Business / dress / work shoes

Rami

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@Mark1966 you may not be an expert but you are obviously a man of taste.

Now where do you find said 2nd hand shoes? Any specific quality brands I should look for?
 

Drubbing

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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.
As mark noted, Eccos for work are actually very good. They are the most supportive and comfortable shoes I have bought in a long time. Quality leather too. They sell around $250-350. Only downside is the construction typical of this price point, which is a rubberised sole.
 

Mong.

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Good advice above - but Mark is particularly on the money about rotating your shoes. It's easy to write-off shoe care as one of those internet message board fads that gets taken too far, but it makes a big difference. If you're wearing the same shoes every day, they're constantly under stress and so they're naturally going to break down faster. Stress points will be the first to go, and for shoes with cemented construction, you don't have many avenues to fix them. With that in mind, there is some value in getting to a price point that does offer you better construction and durability - but only if you're going to make the few other investments to care for them. This doesn't have to be extreme, you can snag a decent pair of cedar shoe trees from eBay for $30-40. Supermarkets will sell you Kiwi polish and horsehair brushes ($8 from my local Coles) - something like the neatsfoot oil that Tom posted above could sort you out. Small things like giving your shoes a quick wipe with a damp cloth when they've gotten dirty from the day and drying off water so it doesn't stain will go a long way. I think the above is true regardless of how much you spend on your shoes or what the label is.

Three key players in the Goodyear-welted $300ish range - Loake (UK), Meermin (Spain) and Allen Edmonds (US). All are worth an eBay search for second hand shoes, and in particular, there are loads of Allen Edmonds up for sale from Americans. They're a good shoe - I have two pairs, both captoe brogues. One pair was "as new" for about $150, the other cost me $50. The $50 pair looked pretty scrappy in the photos, but I took a punt that layers and layers of old polish could be removed and I got lucky - I stripped the finish with Saphir Reno-Mat and went through a whole gamut of restoration. Dubbin, then a couple of days rest to soak in, then Renovateur, cream then wax. They've become my go-to shoes for when the weather might turn - if I wreck 'em, I'm down $50 and they look pretty good anyway. This approach could be used for any second hand shoe - but obviously, try to avoid something that looks particularly old.

When I bought my first pair of Loakes from overseas, I went to David Jones to try on their Loakes first and get a sense of size. They weren't super happy about that, but you'll save a couple hundred bucks. Ultimately, you need to decide if you'll trade quality/construction/brand for perfect fit - because a well-fitting pair of Ecco's for $250 might offer you a better shoe than a $350 pair of Loakes that slide around or pinch.

@Rami
Roughly how much are you looking to spend? I always think it's worth spending more on work shoes - they're on your feet for most of the week, so it pays to be both comfortable and well presented. Bit more flex with casual shoes I reckon, but some boots like a chukka boot can do double duty for work and the weekend.

I don't remember if posting eBay links is permitted or not - but this listing is a good example of what to look for on Ebay. Absolutely no affiliation - spotted a few good examples of what to look for here:
1) Good price point
2) English made (allegedly in the description)
3) Not much creasing in the leather - either indicates not much wear or a very good fit on the previous owner - both good.

The only questionable point on them is the left heel - maybe a bit of degradation there, but something that a cobbler could fix quite easily.
 

Rami

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Thanks @Mong. I might be moving jobs soon. My current one is fairly lax in regards to dress code. But the new one I would like to dress up a little. Suit and tie affair. Current thought are about 150 a pair which is what a pair of hush puppies cost. There pretty much my go to for shoes.
 
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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 ...
Damn that is one great post! Nice work 5 Star.
 
Joined
May 22, 2016
Location
Perth
Good advice above - but Mark is particularly on the money about rotating your shoes. It's easy to write-off shoe care as one of those internet message board fads that gets taken too far, but it makes a big difference. If you're wearing the same shoes every day, they're constantly under stress and so they're naturally going to break down faster. Stress points will be the first to go, and for shoes with cemented construction, you don't have many avenues to fix them. With that in mind, there is some value in getting to a price point that does offer you better construction and durability - but only if you're going to make the few other investments to care for them. This doesn't have to be extreme, you can snag a decent pair of cedar shoe trees from eBay for $30-40. Supermarkets will sell you Kiwi polish and horsehair brushes ($8 from my local Coles) - something like the neatsfoot oil that Tom posted above could sort you out. Small things like giving your shoes a quick wipe with a damp cloth when they've gotten dirty from the day and drying off water so it doesn't stain will go a long way. I think the above is true regardless of how much you spend on your shoes or what the label is.

Three key players in the Goodyear-welted $300ish range - Loake (UK), Meermin (Spain) and Allen Edmonds (US). All are worth an eBay search for second hand shoes, and in particular, there are loads of Allen Edmonds up for sale from Americans. They're a good shoe - I have two pairs, both captoe brogues. One pair was "as new" for about $150, the other cost me $50. The $50 pair looked pretty scrappy in the photos, but I took a punt that layers and layers of old polish could be removed and I got lucky - I stripped the finish with Saphir Reno-Mat and went through a whole gamut of restoration. Dubbin, then a couple of days rest to soak in, then Renovateur, cream then wax. They've become my go-to shoes for when the weather might turn - if I wreck 'em, I'm down $50 and they look pretty good anyway. This approach could be used for any second hand shoe - but obviously, try to avoid something that looks particularly old.

