Saturday, August 27, 2016

Blue Suede Shoes

One thing I have learned over the years is...time changes a lot of things.  My idea of what to spend my money on has changed greatly over the past few years.  I considered myself very frugal when it came to spending.  We never went on vacation or to the movies.  Being in the military, I've been to several different places around America and the world.  I never spent too much money on clothes either.  I've never been really interested in showing off with regards to money.  After all, my kids and wife love me...what would having luxury clothes do for me?

Back in January 2015 I decided to lease an electric Smart Car.  I would have never thought in my lifetime I would have bought or leased a new car.  However, after much consideration, analysis and wonderful incentives I pulled the trigger.  I couldn't be happier with my decision.  I thought I enjoyed wrenching on cars, however the truth is...I don't.  I did like fixing problems, but they take away time I could be spending on things I enjoy more.

I have been watching a YouTube channel Real Men Real Style.  Much like the Art of Manliness, it provides a great deal of good information for men.  In fact, this is why I decided to write a post about shoes.

I typically have worn loafers to work.  My father worn loafers to work and he was a very practical man.  Although, I must say he wasn't really interested in style or spending money on clothes.  This was the same with the cars he purchased as well. Naturally, I gravitated toward wearing some of the same clothes as my father, but not quite so dorky.  Don't get me wrong, I can be quite the dork...but I try and keep it on the DL.  The Skechers Examiner is one of the shoes I have worn sense 2008.  It's simple, inexpensive, and I felt it had a decent appearance.
However, something I did notice is people pay attention to the full body.  It's human nature...we cannot help but look people up and down and make judgments on them.  Regardless if intentional, it happens.  When a man dresses very well and then wears a cheap pair of shoes, it really is sending a signal of...well, they almost got it right.  Some people can pull of wearing shoes that do not belong with a certain outfit.  Jerry Seinfield is one such person.  However, he is certainly one of the only people who can pull of the snickers with a sports coat.

So, I began to think...why am I still wearing these cheap shoes after 8 years?  I've had to purchase new shoes on an annual basis.  Sometimes I'd buy two of the same shoes knowing they would go bad after 6 months to a year.  After they go bad, I'd use them to cut the grass or something.  After watching RMRS talk about the 4 o 5 different types of shoes and what they are to be used for...I began to wonder whether I should look into purchasing a quality set of shoes.

From a financial standpoint does it make sense?  You can only wear one pair of shoes at a time.  This is a fact.  I have always found getting the right shoe to be quite difficult.  I have very wide feet and thus I do not fall within the standard deviation of shoe sizes.  This means I typically have to wear the next size up, to make the shoe comfortable to wear.  I have never purchased custom shoes or shoes made specific for my shoe size.  I'd typically wear anything from a size 9.5 to 10.  However, after going to Allen Edmonds the shoe saleman shared with me my size is a 8.5 EEE.  You can't get any wider than this.  It took about two sets of shoes to get the right size.  They didn't have the shoe I wanted in stock.

I am going with the Cody Tassel Loafers.  They are very expensive compared to my $50 Skechers Examiner.  However, they are repairable.  I like the idea my shoes are not just throw away.  When the salesman had me finally put the correct shoe size on it made me smile.  It felt good to wear a shoe specific for my foot.  The quality of the materials was instantly noticeable.  The shoe costs $400 and I am expecting to have them last 10 years or more.  I will more than likely have to have them repaired one time over the course of this time.  If I meet my goal, the cost is only $55 per year before taxes ($400 + $150 / 10).  I'm certain I'll more than likely never purchase another pair of Skechers again.  The company does make some dress shoes as cheap as $199, however most of the shoes are $250 - $400.  Being a cost analyst has changed my perception on how much things actually cost.  You really need to take a look a many factors including the life-cycle costs of a poor quality shoe.