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Dress shoes that can handle a tough commute?

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    Dress shoes that can handle a tough commute?

    I commute into New York and I constantly find myself chasing after buses, trains, or the subway. Maybe I’m too entrenched in the fast paced mindset here, but I’m on the run (literally at times) and I need shoes to keep up with me. I don’t have a large budget, but I am willing to spend a decent amount on good quality shoes. Any recommendations or advice for dress shoes that would fit the mold of what I’m looking for? I want to avoid being one of those people that wear sneakers with suits and then change in the office. Hopefully that is not the only option I have.

    Thanks in advance!


    Hmmm. Interesting dilemma. I suppose I would invest in a lower quality shoe (but not sneakers) and then change into good ones at the office. You're often going to sacrifice some form for durability and either way, that sounds like it could wreck a decent shoe. Minnesota winters have taught me to get over my disdain for changing shoes once I get to work. Sometimes it is unavoidable. Then again, someone else on here may have another opinion.

    "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano



      My suggestion would be just to get a decent pair of sub $100 dress shoes and keep them looking fresh by shining them often to take care of scuffs. I think changing at the office breaks a personal style rule I have of making it look like you are trying to hard.

      While the cheaper shoe might not hold up as long as a more expensive option, I would constantly be worrying about my shoes if I were wearing something like Allen Edmonds in your situation.

      I have owned these for years, and they can be had for $80 with sales and such. Not the best quality, but I have certainly run in them a few times to catch a bus, and they still hold up great. I grab a shoe shine for 5 bucks whenever I can and they look brand new



        Cheaper shoes may actually hold up better than more expensive options. Leather soles get destroyed very quickly with snow/salt/running while rubber soles hold out much better.

        I'd suggest you vary your approach based on the weather:

        Wear a comfortable/durable pair of rubber soled dress shoes (for example, look reasonable) coated with Snoseal on most winter days.

        Wear boots and switch-out on the worst days.

        I used to switch out of dress shoes on arrival to work, but looking back it is sort of TTH.



          Thanks for the advice guys! I had been wearing some Rockports which have held up decently for being under $100. I guess I'll continue this route and get a better pair of leather soled shoes for special occasions. If I'm going with a cheaper option, maybe I'll look into something that looks a bit more modern and sleeker. I've seen some in Aldo, but never wanted to get them because I thought their quality was not as good as the Rockports I have. Any thoughts on Aldo shoes in general?



            This is more my girlfriend's experience than mine, but Aldo shoes are disproportionately expensive for the quality. I have seen a couple of her pairs fall apart in no time. I'd still say stick with a quality shoe and change, but if you don't want to that's your call. To me, no they don't look awesome on the way to work, but inclement weather shoes were designed for that purpose (galoshes, winter boots, etc). Oxfords serve mostly indoor purposes on those days.

            "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano



              I wear my bean boots when it's nasty out and carry my shoes to change into.



                I'd stay away from Aldo shoes, as past experience from before i knew better, the shoes would fall apart within a handfull of wearings.

                Rockports are good for the price, I find Bostonian and Clarks good too for those rough commutes and weather situations. For the Canadian Winters I go through, I've had the best luck with Rockports, as I've never had a quality issue with them, only broken down from wear and tear.

                Clarks Dessert boots are another great option for you

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                  A coworker really liked the Cole Haan + Nike Air shoes. They are dress shoes, but with the Nike Air support for your feet.

                  That might address the comfort situation; I'm not sure if they address the durability question. Never had a pair myself.

                  See here:


                  I think Ecco's are pretty comfortable and durable, but apparently the sole has some issues with disintegration (I have not experienced it) and they might be more frumpy and less stylish than what you're looking for. They fit the bill for my situation: occasionally pounding the pavement all day, bicycle commuting in half-clips, commuting on bus and train, business-casual office that is barely above casual.



                    I like these Clark's Portland Oxfords

                    Certainly casual, not a 'dress shoe' but they look pretty good and are comfortable and rugged for those kinds of situations. And they are cheap.



                      That brings up something I've wondered about: does pebble leather unequivocally knock a shoe down to casual? Does it physically indicate ruggedness; is it just an aesthetic that is arbitrarily (in a sense) associated with casual?



                        So after holding off my search due to the holidays and other things on my mind, I've returned to my shoe dilemma. I'm debating between the Cole Haan Air Kilgore

                        and the Calvin Klein Gareth veASIN=B003KGAPYW

                        I went to the Macys near me since they had both and tried them on. The Cole Haan are really comfortable with the Nike insoles. The only issue I have with them is the leather seems really soft and then. I like the soft feel but think that makes them fragile. It says they are nappa leather. Anyone have experience/thoughts on that type of leather?

                        I like the look of the CK Gareth and my expectations of them are similar to Joe's review during the mid-year all-stars post.

                        Anyone with experience with CK shoes? Do you think they'll even last a year?

                        I know most of you guys are fans of the wingtips, but which of these two would you go with?



                          Idk man. Your commute sounds like it would beat both those shoes to hell. Did you happen to test out the leather a bit on the display models? Run your finger nail on a small discreet section, for example, to see how soft it is on each shoe.

                          "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano



                            I think you have to decide between shoes that look more elegant and shoes that you don't care about.

                            The NYC commute will wreck your shoes. The only way around it is to have beater shoes for bad weather days, and/or to have a good stable of nice shoes that you can rotate.