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Thread: best sub $150 everyday business casual shoes

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    I love the look of the AE fifth avenues. (AE's are not in the running due to price point)
    I've long considered picking up a pair of Stafford Gunners (in cognac)
    I tried on BR's Jeremy oxfords today (Joe described the leather as "terrific" on the main site).

    Thoughts on the three shoes that I've mentioned?
    Suggestions for shoes I haven't considered?
    The 5th Ave is a cap-toe Balmoral. Way too formal for your work dress and would incredibly out of place.
    I know the Gunners get a ton of love on here, but they are really a throw away shoe. Definitely not a step up or an investment in quality footwear.
    I'm simply not a fan of plain toe oxfords. I think they look boring and the epitome of unsexy. I cannot think of a single style scenario where a different shoe would not look better.

    My recommendations would be for double monk, a chukka, or a chelsea (in that order). Preferably in suede.

    The BR Wyatt gets a lot of love on here, but it's not suede and maybe to much brogueing for you. The BR James (leather) and Ryan (suede) seem to be discontinued, but can be found on eBay if you know your BR size.
    The AE Gobi is $117 on Shoebank if they have your size. Fairly similar style to your Clarks so I ranked them second on the list, but a sleeker profile in suede might make enough of a change up.
    I don't have any recommendations for a ~$100 chelsea, but if you can find one, I think they would fit what you're looking for.

  2. #22
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    I don't know what size you are but AE has the Kenilworth in bourbon for $127 right now.http://www.shoebank.com/FactorySecon...DIM=D&SIZE=090

    Also, what about some suede bucks? Plain toe and several brands would have them for less than $100.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpark View Post
    You can return them to the store. You still pay the restocking fee unless you return them to a factory store.
    Maybe it's different store to store, but I have returned plenty of Shoebank shoes to the local AE store and never paid a restocking fee.

  4. #24
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    Are you willing to buy used, or only new? I assume new only due to apprehension towards AE seconds, but want to make sure.

    The AE Dundee seems to be the perfect fit for your requirements, except for price. You'll be very hard pressed to find a new pair for under $150, but they're a much higher quality boot than the JM, BR, and Stafford options previously listed.

    The AE Fifth Avenue you mentioned is far too dressy for your daily wardrobe.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by connersw View Post
    Maybe it's different store to store, but I have returned plenty of Shoebank shoes to the local AE store and never paid a restocking fee.
    Interesting. I was quoting the shoe bank site. Maybe some stores don't enforce the restocking fee, though. Definitely nicer if you don't have to pay that.

  6. #26
    Varsity Member Rocco's Avatar
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    Some stores don't. I returned shoebank shoes to the downtown Philly store last summer and they didn't charge me.

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    Varsity Member Alex.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    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.
    Yep, I've done it several times. Saves you the $10 restocking fee too!

  8. #28
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    @Danny - Congrats to you for being disciplined and carefully adding pieces to your wardrobe. If everyone did this, I think we would see more higher quality goods being sold, since everyone would stop getting suckered into buying overpriced and/or poor quality goods.

    I used to feel the same way you do about wingtips. I prefer a more understated style. I have slowly changed my mind though. A dark brown wingtip shoe is not as flashy as you might think it is. As you may have figured out, the quality level of a $150 shoe is not much more than the best $50 shoe. You have to cross over to the goodyear welted price level before you can get more bang for your buck.

    I say buy the gunner boots for now until you feel more comfortable spending more for shoes. I own a pair and wear them often. I wear them with jeans, even though some people here will tell you to never do that. It is a boot, it has some brogueing, it is a blucher, it is brown, the soles are black rubber, and the leather has a much more matte appearance than my brown AE fifth avenue shoes. So, it is not anything like wearing AE fifth avenue with jeans.

    Good luck with your decision.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpark View Post
    Interesting. I was quoting the shoe bank site. Maybe some stores don't enforce the restocking fee, though. Definitely nicer if you don't have to pay that.
    I've returned to the store without paying the restocking fee, also. (In my case, it was one of the DC stores).

  10. #30
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    Agree with you about the 5th Ave. If @Danny can find a pair of Kenilworths that fit, they'd be way better. So would the Lexington - although I think the cap-toe doesn't work so well on bluchers as on balmorals, and so would advocate the Kenilworth over the Lexington. Both are roughly in his price range.

    I don't understand why so many posters are recommending chukkas. He already owns a chukka. I know it's not so high quality a chukka, but I don't believe he plans on throwing it out. If he's going to have three pairs of footwear, and two are chukkas and one another type of boot, that seems unbalanced to me. Surely it's better to get a brown blucher of some sort than yet another boot.

    My view is that one's first three pairs of high-quality shoes should normally be something like this (it's not the path I followed; note, I'm assuming that until you have at least three nice pairs, you don't throw out your old, less high quality shoes but keep using them):

    1. A brown plain-toe blucher. [Should be either medium brown or dark brown].
    2. A black cap-toe balmoral.
    {N.B. no reason why it shouldn't be a brown cap-toe blucher and a black plain-toe balmoral, I suppose}.
    3. A brown brogue. [Don't think it matters whether the brogue is a balmoral or a blucher, whether it's a half-brogue, a full brogue, a long wing, a short wing, or anything else. I do think it'd be a shame if both the brown shoes were the same shade of brown, so if the first was a dark brown, I'd get this in medium or light brown/tan, and if the first was medium brown, I'd get this in dark brown or perhaps light brown/tan - but might put that off a bit longer].

    Quote Originally Posted by connersw View Post
    The 5th Ave is a cap-toe Balmoral. Way too formal for your work dress and would incredibly out of place.
    I know the Gunners get a ton of love on here, but they are really a throw away shoe. Definitely not a step up or an investment in quality footwear.
    I'm simply not a fan of plain toe oxfords. I think they look boring and the epitome of unsexy. I cannot think of a single style scenario where a different shoe would not look better.

    My recommendations would be for double monk, a chukka, or a chelsea (in that order). Preferably in suede.

    The BR Wyatt gets a lot of love on here, but it's not suede and maybe to much brogueing for you. The BR James (leather) and Ryan (suede) seem to be discontinued, but can be found on eBay if you know your BR size.
    The AE Gobi is $117 on Shoebank if they have your size. Fairly similar style to your Clarks so I ranked them second on the list, but a sleeker profile in suede might make enough of a change up.
    I don't have any recommendations for a ~$100 chelsea, but if you can find one, I think they would fit what you're looking for.

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