Submitted by LadyA29 t3_zrkzl6 in BuyItForLife

My SO has large feet, size 14. He works in retail management and is on his feet 50 hours a week. He has tried so many shoes, honestly none of true quality, and they all wear out quickly.

I’ve been googling and reading about higher quality but the problem I seem to run into is I can’t seem to find everything I need in a shoe.

Size 14, black, no canvas, slip resistant, dress shoe as they have to wear dress pants and a button up. If you are from the south he works at Publix. If you know you know.

Anyone have any suggestions or brands that I should look into that are going to last longer than 4 months or is he doomed to just always have crappy shoes?

I have found a pair of Dr.Martens but I was reading a few post down that they aren’t what they use to be. I’d like to keep under $250 but honestly if it’s something that will last and I’m willing to spend more.

Rockport doesn’t have his size Redwing shoes don’t have the slip resistant but do have the size Merrill have the size, color, slip resistant but they look canvas Timberlands doesn’t have slip resistant just water resistant and I don’t believe those are the same

He has tried Sketchers New balance Adidas Pretty much any name brand you can buy in a mall shoe store.



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[deleted] t1_j13quy0 wrote



LadyA29 OP t1_j13tkkz wrote

I’ll look at Ecco, rockport didn’t have his size which was kind of a bummer


-SeaBrisket- t1_j14dvm2 wrote

I've had pairs of Eccos. Comfortable shoes but they won't last any longer than the others.


orthopod t1_j1bifqz wrote

DMs are no longer made the same way. Supposedly Solovair make them the original, can't kill them, way.

Suggest getting at least 4-5 pairs of shoes. If they dry out between wearing for at least 3-4 days, then they won't smell. I have leather shoes, 20 years old that just smell like.... Leather.

Allen Edmonds are great. Come in slip resistant, and or Danite soles. Can be resoled.


LazerHef t1_j13sv0w wrote

Former server here. We all swore by Dansko. They are comfortable and last long, but kinda pricey. We had an outlet store about an hour away we’d travel to just to get new ones, which we didn’t need to do often because they lasted.


LadyA29 OP t1_j13t65t wrote

Thank you I’ll look into them now!


AstridCrabapple t1_j14yblc wrote

My last pair lasted 8 years and I purchased them at Goodwill! I only got new ones because a buckle broke.


katieh809 t1_j1dc512 wrote

Pastry chef here- I second Dansko. Just gave my first pair I had back in culinary school to goodwill as they still have plenty of life in them! I figured since they are on the pricy side, maybe a student or new cook will find them and give them a loving home! I also rotate between leather Birkenstocks, (they make one with a slip resistant sole: Tokio Super Grip) and Swedish Troentorp clogs, which are like Danskos.’s+14)


apexncgeek t1_j13ofpb wrote

A lot of Red Wing Shoes last a very long time. My experience is no matter what if they're dress shoes worn every day they're going to wear out pretty quick. Shoes last a lot longer if you rotate through two to three pair of them.


LadyA29 OP t1_j13oz1m wrote

That’s a good suggestion thank you!


alarming_cock t1_j13r6bf wrote

I second Red Wing, and also their insoles. Just don't make it a gift. He's got to be sure of the size because their return policy sucks.


Leopold__Stotch t1_j13qak1 wrote

Do you (or anyone else) know what rotating helps them last? Is it that the materials have time to dry between wears?


orthopod t1_j1biowa wrote

Bacteria, fungi or mold love damp environments. They'll eat the leather and produce foot odor in return.

Let them air out for at least 3-4 days in between wearing, and they last longer, and more importantly, NO foot odor!


apexncgeek t1_j13qj5i wrote

That's always been my guess. I had a middle school teacher tell us about sneakers decades ago. My guess is that overtime mildew bacteria Etc grows into the fibers at a microscopic level and slowly breaks them down.

But that's just I guess. Whatever the reason is I can tell you that it works. I rotate between two pairs of shoes right now. Both Brands and models I've used for years. Individually one of them last about a year and the other about 2 years. I've had this two pairs of shoes for about 5 years now.


