Looking for basic men's black business shoes
November 17, 2018 10:17 AM   Subscribe

So I've been buying and wearing Nunn Bush Men's Eddy Oxfords for years because they hit the sweet spot between looking reasonably businessy and comfortable but in recent years they've changed quality and the last two that I've bought have been garbage. What should I replace them with? I just want a simple black pair of oxfords that won't hurt my feet and will last more than six months.
posted by octothorpe to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Those are really cheap for men’s dress shoes! Are you willing to go up in price? If not, I understand, but the quality will not be very good. Is there a price range that would work?
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 10:27 AM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

You should get a pair of Allen Edmonds during Black Friday sales, some cutting more than 100$ off list prices. Like these.

How are your shoes wearing out? Do you need a shoe geared for winter weather?
posted by enfa at 10:36 AM on November 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

Yes, I'm willing to pay more but in the past, I've found that more expensive shoes are really stiff and uncomfortable so comfort is really more of a priority than price.

They're wearing out pretty much everywhere. The tops, the soles, the inside.
posted by octothorpe at 10:39 AM on November 17, 2018

I have a pair of Timberland Oxfords that have lasted me the better part of 6-7 years on weekly wear and are still in great shape. The ones I have are chunkier than the ones you linked (while still being surprisingly light and weather-proof), but they have a few models in the under $100 range.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:39 AM on November 17, 2018

I can afford to pay more, I was buying the cheaper ones because I liked them, not because of the price.
posted by octothorpe at 10:41 AM on November 17, 2018

The best way to make shoes last longer is to have multiple pairs. 2 pairs worn on alternating days will last more than double what a single pair will.

IME Allen Edmonds are very comfortable. The uncomfortable ones are the sub-$100 dress shoes that look like AEs.
posted by supercres at 10:46 AM on November 17, 2018 [6 favorites]

Wolf & Shephard are allegedly super comfortable and have a classic look. Hard to know how much of that is marketing/buzz and they’re fairly pricey ($350 range).
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 10:52 AM on November 17, 2018

I have friends who swear by the brand Samuel Hubbard. Free shipping & returns, but Nordstom and other department stores carry some styles. Some styles are less business-y but maybe something like these? https://www.samuelhubbard.com/city-legend?color=Black+Leather
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 11:22 AM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

I wear Allen Edmonds exclusively. However, I buy cheap used pairs on eBay and then I send them in to Allen Edmonds to be refurbished. It makes the shoes like new, but I’ve only paid like $150 in total. They will last forever so long as you take care of them. Condition and shine them semi-regularly and get the soles replaced when you get holes. And because they’re used they’re already broken in and not stuff like new pairs.
posted by fso at 12:27 PM on November 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

I wear Rockport shoes. They fit my feet and are great for walking. Amazon now carries Rockport.
posted by JayRwv at 12:58 PM on November 17, 2018

I don't wear men's shoes so I can't provide recs on specific comfortable and long-lasting brands, but I'm seconding supercres on "buy two pairs, rotate daily." That's made such a huge difference for me in terms of shoe longevity.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 2:20 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have always found the Mephisto brand to be extremely comfortable and long-wearing. I started with the walking shoes, moved up to some brogues (18 years going on that pair) and then purchased a pair of black oxfords-- which is what you are looking for. I cut the tiny tag off of them with a razor blade and was then able to wear them with my navy dress blues. It made long ceremonial events SO much more bearable. Because they last so long, and I don't wear them as much since I am retired now, I can't give a current place to buy them-- I bought in 2011 from Zappos, which seemed to be a pretty good retailer-- is that still true?

Mephisto is a French brand, by the way. It doesn't matter to me, but your mileage may vary.

And that thing about alternating two pairs of shoes? It is ABSOLUTELY TRUE and will make both pairs last five times as long than if you wore the same ones every day. Also I am a believer in old fashioned cedar shoe-trees. If nothing else, they help dry the shoe out gently and curb odor. They also supposedly help the shoes keep their ideal shape.

Anyway, here is a look at some current Mephisto black oxford offerings. Good luck!
posted by seasparrow at 5:53 PM on November 17, 2018

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll have to spend some time digging into them. Now way that I could ever handle the shoe rotation thing though; I'm generally lucky that I can walk out of the house with matching shoes, the idea that I could remember which pair I wore yesterday is going to be way beyond me.
posted by octothorpe at 7:00 PM on November 17, 2018

Get a single pair of wooden shoe trees. When you come home, put the trees in the shoes you remove (possibly removing them from the previous day's shoes). They'll keep their shape better and they'll last longer, and in the morning you just have to grab the pair without shoe trees in them.
posted by fedward at 7:42 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also, I've had really good luck with Kenneth Cole shoes, but my feet are a little narrow and some of their shoes run narrow so it works out. You do have to try everything on, though, because they're not all made in the same places on the same lasts.
posted by fedward at 7:44 PM on November 17, 2018

I'm with JayRwv: go Rockport. Not sure what my current pair are -- they look almost identical to those Nunn Bushes -- but they were about $100 on the Rockport website about a year and a half ago and are comfortable (with Superfeet inserts) and still going strong. (I would have been able to get them at about the same price from either Nordstrom's or Macy's, but they didn't stock wide sizes in-store at all).
posted by lhauser at 1:29 PM on November 18, 2018

Consider a truly high quality pair of dress shoes. My Ferragamos lasted for 18 years and kept getting more comfortable, and only started to give up the ghost with the uppers in the last 6 months or so. Did have to be resoled maybe three times (every 5 or 6 years). Just replaced them with a pair of Bruno Maglis I expect will last another couple of decades.
posted by MattD at 9:48 PM on November 18, 2018

Currently Allen Edmonds have these shoes for 50% off for Black Friday. They look very similar to the shoes you linked above.
posted by cazoo at 9:48 AM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

So I went to an actual shoe store and ended up with a pair of Ecco Helsinkis. Those 50% off Allen Edmonds were tempting but I was to scared to spend that much on non-returnable shoes.
posted by octothorpe at 8:02 AM on December 23, 2018

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