When I bought my first pair of Loakes from overseas, I went to David Jones to try on their Loakes first and get a sense of size. They weren't super happy about that, but you'll save a couple hundred bucks. Ultimately, you need to decide if you'll trade quality/construction/brand for perfect fit - because a well-fitting pair of Ecco's for $250 might offer you a better shoe than a $350 pair of Loakes that slide around or pinch.

@Rami
Roughly how much are you looking to spend? I always think it's worth spending more on work shoes - they're on your feet for most of the week, so it pays to be both comfortable and well presented. Bit more flex with casual shoes I reckon, but some boots like a chukka boot can do double duty for work and the weekend.

I don't remember if posting eBay links is permitted or not - but this listing is a good example of what to look for on Ebay. Absolutely no affiliation - spotted a few good examples of what to look for here:
1) Good price point
2) English made (allegedly in the description)
3) Not much creasing in the leather - either indicates not much wear or a very good fit on the previous owner - both good.

The only questionable point on them is the left heel - maybe a bit of degradation there, but something that a cobbler could fix quite easily.
And another great post - thanks @Mong.
 

Drubbing

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Perth, WA
Thanks @Mong. I might be moving jobs soon. My current one is fairly lax in regards to dress code. But the new one I would like to dress up a little. Suit and tie affair. Current thought are about 150 a pair which is what a pair of hush puppies cost. There pretty much my go to for shoes.
Double that budget at least, if you're looking for quality, well made shoes. At $150, you'll probably go through a pair every 2 years and they start to look like crap well before that. Depending on the office environment, I really don't think people notice these things, as much as the people who think others notice these things.

I mean, our CEO wears a nice understated TAG Carrera watch, and his shoes look like they've been bought at an aged care garage sale. I might be one of the noticers, but most people aren't. Ultimately, how people dress is about themselves and how they feel. Your ability in your job will determine how people perceive you, not whether you're wearing the right tie and short combo. I've actually ditched the tie, now I don't see clients anymore.

But the main rational behind buying quality, is to save in the long run and have something that will feel and look good for years. Not that easy to find such products at reasonable prices here in Oz though.
 
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Mark1966

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...

I don't remember if posting eBay links is permitted or not - but this listing is a good example of what to look for on Ebay. Absolutely no affiliation - spotted a few good examples of what to look for here:
1) Good price point
2) English made (allegedly in the description)
3) Not much creasing in the leather - either indicates not much wear or a very good fit on the previous owner - both good.

The only questionable point on them is the left heel - maybe a bit of degradation there, but something that a cobbler could fix quite easily.
Great advice from Mong as usual.

A little Google research does wonders on shoes. The Guildhall semi-brogue are calf leather (good) and welted construction (good) and made in the UK (good) and retailed (now discontinued) for $276 - http://www.herringshoes.co.uk/product-info.php?brandid=7&shoeid=6667. These are a little more worn than I would prefer but a polish and new heels and they would come up fine I think. Note though, that they are 'Hastings' not 'Guidlhall' from the pics of the interior - but part of the same range.

Unless you go into DJs or one of the other up market stores in Sydney or Melbourne you will have to take a bit of a punt with sizing - but give us a UK size and I'm sure we can throw some options your way.

Thanks @Mong. I might be moving jobs soon. My current one is fairly lax in regards to dress code. But the new one I would like to dress up a little. Suit and tie affair. Current thought are about 150 a pair which is what a pair of hush puppies cost. There pretty much my go to for shoes.
I would expect you could get Hush Puppies on sale closer to $100. If you have $150 to spend on shoes - buy two pairs of Hush Puppies on sale for around $200. In fact if you know what you want check out eBay anyway - I was just looking at options and noticed these - http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Hush-Puppies-sz-10-Heathcote-Shoe-Black-/282168089539. If you can get NWT at $50 why not.

IMHO two pairs of Hush Puppies are better than one pair of more expensive shoes until you can expand your budget.

Once you have $300 - $400 put aside then you can start hunting eBay for second hand quality ones in your size - that should get you a could of pairs. Cheaney, Church's, Loakes 1880 or Shoemaker range or Crockett & Jones are the most likely English brands you might pick up. If you want new - double that budget, $600 - $800.

Make sure you wait until you have enough to be hunting for two pairs. Once you see them the Hush Puppies will just not cut the mustard and you will be wanting to wear the good ones all the time - that was certainly my experience!
 

Rami

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Thanks @Mark1966 @Mong. I meant I have a budget of 150 per shoe rather than total. I am size 9 to 9.5. Happy for you to point things my way. If I can will pass by DJ and have a look. I am not very certain I can find a good cobbler where I am. Haven't seen any walking round Westfield. Probably need to look up in the yellow pages.
 

