Author Topic: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?  (Read 34335 times)

strider3700

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Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« on: May 03, 2012, 07:59:34 PM »
My favorite pair of shoes, finally died on me after 2 years of daily hard use. They were clunky leather shoes with a reasonably thick sole, with an aggressive tread.  I wore a hole through the bottom  and the upper leather was starting to separate from the lining in the back.  I used these things to walk a few miles each day, work in the garden around the house pretty much everything.   I think they cost me $70 when I bought them.   I also had a pair of runners that cost me $50. They got used when I was playing sports and that was about it.  When my favorite shoes died I wore the runners full time and 4 months of daily use later the bottom is worn right off of them.

So I went to find another pair of my favorite shoes.  Unfortunately they are discontinued.  Almost everything that I could find that was similar is steel toe.  I eventually tracked down a pair that was pretty much the same but they cost $150 thanks to the name of a large equipment manufacturer on the side.  I figured they can't be worth the extra cost.  I doubt I'd get 4 years out of them when they cost twice as much.    On the other end I found and eventually ended up buying shoes that don't feel as tough but are similar.  They were at walmart and cost $30 or $40 depending on which I chose.   In the end I but 1 pair of each bringing the total to $70 hoping that I'll get a year out of each pair.

I'm wondering how everyone else buys shoes?  Do you buy the cheap pairs and expect to replace them soon  or do you spend the big bucks and buy something that should last years?   If I could drop $300 and buy a pair of shoes that would last a decade of hard daily use/abuse  I'd do it in a second  but I don't see the high prices as meaning I'll get my money's worth.

Daley

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 09:43:15 PM »
My favorite pair of shoes, finally died on me after 2 years of daily hard use. They were clunky leather shoes with a reasonably thick sole, with an aggressive tread.  I wore a hole through the bottom  and the upper leather was starting to separate from the lining in the back.  I used these things to walk a few miles each day, work in the garden around the house pretty much everything.

You still have that pair of shoes? If the leather uppers are cared for and properly cleaned/oiled/polished, you can get shoes to last years if you know a good cobbler (shoe repair guy for those who are too young to remember such formerly common shops). The damage done sounds repairable from how you described it. This is one of the things with Mustachianism that some people have trouble adapting to, the concept of clothing and shoe repair/alterations. Every one of us should know how to at least do basic sewing, know a good tailor, and a good cobbler as the money saved on clothing alterations and shoe repair can save fair amounts of money over the years versus straight up replacement.

Soles on shoes wear out, but with well designed shoes, they're meant to be replaced and not tossed out like a cheap commodity. I've got a pair of Doc Martin boots that are a decade old on their second set of soles (cost $25ish to re-shod 'em about four years ago - a quarter the cost of the boots themselves), and if I keep after the leather, I'll easily get another decade or more out of the things, and they get some heavy wear.

It's always worth it to buy quality solid leather shoes, be it boots, dress, sandals, or other, and be willing to pay the money for it. My only exception is canvas sneakers, but even a quality pair of Chucks should give you at least a couple years of steady wear and the soles can sometimes be replaced on them, too. And let's not forget Shoe Goo, either.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 10:08:59 PM by I.P. Daley »

twinge

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 06:26:20 AM »
Yeah, I love my cobbler.

Shoes are one of the few things left where it can pay off to have them repaired. I have had heels redone, soles replaced, buckles fixed etc. making my initially expensive shoes last a good 8-10 years of heavy use. 

reverend

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 07:08:30 AM »
Yes, spend on quality.

I used to live on cheap sneakers and replaced them every other year. My brother got me in a set of all-leather Nike Tensters which after two weeks of "breaking in" fit like gloves. The best foot experience I've had, ever!

They lasted about 5 years until they were too far gone to wear, and they had been discontinued or I would have bought several more pairs.

Since then, I always buy quality and end up spending around $100 on a pair, but then they last me several years.

sol

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 07:22:58 AM »
I walk a lot so I go through shoes pretty fast.  I used to spend about $80 once a year or so on shoes, and I would inevitably wear through the soles long before the shoe part wore out. 

This year I discovered that my local Big5 stores has the same kind of shoes at significantly discounted prices.  I bought three pairs for an average price of $20 about a month ago, and thus far they are just as good as the $80 ones I was wearing before.   Now I feel silly for paying full retail for all of those years.

moneymohawk

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 07:23:40 AM »
I've never gotten more than 9 months out of a pair of Chucks.  After that, they just fall apart.

