Given a choice, what would you wear: dress shoes or athletic shoes?

Dress shoes or Athletic shoes for comfort?


  • Total voters
    126

P Hudson

Super Member
What are "dress shoes"? My 2nd most comfortable shoes are my AE saddles, with custom orthotics--as good as my running shoes. After that I would rate my AE Fultons. I have a couple other AEs that are extraordinarily comfortable. But all these shoes have rubber soles, so I'd be reluctant to call them "dress shoes". My "dress shoes" are black and have leather soles. I would rate the shoes I've listed above as casual to dressy-casual, and extremely comfortable.

My most comfortable shoes are a pair of soft, gum soled loafers. I can hardly tell that they are there.
 
I voted "dress shoes," but the truth is that it depends on the situation. Obviously if I'm running errands on the weekend, walking on concrete a long way, or working in the yard, I'm more comfortable not having to worry about ruining a nice pair of dress shoes.

But at work, I feel most comfortable in nice shoes--not just physical comfort, but the confidence of knowing that I look professional. I'm partial to AE on sale, and I have a pair of Boss shoes I like a lot.

I actually wear brown or black slip-ons on the way to work, and then I put my nice shoes on at work. (I keep five pairs in my various cubicle drawers, along with a shoehorn.) I'm trying not to have to resole the dress shoes for as long as possible, and I see no sense in wearing them on the subway.
 

kkollwitz

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
"I've never felt comfortable wearing athletic shoes/sneakers for anything other than working out."

Yes.
 

AldenPyle

Honors Member
What are "dress shoes"? My 2nd most comfortable shoes are my AE saddles, with custom orthotics--as good as my running shoes. After that I would rate my AE Fultons. I have a couple other AEs that are extraordinarily comfortable. But all these shoes have rubber soles, so I'd be reluctant to call them "dress shoes". My "dress shoes" are black and have leather soles. I would rate the shoes I've listed above as casual to dressy-casual, and extremely comfortable.

My most comfortable shoes are a pair of soft, gum soled loafers. I can hardly tell that they are there.

My go to shoes for a day of walking would be AE rubber soled leather shoes either casual or dress casual. Though obviously running shoes are better for running, I think after being in them for a few hours, the soles start to feel a bit harder.

I could easily wear polo-chino-tennis shoes to work. I usually wear some sort of AE dress casual (during spring rainy season) or leather soled shoe (in fall or winter), even on days when I might be on my feet lecturing for 3-4 hours. Though Stan Smiths are somewhat more comfortable than a pair of wingtips, I dont really think the difference is that noticeable for my situation. On the other hand, if I had foot problems or if I were on my feet for 8-10 hours a day it might be a different story.

Summertime might be the one exception. If you are wearing shorts AND doing a long day of walking, then I would prefer Stan Smith to leather moccasins or penny loafers. Maybe, Hudson's gum soled loafers might be a good plan.
 

Moose Maclennan

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
In the summer, I do find myself gravitating to white leather tennis shoes a lot, the old-fashioned style.

Purely for comfort, it would be driving mocs or desert boots tho'.
 

LeicaLad

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I find this quite interesting. I make no judgment of others here, but only speak for my own curious experience.

While I really love fine shoes, and, due to these forums, am increasing the quality and quantity of my collection. Nevertheless, I spend months at a stretch in rural areas of South and Southeast Asia. Even now, I am in Da Nang, Vietnam and will be making a large circuit, mostly by land, through Hanoi over to Vientiane, down to Suvannakhet and then to Bangkok over the next several weeks. My first choice of shoes would be Teva sandals. Second would be trail runners.

On this trip, I’ve left all my fine shoes behind and have an inexpensive – and light – pair of deerskin loafers to wear with a blazer at meetings with higher level (above the district and provincial) officials.

I love the feeling of being “dressed up.” I have my share of black tie events, and a closet full of tailored suits. But I do not equate the costume, nor the pleasures of its feelings, with being professional. There are many times, particularly in cross-cultural settings, when overdressed demonstrates a lack of sensitivity…, at best.

Thus, when simply traversing long distances in heat and high humidity, dressing local only makes sense. I’ll leave aside the wearing of longyi (sarong) and velvet slippers, even for formal wear, in places like Myanmar.

On the other hand, I simply cannot wait to get back to try on my new Alden Whiskey Shell NSTs!

:cool:
 

Joe Beamish

Elite Member
Almost everything is "overdressed" almost all the time, wherever one goes.

Somebody today remarked on my dressiness at work. I'm wearing jeans, a gingham shirt covered by a crewneck sweater, and ordinary SAS penny loafers. Oh, and argyle socks. This is way casual for me. But still infinitely dressy to most people.

Wait till summer. Tank tops and flip flops will dominate. Men's hairy feet everywhere in the workplace. All the same I will be insanely and rudely overdressed.
 

rmcnabb

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Wear athletic shoes for athletics. Wear dress shoes for dress. Wear casual shoes for casual events. Wear scuba fins for scuba. Wear combat boots for combat.

"There's what's right, and there's what's right, and never the twain shall meet." H. I. McDonough -Raising Arizona
 

Bruce Wayne

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
From a purely comfort standpoint, I like New Balance 992s. They last for a long, long, time. Oh, and they're made in the USA. Can't beat that. But they are rather expensive and they can look silly on my huge feet.

