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Style For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
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Clint Barton Offline
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Post: #1
For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
… get a pair of black wholecuts oxfords, or some dark brown captoes. These two types of dress shoes are higher on the formality scale, and will go well with your navy and gray suits (or similarly colored dress pants). If you get the black wholecuts, they will match with a tuxedo, or a black suit. These shoes are perfect for interviews, funerals, or anything else where you need to up the formality/seriousness.

MOVSM better explains the different types of dress shoes and the associated formality in this thread: https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-58378.html


Black wholecuts
   

Dark brown blucher captoes
   

Medium brown oxford captoe
   

I recommend the black whole cuts over black captoes(not shown), because the whole cuts will look more sleek and to me, look more interesting than a black captoe. I offered the brown captoe (either oxford or a sleek blucher) as an alternative, because of their versatility as they match more colors of clothes than a black shoe. Whichever you pick, get something that is not too rounded, and not too pointy. Good year welt construction(google this) is a must here. These will cost at least $200 for something from the Meermin shoemakers.

Most likely, this first pair of shoes will be too formal to go with jeans. Depending on the cut/style of your chinos, you may be able to wear these shoes with them.

Quick note on shoe care: Don’t wear your dress shoes two days in a row. Your shoes will last longer when they get a chance to rest a day between wearings, as moist leather breaks down quickly. When buying these shoes, make sure to get a pair of shoe trees that are sized to not stretch your shoes, a decent shoe horn, and some shoe bags.

Don’t wear these to a busy dance club, or else they could get messed up. Don’t wear them in the rain, especially if you have leather soles. Also, suede is a lot easier to care for than you think. They don’t require shoe shines. Just brush ‘em when they are dirty, and put on some spray waterproofer. Learn some basic shoe maintenance (clean, moisturize, and polish) and these shoes could last 10-15 years with regular use, or even longer, if only worn for special occasions.

If you’ve got the budget and desire to get two pairs of shoes, get the black wholecuts AND pick one of these 3 shoes types below in either medium or dark brown. Since you are already picking the black wholecuts, your 2nd pair does not have to be as formal as one of the brown shoes I mentioned above. Don’t fall for the trap of getting a tan colored shoe here for your first pairs of shoes, as tan won’t match as many colors as you may think.

Brogues/Wingtips in suede(more casual) or calf leather (more formal) – A bit more casual than the wholecuts/captoe. These can go from suits all the way down to jeans and everything in between. Oxfords look sleeker but bluchers and derbies will work with your clothes more if your style is casual.
       

Dress loafers in suede or calf leather – These are a bit more casual than the option above. Comfortable and great for the summer, especially in suede. If you don’t wear suits as often, a dress loafer makes a great option. Definitely works with jeans and you can even wear these with shorts. Go for a sleek version if you plan to wear these with more formal clothes, or go with a more rounded toe for casual chinos/jeans/shorts.
       

Norwegian Split-toe – This is something I don’t see much of on other guys, but have found that these are very versatile shoes that go well with everything from suits down to jeans. Just make sure to get something that is more on the sleeker side if you plan to wear these with suits and dressy pants.
   


Alternative recommendations (in suede or leather) for those who aren’t fans of the classic choices for a 2nd pair of shoes above, you could try: chukkas(versatile and relaxed), double monkstraps (goes well with jeans, but can be little bit played out these days as it seems like every man on the forum got ‘em, including me), and dress boots (ok with jeans but can run hot in summer and looks a little funny with dress pants if they are too slim or too wide). I'll post photos of these in the first reply.

A few other notes: Oxfords look more formal than bluchers/derbies (google these terms to learn about the differences), which makes them less likely to be worn with jeans or very casually styled chinos.

Based on my experience, I can recommend the following brands: Allen Edmonds (good value for factory 2nds, anniversary sales, and eBay), Meermin (great value in the $200 range but only available online), Jack Erwin (good value at $200), and Carmina (pricey, but great designs and quality/finishing). You’ll save money in the long run if you go with quality and a good year welt construction.

