Help me find shoes!
January 29, 2008 6:39 AM   Subscribe

Help me find durable, comfortable, wear-to-the-office women's shoes in a style that won't look dated in a few years.

I don't enjoy shoe shopping, but I don't mind investing the time to find a good pair of shoes. But what drives me really really nuts is that the shoes last only about a year or at most 2 years and then I have to start all over again. Help me find some durable office shoes please! I prefer shoes that have a little bit of a heel (2-3 inches) in a classic style that won't look dated the next season--something like this or this.

I've also looked at this post about classic styles and this and this, and other similar posts that are helpful for finding specific styles or comfort, do not address the durability issue.

By durable, I mean shoes that will last me at least 5 years. I know it's possible because I have some shoes that are more than 10 years old and still look great (with a few re-soles and re-heels in between). I know, you might think, hey, why don't I buy more pairs of those shoes that have lasted me long? Well, I bought them in either Europe or Asia, and they aren't the famous brands that sell here in the Northeast US. The one pair of durable US bought shoes that I own were bought back in the 1990s, and are made by a company that's changed their profile in terms of the type of shoes it sells.

So, hivemind, it's up to you. Recommend some shoes!
posted by jujube to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Mephistos are the best office shoes I've ever had.
posted by spec80 at 7:00 AM on January 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

They're a little less conventional than the styles you linked to, but have you considered Dansko shoes? Not the clogs, but the more office-appropriate styles such as the Remy or Reese. Dansko shoes are built like tanks!

I don't have experience with their heeled styles, but I do have Dansko clogs and lower-heeled shoes that are well over 5 years old and still going strong.

I know what you mean about US brands not being made to last. Besides my Danskos, the only other shoes I have had for more than five years that are still in really good shape are boots and oxfords by Giraudon, but their styles have become more fashion-oriented and less classic over the past few years.
posted by chez shoes at 7:00 AM on January 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've got a similar pair of Doc Martens (a Mary Jane style that they don't make anymore), and after a few years they're still going strong. I often walk to work in them (a mile each way) and they're still comfortable.
posted by bassjump at 7:17 AM on January 29, 2008

Vaneli. Incredibly comfortable and wonderfully durable. My mother has worn the same pair of vaneli shoes to work regularly for at least ten years (she buys hers at Von Maur, but I believe they carry them at Nordstrom). I had a pair that lasted me a good six years with 2-3 day a week wear. They run a little wide.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:52 AM on January 29, 2008

When not in running shoes, I pretty much wear Cydwoq shoes exclusively. My favorite pair is 4.5 years old, been resoled 3 times, and are as strong as the day I bought them. I get compliments on them a couple times a week, usually from female strangers on the subway. (Note that I'm a guy.) Of their models for women, I think Focal and Passage and Snow may be appropriate for office wear--I think it depends on your office--though they don't really look like your samples.
posted by dobbs at 8:24 AM on January 29, 2008

I have 3 pairs of Munro shoes that span between 3 and 8 years old. They're the only shoes I wear to the office these days and while I've retired the oldest pair from office work, I still walk all over the place in them.
posted by hoppytoad at 8:57 AM on January 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Most of my shoes are from Ecco. I find that they last a long time if I take care of them, and they fit well and look classic. They have several different shoe bases, and each one fits a different shape of foot. Once you find the shape that fits your feet, you will be able to request to see the current season's styles with that particular fit.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:54 AM on January 29, 2008

Quit wearing your office shoes on the street. I always wear comfortable walking shoes to walk from the train station, then I change into dress shoes when I get to work. I have some that have lasted much longer than five years. Once you start wearing them when you go do lunch or to run a quick errand, they start to deteriorate very quickly.
posted by MrFongGoesToLunch at 9:58 AM on January 29, 2008

Seconding the Munros. I've had the Liz in black and brown for years. When they get looking too scuffy, I go and buy a new pair. And I walk a half mile to work and back every day.

I find that if my pants are hemmed to wear with a 2-inch heel, I can't just switch to walking shoes or else the bottoms of my pants are dragging in the street. These are comfy enough to wear everywhere.
posted by Enroute at 11:24 AM on January 29, 2008

Thanks everybody! I haven't been this excited about going shoe-shopping in a long time!
posted by jujube at 5:51 AM on January 31, 2008

Nike for Cole Haan
posted by flaneuse at 12:36 PM on January 31, 2008

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