medhat

Super Member
My dress shoe collection is probably 70% leather-soled, the rest split between rubber (Vibram) and Dainite. Do I think leather is more "formal"? Absolutely. But I they're all appropriate with suiting, I'd go as far as to suggest that if I chose to wear the leather-soled shoes in crap weather out to a client meeting that someone who knew I had other better options might think less of me for the choice.
 

MarcDavidMiller

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Good point about dressing for the circumstances, including the weather.

What are your thoughts on Vibram vs Dainite? When would you consciously chose to buy one over the other?


My dress shoe collection is probably 70% leather-soled, the rest split between rubber (Vibram) and Dainite. Do I think leather is more "formal"? Absolutely. But I they're all appropriate with suiting, I'd go as far as to suggest that if I chose to wear the leather-soled shoes in crap weather out to a client meeting that someone who knew I had other better options might think less of me for the choice.
 

challer

Senior Member
Where exactly are you walking on wet cobblestones? (I've begged and begged you to stop trailing Moriarty, but you just won't listen.)
Well, DC and the historic surrounds (like Georgetown, Alexandria, etc.) are filled with cobblestone and irregular polish brick and granite. Same in Boston and much of Europe and Japan/Korea. Dainite soles ended my somewhat hilarious and painful falls in the rain in these locations.
 

medhat

Super Member
In my opinion, Dainite wins hands down for anything other than casual. Vibram, particularly lug soled Commando, is much more casual. Commando soles are aptly named.
Good point about dressing for the circumstances, including the weather.

What are your thoughts on Vibram vs Dainite? When would you consciously chose to buy one over the other?
It's somewhat ironic that the last few commenters here (myself included, as I work in DC) are all DC-based. While I prefer the look of Dainite, the ruggedness is IMO a bit more casual that the shoes I have with Vibram (a pretty unobtrusive fine-textured outsole, almost like a topy). Truth, we're really splitting hairs here, talking about the bottom of one's shoes, but if the goal were to be weather-aware yet as incognito as possible, I'm pretty sure both Dainite and Vibram are available in a brown shade that would be to the casual observer indistinguishable from leather. So back to your question. I prefer Dainite mostly for the look, but appreciate the durability (a harder rubber compound). Vibram may be a hair more comfortable, and is available in many more permutations of tread appearance.
 

MarcDavidMiller

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
That’s because people in the DC region are prepared for any possibility and live for the moments when they happen!

Perfect example: a few years ago I had a conference scheduled with the son of a country’s president (I was the host and organizer). While taking the train from NY where I then lived, his father fled the capital and I was receiving dozens of calls from reporters since my website had the scion’s name listed as being in DC the next day. Long story short, I spent the morning cancelling the event (hotel, catering, other items), calling sponsors and explaining what was going on, contacting attendees and telling them everything was postponed, and setting up a serious of webinars (at the time a new thing) that would feature experts to explain what was going on.

Bottom line: 1 cancellation out of 100, and we rescheduled with the new president six months later.

So we prepare for slippery weather in ways that do not broadcast our concern, but nonetheless will work when called upon.
 

mhj

Senior Member
I've always said that foul weather trumps fashion. We have some world-class blizzards in my locale and people will wear all kinds of rugged footwear with a suit. I personally wear AE Higgins Mills or Bean Boots.
 

richard warren

Senior Member
In terms of clothing, approach what people do in Washington with more than a little caution, and emulate it with even more caution, or better yet, not at all.

A traditionally well dressed wearing a suit for business should have leather shoes with leather soles as a default. Younger men get more leeway, as are people with physical issues.

In certain context, dressing properly is a sort of test: if you can do it, it means you have your act together; if not, not. In certain areas of generalized incompetence, that sort of thing doesn’t matter much.
 

challer

Senior Member
In terms of clothing, approach what people do in Washington with more than a little caution, and emulate it with even more caution, or better yet, not at all.

A traditionally well dressed wearing a suit for business should have leather shoes with leather soles as a default. Younger men get more leeway, as are people with physical issues.
Are you serious? Have you tried dress shoes with Dainite soles? I'm sure you couldn't spot mine unless I flashed the soles. See hideous Dainite soled dress shoe below.
ALDBR-ANGLE-min-600x690.jpg
 

Matt S

Connoisseur
Are you serious? Have you tried dress shoes with Dainite soles? I'm sure you couldn't spot mine unless I flashed the soles. See hideous Dainite soled dress shoe below. View attachment 52321
Dainite is fantastic. It looks great, and it lasts forever. I regret resoling a pair of boots in Dainite because though the soles are still great, 6 years later the uppers are shot. I should have just paid less for leather soles. Unfortunately, I have found Dainite to be just as slippery on wet pavement as leather soles.
 

sansax

Starting Member
True, Dainite does look better than regular rubber soles, and most of them use Goodyear construction.

I'm unsure if they are formal enough on Black Oxfords though. I think I'll probably still look better than other guys my age who get Cole Haans & Kenneth Coles
 

smmrfld

Super Member
In terms of clothing, approach what people do in Washington with more than a little caution, and emulate it with even more caution, or better yet, not at all.

A traditionally well dressed wearing a suit for business should have leather shoes with leather soles as a default. Younger men get more leeway, as are people with physical issues.

In certain context, dressing properly is a sort of test: if you can do it, it means you have your act together; if not, not. In certain areas of generalized incompetence, that sort of thing doesn’t matter much.
This wins for the most ludicrous post in this thread, IMO.
 

MarcDavidMiller

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Let's face it: If you have shined your shoes in the last month, you are ahead of probably 3/4 or more of your colleagues in most professions.

Here appearances count, just like on car forums that argue over the merits of Griots over Turtle Wax.
 

sansax

Starting Member
Let's face it: If you have shined your shoes in the last month, you are ahead of probably 3/4 or more of your colleagues in most professions.

Here appearances count, just like on car forums that argue over the merits of Griots over Turtle Wax.
Yup. And I also think you mean doing the traditional shine method.

I hated the liquid polish or those sponges
 

challer

Senior Member
Let's face it: If you have shined your shoes in the last month, you are ahead of probably 3/4 or more of your colleagues in most professions.

Here appearances count, just like on car forums that argue over the merits of Griots over Turtle Wax.
i think you’re being generous. From what I see it’s more like 1% who polish dress shoes, if you ever have the rare sighting of an actual dress shoe capable of being resoled. I also encourage everyone to see beyond appearances. The wealthiest people I work with, say billionaire, are the worst dressed. Sumner Redstone was the only one I knew who wore a suit and he was famous for getting them off the discount rack, in person.
 

MarcDavidMiller

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Of course!

I admit in younger years to using the sponges, and I agree that they are probably worse than useless in a shoe maintenance regimen.

However, until the last few years I did use products like Keewee and melatonin, but then realized that if I spend not much more I’m getting infinitely better products. But again, I came to the view that shoes need to be shined (and I think Keewee is not a bad product and both offers some protection and appearance enhancement as well as encourages shoe maintenance).
 

medhat

Super Member
My long-standing personal philosophy, developed via trial and repetitive error, is pretty straightforward and broadly applicable outside of clothing. If YOU discern a difference between two items needed/desired for the same purpose and the difference in price you deem to be anything but obnoxiously excessive, it pays to go with what you want. I find myself applying this more on the low-end extreme. I definitely spend very little on my clothing wardrobe on anything that would be construed as trendy, but on the occasions I do I'm entirely content with something of "lesser" quality but with the look I desire. It's the more enduring stuff where I don't mind spending more; many of those items will remain in my wardrobe rotation for years, when amortized the upfront cost ends up as miniscule.
 
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