I'm currently wearing my way through a few pairs of random shoes I accumulated over the years (not even really sure how).  I'm not wild about them, but it beats buying new shoes.

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 08:10:10 AM »
I never spend more than $40 on shoes.  They usually last me about a year, and that includes alot of mountain biking which is not easy on shoes.

At work i have a pair of leather shoes I change into, I bought them used for $12 at Value Village and have had them for almost 2 years.  They have a few holes so will need to be replaced soon.

grantmeaname

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2012, 09:23:19 AM »
If you don't wear shoes, it's even cheaper! When I walk to work I go barefoot and throw on shoes when I get there. Look, no wear! School? Same thing. Gardening? You don't need 'em. Your soles get tough really quick -- walk barefoot part of the time for a couple of weeks, and you'll be ready to walk through broken glass in no time.

Two caveats. First, the whole 'social acceptance' thing... but the MMM community isn't quite as concerned with that as most communities, I would bet. And I guess a good pair of work boots would be useful for construction projects if you're the kind of person to leave nails around on the ground.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 10:14:53 AM by grantmeaname »

Daley

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2012, 09:52:54 AM »
I love you all in this thread, but some of the posts are illustrating my life philosophy of "a poor man cannot afford to buy garbage" quite vividly.

My wife was reading over my shoulder and she told me to mention a Terry Pratchett quote from Men at Arms as it's quite relevant:

Quote
The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money. Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles. But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet. This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socio-economic unfairness.

zinnie

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2012, 10:32:57 AM »
I buy leather shoes, try to keep them well-polished and oiled, and get them repaired when the soles and heels wear out.

My running shoes are another story. I haven't been able to get a pair to last longer than a year, no matter what types I try.

twinge

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2012, 11:31:02 AM »
Quote
My running shoes are another story. I haven't been able to get a pair to last longer than a year, no matter what types I try.

My favorite running shoe store taught me to think of running shoes in terms of "miles" rather than years.  I consider a good pair of running shoes will last 500 miles.  They also asked me to bring in my old shoes to see where I wore them down and then recommended pairs based on those.  By these two bits of "data," I now have a brand that work great and consistently stay in good shape for 500+ miles.

RoseRed

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2012, 01:37:44 PM »
I walk a lot, so I tend to find a brans/style that I like, and which is good quality, and buy a pair when they are discounted. If they are the sort of shoe that is repairable, I repair before replacing. My favourite boots (6.5 years old) are in the cobblers at the moment. My favourite everyday shoes just now are a pair of vivobarefoot shoes that were reduced from 70 to 20 because they were the previous year's stock.

kolorado

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2012, 02:48:28 PM »
The shoes I wear regularly for exercise or walking are pricy. Merrells are awesome and worth it though! I keep two good pairs in my closet(purchase online at 30% or more off regular prices). I just bought my third brown pair last month after putting 6 years on the last pair. I also get a new pair of fitness sneakers every three years or so at about $50 a pair. I'm very careful to not wear my good shoes for knocking about or yardwork. For those times I wear the old sneakers or $5 flip-flops.
Fashion shoes are always acquired cheaply online(less than $15 pair). If I'm only going to wear them 6 times a year to dressy functions, I won't pay much. By the time I'd get my money's worth out of a really great pair of dressy shoes, they would be long out of style. I cannot believe some of the prices for women's shoes. $200 for pumps in a department store and you will be lucky if you wear them a dozen times before the style shifts. Of course, a good brand may be infinitely more comfortable but I doubt it. :/ Men of course don't have this limitation. My husband has the same pair of nice black dress shoes he bought in 1999 and they still look sharp and stylish. Comfortable too.

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2012, 05:08:37 PM »
I've tried cheap and I've tried expensive and I'm convinced that expensive is the cheapest option. I've had the best luck with shoes from LL Bean. I've got a $180 pair of hiking boots that seem nearly indestructible and I can tell they're going to last for years. They also fit better than cheaper ones I've tried, my feet and legs aren't nearly as tired at the end of a long day outside or working in the garden because they give good quality support. I have a bit of arthritis in my left foot and ankle so that's important.