YYCfishing t1_j13wbh1 wrote

Yes, approximately 2 times longer woth 2 pairs or 3 times longer with 3 pairs.


apexncgeek t1_j1409ck wrote

Nope. When I rotated three pairs of work shoes, thos 3 pair lasted me over 6 years. Individually they would last 6 to 9 months.


bblickle t1_j13vfsa wrote

I don’t know enough to give you an answer but I do know that most of the suggestions you’ve gotten so far are just more consumer brands. My recommendation to you is to repost this in r/goodyearwelt because there are people there who actually do know.


bassjam1 t1_j13qtb4 wrote

I don't know if they have slip resistant soles, but I've always gotten a lot of life out of ecco shoes.


LadyA29 OP t1_j13tm33 wrote

Someone else mentioned this brand I’m going to go look into them!


w1ll1am23 t1_j1519ad wrote

I don't know if ecco has shoes that have a slip resistant sole or not, but both of my pairs which I love have terrible slip resistance. The soles are durable and last because they are some type of harder rubber/plastic and that makes the grip not great. I've noticed in restaurants as a customer walking by the kitchen on tile in them they are super slick.


kangsterizer t1_j13vtjh wrote

Changing shoes every 3-4mo for 50h/week seems excessive perhaps. Look at their soles and see if there's issues there maybe. I suspect that no "better shoe" will fix that since you tried quite a few decent brands.


Optimal-Nose1092 t1_j18eh3r wrote

Agree. Is there more wear on a certain part of the shoe? Things like posture could have an impact.


Billypisschips t1_j14dtco wrote

Is he walking his way through the soles, or is it the uppers that go first? With soles longevity and comfort are always a trade off, regardless of cost. I've always found the MIE Dr Marten shoes to be very well made, certainly better than the boots, and should be good for a year (that's how long they lasted when I was a boy, we'd kick the shine out of them though, as kids do) They'll hurt like hell until broken in though.


Bogeys4life t1_j14h7hm wrote

There are dress shoes that have the vibram sole, which are VERY comfortable. My suggestion would be to buy a high quality shoe that he can resole multiple times. Also, don’t be afraid to buy high quality shoes that are used (if you can find his size). Vibram makes their sole in multiple colors, including black.

A lot of people like Allen Edmonds. They’re pricey but they’ll last and you can resole them multiple times. (His size will usually be on sale or check eBay.) Also, there are boots that look like dress shoes. It can help with ankle support and helps keep the swelling down, if needed.


Sathaea t1_j13vxjh wrote

My boyfriend had a pair of Caterpillars that’s lasted about 4 years as both work and daily ware shoes. I’d highly recommend them


Additional_Release49 t1_j14dxwc wrote

Find a local cobbler! I was buying work boots once every year to 18 months for $130 a pop. I visited a cobbler and had a custom pair made for $550. Resole once every two years for about $100. Still comes out cheaper then buying crappy pairs all the time.


Actuarial_type t1_j14tg0w wrote

Red Wing, Wolverine 1000 mile (maybe not dressy enough), and Allen Edmonds. Allen Edmonds mostly have leather soles but they do offer some with rubber soles and they can be re-soled.

Store them on shoe trees overnight.


worms_instantly t1_j15au89 wrote

I've been in the restaurant industry 10+ years and I swear by the Prof Birki Clogs. Not sure if those are "dress" enough but they're all black, non-slip and comfortable as fuck. My feet haven't been sore once from work since I bought them 4 years ago.


mkitch55 t1_j13ts91 wrote

Check out SAS shoes on Zappos. I used to work in food service, and I wore their black slip resistant shoes. Best pair of shoes I’ve ever owned. I have bad feet, and I have tried lots of brands, and SAS was the winner. They also have a wide range of sizes, including 14s. I don’t know where you live, so there maybe an SAS store near you. They are not cheap, but as you have discovered, you get what you pay for.


theatre-matt t1_j13whh5 wrote

Look into the White’s Oxford or Derby. I’m also a big guy with big feet and I was in Retail management for nearly a decade, and I would not recommend Redwing for comfort. We walk literally miles every day on concrete covered in linoleum, and that is not comfortable in any redwing I’ve worn that would also look nice enough to wear in management. (A big wedge sole moc toe boot is not going to fly for most managers) The White’s have a classic dressier look and have huge slabs of leather as the footbed that eventually conform to your foot. They also will last ages and can be resoled when they begin to wear down. The only downside is the cost and possibly wait time, but I think it’s more than worth it for the comfort and longevity.


