What's the modern successor to Mephisto walking shoes?
September 26, 2019 10:23 AM   Subscribe

I bought a pair of Mephisto Match sneaker-style shoes for a trip to Europe 20 years ago and was amazed at the quality. Style was a bit odd and not the most fashionable, but the performance was incomparable. I'd like to get something updated but Mephisto's #1 shoe is… still the same Match. Help me update?

The full-grain leather, the stiff sole that made cobblestones so much more comfortable, and the ability to resole them were all head and shoulders above any shoes I've worn. Probably got them resoled three times and wore them for most of a decade. We have The Walking Company, they have Ecco walking shoes that are pretty good. Can't be resoled, not nearly as stiff in the sole, but decent leathers and style and inexpensive.

Main requirements are walking comfort (last year in Paris I walked 20+ miles one day), with a stiff sole that will handle uneven pavement. Under $500 is best, with commensurate durability (~$100 per year of wear?). No particular style preference, boot/sneaker/oxford/wingtip/whatever, just reasonably versatile and up to date.
posted by wnissen to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Blundstones! I can't speak to durability as I've only had mine a year, but they are pretty famous for lasting a long time. And they have EXACTLY this type of thick/stiff soles that are great for walking on uneven urban terrain (I wear them in the winter in NYC for this reason and I think they would be great on cobblestones).
posted by CiaoMela at 11:37 AM on September 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Finn Comfort - Comfortable, expensive and worth every penny. Every few years you can even send them off and have them renewed and resoled.
Also, Wolky, funky supercute comfortable Dutch-made shoes.
posted by lois1950 at 12:10 PM on September 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

I second Blundstones. I have had one pair for ten years of frequent (3-5x a week, ~8 months a year) and I feel i have more than gotten my money's worth - to the point that I bought a second pair of "dressy Blundstones" (many consider this an oxymoron, I am sure) in black. They can also be re-soled. They accommodate fluffy socks. I have never gotten a blister in them. In the winter I use the shearling liners - heaven.
posted by hepta at 12:19 PM on September 26, 2019

You can go the custom route for ~$400-600. I have custom boots from White's Boots (ordered through Baker's Boots). You send measurements of your foot and they build it to fit. R/goodyearwelt has a guide to ordering custom boots that walks you through the whole process. They also repair, resole, and rebuild boots & shoes, which can really extend the life of an expensive-but-great-quality boot.
posted by carrioncomfort at 12:41 PM on September 26, 2019

There are some nice Redwings. There are a *lot* of Redwings, I tried on dozens before finding the ones that really fit, but the ones I like really really fit.
posted by clew at 4:40 PM on September 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm a sample size of one, but I don't think Blundstones are the same since they outsourced production. I grew up wearing them. The first time I purchased a pair that was not made in Australia I sent them back thinking I'd received a fluke defective pair. It wasn't until their replacements arrived that I started googling to figure out what had changed. That was pushing a decade ago, hopefully they have sorted things out.
posted by phil at 4:42 PM on September 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

I realized that this question might be easier to answer in person, so I went to the largest Nordstrom in my metro area and simply tested the soles for stiffness. The Mephistos were indeed among the stiffest. However, I was pleased to find a shoe from the unknown-to-me Samuel Hubbard. Handsome leather, resoleable, and modern styling. A bit sweaty compared to a more breathable sneaker style, and took some breaking in, for sure, but they were under $250. I saw a ton of Blundstone-esque styles, I guess they're having a moment. Thanks, all.
posted by wnissen at 3:34 PM on October 21, 2019

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