LL Bean also takes back their boots and shoes at any time (even years later) and will completely refurbish and resole them. I think this only applies to LLBean brand footwear, not New Balance or other manufacturers. They used to carry Rockports and they were excellent, but I haven't seen them in their catalogs in recent years.

Also, LLBean has a rewards card where your purchases earn you coupons toward LLBean stuff. I have little or no use for frequent flier miles and rewards but I figure my normal purchases will keep me in indestructible LLBean footwear for years.

jaspel

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2012, 10:55:49 PM »
Speaking of shoes, do you serious mustache bikers wear clips?  They  seem so impractical..

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2012, 05:41:22 AM »
I agree with I.P. Daley that cobblers and tailors are your friend! Buy good quality shoes, look after them, wear the heck out of them. They can even put toe caps and sole protector-thingies when new, to make them last longer. If you don't have the time or inclination to research what makes a good shoe and then to go hunt for one, you will have to just go with a well-respected brand and hope for the best. With men's shoes there is less chance of being ripped off by the brand. Women's shoes are a whole other story.

sol

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2012, 07:19:06 AM »
Speaking of shoes, do you serious mustache bikers wear clips?  They  seem so impractical..

I have dedicated clip-in bike shoes that I wear for serious weekend fitness rides, anytime I ride my go-fast bike.  My daily commuter bike has flat pedals (and flat handlebars) and I would never consider clips on it because I ride it too much.  Not just to work, but to the store or out with friends or to the park with the kids, and bike shoes would never be practical.

Having said that, a bunch of people in my office with long bike commutes wear their bike shoes every day, but I suspect they never use their bikes for much of anything else.  Mostly they leave their office shoes in the office and change when they get in.

James

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2012, 01:17:52 PM »
I wear separate running shoes, one pair at work and one for actually running and walking around outside of work.  If only only used them for 500 miles I'd be buying two pairs of running shoes a year, spenco inserts make them last two to three years.  I usually spend less than $80 a pair by finding quality shoes on sale online at zappos or Amazon.


My dress shoes and outdoor working shoes don't get worn all that much, so they should last forever.  In the past I'd just get new ones every 5 years or so, but I plan on just keeping what I have now for a lot longer.  I have a cobbler in town I can use if needed.

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2012, 01:25:35 AM »
I feel very torn about shoes and have recently gone from expensive ones to cheap ones as the expensive ones weren't giving me better wear than the cheaper ones, especially for the sandals. Expensive ($200) woman's sandals didn't give me twice the wear of cheap boys sandals ($6) and they certainly weren't repairable when they wore down. Expensive leather shoes had soles that lasted one and a half winters. $15 shoes have lasted me better. Paying $50 to resole leather shoes might be worth it if they are great shoes, but I don't bother any more as I can buy a selection of shoes that last me longer at $15 a pair.

I don't wear fashion shoes any more, though I do like them to be tidy.

BenDarDunDat

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2012, 07:24:28 AM »
I tend to buy a bit on the in between side or either to buy expensive shoes cheaply.  I try to make my dress/work shoes last by not exercising in them. I use my athletic shoes for running, walking, and playing. My worn out ugly tennis shoes are for mowing the yard and car work.

I love it when I can find a gently used pair of shoes at thrift or yardsales for $2. But if I don't get lucky, I'll spend $30 or so for a pair of New Balance shoes. $40 for a pair of Rockports. $40 for a pair of Birkenstocks.

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2012, 11:35:40 AM »
Speaking of shoes, do you serious mustache bikers wear clips?  They  seem so impractical..

I have dedicated clip-in bike shoes that I wear for serious weekend fitness rides, anytime I ride my go-fast bike.  My daily commuter bike has flat pedals (and flat handlebars) and I would never consider clips on it because I ride it too much.  Not just to work, but to the store or out with friends or to the park with the kids, and bike shoes would never be practical.

Having said that, a bunch of people in my office with long bike commutes wear their bike shoes every day, but I suspect they never use their bikes for much of anything else.  Mostly they leave their office shoes in the office and change when they get in.
Shimano makes single-sided clipless pedals.  Pretty handy for people who want to ride clipless on longer rides, but street shoes to the store on the same bike. 

