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WHICH Brown Shoe?

Gonzo08

*1. Gangbar Off
None
Since @Jim123 resurrected this thread, are there any updates in the last 2 years of good shoes out there to replace the crappy Bates?

I may be in the market soon for a new pair of brown shoes depending on my post-DH orders and how often I'll have to khaki-up. I haven't worn by Bates in a few years and I absolutely don't trust that they won't explode after an hour of wear.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
Been wearing a pair of Ecco plain oxfords on the job for the last two years since I retired from the Navy. Sheepskin, not cow leather, and the outer soles are synthetic rubber. They're still holding up great in every clime and place, through a few airplane walkarounds tromping in deicing slush, and putting on several miles in relative comfort in a single day (that's no kidding) just walking the terminals to pass the time/exercise/people watching when I'm extra early for a work trip.

Not sure if they make the exact model in brown but it's a good brand and they do make a few different plain oxfords in brown.
 

Gonzo08

*1. Gangbar Off
None
Been wearing a pair of Ecco plain oxfords on the job for the last two years since I retired from the Navy. Sheepskin, not cow leather, and the outer soles are synthetic rubber. They're still holding up great in every clime and place, through a few airplane walkarounds tromping in deicing slush, and putting on several miles in relative comfort in a single day (that's no kidding) just walking the terminals to pass the time/exercise/people watching when I'm extra early for a work trip.

Not sure if they make the exact model in brown but it's a good brand and they do make a few different plain oxfords in brown.
I've got a pair of black Ecco dress shoes (not Oxfords) that are super comfy. I'll have to check them out. Thanks!
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
Since @Jim123 resurrected this thread, are there any updates in the last 2 years of good shoes out there to replace the crappy Bates?

I may be in the market soon for a new pair of brown shoes depending on my post-DH orders and how often I'll have to khaki-up. I haven't worn by Bates in a few years and I absolutely don't trust that they won't explode after an hour of wear.
If you plan on wanting/needing to wear brown shoes a lot/for a while (even as a civilian) then scrape together the cash and get some alden's. If you take care of them you'll have them for a lifetime and you can make use of cobblers like in Jim's article.
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
How much leeway are you guys given with COT uniform items, or are shoes an outlier?
I'd offer that technically you can wear uniform items from any source as long as they meet the requirements. You dont have to buy them from the NEX or Abbot's. Now, the NEX would want you to think otherwise. Same thing with shoes, the regs say something like "brown oxfords." No where are Bates specified but plenty of NEX's have up signs saying "ONLY BATES." I knew guys who got custom uniforms made while overseas and plenty of guys who wear non-Bates shoes to include one former three star who used to wear brown ropers with his khakis.
 

nittany03

Big hairy American winning machine
pilot
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Allen Edmonds Leeds in Cigar. I'll never have to buy another pair of brown (or black) shoes in my career. You can send them back to get recrafted, you can get Danite soles if you're worried about Das Boot in future tours, and they come in every size known to man and possibly a few more. Which is a bonus for guys like me with weirdly-shaped feet.

 
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nittany03

Big hairy American winning machine
pilot
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
How much leeway are you guys given with COT uniform items, or are shoes an outlier?
If it matches the regs and you're not worried about being intimidated by chickenshit E-7-through-9s, fire away. No different than Brooks Brothers/Abbott dress uniforms, or a real goatskin G-1 instead of that fake issued shit.
 

SynixMan

Space Cadet
pilot
Contributor
@nittany03 Nailed it. I have a few different pairs of Allen Edmonds and they're all great.

@Gonzo08 If you're coming to DC expect Khakis at the Pentagon except for some specific billets. SDBs on the Hill (or civilian attire depending).
 

AIRMMCPORET

Plan “A” Retired
Allen Edmonds Leeds in Cigar. I'll never have to buy another pair of brown (or black) shoes in my career. You can send them back to get recrafted, you can get Danite soles if you're worried about Das Boot in future tours, and they come in every size known to man and possibly a few more. Which is a bonus for guys like me with weirdly-shaped feet.

Those just look comfortable, sure wish I knew about those before I retired.🇺🇸⚓👍
 

Birdbrain

Well-Known Member
Here's another option besides Alden for people on a smaller budget. Like Jim123's article says there's been a recent upsurge in good shoe manufacturers.

 

GroundPounder

Well-Known Member
I've got a pair of black Ecco dress shoes (not Oxfords) that are super comfy. I'll have to check them out. Thanks!
Plus 1 on the Ecco recommendation, especially their golf shoes. They are the best brand I have ever worn as it pertains to all day comfort, as well as durability.
 
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