The perfect pair of all-around shoes/boots for warm weather?
April 5, 2010 6:32 AM   Subscribe

Perfect shoe for warmer weather, business casual, street walking, office wearing, occasional all-around performer for after work?

Any suggestions, either of styles or brands? I prefer a darker color, not opposed to buying leather in a show, but would prefer non-leather (vegan) if possible.

I usually wear my dark brown hiking boots all fall/winter/early spring for work and after work even. But it's gonna get warm soon, and need something that can go from the office, to out of the office with ease. I've got an earthy style, nothing too fancy, good with jeans or dress pants, and good for physical activity like walking to work, or biking across town.

Am I asking too much?

posted by franklen to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Are you a man or a woman?
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:39 AM on April 5, 2010

What kind of hiking boots are you talking about? When I think "dark brown hiking boots", I think of shoes like these, and those don't seem to meet any of your criteria to begin with, especially not for a business casual workplace.
posted by kro at 6:44 AM on April 5, 2010

SAS slip-ons.
posted by brainwane at 6:46 AM on April 5, 2010

Best answer: oops, yes, thanks Metroid Baby, it would help to know I am a MAN. (5'11" 180# dark hair dark eyes ;>)

The boots I normally wear are these: LL Bean Cresta Hikers
posted by franklen at 6:51 AM on April 5, 2010

Tom's Shoes canvas flats. They are comfortable, and earthy in style.
posted by mmmbacon at 6:55 AM on April 5, 2010

I don't have any specific shoe recommendations for you, because everyone's foot is shaped differently and so your feet might not work in the shoes that I prefer.

I also will assume that you are female, because that is what I am so I can answer the question more easily.

But, as for styles:

- Flats are imperative -- you don't want to bike across town in heels or wedges.

- I know you don't like leather as much, but there are sound reasons for buying it in this kind of a shoe. Cloth shoes are going to show wear/abuse really fast, so you won't be able to get away with using the same pair for casual and office wear, especially if you're an outdoorsy type like myself. Synthetic shoes that are OK for office wear are not going to breathe as well as leather shoes, so they're going to stink up real fast, especially after a couple bike rides. For this reason, I like shoes in waterproofed leather or a treated suede that can be spot-cleaned for all-around wear, especially if you can find one in a Mary Jane-type style. Ballet flats are likely to slip off your heels on a bike (so do clogs), sandals aren't going to work well on a bike either, and lace-up shoes tend to look either like a man's dress shoe or a sneaker, which is probably either too fancy or too casual for what you want. So you want an updated Mary Jane style -- basically a ballet flat style toe, cut low across the top of the foot, with a strap over the top of the foot to keep the shoe in place.

Brands that can transition well between outside and work include Keen, Born, and Merrell. Sometimes Clarks shoes also are good for this. The problem is that although all these shoes are well-made and comfortable, a lot of them are hideously ugly, so be prepared to do some sifting. I usually just go to DSW, Marshall's, etc. until I see something that's reasonably cheap and works for me. Also, if you go with the Mary Jane styling and your feet tend to sweat, buy a few pairs of no-show socks. This style of shoe looks really dopey with regular socks under it, but you can get socks that leave the top of your foot bare, which are really useful if you do a lot of walking and biking and don't want to end up with gross, sweaty, stinky shoes.
posted by kataclysm at 6:57 AM on April 5, 2010

Shit, should've previewed. Sorry about my useless comment.
posted by kataclysm at 6:58 AM on April 5, 2010

I have been wearing Blundstones everyday for the last 4 years.....not sure if they are dressy enough for you, but they are utilitarian. I would not want to walk miles and miles in them without putting some additional arch support, but your mileage might vary....literally.
posted by Odi et Amo at 7:01 AM on April 5, 2010

Perfect shoe for warmer weather, business casual, street walking, office wearing, occasional all-around performer for after work?
good with jeans or dress pants, and good for physical activity like walking to work, or biking across town.
Am I asking too much?
Unless money is really right, you should consider getting more than one pair of shoes.
posted by caek at 7:04 AM on April 5, 2010

My birkenstock sandals go on my feet as soon as possible in the Spring and don't come off until late fall. They are just fine in my office, but I'm a female social worker. ymmv For what it's worth, they do have some handsome (to my eyes, anyway) shoes.
posted by wg at 7:13 AM on April 5, 2010

Best answer: I think a desert boot might be ideal for you or a blucher moc. Not vegan unfortunately.
posted by cazoo at 7:41 AM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

A boat-shoe sounds right up your alley.
posted by alygator at 8:14 AM on April 5, 2010

I second Boat Shoes.
Some canvas sneakers like Vans would also work if you are on the younger side (<35yrs).
posted by AtomicBee at 11:47 AM on April 5, 2010

Loafers. I have arthritis in my feet and loafers are really comfortable. They look good with jeans and casual pants. Not with sweats or shorts.
posted by theora55 at 4:50 PM on April 5, 2010

Best answer: money is not a major obstacle, but the point is that one perfect pair to wear all day without having to go home and change, walk to work in morning, comfy at desk or to meetings, straight to arts event after work, then to dinner (just as an example ya know?).
posted by franklen at 12:21 PM on May 5, 2010

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