Shimano PD-A530
Shimano PD-M324

There are some cheaper alternatives out there (e.g. Nashbar brand, and some Wellgos that you can find on Pricepoint), but i'm iffy on the idea of off-brand clipless pedals.  I'd rather have a used pair of Shimanos than a new pair of "generics".  You can find some real deals on older pedals (sometimes not even that old) on ebay/craigslist from the perpetual upgraders. 

grantmeaname

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2012, 11:39:56 AM »
Any of the delta-shaped styles (Shimano SPD-SL, for example, or its equivalents from other brands like Look) can be used with regular shoes. They're big and more or less flat on the top, so it's not that difficult.

twinge

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2012, 01:43:11 PM »
Quote
I wear separate running shoes, one pair at work and one for actually running and walking around outside of work.  If only only used them for 500 miles I'd be buying two pairs of running shoes a year, spenco inserts make them last two to three years.


When I was talking about 500 miles for running shoes, I meant for shoes designated solely for the purpose of running as an athletic activity.  For cross-trainers/jogging/general purpose "gym shoes" I get a lot more than 500 miles. Some people DO get more miles out of their running shoes, but if you don't have perfect running form (alas like me--I overpronate) it can be a challenge.

shedinator

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2012, 02:48:04 PM »
This isn't really shoes specific, but my general policy for durable goods is something like this.
Plan A) Buy something that will last forever, or as close to it as is possible
Plan B) If you can't afford Plan A, buy something that will last until you can.
Lather, rinse, repeat for Plans C-D. I have never found an instance where I had to go to E if I was really smart with my money and didn't have some rotten luck, and even then it was usually C or D part II.
This is a pretty common approach with "big ticket items"- you buy the beater car, and drive it until you can buy the permanent car. You buy a fixer-upper starter house, and put away the extra payments until you can buy the dream house (or better yet, renovate the fixer-upper into the dream house). Just apply the same principles with anything else that you intend to be a permanent fixture in your life.

Bakari

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2012, 04:31:12 PM »
It just so happens that I was facing a similar question several weeks ago when my 7 year old safety toe side zip work boots tore on both sides along the back where the plastic met the leather, and crap was falling inside.

I just didn't want to spend another couple hundred for something that would just break in another 7 years.  I also didn't want to spend the money on a cobbler.

What I ended up doing was sewing the tear with dental floss (stronger than thread).  It was tedious, but effective.  As I was working I noticed the sole was badly worn (mostly from where the heal hits the floorboard while driving) so I bought some shoe goo and glued layers of old bicycle inner tube on in varying thicknesses and locations until it was flat again.  Been wearing them again about 2 weeks, and they seem - well, not as good as new, but at least as good as 2 years ago!

zinnie

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2012, 11:35:17 AM »
Quote
I wear separate running shoes, one pair at work and one for actually running and walking around outside of work.  If only only used them for 500 miles I'd be buying two pairs of running shoes a year, spenco inserts make them last two to three years.

When I was talking about 500 miles for running shoes, I meant for shoes designated solely for the purpose of running as an athletic activity.  For cross-trainers/jogging/general purpose "gym shoes" I get a lot more than 500 miles. Some people DO get more miles out of their running shoes, but if you don't have perfect running form (alas like me--I overpronate) it can be a challenge.

See 500 miles of just running would only get me through 5-6 months. I just replaced a pair after about 14 months and I'm guessing that was about 1200 miles. The shoes were fine until then.

I don't buy what the running stores have to say generally either--they've told me to replace after 300 miles before! Really? New shoes every 4 months is crazy. I've been trending towards more minimal shoes that rely on strengthening your feet instead of cushioning hoping they will last longer. I buy new ones when the balls of my feet start to hurt, which is usually when there is significant breakdown of the sole in that area.

twinge

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2012, 11:48:19 AM »
Quote
See 500 miles of just running would only get me through 5-6 months...when there is significant breakdown of the sole in that area.

Yeah, that's the position I am in (replacing every six months) except that I get significant breakdown of the sole--but on the sides not on the ball of the foot.  One thing I have tried that seems to work better is that I keep one pair of running shoes for my sprinting/fast running days and one pair for my average runs.  I've never gotten the fast pair to last longer than 500-600 or so miles (and before I listened to the running store's advice about which shoes to wear for overpronating I would regularly burn them out at 300 miles!), but I can make my other pair last 1200+.  If you are wearing out the ball of the sole that's a sign that you've got better form than me.


