Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Okay, will someone explain something to me?

What's the difference between the fancy REAL leather shoes at the uniform shop and the Bates synthetic leather shoes?

I mean, the REAL leather shoes cost like 50% more than the pleather shoes, so they must be somehow BETTER than the pleather shoes, right?

I tried them both on.

The REAL leather shoes were stiff, painful, and uncomfortable on my feet. The pleather shoes were instantly comfortable (at least while I was standing there in the store).

Soooo.... the pleather shoes are more comfortable AND they cost less. Why would I buy the REAL leather shoes with the fancy felt bags in which to store each individual shoe? It just doesn't make economic sense to me.

Now, after walking miles around to the Pentagon, my blisters seem to have healed, but the shoes still aren't the most comfortable for doing a lot of walking - especially when you're in a hurry. (Aside: Dontchya love it when a lack of prior planning and/or inadequate staff work by someone else results in a last minute crisis wherein YOU now have to jump through hoops to cover for their goof?)

Chap recommended a pair of Deer Stag shoes for more comfortable walking around the Pentagon. I've been looking for them at a few local stores listed on their website, but no luck finding them so far.


reddog said...

Good leather shoes will eventually mold to your feet and be very, very comfortable. I'd go with something Italian but they cost a fortune. I mean really, a fortune. Ask at the high end men's shops if they have anything on "clearance" or returns. They will last forever. They also breath better and keep the athlete's foot in check.

The plastic shoes always look nice and shiny but they never break in good and don't last long. I guess the real question is, how "out of spec" you can get away with. Those black leather coaching shoes, that all the athletic shoe companies offer, are relatively cheap and would be best for hiking the Pentagon but they don't really look much like dress shoes, on close inspection.

Deerstags are easy to get here in SoCal. I've had some. They are pretty inexpensive, as comfortable as bedroom slippers but no support at all, like going barefoot. If you've got real good feet, they might work.

I used to wear an old pair of desert boots made of real soft leather, with thick, spongy, crepe rubber soles. I got some leather dye and blacked them out good. They looked vaguely like issue boondockers. Nobody ever said anything and the XO used to watch me real close. Then again, those were the loosey goosey Zumwalt days.

The Yokoyama's said...

My dad gets the holes fixed on the bottom of his leather shoes because the leather is so comfortably broken in. When you find a pair you love, get a few because by the time they wear out, you'll wish they still sold them.

Chap said...

Yeah, I did the Amazon thing,just random search for "black plain toe oxford" and they came up. So far they're worth the cheaper price and I think I'd pay double as I go up and down that hill over here.

My guess? The expensive shoes at the exchange are still the monopoly Bates manufacture.

Sagey said...

Hmm, maybe next time you will listen to the wifey in the store... I told you that the leather ones would break in and be more comfortable but you insisted the middle grade ones were more comfortable. :-)

Anonymous said...

Leather can be better!

I just like reading "...walking around the Pentagon..."

Nereus said...

I Resoled my "Black Cadillacs" several times over my career. THe dress shoe I had from my first day in the USN. They were form fitted to my feet after miles and miles of decks. I understand keeping your dogs happy makes for a less than long day at work. You can look into some of the more ergonomic shoes, the Nav Regs are actually pretty loose (to a sea lawyer) to the type of "Black Shoe" to wear. We had on ole boy on the boat that wore black cowboy boots because they met the regs.