Business / dress / work shoes

Drubbing

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I've given up trying to buy good shoes at a reasonable price, even Docs are selling shit these days. I won't wear leather soles, they kill my feet. Went to Betts outlet and paid $40 for some.
 

Nonick

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They say spend money on your shoes and your bed, because if your not in one your in the other.

I've got on well with ecco shoes but they have a miserable presence in Australia.
 

filobiblic

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I've got on well with ecco shoes but they have a miserable presence in Australia.
I came across an Ecco store recently- in Macquarie Centre I think.
 

Nonick

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Yes and check their range - it's about half or less of what their brand makes. I had to go to the flagship store in chatswood and try on the shoes I wanted and then they didn't have brown so I ordered them online...
 

filobiblic

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Ahh, I see. Yeah, I get your point... Seems like it's often best to order online when it comes to shoes (once you have your correct fitting). Birkenstock are the same. It's best to order from Germany direct.
 

Nonick

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Check out DuckFeet, they look interesting, not sure if they're really my thing. Dear as poisen
 

Mark1966

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Discussion moved from Boots thread - https://paste-and-cut.com.au/community/threads/boots.970/



...

And by no means am I a "shoe guy" yet; I just applied my eBay skills to those poor Aussies who splurge on expensive shoes and then find they don't fit. If you set up a good search string, you can find some almost unworn gems out there.

...
Interesting. I've been too cautious to experiment with online shoe purchases because of different sizing standards and the impact of the different lasts on top of that. Maybe worth dipping my toes in so to speak ...
 
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Drubbing

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That's disappointing, surely they are still offering sole and heel service though. That's a prime reason so many buy shoes of this type, so they can be reshod and keep going.

Was that the store response or the factory?

I'm wanting to get Proper shoes in the future, as I'm even wasting my money with brands like Ecco. Exceptionally comfy, but they simply aren't going to last. I've looked into getting English shoes, but there is no way I'm dropping $3-400 on quality shoes if I have to buy online I can't try them first. Buying shoes blind online is just to big a punt for accurate sizing.
 
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Oct 19, 2014
I bought some hand made English shoes about a month ago online. I just went to a local shop that stocked the shoes, tried them on for size and then bought them online for much cheaper than Oz

That's disappointing, surely they are still offering sole and heel service though. That's a prime reason so many buy shoes of this type, so they can be reshod and keep going.

Was that the store response or the factory?

I'm wanting to get Proper shoes in the future, as I'm even wasting my money with brands like Ecco. Exceptionally comfy, but they simply aren't going to last. I've looked into getting English shoes, but there is no way I'm dropping $3-400 on quality shoes if I have to buy online I can't try them first. Buying shoes blind online is just to big a punt for accurate sizing.
 

Drubbing

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I bought some hand made English shoes about a month ago online. I just went to a local shop that stocked the shoes, tried them on for size and then bought them online for much cheaper than Oz
Stockists for English shoes are pretty thin in Perth seems to be Loakes or Church, which reduces the choices you can then ship in. Not only that, where will you find a someone who can look after them here? That was the main bonus of RM Williams
 

Mark1966

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Don't rule out 'second hand' -





Both are eBay purchases - so less at risk $$ wise in terms of sizing and both damm fine shoes IMHO...

We have a couple of good old fashioned cobblers here in CBR
 

Mong.

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Guys, regarding cobblers and the re-soling of Goodyear welted shoes in particular, you also need to consider the scarcity of actual Goodyear welting machines in Australia. I've been told that there are only two in the whole country - one of which is at Rekaris Cobblers in Melbourne, and I think the other is somewhere in Sydney. You should also consider that the best result is to have the shoe re-welted on the original last by the manufacturer, as while a good result can be had without this, the cobbler cannot avoid some small changes to the shape of the shoe due to the generic last used in the re-welting process. Obviously for British manufacturers such as Loake, it's more expensive and time consuming to send shoes overseas.

Some won't care too much about the above - but I made an expensive error in judgement with my first pair of Loakes, which had exceptionally comfy leather soles that I wore out in two years due to shitty Melbourne weather. I've just sent them back to Loake to have the leather soles replaced with Dainite, and they'll be fully re-conditioned while there, but it's an extra $150 on top of the $300 they originally cost. They're extremely comfortable and I don't regret the buy, but there was a lesson here - the hardiness of rubber soles is a small price to pay for a marginal decrease in comfort, and I would have gotten an extra 2 years of wear from them if I'd bought the dainite from the start.
 

Mark1966

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Guys, regarding cobblers and the re-soling of Goodyear welted shoes in particular, you also need to consider the scarcity of actual Goodyear welting machines in Australia. I've been told that there are only two in the whole country - one of which is at Rekaris Cobblers in Melbourne, and I think the other is somewhere in Sydney. You should also consider that the best result is to have the shoe re-welted on the original last by the manufacturer, as while a good result can be had without this, the cobbler cannot avoid some small changes to the shape of the shoe due to the generic last used in the re-welting process. Obviously for British manufacturers such as Loake, it's more expensive and time consuming to send shoes overseas.