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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2012, 12:23:32 PM »
I love you all in this thread, but some of the posts are illustrating my life philosophy of "a poor man cannot afford to buy garbage" quite vividly.

My wife was reading over my shoulder and she told me to mention a Terry Pratchett quote from Men at Arms as it's quite relevant.

YES.  This.  So much this.  It's actually something that I think causes a disconnect between Mustachians and a certain subset of the poor population -- if you are *already* living at Mustachian levels of frugality (no cable, etc.) and still barely making ends meet, you don't have a chance to do things like buy higher-quality shoes or invest in a bike. 

I know that's not really the target audience of the MMM blogs, but it still feels like people like that get slammed in comments.  Which is unfortunate.

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2012, 02:29:15 PM »
It's actually something that I think causes a disconnect between Mustachians and a certain subset of the poor population -- if you are *already* living at Mustachian levels of frugality (no cable, etc.) and still barely making ends meet, you don't have a chance to do things like buy higher-quality shoes or invest in a bike. 

I know that's not really the target audience of the MMM blogs, but it still feels like people like that get slammed in comments.  Which is unfortunate.

One big reason for that, IMO, is that those people are VERY few and far between.  It's far more often the case that people - even people that qualify as at or below the poverty line - waste tons of money on stuff they don't need (high end cell phones, giant TVs, XBoxes, etc.)

As a real estate investor, I've walked through (literally) hundreds of homes.  I can't tell you how many giant TVs I've seen.  Probably 95% or more of people being foreclosed on have TVs larger than 50 inches.

The actual Mustachian who is still unable to make ends meet is... exceptionally rare (in America).  IMO.
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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2012, 07:39:17 PM »
This is incredibly relevant for me right now as I'm going to have to do some serious shoe shopping. I haven't bought a new pair of shoes (barring one new pair of sandals from Target) in years because I haven't needed much and my Salvation Army is good, but all my main shoes are wearing out and my feet are starting to give me problems. I've gotten away with inexpensive shoes for quite some time, but to get the support I need to deal with the beginnings of plantar fasciitis without looking like someone's diabetic grandmother, I'm probably going to have to spend a fair bit more per pair than I'm used to. At least at this point I've got a pretty good idea of what I'll actually wear day to day so I can just invest in a couple pairs, rather than the full range of things some people believe must be in a woman's closet.

Also, +1 for the Pratchett comment! I believe I quoted the Vimes boot theory of economic injustice elsewhere in the forum. He's one of my favorites.

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2012, 11:45:57 PM »
It's actually something that I think causes a disconnect between Mustachians and a certain subset of the poor population -- if you are *already* living at Mustachian levels of frugality (no cable, etc.) and still barely making ends meet, you don't have a chance to do things like buy higher-quality shoes or invest in a bike. 

I know that's not really the target audience of the MMM blogs, but it still feels like people like that get slammed in comments.  Which is unfortunate.

One big reason for that, IMO, is that those people are VERY few and far between.  It's far more often the case that people - even people that qualify as at or below the poverty line - waste tons of money on stuff they don't need (high end cell phones, giant TVs, XBoxes, etc.)

As a real estate investor, I've walked through (literally) hundreds of homes.  I can't tell you how many giant TVs I've seen.  Probably 95% or more of people being foreclosed on have TVs larger than 50 inches.

The actual Mustachian who is still unable to make ends meet is... exceptionally rare (in America).  IMO.

Having lived in trailer parks my entire adult life, which is mostly populated by people who can't afford anything else, Arbelspy is mostly right-ish, if a bit extreme.  There are genuinely poor people.  If someone is being foreclosed, that means they had the cash and credit rating to buy a house at one time.  The folks in the trailer park couldn't have gotten a loan at the peak of the bubble. 
Most of my neighbors don't have smart phones, 50" TVs, or xboxes. 
But they do have cellphones when they could qualify for $5 a month lifeline, and they do run the AC when its 85 degrees out.  They smoke cigarettes, and they occasionally buy cars (in cash, of course, because they have no credit, but still a huge chunk of their budget).  Worse yet, they get checks cashed at check cashing places instead of getting bank accounts, and they pay an extra 200 a month to lease a trailer rather than saving up to buy one.  I don't think any of this is quite the same as typical anti-mustachian consumerism though.  Its more just plain ignorance.  They aren't trying to keep up with appearances, they just don't know any better


