I'm not Steve Jobs (...yet). Help me find semi-dressy work shoes for an every day, active lifestyle with solid soles -- NO METAL SHANKS -- to replace my unprofessional New Balances
August 23, 2010 1:08 AM Subscribe
What brands or specific models of men's dress shoes offer a solid sole, quality materials and support that work well for active on-the-go folks? (I'm looking for kind of a running shoe in dressy disguise)
posted by jkl345 to Shopping (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'm starting to realize I need to become an "adult" sometime and I should start dressing like one. I know shoes are more important than anything else you wear (at least according to all my female friends and fashion magazines -- I'm not here to debate this, so if you're going to make a snide comment about it, please direct your energy elsewhere) but I've never found any dress shoes comparable to the New Balance running shoes I wear regularly to the office and around town after work.
I had an old pair of black dress shoes with a square toe that I LOVED four years ago, but I have no idea what brand they were. I shined them weekly. I replaced the insoles on them three times and the soles once. They were getting really worn though and I had to move on though.
Since then, I've gone through 3 pairs of dressy shoes over the past year and a half, never getting more than a month out of them (and falling back to the new balances) because I keep seeming to only find ones I like that have metal shanks in the bottom and these empty air pockets in the heel that collapse if you're at all active in them for extended periods of time and on the larger size. Specifically, I've torn through a pair of Kenneth Cole, Deers Stags and some other brand I can't remember the name of. All looked good, but didn't have solid heels and after a month the Kenneth Cole shoe shank actually cut my sock stabbing into my heel.
Zappos customer support failed me. And searches on Meta Filter and the Internet in general hasn't yielded any sort of way to find out if shoes have solid soles. I've gone to stores to check out shoes, but short of pulling out a knife and cutting into the soles or ripping the glued insoles out, I can't find this information anywhere.
So I'm asking the hive mind's feet -- anyone have advice on specific brands or models of shoes I should look at with solid soles that work well for active folks? Kind of a running shoe in dressy disguise?
My dream shoes would be:
+ A solid rubber/fancy space age polymer sole (no empty plastic grid heels with a metal shank to fake support)
+ Black (or charcoal)
+ Offer great support
+ Relatively stylish and simple, not too flashy or flamboyant (Shine is nice, but not mandatory. A square/"bicycle" toe is preferred too. I have wide feet so nothing really narrow)
+ A lift or raised heel is ok too (height is supposed to be important too according to the ladies and the magazines) :)
+ Good quality that will last at least a year of regular, active, 9-5+ wear
+ Cheaper is better than extremely expensive, but I'm willing to splurge on a perfect pair mixing class, quality, support and durability
Just to be clear, I don't really care about any specific name brand, I want quality. Having said that if a brand is consistently excellent and builds all their line with solid soles and quality materials, I could be swayed that direction. I've heard good things about Hush Puppies (largely from my dad many ages ago), ECCO (from a stylish friend) and Merrill, although they're more active-style and less dressy. Thoughts or suggestions are very welcome!