Don’t buy hybrid shoes like those Cole Haan / Nike collaborations. If you are on a budget, don’t fall for the trap of getting Kenneth Cole's or Aldo's. These shoes won’t last in the long run, as they are most likely glued construction and made with cheap leather. Avoid the temptation to ball out on Gucci, Prada, or even Farragamo, as these are fashion oriented brands that put more into their marketing, than the quality of their shoes.

These dress shoe recommendations will give you a great start and bring formality, some versatility, and longevity to your style.

- Clint Barton
(This post was last modified: 05-08-2018 08:53 PM by Clint Barton.)
05-08-2018 08:41 PM
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Clint Barton Offline
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Post: #2
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
Alternative choices for the 2nd pair of shoes:

Chukka
   

Double Monk Strap
   

Dress Boot (a brogue boot might make more sense than the jumper boot below)
   

- Clint Barton
05-08-2018 08:46 PM
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presidentcarter Offline
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Post: #3
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
Some additional Pro-Tips:

- It's easy to polish or shine your shoes yourself and takes 5 minutes. Save the $10 unless it's absolutely necessary to get a shoe shine. This is something that should be done kind of often anyway to avoid drying and protect the shoe so you don't want to be paying the guy in the lobby a fortune to do that for you.

- If you walk a lot to work, wear sneakers commuting and keep your nice dress shoes in your desk with cedar shoe trees in them (Rochester makes good ones) to cut down on wear not only on the shoes but your feet and knees as well. I heard somewhere that technically you're supposed to let the shoes "air out" overnight before sticking the trees in them, but that's often more trouble than it's worth and you'll forget anyway.

- Get "heel savers"! Seriously, after paying good money over the years to have my heels replaced many times I realized slapping on the heel saver makes them last so much longer. You get used to these and eventually dont even notice they're there.

- You can also get your cobbler to put a rubber sole on leather sole shoes (to avoid them getting slippery when dusty or damaged by rain)...also much cheaper to replace when they start wearing thin.

Brands I have limited knowledge on but it really depends on your size. I for one cannot wear Allen Edmonds because they're for wider/"fatter" feet. I've never tried Ferragamo ($ seems overboard) but I do really like the "To Boot New York" double monk straps that I got. Johnston Murphy has been my go-to for years and I have a bunch of them, but they feel a bit floppy and pedestrian compared to the fit of the NYs.

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(This post was last modified: 05-08-2018 09:03 PM by presidentcarter.)
05-08-2018 09:01 PM
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Suits Offline
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Post: #4
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
I disagree strongly based on my personal experience with dress shoes. I'm a daily dress shoe wearer. For the guy who just needs something to go with a suit for more formal occasions, I agree with the above advice, but if you actually want a pair of shoes to wear on a regular basis (as I do), I'd start with the brown (medium or light) wingtips. I have a number of reasons for this.
  • Wingtips show wear a lot less obviously than shoes with a solid slab of leather. Get a nick in the toe of a shoe with smooth leather and it's going to standout like an eskimo and a vegetarian restaurant. Wingtips have a lot more going on, however, so a few scratches and nicks in the leather isn't going to be so obvious to the eye. You get a lot more wear out of wingtips before you have to retire them for cosmetics reasons.
  • Black is far too formal for daily wear. Actually, a shiny black pair of shoes will go nicely with many pairs of jeans, but the color black just shoehorns you (pun intended) into a more predictable set of styles. Brown shoes (and my favourite, tan shoes) allows you to wear dress shoes daily without drifting too formal.
  • Brown goes with much more than black. If you're wearing black shoes, you have to wear a black belt. Wear a black belt and there are a lot of shirts than won't match. Brown, on the other hand, goes with just about everything.

My advice: if you don't have an unlimited shoe budget (and who does), spend as much as you can on a pair of brown wingtips. Then spend just enough to get by on a boring pair of black dress shoes for the very occasional weddings, funerals and graduations.