BTW, so far, DIY boot repair is holding up quite well!
Might not work for custom running shoes, but for casual shoes, a $5 tube of shoegoo may be just as good as new shoes.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 11:47:47 PM by Bakari »

twinge

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2012, 04:36:55 AM »
Quote
for casual shoes, a $5 tube of shoegoo may be just as good as new shoes

I second the shoe goo--it's extended the life of many shoes in my family.  I use a cobbler for my best daily work shoes, shoe goo and ingenuity for everyone in the family's casual shoes, and am just trying to steadily optimize the life of my running shoes.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 08:10:55 AM by twinge »

smalllife

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #32 on: June 09, 2012, 01:44:49 PM »
I tend to go with reputable, well-made brands on the expensive side but that have great cost per wear.  I stick with leather where I can, take care of the soles, and have a fairly minimal shoe collection.  I'd rather have ten pairs of shoes that I love and will last than 50 that only work for a season or two.  The holy grail of comfort + style + craftsmanship come at a price, but one that I am gladly willing to pay.   I wait for sales and the 'perfect' shoe to keep the budget in line, but an old sports injury induced partly by cheap shoes has taught me that your feet aren't something to skimp on.

+1 for the Pratchett line of thinking.  Quality pays for itself many times over in the long run - and the Mustachian way of life tends to focus long term.

saniac

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2012, 03:12:23 AM »
For formal shoes, I have bought benchmade, leather-soled, classy English Loakes and Grensons second hand in online auctions. I paid about 10% of what they would be new, and they have probably at least a decade's wear left if resoled a couple of times. They may last longer. If you look after them, really good leather uppers last more or less forever.

For weight training, and capoeira, I buy cheap knock-off fake Chuck Taylors. I have yet to find a brand of sneaker or sandshoe that really lasts. And for running, I go bare foot. Problem solved!

For outdoor work I have an old pair of boots that predate frugality. Not sure how I'll replace them when they go, but probably with something high quality that will last. Good boots are important because toes are not replaceable.

I avoid shoes that look nice but are in that middle price range where they don't actually last. What we're trying to do here is get shoes on a minimum price per wear basis.

boy_bye

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2012, 06:18:39 AM »
expensive, but thrifted.

i had been wanting a pair of casual black sandals this summer but didnt want to spend the money because good ones are upwards of $100, and due to foot problems i have to wear good ones.

yesterday i went to drop off some donations at the thrift store and looked around and found a brand new pair of j-41 sandals -- one of my favorite brands -- for $7!

they also had an awesome pair of brand new camper pumps which retail for like $200. a little too small for me, sadly ...

liquidbanana

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2012, 11:33:57 PM »
I'm kind of in the middle. Ideally, I'd like to get to the point of only expensive things that last forever, but I'm not there yet.

I second the barefoot as much as possible option. This is working well for my son over the summer. A $1 pair of flip flops is all he needs when we have to go somewhere that requires shoes. That saves some shoe expense for me since he grows out of shoes so quickly.

One of my two pairs of shoes is a leather "barefoot" variety with a minimalist sole. They are a mary jane style so they go with pretty much anything that I would want to wear. They cost about $90, and I expect them to last at least a few years. I've never actually heard of a cobbler, but that sounds like the perfect option for me when the soles eventually wear out.

My other pair are some god ugly boots that I got on clearance for $5. I only wear those in snow or heavy rain, which is rare, so they will probably last a decade or more.

When the weather gets cold again, I'll probably dish out $40 for a "barefoot" leather shoe for my son because I'm one of those crazies that thinks it's vital for healthy foot development. And the company that makes them is very "ethical" in my opinion and deserves the support.

I buy most clothing at thrift stores, but second hand shoes kind of creep me out. Ew. :)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 11:40:16 PM by liquidbanana »

cats

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2012, 10:59:18 AM »
I tend to buy expensive, but I keep an eye out for sales and check thrift stores diligently.  Running/exercise shoes usually have to be purchased new (by the time people donate them to the thrift they are typically TRASHED), but nice dressy shoes can often be found for a fraction of the price.  Especially if you have a fairly common shoe size.

Once I have the shoes, I will spend the money on things like re-soling, repairing buckles, etc., and that tube of shoe goo is my friend also!  Shelling out for these repairs can double (or more) the lifetime of the shoe.

