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Old 05-05-2010, 09:29 AM
 
163 posts, read 236,991 times
Reputation: 126

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I'm hoping that one of you might be able to help with my situation. I've been trying to find dress shoes that I actually like (I tend to go for European clothes, and the same goes for the look of most shoes I buy) without much success. I realize that the best option is probably to fly to Italy and buy shoes there, but it's not within my means now.

Even if I can't find an ideal pair in Chicago, I just want to talk to some honest people who will answer my questions about two aspects of shoes: their durability and the quality of the insole. I do lots of walking and tend to find the insole curl forward from the back quite quickly. I would like to find shoes that are extremely well made, even if pricey, that will last a long time. I have found a lot of decent-looking Kenneth Cole shoes in the past few years but they keep failing me when it comes to quality.

I went to Altman's for the second time yesterday hoping to get good advice, but the salesman was not helpful and quite arrogant (a change from my first visit and a different salesperson). I understand that he wants to sell shoes in his store, but once I saw that nothing they had was of interest, I wondered if he might compare the quality of some of those brands with others I have heard of or tried on. He wouldn't have any of it!

Is there any place where people will be forthright in revealing the usual differences in quality between brands?

Just on the off chance anyone knows a lot about shoes, I'll state that I currently have a pair of To Boot New Yorks and a pair of Hugo Bosses that I will keep (one or maybe both) from my past week of shopping if nothing better comes up... though if there is something better-made in this area, I am willing to check those out, too.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:46 AM
 
11,973 posts, read 30,375,556 times
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Allen Edmonds are very well-made and durable. The problem is that they are quite conservative with their styling.

I've enjoyed my Cole Haan shoes over the years, but the type with the rubber/leather combo "air" soles wear out too quickly. Cole Haan will re-sole them and re-furbish the shoes for you for $80. Their upper end shoes have leather soles and are more durable, and those are typically in the $500 range. They are not cheap, but they will last for years if cared for properly and re-soled before the leather gets damaged. Johnston and Murphy is another brand that has served me well in the past.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:51 AM
 
71 posts, read 101,291 times
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Nordstrom's has a great shoe department. Pick yourself up a pair of Bruno's and they'll last you forever if you treat them well.
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Andersonville, Chicago
188 posts, read 581,586 times
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Though I'm not a man, I do understand your frustration. Whenever I'm in Europe (especially Italy and Spain), I try to buy as many shoes as I can because the quality here in the U.S. just does not compare. Even living in a city like Chicago, I have a hard time finding shoes that meet my expectations, so I often buy online.

Though I know little about men's shoe brands, I recommend browsing this online store for leather-soled shoes: Mens Shoes Formal & Tuxedo Shoes - Free Overnight Shipping on New Styles, Free Return Shipping: Endless.com I use them to buy high-end designer shoes. There's free overnight shipping and free return shipping, so there's no risk involved. I personally prefer to buy shoes in person for this reason, but in light of said shortage of quality shoes, I compromise.

I would also recommend checking out their men's boots section - since you said you dress in a European style, many of those boots would look fabulous and modern with a blazer and designer jeans. Like these, made of calfskin with a leather sole: http://www.endless.com/Mezlan-Dernie...hoesbrowserel2
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:36 AM
 
8,767 posts, read 17,800,523 times
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Cole-Haan makes nice men's shoes.
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:16 PM
 
163 posts, read 236,991 times
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Thanks for the comments-they're appreciated.
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Wheaton, Illinois
10,257 posts, read 20,769,948 times
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Allen Edmonds are top quality and American made. They look so good I can tell a pair from 100 feet away.

A 4 year old pair of mine developed a sqeak; I took them to the store on Michigan and the salesman took the shoes and gave me a brand new pair, just like that. They are the Redwings of dress shoes.
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:15 PM
 
143 posts, read 420,061 times
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Brioni
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:21 PM
 
50 posts, read 108,229 times
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Cole Haan, Johnston and Murphy, Rockport, Clarks, Alden, Mephisto and Footprints(birkenstock brand) are all solid brands. Fergamo is another high priced shoe too...I think it's like $700 a pair though, not sure if it's more style priced vs comfort priced.

Alamo in Andersonville has a nice selection of comfortable, good looking shoes, however I haven't been in a couple of years so not positive as of late.

What you could do too is buy a pair of custom inserts that fit into all of your shoes. Makes all of your shoes comfortable. Thats what I do, and I highly recommend the place that I go to...they are reasonably priced for what you pay for. I have leather inserts that have lasted me over four years, can't go anywhere without them. They really make a big difference. PM me if you want the location or number.
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:25 PM
 
11,973 posts, read 30,375,556 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Allen Edmonds are top quality and American made. They look so good I can tell a pair from 100 feet away.
Made in the heart of Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley. They are a company worth supporting.
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