Once you're ready to put up the money to buy a second pair of long lasting leather dress shoes, get the black formal pair if you want, but just buy one pair. You'll make much better use of brown and tan shoes unless you're constantly wearing suits (and even then, brown/tan shoes come in handy unless you're wearing black suits).

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05-08-2018 09:06 PM
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Post: #5
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
Good point Suits! I recommended the black or brown captoe assuming that a person only buying one pair of shoes doesn't have a need to wear dress shoes often, and only for then for truly formal occasions.

If a person is going to rock dress shoes on the regular, than it makes sense to have one in black for the interviews/funeral/conservative/night looks (and these can be more inexpensive as you mentioned). In fact, if you are OK with not having a black shoe, since you think they are too dressy, then it could make sense to move on to your recommendation as a first pair. (if not wearing suits on the regular)..

The brown wingtips are VERY versatile, as you also mentioned. Brown really does go with everything, especially if it is a medium or dark brown.

(05-08-2018 09:06 PM)Suits Wrote:  I disagree strongly based on my personal experience with dress shoes. I'm a daily dress shoe wearer. For the guy who just needs something to go with a suit for more formal occasions, I agree with the above advice, but if you actually want a pair of shoes to wear on a regular basis (as I do), I'd start with the brown (medium or light) wingtips. I have a number of reasons for this.
  • Wingtips show wear a lot less obviously than shoes with a solid slab of leather. Get a nick in the toe of a shoe with smooth leather and it's going to standout like an eskimo and a vegetarian restaurant. Wingtips have a lot more going on, however, so a few scratches and nicks in the leather isn't going to be so obvious to the eye. You get a lot more wear out of wingtips before you have to retire them for cosmetics reasons.
  • Black is far too formal for daily wear. Actually, a shiny black pair of shoes will go nicely with many pairs of jeans, but the color black just shoehorns you (pun intended) into a more predictable set of styles. Brown shoes (and my favourite, tan shoes) allows you to wear dress shoes daily without drifting too formal.
  • Brown goes with much more than black. If you're wearing black shoes, you have to wear a black belt. Wear a black belt and there are a lot of shirts than won't match. Brown, on the other hand, goes with just about everything.

My advice: if you don't have an unlimited shoe budget (and who does), spend as much as you can on a pair of brown wingtips. Then spend just enough to get by on a boring pair of black dress shoes for the very occasional weddings, funerals and graduations.

Once you're ready to put up the money to buy a second pair of long lasting leather dress shoes, get the black formal pair if you want, but just buy one pair. You'll make much better use of brown and tan shoes unless you're constantly wearing suits (and even then, brown/tan shoes come in handy unless you're wearing black suits).

- Clint Barton
(This post was last modified: 05-08-2018 09:16 PM by Clint Barton.)
05-08-2018 09:13 PM
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Post: #6
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
delete

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(This post was last modified: 05-08-2018 09:15 PM by Clint Barton.)
05-08-2018 09:15 PM
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presidentcarter Offline
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Post: #7
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
Clint got me out of the woodwork to post on a thread about shoes. Laugh

"...it's the quiet cool...it's for someone who's been through the struggle and come out on the other side smelling like money and pussy."

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05-08-2018 09:20 PM
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polar Offline
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Post: #8
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
If you travel and can't fit two pairs of nice leather shoes, or your feet sweat easily, I'd suggest

1) applying Certain Dri or similar antiperspirant once or twice weekly to your feet, and

2) getting a pair of something like these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B073PJMTMG/
^pop em in your shoes before bed, cover with a washcloth, and plug in. Your shoes will be dry overnight, ready to wear again tomorrow.

And when it comes to shoe trees, if buying aftermarket (as opposed to a pair that comes sized from the shoe manufacturer), when in doubt, go down in size. The springs can stretch your shoes out too much, if you're not careful, and your fancy shoes will wear like wading boots.

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(This post was last modified: 05-08-2018 09:27 PM by polar.)
05-08-2018 09:24 PM
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Clint Barton Offline
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Post: #9
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
First time we met I noticed you had a nice pair of kicks, player.