For running shoes, I find that replacing the insoles is a big lifetime extender also.

strider3700

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2012, 12:02:16 PM »
Dragging this one back up for an update.

it's  been 8 months since I bought 2 pairs of cheap new shoes.    Yesterday I found that I've worn the soles so badly on one pair that water immediately soaks through should I step anywhere damp which is pretty much everywhere these days so that pair is garbage.  The other pair has seen far less usage but is showing signs of wear.   I'm taking this as a good sign that going cheap isn't going to work out for savings.   I'm now starting the hunt for a good pair of shoes. 

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2012, 04:17:44 PM »
It should be mentioned that there are INEXPENSIVE shoes that are good quality.  IE, a shoe doesn't have to be exhorbitantly more expensive than other shoes to last a long time.  Maybe I've just been lucky (unlikely, since I walked in these a LOT, all over European cities), but I have some Clarks Desert Boots, Sperry Topsiders that are years old with no problems.  I have kept them oiled and taken care of in general, but nothing special like resoling. 

happy

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2012, 04:46:58 PM »
One of the reasons "running shoes", sneakers whatever, became widespread fashion items, is that they are NOT repairable ie you have to keep replacing them. Yes I know they're comfortable, but the advertisers really created the image of acceptability and desirability.

I'm with IP Daley on this one.

momo

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2012, 05:57:57 PM »
Sales for work dress shoes which I immediately take off at work when not in meetings or walking around.

Heavily discounted running/walking shoes for everyday use which is kept at work and another pair kept at home or in car to rotate to reduce wear. Where else do you go for running shoe discounts? Prefer Asics some are great like the Gel Foundation series. :)

kt

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2012, 01:54:23 AM »
If I could drop $300 and buy a pair of shoes that would last a decade of hard daily use/abuse  I'd do it in a second  but I don't see the high prices as meaning I'll get my money's worth.
i completely agree with you on this.
i also agree with using a cobbler, however I simply do not know what makes a good, repairable shoe. but i have just decided to go find my local shoe repairer and ask! unfortunately it's hard enough to find shoes for my feet full stop let alone the quality and style and price i want all combined!
i have had a pair of docs for 5 years and they are still great. zips replaced once. just wish i could wear them everywhere.

Phemur

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2012, 08:32:53 AM »
Shoes and winter jackets are some of the few things that I've found are really worth spending more on to buy quality. I don't think I need to explain to all you Mustachians that I'm not talking about "luxury" shoes here, since luxury != quality.

For instance, I bought a pair of leather/suede shoes 4 years ago that I still wear daily. They're unbelievably comfortable, they're still in great shape, and I'm planning on keeping them for as long as they last. They cost me $160, so I'm looking at $40 per year, so far. I think they'll last another few years, so that will drop.

I don't bike to work (I car pool or bus it), but I do bike a lot for fun, and I do have clipless pedals. My ride of choice is off-road mountain biking, and I can't really see how it can be done without clipless shoes. That said, I've had the same pair of mountain biking shoes since I've bought my bike in '98.

The other shoes I own are sneakers that I buy once year. I'm not a fan of barefoot running/walking, so I have to put something on. Fortunately, I buy last year's fashions on sale, so I get them at a pretty good discount.

Finally, I have two pairs of dress shoes. These are very cheap, since I only used them a few times a year when I need to put on a suit and my regular daily shoes just wouldn't work.

I'm definitely not the most Mustachian when it comes to clothes. But I am more frugal that most regular people, and I'm extremely happy with my footwear situation. both in terms of selection and price paid.

MMMdude

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #43 on: December 26, 2012, 06:51:56 PM »
I live in Canada and with the winter I find that it is really hard to keep a pair of dress shoes longer than a year (due to salt/sand dumped on roads/parking lots).  Generally I go with Aldo dress shoes that run about $80 per year.  I've just worn out a pair and I think I'm going to go with some cheaper shoes - Walmart or Army/Navy are possibilities.  I suspect they will have the same lifespan

Daley

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #44 on: December 26, 2012, 07:39:05 PM »
I live in Canada and with the winter I find that it is really hard to keep a pair of dress shoes longer than a year (due to salt/sand dumped on roads/parking lots).  Generally I go with Aldo dress shoes that run about $80 per year.  I've just worn out a pair and I think I'm going to go with some cheaper shoes - Walmart or Army/Navy are possibilities.  I suspect they will have the same lifespan

