The office shoes are usually whatever is on sale, mid-range for price as they are still leather but last a LONG time as I don't wear them much outdoors.  I have a couple of pairs of fashion shoes that are cheap and cheerful and also last a long time (or until I decide I hate them) because they get worn so little.

maryofdoom

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Re: Shoes. OMG, shoes.
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2012, 07:56:22 AM »
Thanks for your thoughts, everyone! It's nice to hear how other people are solving this dilemma.

I have a pair of Corcoran paratrooper boots that fit fine and are still functional, but they're too tight in the toe box after my toe surgery. I also have a nice pair of Frye ankle boots (bought on super sale at Cabela's) that fit one of my feet perfectly, but are too big for the other foot, so I don't wear them. I am seriously thinking about selling them on eBay and using the money from that to fund my eventual alternate boot purchase.

I have also heard good things about DUO boots, but I really need to buy something that I can try on first and I don't think DUO lets you do that, since they sell mostly online. Or in the UK, where I am not.

I am leaning toward a pair of Born boots, because I got some Born clogs back when I was still having toe trouble and they're really comfortable. Plus some of the styles are super cute, which isn't the main thing, but a nice bonus. I can get away with wearing sneakers to work, and do in the summer, but it's just too squishy in the winter to make them a viable option.

(I think you have too many shoes.)

smalllife

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Re: Shoes. OMG, shoes.
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2012, 08:51:09 AM »
(I think you have too many shoes.)

For the record, I completely agree.  However I see no reason to throw out shoes that are too far worn for e-bay but have too much life to just ignore. 

Lady Mustache

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Re: Shoes. OMG, shoes.
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2012, 09:12:40 AM »
I am also a fan of Keen's. I still wear the sandals I bought 6 years ago and the leather Mary Jane's from 2 years are going strong. My total shoe consumption has gone down since I started buying this brand.

I'm in a bit of trouble with winter boots, though. I bought a pair of Keen's 2 years ago that are perfect -- except for the thick lining that makes them too bulky to wear under jeans. I'm dreading going through one more season with my pants uncomfortably riding up around the boots. So annoying. I need something that I can wear every day through the cold and snowy winter here, with jeans, skirts, whatever. I've got my eye on a pair of $175 Merrell's that I know will last years. I hate to spend the money, but I do think it's worth it to have good quality shoes.

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Will you manage to last until the sales start where you are?

When do the sales start? Does anyone know?