(05-08-2018 09:20 PM)presidentcarter Wrote:  Clint got me out of the woodwork to post on a thread about shoes. Laugh

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05-08-2018 09:29 PM
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Repo Online
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Post: #10
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
FYI, very detailed thread here:

https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-58465.html
05-08-2018 09:50 PM
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Post: #11
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
I've had my Allen Edmonds Warwick MonKstrap shoes for about a year now and they just keep getting better. I polish it with a light walnut color polish I bought off Amazon.

I bought them as factory seconds so they were cheaper than normal but the "defects" aren't even noticeable after a few wears.
05-08-2018 10:06 PM
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Post: #12
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
Brands-wise you'll generally be safe with Alden* or Allen Edmonds.

If you can afford it, buy shell cordovan. This is a "leather" made from a layer of muscle under the skin on the horse's butt. Only a few tanneries in the world make shell, including Horween in Chicago, and Shinki in Japan.

This is how the finished "shells" look:

http://shoegazing.se/english/wp-content/...van-13.png

Shell wears differently than your usual full-grain leather in that it creases differently, doesn't demonstrate any grain, has a very glossy look sans polishing, and is far more resistant to scuffing and scratching:

[Image: D3EEEDA018DF0136AB06543D7EF8F2C1.jpg]

What this means is you'll have a shoe that requires very little upkeep, aside from the occasional brushing with a horsehair brush.

Shell of course will run you, but thankfully there are many lightly used pairs on ebay and even Grailed these days.

Also, some dark red leathers are listed as "cordovan" color but are not necessarily made of shell cordovan.

*A note about Alden: do not send them your Alden shoes back to have them rewelted. Alden does not restitch the welts to the uppers by hand following the original stitch holes. Instead, they just use a sole stitcher machine, and in effect create more new holes. After one rewelt they'll ruin the uppers where the stitching was done and your cobbler will have to get creative to save the shoes.
(This post was last modified: 05-09-2018 02:35 AM by Super_Fire.)
05-09-2018 02:31 AM
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Post: #13
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
Great thread thanks for sharing link
(05-08-2018 09:50 PM)Repo Wrote:  FYI, very detailed thread here:

https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-58465.html

- Clint Barton
05-09-2018 11:01 AM
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1818Steve
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Post: #14
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
Good thread. Will throw in a couple of additional points.

1. Shoe trees. Buy some. Your dress shoes will last longer a look better if they are on shoe trees when you are not wearing them. I prefer cedar.

2. Suits had a good point about wingtips. Wingtips are generally thought to be appropriate for wear with a suit in the US. Not so across the pond.

3. Alden and Allen Edmonds are good American brands. I have a slight preference for Alden, based upon owning several pairs of each.

4. A non-wingtip shoe which can also cover a lot of ground is the Allen Edmonds Strand. It is a cap toe balmoral brogue which can be worn with a suit or dressed down. Brooks Brothers has their rebranded version on sale for $269 now. They call it a Medallion Perforated Cap Toe but it is an AE Strand. https://www.allenedmonds.com/shoes/mens-...F6104.html If you buy a pair make sure to use merchandise credit from cardcash at a 17% discount.

5. Shell cordovan is great material, but I am not sure it is worth the extra money unless you wear the shoes frequently. If you wear dress shoes every day and rotate two pairs, then shell will be more economical than calf in the long run. Shell wears hot.

6. I don't care for wholecuts, but that is a shoe which can be used further up the dressy scale, even workable with formalwear.
05-09-2018 01:08 PM
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RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
I can get an insane life out of my shoes, and I attribute it to the following.

- Even a nice pair of shoes or boots look like shit if they are not cared for.

- Middle range shoes are the best value. ($350 - $450)

- Get a shoe clean and shine kit - build it yourself and try new products - and USE IT frequently.

- Cedar shoe trees. Not even up for debate.

- Rotate shoes. The amount of money you will save by having 3 pairs of $300 shoes rather than one pair of $500 shoes is insane.

- Make sure your shoes can be cobbled. No glues. No fancy work that cannot be undone. Have a cobbler, and get to know him.

