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Thread: Do you buy your dress shoes new or do you look for used first?

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    Question Do you buy your dress shoes new or do you look for used first?

    Hello everyone,

    I've been on a kick lately of buying used Allen Edmond shoes from places like eBay, Grailed, etc., and restoring them to the best of my ability. After stripping them down and polishing them, they make their way my local cobbler for new soles/heels; an almost like-new shoe is born. Does anyone else do this? Or do you prefer to just buy new?

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    New. The idea of wearing a used item where people sweat in, foot related diseases that easily transfer, and are in for 8hrs a day I just cannot get over. Almost no other clothing item can take as much abuse as shoes. Shoes also mold to the footed the wearer due to their gait and pressure.

    Iíd rather have a smaller collection of new shoes then a diverse collection of used.

    I can see how some enjoy the project and to each their own but for me. New shoes are worth it.

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    I won’t say I haven’t bought pre-owned shoes before but I haven’t done so in years.

    For some of the reasons @hockeysc23 mentioned above, as well as the fact that shoe fit is so particular and you are rarely able to return pre-owned shoes that don’t fit for whatever reason. And sometimes the reason they don’t fit is they’ve been broken in so much to a previous owner with a different gait or foot shape, as mentioned above. Which is something that is impossible to account for when trying to figure out what size/last you should be buying.

    I would rather buy a pair of comfortable glued shoes for <$100 or a pair of new shoes on sale for ~$200* than spend $20** on a pair of pre-owned shoes that may or may not fit and may or may not require $100 of recrafting to look anything like a new pair or shoes.

    *Every pair of AE dress shoes I own (and I own several), I’ve managed to find on sale for $200 or less.

    **And generally a current and mainstream shoe model in a normal size from a known brand (like AE) in good condition is going to sell for more than $20 used.
    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeysc23 View Post
    New. The idea of wearing a used item where people sweat in, foot related diseases that easily transfer, and are in for 8hrs a day I just cannot get over.
    Do you mean foot-related disease as in plantar fascitis or fungal/viral infection? The latter is very low risk from shoes if you disinfect them; there is much higher risk from going to a gym, pool, etc. The former I would agree is not worth it... it's why I don't like walking barefoot too much on hard surfaces, wearing shoes that don't fit, or wearing shoes that are worn out. But, the OP is talking about resoling shoes which should minimize any risk as long as they fit to begin with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianr View Post
    Do you mean foot-related disease as in plantar fascitis or fungal/viral infection? The latter is very low risk from shoes if you disinfect them; there is much higher risk from going to a gym, pool, etc. The former I would agree is not worth it... it's why I don't like walking barefoot too much on hard surfaces, wearing shoes that don't fit, or wearing shoes that are worn out. But, the OP is talking about resoling shoes which should minimize any risk as long as they fit to begin with.
    Plantar fasciitis isnít a disease. Itís a disorder.

    As for diseases like athletes foot and fungus those arenít things I want. The risk may be low but foot diseases can transfer in dark moist environments which used shoes could be. To me itís a risk reward ratio the benefit of used shoes for me isnít worth the risk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeysc23 View Post
    Plantar fasciitis isnít a disease. Itís a disorder.

    As for diseases like athletes foot and fungus those arenít things I want. The risk may be low but foot diseases can transfer in dark moist environments which used shoes could be. To me itís a risk reward ratio the benefit of used shoes for me isnít worth the risk.
    Apologies to disgress a bit... I always wear socks when trying on shoes even if they are loafers. And, I admittedly get nervous every time I try on shoes in a shoe store because I figure they aren't sanitizing the shoes and the person in there yesterday could have shed a bunch of fungal spores into the shoes with their dirty socks / bare feet. I think I get the apprehension, I'm only saying shoes can be disinfected rather easily if you don't currently have athlete's foot.

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    Before even thinking about wearing the shoes, I sanitize the interiors with isopropyl alcohol. And as pointed out, I do take the shoes in to see a cobbler for new soles and heels.

    This was the inspiration behind the post:
    https://vcleat.com/buying-vintage-shoes/

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    Quote Originally Posted by rd27 View Post
    This was the inspiration behind the post:
    https://vcleat.com/buying-vintage-shoes/
    Interesting article including the embedded link about the "perfect brogue".

    I bought several pairs of used Allen Edmonds on eBay when I was trying to figure out what styles I liked. It was good for doing trial and error since I could resell without taking a hit. The pairs I bought were in the $70 to $100 range and nearly new condition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rd27 View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I've been on a kick lately of buying used Allen Edmond shoes from places like eBay, Grailed, etc., and restoring them to the best of my ability. After stripping them down and polishing them, they make their way my local cobbler for new soles/heels; an almost like-new shoe is born. Does anyone else do this? Or do you prefer to just buy new?
    New soles and heels are not cheap. I'm not sure it would be worth it for a used pair of Allen Edmonds. All-in, you'd probably be close to the price of seconds or something on clearance. It might be worth it for an ultra luxe brand, but you can often get Allen Edmonds for a decent price you're patient and do your research.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theplayerking View Post
    New soles and heels are not cheap. I'm not sure it would be worth it for a used pair of Allen Edmonds. .
    this is 100% true most of the time, with most models. With an official AE Recraft hovering around $125 or so now? it's getting more expensive to do this every year. My local cobler is kind of a hack, so i can't get it any cheaper mostly.

    It works out ok sometimes if you find a pair of Shell Cordovan AE's.

    Shoebank at any reasonably good discount, is very hard to compare price wise to the ebay prices of firsts, in any used but popular allen edmonds shoe.

    there are many less-than-popular AE models that come up on ebay that are very very cheap to buy, models less popular than Strands or McAllisters can go for $50-70 with a pretty a good sole ready to go for you.

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