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Doug B

Recommend good dressy-ish shoe for walking on city streets (brick, rough concrete, etc.)

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TL;DR -- nice looking casual dressy shoes with bulletproof soles that I can wear for more than a year? Oh, and not break the bank?


I park about a seven-minute walk from my office. The whole walk is either over uneven concrete or across a brick courtyard. I do that walk, both ways up to four times a day.

It is absolutely killing the soles of my shoes. In my former job, I parked close to the office door and pretty much walked on carpet all day. These days, the concrete and brick are cracking the soles of my shoes open.

I guess because I wasn't that hard on shoes in the recent past, I got used to buying cheap shoes (< $75, often more like < $60) and not worrying about it so long as they looked good enough. Now, though, I need something that still looks good in the office but with soles that can stand up to significant wear and tear.

If it helps: I don't wear a suit and tie to work. Casual office in a hot climate -- polos & slacks 8 months out of the year, jeans on Fridays. Not a fan of the dress-shoe/athletic-shoe hybrids unless the athletic elements are VERY subdued (e.g. no striping along the sides). I'm kinda stuck in the 1980s with shoes ... the styles that were popular then (what the preppy kids wore, like Bass Weejuns loafers) are the styles I still like now. Strongly prefer loafers to lace-ups, but could move on "the right pair" of lace-ups.

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First thought was anything Skechers.  Maybe not dressy-ish enough?

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^^ Better listen to him... he's pre-med, ur... fashion design.  

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Cole Haan ZeroGrand. Most comfortable shoe I've owned. 

Just as great sockless with shorts, or with khakis/chinos & a button down at the office or out and about. Crazy compliments on them, usually from women. Have them in 3 colors. 

They have nice leather versions that are comfy/great as well. 


 

Edited by [icon]
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Any consideration given to having "office only" shoes that you leave at the office?

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1 hour ago, nirad3 said:

First thought was anything Skechers.  Maybe not dressy-ish enough?

I have owned Skechers in the past that fit the bill looks-wise. My concern was that their dressier models didn't wear long enough. But I'd certainly give them another shot.

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2 hours ago, Bonzai said:

Oof. 🤮

Looks like something a 46 year old former musician turned retail worker would wear to a wedding/funeral along with pleated khakis and untucked faded black button down shirt

Edited by [icon]
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10 minutes ago, brun said:

Any consideration given to having "office only" shoes that you leave at the office?

Considered this. I'd have to change shoes several times a day. Still, I know others manage this way.

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20 minutes ago, [icon] said:

Cole Haan ZeroGrand. Most comfortable shoe I've owned. 

Just as great sockless with shorts, or with khakis/chinos & a button down at the office or out and about. Crazy compliments on them, usually from women. Have them in 3 colors. 

They have nice leather versions that are comfy/great as well. 

The ZeroGrand shoes look like they have a bulletproof sole. Is it only the ZeroGrand line that's got the toughened soles, or could I expect that from other Cole Haan shoes? I've looked on their site some, and I've found a bunch that would do the trick.

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26 minutes ago, [icon] said:

Cole Haan ZeroGrand. Most comfortable shoe I've owned. 

Just as great sockless with shorts, or with khakis/chinos & a button down at the office or out and about. Crazy compliments on them, usually from women. Have them in 3 colors. 

They have nice leather versions that are comfy/great as well. 


 

Those are ugly as ####.  The upper and soles just do not belong together.

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1 minute ago, Doug B said:

The ZeroGrand shoes look like they have a bulletproof sole. Is it only the ZeroGrand line that's got the toughened soles, or could I expect that from other Cole Haan shoes? I've looked on their site some, and I've found a bunch that would do the trick.

"ZeroGrand" is a specific "tech" behind sole and shoe. They are the ones with the ultralight sneaker-level comfort in the soles.

I'm going to guess the cheaper / non-zerogrand shoes will not have the same comfort or durability, but I can't say for sure as I don't own any. They have ZeroGrand shoes in all sorts of styles, though none with that dated look of the Docs. 