Aldo shoes were pretty good for the money IIRC back in the day, at least when I used to live up North. Had a pair that I got nearly a decade out of before inheriting a free new pair of Bates Lites oxfords a few years back as part of a uniform refresh. As for getting them to last longer than a year, the secret is to wear golashes and learn how to clean leather. A $20 pair of black rubber overshoes/overboots and some saddle soap will do wonders to preserve those shoes through the winter.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 07:46:09 PM by I.P. Daley »

Paul der Krake

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #45 on: December 27, 2012, 06:13:17 AM »
Where else do you go for running shoe discounts? Prefer Asics some are great like the Gel Foundation series. :)
Asics guy too- the trick is to buy them before you need them. I replace my shoes every 800 miles or so, which means that I'll keep an eye out for deals whenever they reach 650-700. Whenever I get a new pair, I'll rotate until the old pair reaches 800.

Never buy this year's model. This applies to virtually every piece of sport gear out there: tennis rackets/balls, golf clubs (#loljk, buy them used), skis, etc. I have used Asics's middle-of-the-line GT-2xxx series for years, and never bought a pair over $50.

amyable

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #46 on: December 27, 2012, 07:14:04 AM »
Man, I would love to hear if anyone has any good advice for upkeep on women's ballet flat style shoes.  I'm on my feet about 7 hours everyday at work, and I tear through about two pairs of these a year, regardless of the brand.  Maybe that style of shoe is just not built to last?

mugwump

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #47 on: December 27, 2012, 09:45:19 AM »
i also agree with using a cobbler, however I simply do not know what makes a good, repairable shoe.
I have tried to get shoes repaired, and most of the newer sneaker-type shoes with rubber soles (including most dress shoes now) are not repairable.  To get a shoe resoled, you need to have a sewn-on sole, not glued or bonded to the upper part of the shoe.

zinnie

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #48 on: December 27, 2012, 01:45:51 PM »
Man, I would love to hear if anyone has any good advice for upkeep on women's ballet flat style shoes.  I'm on my feet about 7 hours everyday at work, and I tear through about two pairs of these a year, regardless of the brand.  Maybe that style of shoe is just not built to last?

These are more like loafers, but you could get this same kind of construction in a ballet style and they will last forever. I have these in tan: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Via-Spiga-Rachel-Loafer-Grass-/390454699537?pt=US_Women_s_Shoes&var=&hash=item99b00759db. I've had these for a year now and just wore them all over Italy walking 6+ hours a day and they are still in excellent shape--I think it will be years before they even need to be repaired.

The below pictures show the sole/ upper I am talking about better--you want two layers on the sole sown together: http://www.shoes.com/en-US/Product/EC1321833-5182496/VIA+SPIGA/Cinnamon+Suede/Womens+Raven.aspx. I always look at the thickness of the sole and how it is glued/ stitched together to see how long shoes will last. Shoes like this, on the other hand, are toast really quickly b/c the sole is so thin and they are glued: http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/shoes/ballets/PRDOVR~36243/36243.jsp. I bought them with a gift card and regretted it after a few wears because they won't even last a year.

Hope that helps a little...

i also agree with using a cobbler, however I simply do not know what makes a good, repairable shoe.
I have tried to get shoes repaired, and most of the newer sneaker-type shoes with rubber soles (including most dress shoes now) are not repairable.  To get a shoe resoled, you need to have a sewn-on sole, not glued or bonded to the upper part of the shoe.

I just got a pair of shoes that is glued instead of stitched re-soled for the second time. In my experience it matters more what the shoe is made out of than whether or not it is stitched.

caligulala

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Re: Shoes - cheap, expensive or in between?
« Reply #49 on: December 27, 2012, 02:04:23 PM »
Man, I would love to hear if anyone has any good advice for upkeep on women's ballet flat style shoes.  I'm on my feet about 7 hours everyday at work, and I tear through about two pairs of these a year, regardless of the brand.  Maybe that style of shoe is just not built to last?

I walk a lot - between 4 and 8 miles a day. My tieks have about 1000 miles on them and are nowhere near being retired. They could use a polish, but the soles show hardly any wear. They are expensive, but by far, and I mean way far, the best flats I've ever had. www.tieks.com