Dappered Friends:

I'm looking for good online or brick and mortar shoe stores.

I have had a bit of a problem with dress shoes and was hoping for some suggestions. I have had major problems finding comfortable, stylish dress shoes at major retailers in the past, as a couple pairs I shelled out for at DSW have either fallen apart after a few months of daily wear or hurt like hell after a few days. A few years ago, after days and days of trying to find a suitable pair, I ended up with a nice pair of the brown oxfords from J. Crew on discount. These lasted me for years with some repairs and regular shining, and I bought a replacement pair a year and a half ago also on major discount. Well, two weeks ago, some sort of staple from the sole is poking up from the bottom - this is not repairable, as far as I know.

J. Crew discontinued that shoe, and the comparable one is a never-discounted collaboration with an outside designer. They have other dress shoes from around $300-500, but the J. Crew folks offered me only 25% off when I explained what happened.

I then went to Allen Edmonds, which was frequently recommended on Dappered. I ordered one pair on clearance, but the width was too narrow. Apparently, their site defaults at an A width and I guess normal size is a D. Who even knows their width apart from those with unusual sizing needs? After a week waitnig for it to come, I was disappointed (and still wearing shoes with a staple poking into my foot).

So I ordered another pair from Allen Edmonds on clearance in a different style. Now this one was the proper size, but there is a defect it seems in the left shoe where there's a huge bump - the pair is totally unwearable. Allen Edmonds does not offer exchanges or refunds online and will only allow me to return the shoe in person or by mail.

This is become a huge problem, and I'm tired of walking around on shoes that hurt all day in some form or another. I'm not going to try a third pair of AEs because their customer service is poor and their shoes apparently are also poor. I suppose at this point I'd rather get a brick and mortar store so I can try things on properly, but recognize that the discounts won't be that good.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Here is the style I ordered from AE, so you can get an idea - I'm not looking at crazy or outlandish styles.