 

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20 minutes ago, Sputnikv8 said:

Look at Chukka boots for a modern look.  I went with Uggs, but, many good brands make a nice boot.

Thanks for this. I liked the ones I saw at Cole Haan, though I'd have to buy them aftermarket.

Used to have some Timberland chukkas (didn't call them that, though) back in the early 90s. Might be time to revisit that style of shoe.

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Just now, coyote5 said:

Those are ugly as ####.  The upper and soles just do not belong together.

I can do some level of ugly if the shoes function well on rough street terrain. Really would like to get a few years out of a pair of shoes.

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1 minute ago, Doug B said:

I can do some level of ugly if the shoes function well on rough street terrain. Really would like to get a few years out of a pair of shoes.

They're like jorts for your feet!  ;) :lmao:    But I hear ya.

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I'm a big fan of Bostonian shoes. They make some decent professional-looking, yet affordable, ones with rubber soles. Can't account for the fashion sense though, as I have none.

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1 hour ago, coyote5 said:

Those are ugly as ####.  The upper and soles just do not belong together.

:shrug: I love em. the GF loves em, and get ####loads of compliments on them from fashion-conscious females, including a good friend who owns a boutique in NYC. That's good enough for me.  

I was a "boring inside-the-box" shoe guy for a long time. 

Edited by [icon]

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2 minutes ago, zamboni said:

I'm a big fan of Bostonian shoes. They make some decent affordable ones with rubber soles. Can't account for the fashion sense though, as I have none.

I like the looks of these and have had some in the past. I didn't get a lot of wear out of them, though ... where I walk now, they'd be chewed up in a few months.

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I like both the Docs and the Cole Haans recommended in this thread. Really, I am not fashion-forward at all ... hardly a consideration. If I could go back in time and shop for shoes in 1986, I'd be totally happy with the selection.

(Except for Leroy Hoard's suggestion ... not going Bozo the Clown here :loco: )

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26 minutes ago, [icon] said:

Looks like something a 46 year old former musician turned retail worker would wear to a wedding/funeral along with pleated khakis and untucked faded black button down shirt

The Docs' upper, linked upthread, was fine. I do wish Docs offered a different thread color for the sole stitching, but that's really not a dealbreaker for me.

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9 minutes ago, [icon] said:

:shrug: I love em. the GF loves em, and get ####loads of compliments on them from fashion-conscious females, including a good friend who owns a boutique in NYC. That's good enough for me.  

I was a "boring inside-the-box" shoe guy for a long time. 

boutique in NYC :lmao:

The guy asked for a rough and tumble shoe that he can wear to work. I obliged. Get over yourself.

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2 minutes ago, Doug B said:

The Docs' upper, linked upthread, was fine. I do wish Docs offered a different thread color for the sole stitching, but that's really not a dealbreaker for me.

I think they have sell some without the distinct stitching. Probably not that exact shoe though. 

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1 minute ago, johnnycakes said:

Great look here for my tastes. Same question for you as I asked Walking Boot: Do you have experience with the Rockport loafers walking around on streets and pavement and such? How do they hold up?

I had Rockport penny loafers about 20 years ago. Liked them a lot back then. They had a more traditional looking sole, though ... not like the ones you lined here.

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I had a good recommendation but I think it’s really best for cobblestone.

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35 minutes ago, Doug B said:

Great look here for my tastes. Same question for you as I asked Walking Boot: Do you have experience with the Rockport loafers walking around on streets and pavement and such? How do they hold up?

I had Rockport penny loafers about 20 years ago. Liked them a lot back then. They had a more traditional looking sole, though ... not like the ones you lined here.

I've worn Rockport loafers like these for years and years...  since the mid-1990's anyhow.  I believe the sole will hold up to the wear and tear you described.  

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1 hour ago, Bonzai said:

boutique in NYC :lmao:

The guy asked for a rough and tumble shoe that he can wear to work. I obliged. Get over yourself.