I rarely wear them in situations other than for exercise, preferring dress shoes for their styling. But comfort? 992s win every day.
+1
I have a pair of 992s in black that I wear almost every day. FYI I'm a college student whose feet severely overpronate.
 
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Mr. Walter Trent

New Member
I don't visit the Trad forum very often, so I'm pretty late to this particular party.

I think this is a pretty easy question to answer on this particular forum. But, I applaud the honest answers from those who actually said sneakers.

Of course, my vote is with "dress shoes". Sure, they aren't always comfortable out of the box, but with a little time, they literally become a second skin.

Wally
 

StevenRocks

Super Member
I just love shoes, period. It'd be hard to make a choice as clear cut as sneakers vs. dress shoes because they're both useful and comfortable. I end up wearing casual shoes and boots more than anything else, though. They tend to be more versatile.

I personally have double the amount of sneakers that I have dress and casual shoes, but part of this comes from me being a sneakerhead. The designs make me happy, often for nostalgic reasons, sometimes because they are true design classics.

I don't wear a majority of the sneakers all that much because I don't have the time or events to wear them to. Given the chance, I'd wear them a bit more than I do. But then again, I could say the same thing about the dress shoes, too.
 

cmacey

Senior Member
I met my friends for a couple of beers and we had a big discussion about shoes. I was wearing a pair of aldens and my friends both had athletic shoes on. I was made fun of (in a friendly manner, ofcourse) for wearing aldens to a pub, but we digress ...

Both my friends strongly expressed the opinion that given a choice, they would wear athletic shoes all the time. Mind you, these two are guys that wear a suit atleast 3 days a week and have properly fitting AEs on their feet while they are at work. They are not newbies with leather shoes either, they have worn proper dress shoes for years now.

I have always felt that my feet were more comfortable in my aldens for non-athletic activities. I do own athletic shoes and they get worn I am exercising or running or playing. I used to have them on all the time when I was in grad school (not too long ago) but ever since I found alden, that habit changed.

I was wondering what members at AAAC felt about this. Leave aside "trad", leave aside the right/wrong aspect of wearing athletic shoes to work and leave aside the monetary aspect associated with dress vs athletic shoes. From purely a comfort viewpoint, given a choice, what would you wear most of the time: a pair of dress shoes or a pair of athletic shoes? Why?

I apologise if this has come up before ...

I purchase shoes for a specific reason; to that end, I have athletic shoes for working out and dress dress/"regular" shoes for non-athletic occasions. I would feel very awkward going to a pub/bar wearing athletic shoes. I have plenty of regular shoes that fit me well and are, in my opinion, more appropriate for the occasion. But that is just me...
 
Chucks. I'm not at all uncomfortable in dress shoes, but a well broken in pair of Chucks feels like a second skin to me.

You'd have to pay me a considerable amount of money to wear anything that looks like a Nike outside of the gym.
 

My Pet. A Pantsuit

Senior Member
I'm a big proponent of the steel shank because of my high arches, so I'm really the most comfortable in a well-broken in pair of Aldens. It's really too bad, because Allen-Edmonds makes great shoes, and I only wish the best for them being a company out of the United States, but the fiberglass shank just doesn't support me like I need it to and actually makes my foot ache after a day of standing. With that said, I have known people for whom this type of shank has meant a superior fit for them, so I am by no means making a qualitative assessment of the company.

Athletic shoes provide good shock absorption while working out, and that's all that I wear them for, and never for extended periods of time. I prefer the smoothness of a leather sole on a day-to-day basis, and on days when I am not working I usually wear a bit or penny loafer.
 

Corcovado

Senior Member
I would say that I would wear comfortable walking shoes such as Clarks or Eccos if given a choice. I think that the various types of brown walking shoes constitute a separate category of shoe compared to dress shoes and athletic shoes. It's just not medically possible for me to wear leather soled dress shoes day in and day out, and yet I wouldn't want to wear New Balance or Nike all the time if I could help it.
 

dwebber18

Super Member
I chose dress shoes, when in reality my choice is loafers. They are my go to and I have to make a conscious decision to not wear loafers. I love my PAs, but there is something about my loafers.
 

WindsorNot

Senior Member
I chose dress shoes, when in reality my choice is loafers. They are my go to and I have to make a conscious decision to not wear loafers. I love my PAs, but there is something about my loafers.

Spot on. For the lazier among us, penny's and tassel loafers are supreme. I wear a reserved "dress" pair of dock shoes outside almost exclusively (with Tretorns sometimes) during the hot summer - you never know when you will be called upon to go sailing.
 

sowilson

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Thus, when simply traversing long distances in heat and high humidity, dressing local only makes sense. I’ll leave aside the wearing of longyi (sarong) and velvet slippers, even for formal wear, in places like Myanmar.

When I'm at the inlaws in Khon Kaen I like to wear a pair of red Crocs with my sarong. For going out I usually wear a pair of penny loafers (rubber bottom) or Born sandals (with the toe covered like the Hamlin model). Back in the states I really like the insulated Merrell Moc for kicking around in cool weather. For outdoor athletic work (coaching football, baseball) I like the New Balance 995's, for indoor training (weight work, treadmill) I like New Balance 1010's, and for court work (basketball workouts with the kids) Converse Dwyane Wade. I rarely wear athletic shoes outside of athletic activities.
 
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