Some won't care too much about the above - but I made an expensive error in judgement with my first pair of Loakes, which had exceptionally comfy leather soles that I wore out in two years due to shitty Melbourne weather. I've just sent them back to Loake to have the leather soles replaced with Dainite, and they'll be fully re-conditioned while there, but it's an extra $150 on top of the $300 they originally cost. They're extremely comfortable and I don't regret the buy, but there was a lesson here - the hardiness of rubber soles is a small price to pay for a marginal decrease in comfort, and I would have gotten an extra 2 years of wear from them if I'd bought the dainite from the start.
I would presume that RM Williams would resole on the same last as manufacture too?

I've now got, for dress shoes:
  • Black Cheaney brogues (NWT)
  • Brown Cheaney brogues (2nd hand)
  • Florsheim Oxford (older ones from when they still made decent shoes) x 2 (1 mine, 1 2nd hand)
  • Loakes 1880 brogues (2nd hand)
The 2nd hand had very little wear. All have recently been (Vibram) re-healed/ Topy applied by local cobbler who did a great job. I have shoe trees for the lot. My aim is to keep them in good condition and merely needing new Topy or heals. Aim is not to need a complete resole.

I also have three pairs of RM Williams books, all with rubber soles. RMW will resole these and that is my intention.
 
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Drubbing

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Perth, WA
Guys, regarding cobblers and the re-soling of Goodyear welted shoes in particular, you also need to consider the scarcity of actual Goodyear welting machines in Australia. I've been told that there are only two in the whole country - one of which is at Rekaris Cobblers in Melbourne, and I think the other is somewhere in Sydney. You should also consider that the best result is to have the shoe re-welted on the original last by the manufacturer, as while a good result can be had without this, the cobbler cannot avoid some small changes to the shape of the shoe due to the generic last used in the re-welting process. Obviously for British manufacturers such as Loake, it's more expensive and time consuming to send shoes overseas.
i think this is why you don't go old school - best to topy the soles and redo them as needed. That way the shoes will last, Heels anyone can fix too. The problem with so many expensive fashion shoes is the leathers are good, but the soles and heels are rubberised and not intended to be replaced.

When a pair barely last 2 years it's not a good way to buy shoes. I'm astounded how good these RMs that don't fit me look, The leather seriously doesn't look like it's aged at all and still looks stunning. Damn shame they're too small. I've had old shoes I've not bothered to throw out in there too, and they all look shit - the leather is rubbish.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 22, 2016
Location
Perth
Guys, regarding cobblers and the re-soling of Goodyear welted shoes in particular, you also need to consider the scarcity of actual Goodyear welting machines in Australia. I've been told that there are only two in the whole country - one of which is at Rekaris Cobblers in Melbourne, and I think the other is somewhere in Sydney. You should also consider that the best result is to have the shoe re-welted on the original last by the manufacturer, as while a good result can be had without this, the cobbler cannot avoid some small changes to the shape of the shoe due to the generic last used in the re-welting process. Obviously for British manufacturers such as Loake, it's more expensive and time consuming to send shoes overseas.

Some won't care too much about the above - but I made an expensive error in judgement with my first pair of Loakes, which had exceptionally comfy leather soles that I wore out in two years due to shitty Melbourne weather. I've just sent them back to Loake to have the leather soles replaced with Dainite, and they'll be fully re-conditioned while there, but it's an extra $150 on top of the $300 they originally cost. They're extremely comfortable and I don't regret the buy, but there was a lesson here - the hardiness of rubber soles is a small price to pay for a marginal decrease in comfort, and I would have gotten an extra 2 years of wear from them if I'd bought the dainite from the start.
@Mong - great info. Cheers.
 

Mong.

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I would presume that RM Williams would resole on the same last as manufacture too?
They definitely would - and for me, a key reason behind having picked up two pairs myself. They're both on the composite rubber soles (at your recommendation, from memory) and although they've worn down a lot, they're going to last me a good while yet. Some punters on the fashion-oriented forums want to keep their shoes absolutely pristine, but for me, a bit of wear and patina is what I want. Gives a bit of character, and when they need a re-sole, you know that RMW are going to send them back as close to how you left them as is possible.

The 2nd hand had very little wear. All have recently been (Vibram) re-healed/ Topy applied by local cobbler who did a great job. I have shoe trees for the lot. My aim is to keep them in good condition and merely needing new Topy or heals. Aim is not to need a complete resole.
I think that this is the key if you're going to spend money on shoes. I'm not motivated by fashion - I aimed to get out of having to buy new shoes every 12-18 months, and spending $100-200 each time. Shoe trees makes a big difference to the creasing of the leather, and makes the time spent polishing and maintaining worthwhile. Same deal with the Topy - it's just good sense to protect the shoe. I wish I'd done it with the Loakes that I mentioned, to be honest. It would have saved me $150ish.

