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Want to buy a good pair of dress shoes? Not quite sure what to look for?
I’m going to share with you my best advice (and personal experience) when shopping for mens dress shoes.
Shoe value is found not only in material or durability, not only in comfort, style, or price – but in the combination of all these factors.
Before I get into what shoes have these factors and where you can find them, I want to share with you what I believe to be a well written and illustrated understanding of shoe construction.
Okay, now let’s talk about the value of American-made men’s dress shoes and how they’re constructed…
My Background With Mens Shoes
There’s a lot of information about mens dress shoes online from a lot of different viewpoints without personal experience. And I view it as just that — information without experience.
I cannot speak to all things, but I am humble enough to respect and share the work of others and still maintain my integrity while writing from my own personal experiences.
I was fortunate enough at the age of 21 to meet a salesman at a gentleman’s store called JD Howell in San Marco Square (in Jacksonville, Florida) — where I was introduced to Alden shoes.
I had just started my career in sales and needed to purchase some dress shoes.
It was on that day I got an education on the value of quality dress shoes and how they are constructed.
Since then, I’ve been a fan of American made dress shoes.
And I’ve learned firsthand that investing in a single pair of quality dress shoes could last you a lifetime — because they can be re-soled 2 or 3 times.
A handy rule of thumb is this: If a repair costs less than half the price of new shoes, repair the old ones. I’d add that you can pay a little more than that, if the shoes are really worth it to you. Source
The Best American Made Mens Dress Shoes
The following shoe manufacturers provide a combination of all the factors that I mentioned above, as well as the quality of Goodyear welted construction and Blake welt stitch construction.
In a Blake construction, the outer sole is directly stitched to the insole. This allows more flexibility and lighter weight as compared to the sturdier Goodyear construction. Source
#1 – Alden Mens Shoes
This video shows how Alden mens shoes are made:
Here’s information about the Alden shoe restoration program.
#2 – Allen Edmonds Shoes
This video speaks to the craftsmanship of Allen Edmonds shoes:
Here’s everything you want to know about Allen Edmonds shoe recrafting process.
#3 – Rancourt & Co. Mens Shoes
This video shows how Rancourt & Co. makes Blake welt stitch shoes:
Here are details about Rancourt & Co’s premium shoe refurbishing service.
Reasons To Buy The Best Shoes You Can Afford
Each of the above American-made dress shoe manufacturers provide:
- Great value in terms of your initial investment
- Valuable expertise for the proper long-term care of your shoes through their resoling and recrafting services
The investment you make in a quality well-constructed dress shoe is like the investment in a quality well-constructed leather jacket.
Like the leather jacket, the longer you wear it the more it shapes and conforms to your body, daily routine, and lifestyle — which ultimately gives you the most comfort, joy and satisfaction.
Helpful Tips Before You Resole Shoes
Before you rush to get a pair of shoes resoled, here’s how to tell if your shoes need to be resoled, the types of shoes that can (and cannot) be resoled, and some helpful information about the cost of resoling mens dress shoes:
- How Many Times Can A Pair Of Shoes Be Resoled?
- Replacing vs. Resoling Shoes
- See How Much It Costs To Resole Boots & Shoes
- How Long Do Leather Soles Last?
I’ve been in the men’s clothing business since 2000. My specialty is custom-tailored suits and shirts, as well as men’s accessories.