I don't disagree what you suggested maybe being more in line with what he was looking for. I just found it funny to see someone who's proposing those Docs talking smack on the styling of the ZeroGrand line. The ZG's are not for everyone, but they'd certainly get the nod by the vast majority of folks over the Docs low-cut workboots for semi-casual office wear. 

Regardless... OP is getting some good options and that's what matters. 

Docs will definitely last a long ### time too. 

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1 hour ago, zamboni said:

Didn't know penny loafers were still a thing. There was always that badass who would put a dime in them.

Like the Navy Blue Blazer, there will always be a place for them.

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My daily shoe.

Just envelopes my foot and is as comfortable as a slipper. The sole is surprisingly rugged - I've chased down many a taxi with nary a scratch on the bottom. 

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17 minutes ago, ChiefD said:

My daily shoe.

Just envelopes my foot and is as comfortable as a slipper. The sole is surprisingly rugged - I've chased down many a taxi with nary a scratch on the bottom. 

Thanks, I just ordered 4 pairs. Best 10K I ever spent.

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19 minutes ago, ChiefD said:

My daily shoe.

Just envelopes my foot and is as comfortable as a slipper. The sole is surprisingly rugged - I've chased down many a taxi with nary a scratch on the bottom. 

You gotta wear these where you work?   I would have expected something far more casual, but what do I know.

I freakin' wear tennis shoes to work most days.  :lol: 

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I had to get some steel toe recently and went into a redwing shoe store.  Ended up borrowing my dad's shoes (just needed for a day), but Redwing had some nice styles.  The brand is highly recommended by blue collar workers, but they had some fashionable styles as well.

 

Edited by Punxsutawney Phil
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14 hours ago, [icon] said:

Docs will definitely last a long ### time too. 

The Chinese and Thai made ones don't last as long as the English made ones from the 80-90s.  You can find Docs still made in England (new), but the selection is limited to the most traditional styles and the cost is higher.

The Asian made Docs will last a long time, but probably not 10-20 years like English ones.

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2 hours ago, The Z Machine said:

The Chinese and Thai made ones don't last as long as the English made ones from the 80-90s.  You can find Docs still made in England (new), but the selection is limited to the most traditional styles and the cost is higher.

The Asian made Docs will last a long time, but probably not 10-20 years like English ones.

I'll be happy to get up to 3 years, even. Right now, I've got shoes where the rubber sole looks fine one day, and then spontaneously cracks the next as I've crossed rough pavement.

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3 hours ago, Punxsutawney Phil said:

I had to get some steel toe recently and went into a redwing shoe store.  Ended up borrowing my dad's shoes (just needed for a day), but Redwing had some nice styles.  The brand is highly recommended by blue collar workers, but they had some fashionable styles as well.

Thanks for this suggestion. Some work-shoe manufacturers do make functional and tough "dress shoes" for people in the service industry (restaurants, hotels, etc.). I will see what Red Wing has got.

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17 hours ago, ChiefD said:

My daily shoe.

Just envelopes my foot and is as comfortable as a slipper. The sole is surprisingly rugged - I've chased down many a taxi with nary a scratch on the bottom. 

So I check out that link, and I scroll down to the bottom and check out their other fare.

Question: so when Warren Buffet and Bill Gates go shoe-shopping ... what are they getting with the $2500 Santonis that they aren't getting with the $775 Ferragamos?

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21 hours ago, Doug B said:

TL;DR -- nice looking casual dressy shoes with bulletproof soles that I can wear for more than a year? Oh, and not break the bank?

 

Check out Timberland dress boots - the 3/4 or "Chukka" boots work for an office setting and are pretty rugged.

 

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22 hours ago, Walking Boot said:

I did not see this thread until yesterday evening, but after clicking on that link I filtered Clarks by my size, then sorted by price low-to-high... wound up ordering a pair of winter beaters for less than $40.  They showed up about an hour ago.  Zappos rules.  Just thought I'd share. 

 

ETA: I just checked... they are "on sale" for $81 today.  Not sure what happened, but I'll take it. 

Edited by Jaysus
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10 minutes ago, Jaysus said:

Just thought I'd share. 

Sharing is caring

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