You've got a nice stable of shoes there - and your second hand approach worked well for me too. Picked up two pairs of Allen Edmonds for under $100 each from eBay, and among other things, having a size reference to an Allen Edmonds 5 last has been a particularly valuable size reference when looking online (because they are so popular in the US). It's amazing what a good clean and polish can do for some shoes, Saphir Reno Mat is particularly good at stripping old polish and ingrained dirt from shoes.

i think this is why you don't go old school, and topy the soles and redo them as needed. That way the shoes will last, Heels anyone can fix too. The problem with so many expensive fashion shoots is the leaders are good, but the soles and heels are rubberised and not intended to be replaced. When a pair barely last 2 years it's not a good way to buy shoes. I'm astounded how good these RMs that don't fit me look, The leather seriously doesn't look like it's aged at all and the leather still looks stunning. Damn shame they're too small. I've had old shoes I've not bothered to throw out in there too, and they all look shit - the leather is rubbish.
Definitely agree mate. My old man is a frequent visitor to Italy, and he's had great luck buying nice shoes for $100-150 with a blake stitch (not able to re-sole these, but they are stitched so very stable), and getting a local old school Turkish bloke to whack a Topy on top for $20 bucks. He's paying half the price of my fancy ass English shoes, and getting 90% of the result. A bit of care and they look every bit as good as the overseas stuff, and loads better than the crap you see from Aquila for twice the price.

It's interesting to compare older RMW boots with newer ones. My pair in yearling chestnut are a lot more supple and thinner than my boss, who has a nearly identical pair in much tougher, more rigid leather from about 5-6 years ago. His have done a lot of miles, but while mine are more comfortable, they lack the "tough as nails" feeling of his pair which are very thick and rigid. Will be curious to see if they have the same longevity - I wouldn't be surprised if newer models have sacrificed some looks for durability. As you say though, they look great and they work in a casual-ish corporate environment as well as they work for the pub on weekends. You could do worse than gift your kids a pair for their 18th birthdays - they'll probably thank for in a decade.
 

Mark1966

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@Mark1966 other than rm, what is a decent value footwear?
Are you sure you want to open that Pandora's box?



I think you will get lots of opinions and it largely depends on what you want the footwear for?

Are you thinking -

dress/formal/work? or

casual/weekend/ 'smart casual'? or

active/ hiking/ running? or

travel/ light? or

a combination of the above?

Apart from the dress/work shoes identified above I have three pairs of RMW boots which are my go to non-work footwear. I also have three pairs of Ecco shoes as these are recommended by my physiotherapist SiL as providing good support and they are lighter/easier to pack than boots. They go with me when travelling as 'smart casual'. One pair doesn't quite fit that bill but are a little more sporty and can cope with a light run.

In addition to those I have beaten up old things for gardening etc and that is my footwear in a nutshell.

What do others think?
 

Rami

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I am interested in 2 categories

Work and casual.

I wear a single pair of work shoes ever 6-12month. Then the shoe give out.
 

Mark1966

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I am interested in 2 categories

Work and casual.

I wear a single pair of work shoes ever 6-12month. Then the shoe give out.
Predicated by a disclaimer that I'm not a shoe expert and this is based on my research and personal experiences ...

If you are wearing a single pair of shoes for work that is the major cause of your problems. You need at least two pairs and rotate them so you don't wear one pair two days in a row.

Even before I went a little more upmarket with shoes after having similar problems with wear I did a little poking around and started doing this and it more than doubled the life, probably tripled the useful life at least if not more. So I would find shoes I liked at the January sales when I needed new ones and simply buy two pairs, particularly useful for sales where not only are the prices reduced but the second pair is an additional % off.

Beyond that you seem to have the choice of one of two routes:

  • $100 - 200 shoes which last 2 - 3 years and which, having a moulded or glued sole at the bottom end and/or stitching and overall quality constraints, get tossed after that time; or
  • $300+ shoes of higher quality which are welted construction and you then also get a 'Topy' on to protect the sole and you replace these rather than the soles. There is a difference between a proper Topy from a decent cobbler and the rubbish that Mister Minit will slap on. Get some shoe trees, $40 on eBay, and decent shoe cream and you will get a long period of use out of these.

I've gone a middle road, based on comments here and elsewhere to hunt around for 'second hand' but very lightly worn or not at all worn high quality shoes for less than $200. See a couple of pairs pictured in this post - Boots

With casual shoes I think the rule about not wearing two days in a row would still apply - but beyond that there seems more choice and less available in the higher end stuff that I've noticed, could be wrong there though.

Hope that helps a little. @Mong is a wealth of info ...
 
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