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Thread: best sub $150 everyday business casual shoes

  1. #11
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    @srlclark -- lol yeah, we have similar buying habits. Slow and intentional prevents our hobby from turning into a big drain on finances. I really don't spend that much on clothes. In regard to AE seconds -- I'm open to the idea, but I'd rather find a solid mid-range shoe than go the "seconds" route (unless the majority of people here push me to the seconds option). On that note, can you return seconds to AE stores? There's one literally right across the street from where I work.
    @JohnG - I appreciate the quality points you listed (Horween, goodyear welted), but these aren't that far off from clarks (at half the price). It just doesn't seem worth it to pay so much. I also feel like i couldn't really dress those up beyond business casual (I'm looking for something I can wear with a suit in a pinch)

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    @Danny Right. It's only 10 days since I completed a 90-day no-spend challenge. Since then, I bought two pairs of AE and one AE messenger bag, but I'm pretty sure I'm returning the messenger bag. Next up is outerwear, but then I'll turn my attention to spring blazers.

    You can return seconds to AE stores so as to avoid the restocking fee at the Shoebank, yes.

    There are plenty of other options to AE seconds. I'd consider the Johnston and Murphy Conard that was just recommended. Also, look up what's available at Sierra Trading Post. They sell last season's clearance items for 50%+ off. I once picked up a pair of Florsheims that were goodyear welted for $70.

  3. #13
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    @Danny

    One other piece of information that might be helpful is a list of what you have from Clark's. You say you have suede chukkas. Are they dessert boots? Some other chukkas are going to be dressier than that, but I still wouldn't get a second pair of suede chukkas unless you have at least a couple of pairs of dress shoes that are neither boots nor suede.

  4. #14
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    @srlclark I would maybe try a pair of AE seconds as long as I can return them to the store. Might be worth considering (but still at the top of my budget).

    You should check out my thread about quilted jackets if you're about to look into outerwear.

    I'll browse around sierra trading post, but I like the idea of picking up shoes that someone here has experience with, so I can know that they will hold up to daily use.

    I only have one pair of clarks. They're the bushacre II desert boots in Beeswax leather (not suede, which would die quickly in the Seattle rain). I like them. Might have to buy a new pair at some point (these ones are getting worn down after 2.5 years of almost daily use). I also have a pair of timberland earthkeepers, but those are decidedly informal and look bad unless paired with jeans. In fact, wearing them with chinos today is what sparked this fierce desire for a better/more appropriate pair of shoes.

  5. #15
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    I picked up a pair of banana republic loafers during the sale a few days ago and I love them so far. Less than a hundred dollars and the leather is exactly what you're looking for. They might be a little casual, but I can't imagine they wouldn't work in a business environment

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    @Gabe for some reason I can't stand the look of loafers. I don't judge anyone else for wearing them, but I (unfairly) associate the look with "old man" in my mind. Again, not trying to criticize anyone for wearing them, but loafers are just not for me.

  7. #17
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    Thanks for the suggestion! I actually have a down jacket (from Land's End). It's more casual than the quilted ones you were talking about, but I still think it's wool outerwear that I most need. I have a grey topcoat from BR and it's pretty nice, but the problem is that BR only sells its outerwear in S/M/L. I'm right in between M and L, so I had to decide whether to size down or up. So that I could wear it with a suit jacket underneath, I sized up. It's great when worn with a suit or sports coat but could be trimmer when I wear it without a jacket underneath. So, I'm hoping to pick up a J. Crew ludlow topcoat, as they do 40R/40L etc. I also really like the softness of the fabric. I don't own either a peacoat or a trench coat, and I'm thinking about picking up one of them as well, although I don't think either is an absolute necessity. I have in mind the LL Bean peacoat or the J. Crew dock peacoat, and the BR trench (although I don't like midnight blue, I love the navy trench they're selling). I also have a black Timberland topcoat but the lining got all ripped up inside, and it's not worth repairing, so I'm retiring it.

    Seems like you should pick up a pair or two of shoes before betting more chukkas. Hope you find something you're happy with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    @srlclark I would maybe try a pair of AE seconds as long as I can return them to the store. Might be worth considering (but still at the top of my budget).

    You should check out my thread about quilted jackets if you're about to look into outerwear.

    I'll browse around sierra trading post, but I like the idea of picking up shoes that someone here has experience with, so I can know that they will hold up to daily use.

    I only have one pair of clarks. They're the bushacre II desert boots in Beeswax leather (not suede, which would die quickly in the Seattle rain). I like them. Might have to buy a new pair at some point (these ones are getting worn down after 2.5 years of almost daily use). I also have a pair of timberland earthkeepers, but those are decidedly informal and look bad unless paired with jeans. In fact, wearing them with chinos today is what sparked this fierce desire for a better/more appropriate pair of shoes.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    @srlclark I would maybe try a pair of AE seconds as long as I can return them to the store. Might be worth considering (but still at the top of my budget).
    You can return them to the store. You still pay the restocking fee unless you return them to a factory store.

    Simply return unwanted, unworn Factory-Second shoes to us by contacting the store for a prepaid return label and we will refund the purchase price, less $10 restocking fee per pair of Factory-Seconds returned or exchanged. You may also return your Factory-Seconds at any Allen Edmonds store. Returns to the Factory Outlet stores are free, but the $10 restocking fee will apply to each pair of Factory-Seconds returned to our Retail stores.
    For the record, I've ordered two pairs of seconds (Daltons) from AE. Both were in great shape. One pair I never could see what made them seconds. The other had a small discoloration on the tongue where you couldn't see it when laced. They both went back for fit issues. I still don't know exactly what size I need (assuming 9.5E at this point), but I got sick of paying the return fee.
    Last edited by dpark; March 11th, 2016 at 08:12 AM.

  9. #19
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    The next time the Gunners are in the $50-60 range, pull the trigger. Brown, cheap, soft leather, durable and stylish. They check every box. They are also immediately comfortable.
    I put brown cream polish on mine to try to add some depth to the color (it's a little too orange for me out of the box), and I've been pleased with the results.

  10. #20
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    @Danny: have you thought about going with a pair of chelsea boots? Still a "timeless" style, but very different to Clarks you're wearing now.

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