The market finally caught up with the needs of a specific kind of consumer; those needing footwear that are durable, functional, super-comfortable and appear dressy. As I noted in a previous article, “Although the pickings seem to be slim the shoe market is catching up with the demand for a functional, stylish shoe that doesn’t sacrifice comfort over utility. Standing for hours in a suit and tie, running along a motorcade, and having to fight, scuffle, or run at the drop of a hat require you to be trained and outfitted properly.”
There has been a shift from manufacturers and brands offering only clunky, dress shoes in the past, to companies now offering dress shoes that are stylish, and comfortable even after the consumer spends hours in them. Those who spend their career in a business suit while carrying a gun have more choices today. Companies like Rockport, Ecco, and Cole Hahn offer shoes that are naturally flexible, have responsive cushioning, are lightweight, durable and, in most cases, won’t cost the average gunfighter a lot of money; shoes today come in more colors than the old standards of black and brown!
A few of the offerings will run more than $120+. For example, some of the Cole Hahn shoes cost about $160+ but you should buy the best that you can afford. I never buy cheaply made products when it comes to my health and safety. A well-built shoe will last longer than a cheaply made shoe.
Companies like CH understand the shift in need from shoe-buyers. Consumers are looking for stylish shoes for business work-wear that can be used when walking from the train station, board room or through the airport. Doing those things shouldn’t be painful! And yes, anyone can benefit from the new line-up in dress wear from these shoe companies. For those looking online for shoes that are ‘tactical’, look no further; I listed a few good choices in my article below.
Yes, the word “tactical” is way overused. A search online for tactical dress shoes turns up very little. Look for dress shoes with a good outsole. Look for good footwear that can be worn with formal, semi-formal or even casual wear. A combination of a hybrid dress-shoe and a reliable shoe insert will get you closer to your goal of a “tactical” shoe. Get away from the clunky styles prevalent in the marketplace.
Make sure your purchase is based on these features:
Look for shoes that have a low, and wide profile heel. Shoes with a thicker, stiffer heel heighten the probability of rolling your ankle when pursuing or wrestling your opponent. Stiffness in the upper and the outsole also make it harder to run. Responsiveness is key. Remember, low-heeled, softer outsole shoes are safer and more comfortable; they’ll do better for you than higher-heeled shoes. The more surface area touching the ground the better.
AGILITY: Stay with shoes that have a rubber or EVA foam outsole instead of a leather outsole. Rubber or EVA foam mean comfort and they lessen the chance of you slipping; particularly on marble or high shine floors. The best “tactical” shoe will have a cushioned rather than hard outsole that flexes in all directions the way that your foot does. This will give you freedom to move despite most obstacles. Rubber or foam outsoles put a spring in your stride and provide all day support.
COMFORT AND INSERTS: Look for shoes with good outsoles for added cushioning. Look for good memory foam insoles if possible. Good cushioning, whether foam or rubber, ensure you can stand or move for long periods of time. Good shoes reduce foot fatigue. EVA outsoles provide better shock absorption than rubber. A padded heel-collar helps prevents blisters. A good heel cup will cushion your heel. Take a look at the Superfeet brand if you get a chance. If they fit in the shoe give them a try for added comfort.
STYLE: You want to look sharp and have a professional profile. You want good leather that give the shoe a nice appearance and will take a shine. Full-grain leather is easiest to clean and maintain and it will extend the product life. If you don’t like leather, look for synthetics or a durable suede.
STABILITY and FIT: A high density collar provide a good heel lock while also being supple enough to provide all day comfort. A shoe with a shallower fit or collar, especially slip-ons can come off the heel when you run. Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimal amount of slippage. The shoes should not ride up and down on your heel when you walk. Try to purchase shoes that use shoe-strings or shoes with a good, heel encapsulating collar. Premium materials give you a glove like fit. A padded heel-collar can prevent blisters. Slip resistant or oil resistant soles are a must.
When a load is applied to your foot by running, your foot will spread up to half an inch in length. One shoe size up is only 1/3″ inch larger. Go larger rather than smaller if you can. You can always wear thicker socks with a larger shoe but you can never make your foot smaller. Get the best fit.
WEIGHT: Go for lightweight, and check for tough material. Thin material can tear at the most inopportune moment. Buy the best that you can afford.
DURABILTY: Look for shoes with anti-microbial linings as they help reduce foot odor and will wick moisture to help keep the foot dry. Synthetic uppers will often dry more quickly than leather but depending on the material used, some can degrade more quickly than others. A good quality leather or synthetic upper will last a long time. Strong material will protect your feet. Some shoe brands have inner toe caps or some kind of reinforced toe guard.
- Have your feet measured. People’s feet size and shape can change over time. Don’t rely on the fact that you have always worn a certain size.
- Most people have one foot that is larger than the other, so make sure you have BOTH feet measured. Fit your shoes to the larger foot.
- Take your time and try several shoes on, preferably at the end of the day when your feet are most flattened and swollen.
- Try on shoes with the type of sock that you will wear for your activity.
- Walk on a firm surface, not a carpeted one.
- Walk quickly in the shoes if you are able.
- Don’t plan on the shoes stretching over time; they should fit well when you buy them. Shoes won’t stretch like pants or shirts do overtime.
- Pivot in the shoes.
- Always stand and walk around in the shoes to see if they are comfortable, fit well, and don’t chafe or rub anywhere. Your heel should not slip or slide while walking.
Constructed in leather of the highest quality and laser treated to add pinking and decorative stitch details, this Wingtip Oxford is one of the lightest casual shoes to hit the market. The perforations, whose original purpose was to drain water after a walk through the bogs in Scotland and Ireland, have now evolved into one of the defining characteristics of this dapper style. Cushioned with our proprietary Grand.OS technology for ultimate comfort, while a natural storm welt with break and flex grooves provides increased flexibility.
- Leather upper.
- Natural storm welt.
- EVA midsole with rubber outsole.
- Cushioned with ZERØGRAND technology for ultimate comfort.
- Closed wingtip perforations to keep the elements out.
- Style #C20719
- Wingtip oxford in leather uppers.
- EVA midsole with rubber outsole.
- Cushioned with Grand.ØS technology for ultimate comfort.
- Style #C27984
- Leather upper.
- EVA midsole with rubber outsole for added traction and durability.
- Luxuriously cushioned GRANDFØAM footbed.
- Style #C28212
- Integrated Motion Outsole, Flex Welt, and laser-perforated leather support unrestricted movement and flexibility.
- Dynamic energy foam is designed to comfort and propel each part of the foot, and rivals top-of-the-line running shoes.
- Zonal tongue and Achilles padding generates ready-to-wear comfort from day one.
- Anatomically contoured energy foam footbed cushions as it supports weight distribution and moisture control.
- Comfort Fitsock embraces and cradles the foot from the first instant.
- Full rubber outsole provides mobility, durability, and reliable grip for any terrain.
- Grand.OS technology.
- Due to the closed-lace design of this shoe, men with a high instep or a slightly fuller width foot may consider sizing up 1/2 size.
- Style #C23832