Plus1ForkOfEating t1_j15avh6 wrote

Which parts are wearing out? I haven't found a shoe sole that lasts more than 500 miles. If he's working 50 hours a week, then he's probably putting in at least 6 or 7 miles a day on those. That's maybe three months for the soles.


Chrisf1bcn t1_j13ytio wrote

Get a pair of skateboard shoes you can get some very smart, looking ones they are designed for skateboarding and will last for years if you have never touched a skateboard


sidbuttmo t1_j153xaf wrote

Check these guys out -

Goodyear welted so recraftable, they can customize the shoes for you - within reason - so you can get exactly what you want.

I got a pair of their country loafers and 100% recommend. I’m female so we had to go back and forth with regards to size, fit, etc so it was a process but sooo worth it.

Email them first to inquire about your specific wants and they will work with you from there.


StrangeCrimes t1_j15b0pl wrote

I have size 15s. A lot of the time when they make shoes big, they don't do it proportionally. The brands I have found get it right are Ecco, Keen, and lately Sketchers Go Walks specifically.


kareyak t1_j18o8fq wrote

I love my Keens. I can stand all day and don’t even think about my feet or back hurting.


MadIllWOLF t1_j15xq3m wrote

What on the sho wears out? Can we have a pic of the shoe?


ScrappySquirrel t1_j161hj5 wrote

San Antonio Shoe Company (SAS) has some good shoes to be on all day. Not sure about slip resistance.... Can get black leather.

I am not on my feet that much, probably 10-30 hr / week for work and a pair lasts me a few years.


Mule_Wagon_777 t1_j16lfjn wrote

I recommend SAS also. They specialize in unusual sizes, so make sure you get the right width. That really helps with comfort and making them last longer.


boxian t1_j16tigs wrote

just to echo, you need to make sure

  1. he has multiple pairs of shoes and can rotate through them so each pair is less stressed and damaged
  2. you have enough padding under the shoes to keep his feet, knees, and hips healthy while running around a Publix and standing on harsh concrete for his entire shift

a lot of shoes with the slip resistant sole will also have steel toes, and definitely avoid those if he doesnt need it because they will be so heavy they will cause other problems. i wear 13s and everyone is shocked at how heavy my steel toe, slip resistant safety boots are

i dont have a great recommendation, to be honest i would consider ditching the slip resistant part for better padding.

ive been wearing Altra shoes (best foam sole ive ever found), so i like those a lot but im not sure if they have something easy to sneak into the dress code and you’ll be out several hundred if you get a couple pairs to rotate through.

another option may be to find a good pair of dress shoes with a repairable welt (like a goodyear welt) and get new more fatigue-friendly soles put on but im not 100% that’s possible


Samvega_California t1_j178wrv wrote

Ecco's! I put 15k steps daily into my Ecco dress shoes and they've lasted years. I've only needed to polish them and change the laces. The soles are slip resistant and do not wear down at all.


kvakerok t1_j17k5yu wrote

Aldos. Get multiple pairs. Their soles wear out fast, but the shoe body holds quite well and are comfy for big feet. If you can find a local cobbler they could repair the soles, would probably cost less than a new pair and last many years.


leprechanmonkie t1_j1pvir7 wrote

This is good advice. I have some nice Cole Haan dress shoes that have held up very well over about 6 years of going into the office dressed up. They've been worn a lot, and have had the soles repaired once which bred a whole new life into them.
Look into shoes that are repairable. Maybe talk to a local shoe repair store for recommendations in your climate as well.
As others have mentioned, shoes to rotate in use will reduce the wear on all of them.


jepeplin t1_j18cnqz wrote

Dansko, Red Wings, or Clark’s


Artesian t1_j1gs1y4 wrote


Something like these is going to be indestructible. Take the time to get really nice custom inserts made by a physical therapist too. They can follow you between shoes for years.

I exclusively wear Danner boots. They last thousands of miles in absurd weather conditions. Absolutely the best. They make stuff for people logging in forests and climbing mountains all day, but have plenty of fashionable models too made with the same tech and materials.


Specific-Pen-1132 t1_j1qiak0 wrote

Blundstone from Australia.

My man is a chef and a size 14. Puts a lot of miles on his shoes. Replaces the insoles every year, but they hold up really well. Handsome too. Highly recommend.