All-purpose Male Shoes
April 13, 2009 8:29 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a pair of comfortable, attractive all-purpose male shoes for a South American trip. Requirements: can be worn with jeans, brown pants-- fits in at bars and restaurants (tho not super classy ones) but still durable and comfortable enough to walk 5-6 miles a day on rough terrain. I'm not doing major trekking but will be walking on some dirty terrain. Costs: less than $90 USD.I'm not looking for hiking boots.
posted by sandmanwv to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
And yes, I perused this link but I figure 3 years have changed shoes at least to some degree!
posted by sandmanwv at 8:31 AM on April 13, 2009

I have done this and I can attest that Rockport now makes much classier-looking (and still very comfortable) walking shoes than you remember.
posted by kittyprecious at 8:46 AM on April 13, 2009

Yeah, Rockports or Clarks (my last pair of shoes was the former, current the latter) will get you something durable, comfortable, and classy for around $100.
posted by carsonb at 9:14 AM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Merrells are long lasting, comfortable for long walks and available in smarter styles than your average hiking boot / trainer.

The shoes are less irritating than the website, which doesn't work on my browser so I can't check the prices.
posted by emilyw at 9:24 AM on April 13, 2009

They're just a little more than you're looking to spend, but I've had a lot of luck with Dr Marten Luke Rigger Boots. They extremely comfortable for walking, especially with a sports sole insert.

They're also waterproof if you buy a special leather treatment!
posted by Willie0248 at 9:24 AM on April 13, 2009

Dr. Martens in general sound like they fit the bill perfectly. often has sales...
posted by paultopia at 10:04 AM on April 13, 2009

I came to recommend Merrells too (specifically the Mocs but darn those Romes are adorable) - both my step father and boyfriend have them. I personally tend to toward the sandle variety, either Chacos or my new favourite Sanuks. Hope you have happy feet on your trip, whatever you choose.
posted by bellbellbell at 10:20 AM on April 13, 2009

How about just some good old Chucks? I did a five hour hike up (and down) a volcano in the rain in Chucks and did just fine. I also walked all over Guatemala, miles everyday, for five weeks. I did end up having to throw them out at the end of the stay (mostly due to the volcano in the rain), but they served me well and were $30.
posted by greta simone at 10:42 AM on April 13, 2009

I'd vote for Rockports. I've worn them in San Francisco where we've walked many hours each day. They're my go-to shoe.
posted by reddot at 11:08 AM on April 13, 2009

A pair of Desert Boots in a light colour will suit.
posted by Dr.Pill at 11:10 AM on April 13, 2009

Anything that's already broken in: I like my Docs, but I wouldn't take new ones on a trip!
posted by wenestvedt at 11:44 AM on April 13, 2009

it depends a lot upon what *level* you plan to travel - at the high end, take whatever shoes you want (people to carry your bags, and weather is only an issue between cars and buildings). At the low end (carrying your own bag, and walking between station/restaurant/hostal) take a pair of thick vibram-soled lace-ups & a pair of flip-flops/tevas. Excluding technical uses (jungle trek=tevas, mountain trek=real boots), this should work well. I actually prefer a light/medium boot (blundstones) and flip-flops - there is negligible extra weight/volume for the boot, and slip on sandals (aka flip-flops) look better and feel better IMHO
posted by youchirren at 11:51 AM on April 13, 2009

seconding the Chucks...... just be sure to get the High-Tops
posted by peewinkle at 12:53 PM on April 13, 2009

my husband swears by Timberland. they look nice and he walks everywhere in them when he travels. they are a bit over your price range but they will last a long time with minimal break-in time.
posted by killy willy at 1:04 PM on April 13, 2009

A pair of Merrell Jungle Mocs in chocolate brown will fit the bill nicely.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:28 PM on April 13, 2009

As with Killy Willy's husband, I like Timberland - I picked up a pair of Timberland Trail Seekers. Technically they are hiking boots, but they're comfortable and still look reasonably smart - I wear them to the office, although in all fairness I'm an engineer and hence I'm not actually expected to show any dress sense... :-)

I don't really think of them as hiking boots, since I've got a pair of these for when I walk.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 5:45 PM on April 13, 2009

I know this is over your price range, but when I was looking for a travel shoe of exactly the same description, I ended spending the extra for a pair of ECCO boots. The American catalogue doesn't have the same ones I got , but they were something like this. Have a browse through the casual and outdoor sections if you think you might stretch your budget.

A friend of mine got black Timberland boots for a backpacking trip and whilst I found them unfcomfortable, he swore by them and they do look pretty awesome in a slightly rugged way.
posted by atmosphere at 6:44 PM on April 13, 2009

Gotta say Clark's; have had some pretty basic ones that would be fine for bars, restaurants, have done well on rough-terrain hikes, in the desert, etc., and clean up well and easily after the tromping around--and they last like crazy. Dunno where you are, but I've found screamin' deals on Clark's at outlet malls.

(No guess if you've ever worn Doc's, but they are a little different in their design; nothing weird or unusual with my feet, legs, hips, etc., but I got a pair, found them to be extremely uncomfortable. Tried to break 'em in, get used to them, but it didn't improve. I trust some Goodwill shopper was happy.)
posted by ambient2 at 10:30 PM on April 13, 2009

I cannot say enough good things about Merrell Jungle Mocs. I've worn them pretty much every day (except the days it was warm enough to wear my Keens) for the past 8 years or so. I walk a lot.
posted by Caviar at 8:17 PM on April 14, 2009

Oh - the major advantage the Merrells have over most of the other shoes listed here is that they're significantly lighter, but are still durable. The lack of weight makes a huge difference.
posted by Caviar at 8:19 PM on April 14, 2009

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