Mark1966

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Thanks @Mark1966 @Mong. I meant I have a budget of 150 per shoe rather than total. I am size 9 to 9.5. Happy for you to point things my way. If I can will pass by DJ and have a look. I am not very certain I can find a good cobbler where I am. Haven't seen any walking round Westfield. Probably need to look up in the yellow pages.
$150 per shoe - so $300 a pair ;)

Ahh, right, know what you mean :)

That was a AUS/UK 9 - 9.5 I presume?

You should be able to find something reasonable in that range and there are decent cobblers around Sydney, just take a little hunting out.
 

Mark1966

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Quick eBay results just searching for 'Cheaney 9':

NO, look at 'high tide' mark showing water/sweat impacting sole in second picture - www.ebay.com.au/itm/Cheaney-Royal-Tweed-Churches-Black-Brogue-Wingtip-Oxford-Shoes-Sz-9-/191961222515

NO, too much wear for me and damage to toe cap which will be obvious - http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/MENS-JOSEPH-CHEANEY-Oxford-Shoe-in-Black-Size-9-/221701061816

MAYBE, scratch is minor, wear is about the boundary of what I would consider but I think these could be OK - http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/CHEANEY-...LACK-UK-9-5-VERY-GOOD-CONDITION-/191955397420

NO, see cracking in the soles in fourth picture, these have been VERY wet at some stage and not dried out properly before being worn again - www.ebay.com.au/itm/Cheaney-Black-lace-up-100-Authentic-made-in-England-UK9-36316-36319-/142129211914

MAYBE, some wear but not too much, uppers look in good condition, not sure where they sit in the Cheaney range, you would certainly make an offer - http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/CHEANEY-...hoes-size-9-UK-9F-US-9-5D-EU-43-/222245919380

MAYBE, I personally don't like the style but only very light wear, this is what I'm more comfortable with buying, and minor scuffing. scratches that will polish out/ not be noticable - www.ebay.com.au/itm/Boxed-Black-Cheaney-Curtis-Shoes-9-5F-w-Box-Shoe-Bags-/172351348024

Hopefully that gives you an idea of the second hand market.
 

Mark1966

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Thanks mate. That is excellent. I will certainly have a very close look after work today. Exactly what I was looking for.
No worries.

You will tend to get the more 'classic' styling in the UK made higher end shoes. More 'fashion' styling in the Spanish made ones.

BTW, I have heard, but cannot confirm, that the higher end Charles Tyrwhitt shoes are made by Loakes - http://www.ctshirts.com/au/mens-shoes/made-in-england/ With the regular 'sales' that CT tend to have, 15% off everything springs to mind, you might want to keep an eye on those if second hand/sizing is a concern for you.
 

Mong.

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Cheaney, Church's, Loakes 1880 or Shoemaker range or Crockett & Jones are the most likely English brands you might pick up.
This is a good list for eBay browsing and worth preserving - also add Barker (UK), Carmina (Spain), Meermin (Spain, but made in China - still nice), Allen Edmonds (US) and Alden (US). All are in that $300+ price range when new - but it's not uncommon to see Aussies buy these, find out that they don't fit, and flog them near new for a big discount.

BTW, I have heard, but cannot confirm, that the higher end Charles Tyrwhitt shoes are made by Loakes - http://www.ctshirts.com/au/mens-shoes/made-in-england/ With the regular 'sales' that CT tend to have, 15% off everything springs to mind, you might want to keep an eye on those if second hand/sizing is a concern for you.
I forgot about these guys - my dad has a pair and they're pretty nice. He got them on sale for about $200 - made in UK and Goodyear welted. Objectively, they're no worse than either of my Loake 1880s and are probably made by the same people in the same factory. Look for sales on these! I reckon I've seen some as low as $180.
 

Mark1966

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This is a good list for eBay browsing and worth preserving - also add Barker (UK), Carmina (Spain), Meermin (Spain, but made in China - still nice), Allen Edmonds (US) and Alden (US). All are in that $300+ price range when new - but it's not uncommon to see Aussies buy these, find out that they don't fit, and flog them near new for a big discount.
Yep - good additions!

I forgot about these guys [referring to CT shoes] - my dad has a pair and they're pretty nice. He got them on sale for about $200 - made in UK and Goodyear welted. Objectively, they're no worse than either of my Loake 1880s and are probably made by the same people in the same factory. Look for sales on these! I reckon I've seen some as low as $180.
Yes, the clearance ones especially can get down to those prices - http://www.ctshirts.com/au/clearance-mens-shoes/ - BUT they are often from the lower quality ranges. Look for the made in the UK ones with the Goodyear welting, all leather etc.
 

filobiblic

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Wow! A whole new world... or another rabbit hole to get lost in!!!
 

Mark1966

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Talking of dress shoes ...

Anybody else a size 10? I purchased a pair of black brogues from this guy and notice he has some brown ones as well now. I already have a brown pair so will pass (although tempted) but these could be a good buy for somebody at around $A160 landed - http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/112140204598

 

Drubbing

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I have been hovering over the cart to get a pair of Trywhitt brown monks, but even with their easy local returns, I was hesitant because of sizing.

So I finally dropped into RMs outlet store and these fit like a glove, for $200, which less than my Ecco's cost. And at half a size bigger than I'd usually take...

 
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