Recommend some men's walking shoes.

I’m going shoe shopping this weekend. I could use a new pair, but I’m particularly looking for a good pair for walking around the city – my wife and I are visiting NYC next week and we’ll be doing a lot of sightseeing.

What shoes do you recommend that are:

a) comfortable for walking in urban environments
b) nice enough looking to wear to work (on the west coast, at least)

I don’t want athletic shoes. And while I’m theoretically willing to look at really expensive shoes like Mephisto or Ecco, I doubt I can swing $350 for a pair of shoes this weekend.

I currently own two pairs of Doc Martens, some Timberland dress casual boots, a pair of brown dress shoes that really need to be replaced. This new pair would replace one of the Doc Martens pairs that I’m not crazy about.

Any recommendations or insight would be appreciated.

You might try Nunn Bush. They make a cushion soled walker that is brown calf and pretty comfortable even for someone like me. I’ve worn them for years at work, but have had to switch to Merrels for other activities of late.

What about Merrells? They make a whole bunch of nice-looking, comfortable shoes at reasonable prices.

I do a lot of walking everyday on concrete and have found Rockports to be the most comfortable. I can get better than a years use out of a pair which is good for me, us heavier built folks tend to wear out shoes quicker than most folks. My only complaint is the stodgy styling, many look like something a gray haired grandpa would wear to the senior center. A local outlet mall has a Rockport store and I have found some good deals on the clearance shelves.

Yes, Merrells! The most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned.

I would recommend Ecco who make an oxford style along with ankle boot style. Very good walking shoes and more than appropriate for business casual dress.

I own a pair of Josef Seibel a lot like these. I’ve been wearing them for 4 or 5 years now and find them very comfortable. I went from wearing tennis shoes to these for everyday use.

I recommend Ecco as well. I have a pair that’s wearing out, I’m sad to say, and they’ve stopped making that model. But they’re the best blend of comfort and looks I’ve found. I’ve owned some very comfortable Clarkes, but they generally don’t look so hot. My Eccos manage to be nice looking while having a very square front, a design which seems to acknowledge that feet aren’t pointy on the front. Especially mine.

When I buy new shoes… even if I pay over the odds… I still find something to feel disappointed about.

Not this time. I bought some Brasher shoes while in Yorkshire and I love them. Comfortable as hell (if that makes any sense), breathable, stylish, well made, sturdy. When these wear out I’ll be buying brasher again. Probably the same pair even

I too recommend Ecco. I have two pairs of sandals made by them that are the most comfortable shoes ever, so when MrWhatsit was in the market for a new pair of dress shoes, he tried on a pair of Ecco. He now swears by them and says they are the most comfortable dress shoes he’s ever had. (Caveat: this is not saying much, as for most of his young adulthood, his dress shoes were a pair of Chuck Taylor All-Stars. But he does say the Eccos are very comfy.)

I’m personally fond of Birkenstocks–owned Eccos, tried Mephisto, prefer the Birks.

This is great. Thank you. (And keep 'em coming.) I’m glad to have some brands to take a look at – the Merrell, Ecco (which are less expensive than I thought) and Josef Seibel all look promising. Nunn Bush don’t seem to be available at the store I was planning on visiting, but I’ll keep my eye out. And I’ve owned some Rockports, which were fine and would work.

Lobsang, if you can get Brasher in the US, you at least can’t get them at a Seattle-area store I can find. But even doesn’t have 'em.

Hunter Hawk, I have to confess that I didn’t realize Birkenstock made non-sandals. I also have to confess that their non-sandals do not appear to match my aesthetic preferences, but I’ll look at 'em in the store and get a better idea.

You’re in Seattle? Considering visiting The Woolly Mammoth, which is a shoe store on the Ave. That’s where I bought my last pair of walking shoes (Josef Seibel; I’ve had them going on four years and they look a little beat up, but are otherwise in great shape).

I second the Rockports.

My feet voted for Merrells, though it was a close call between those and the Eccos I tried on. I’ll probably turn to Ecco for the dressier shoes I’ll be buying in a couple of months.