- Have one pair of shoes that you love, and people hate. Mine are my leather soled, velvet slippers. Paired with a tux or dark suit they get more attention than anything I own, save my pocket square. I know I am doing it right when I get approached by a dozen women in a night complimenting my shoes, and get hated on by a dozen guys.

- Gucci loafers in the summer. Sockless, with a sprinkle of baby powder. Nothing feels better on a bare foot than these.
05-09-2018 01:38 PM
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RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
I like Crockett & Jones shoes, I have a pair of their Tetburys and they look fantastic. People come up and compliment me on them. The Tetburys are good with a suit or jeans.
05-09-2018 03:17 PM
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Post: #17
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
Suits and Laner win the thread.

I will add a very humble afternote, which is that not all glued on semi-cheap shoes are a total waste. They are a great wear in non-perfect weather and much more versatile. For instance, I have a pair of Bed-Stu leather chukka boots that are super comfortable, well made (enough -- I've been putting them through hell for 5 years with only a little discoloration to show), and get the most compliments of all my shoes even though I have 3 way more expensive and properly made pairs. They probably just fit my personality really really well.

But yeah, for a #1 pair, brown wing tip or brown cap-toe with slight broguing (eg. Allen Edmonds Fifth Ave) is the way to go. And for a second pair I'd recommend trying Undandy (if you live in USA or Europe, Canadian duty is a killer).
(This post was last modified: 05-09-2018 04:50 PM by TooFineAPoint.)
05-09-2018 04:50 PM
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Post: #18
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
(05-09-2018 04:50 PM)TooFineAPoint Wrote:  Suits and Laner win the thread.

I will add a very humble afternote, which is that not all glued on semi-cheap shoes are a total waste. They are a great wear in non-perfect weather and much more versatile. For instance, I have a pair of Bed-Stu leather chukka boots that are super comfortable, well made (enough -- I've been putting them through hell for 5 years with only a little discoloration to show), and get the most compliments of all my shoes even though I have 3 way more expensive and properly made pairs. They probably just fit my personality really really well.

But yeah, for a #1 pair, brown wing tip or brown cap-toe with slight broguing (eg. Allen Edmonds Fifth Ave) is the way to go. And for a second pair I'd recommend trying Undandy (if you live in USA or Europe, Canadian duty is a killer).

Good point.

I did not mean to say that rubber soled dress shoes should be avoided, as much as I meant to say that leather soled shoes are something that you could keep maintaining for many years.

It pains me to have to go through slushy, salty snow in good shoes and I am too proud to wear galoshes. I use my chukkas with a toppy and make sure to clean and condition them when I get home.

I am not a daily office guy though, so perhaps someone can shed some light on what to do if you have to go out in a suit every day, weather be damned.
05-09-2018 06:10 PM
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RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
(05-09-2018 01:38 PM)Laner Wrote:  - Make sure your shoes can be cobbled. No glues. No fancy work that cannot be undone. Have a cobbler, and get to know him.

In practical terms what this means is that the shoes' uppers are stitched to the welt in some way; Goodyear welt stitched or Blake stitched, for example:

[Image: Goodyear-Welted-Construction-1.jpg]

[Image: matthewdack-blake-stitch.png]

That is, they're resolable because the stitching can be undone and replaced. Preferably by hand to ensure the original stitch holes are followed.
05-09-2018 07:56 PM
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Post: #20
RE: For the players who need to get their first pair of real dress shoes…
Thanks for all the inspiration gents.

Not my first pair of dress shoes by any means (my black Church's captoes have served me well for well over 15 years now) but I'm in Italy today and saw a beautiful pair of dark brown captoes with slightly more detailing than those shown above.

They look great with dark blue chino type trousers which I tend to wear instead of jeans these days. Everyone wears jeans.

The blue trousers with the black shoes is a little too military so I'm pleased to have found these for a more smart but casual look.
(This post was last modified: 05-11-2018 02:37 PM by Ski pro.)
05-11-2018 02:37 PM
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