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

Dress shoes or Athletic shoes for comfort?

  • Total voters

Mr. Knightly

Super Member
Forgive the digressive nature of the post. I blame the scotch.

Running shoes are absurdly comfortable, but sometimes they can be too supportive. I prefer some of the more old-school models, such as the Asics Hyperspeed 3 or Brooks T6. They have a minimal heel to forefoot drop, and they are more flexible than most running shoes.

My go-to shoes are Bean blucher mocs or Bean boots (depending on season and weather). Both of them feel like I'm essentially barefoot, which is my preference. All true dress shoes have heels, which are not comfortable (when standing) and not anatomically correct. Driving mocs are also a nice option for comfort and style.

I know a lot of people swear by Italian dress loafers, and while the suppleness of the uppers is appealing, the stiff sole and heel will always keep them out of the ranks of supremely comfortable shoes.

LeicaLad, thanks for the contribution. I think the real trick is to mate your own style to the situation, and I think that I would probably pack exactly as you do in the same situation. None of us should aspire to be like that officer in Heart of Darkness whose only real accomplishment was keeping perfectly starched shirts in the Congo:

"I didn't want any more loitering in the shade, and I made haste towards the station. When near the buildings I met a white man, in such an unexpected elegance of get-up that in the first moment I took him for a sort of vision. I saw a high starched collar, white cuffs, a light alpaca jacket, snowy trousers, a clean necktie, and varnished boots. No hat. Hair parted, brushed, oiled, under a green-lined parasol held in a big white hand. He was amazing, and had a penholder behind his ear.

"I shook hands with this miracle, and I learned he was the Company's chief accountant, and that all the book-keeping was done at this station. He had come out for a moment, he said, 'to get a breath of fresh air.' The expression sounded wonderfully odd, with its suggestion of sedentary desk-life. I wouldn't have mentioned the fellow to you at all, only it was from his lips that I first heard the name of the man who is so indissolubly connected with the memories of that time. Moreover, I respected the fellow. Yes; I respected his collars, his vast cuffs, his brushed hair. His appearance was certainly that of a hairdresser's dummy; but in the great demoralization of the land he kept up his appearance. That's backbone. His starched collars and got-up shirt-fronts were achievements of character. He had been out nearly three years; and, later, I could not help asking him how he managed to sport such linen. He had just the faintest blush, and said modestly, 'I've been teaching one of the native women about the station. It was difficult. She had a distaste for the work.' Thus this man had verily accomplished something. And he was devoted to his books, which were in apple-pie order." (I know we're all predisposed to take this at face value because of our own proclivities/weaknesses, but let's try to appreciate the absurdity.)

I must admit that, due to my obsessive nature, I derive absurd enjoyment from coming up with the perfect wardrobe for a light-packing trip. Central to such a wardrobe are usually a hopsack (wrinkle-resistant) blazer, one tie, and a pair of "chameleon" shoes (desert boots, blucher mocs, LHS) that can be worn with jeans or with khakis and the blazer. When traveling thus, the shoes on my feet are probably Jacks (which I prefer to Chucks). The true running shoes (Brooks T6) would take up too much space in the duffel, so they get tied around the strap. I've taken 20 day trips with no more than a carry-on sized duffel, and it often makes me feel very skeptical about the unnecessary size of my wardrobe.

Pink and Green

Senior Member
Ha, a chance to cheat, excellent.

I prefer loafers, which are not dress shoes. I know they are tradly, but it is a Sperry showroom inside my closet. Camp mocs, Bluepoint boat shoes, sueded loafers, you name it, I love them. So much better than other shoes.

When forced, I wear dress shoes, usually with a suit. If you banished all boat shoes and khakis from my closet, I would be a resolute nudist.


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Hmm... I think there needs to be a third choice... the leather casual shoe. (I currently favor the Camper Pelotas.) That's what I normally wear outside of the office and what I'd choose to wear if going out to have a beer or two...


Senior Member
Ignoring aesthetics and propriety and based solely on comfort, I would opt for an athletic shoe. But then again, based on the criteria above, I would also go to work in my pajamas and robe as well.


Senior Member
I actually prefer a pair of stout, but well broken-in boots. My Red Wing 875's are comfy both on concrete and off the beaten path. They have so much support too. So does that go under dress shoes, or athletic?


Super Member
It has to be the now-discontinued AE Garners. Monk straps in black calf, I can see patients all day with them, and run track afterwards. They look like money even after 250-ish wearings, though I sense a recrafting next year......only Lucchese boots are more comfortable.
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