October 26, 2021

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

Best Tactical dress shoes from Ecco

7 min read

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 Ecco shoes cost about $200+ 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 Ecco 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.

Old school and New school

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Take your time and try several shoes on, preferably at the end of the day when your feet are most flattened and swollen.
  4. Try on shoes with the type of sock that you will wear for your activity.
  5. Walk on a firm surface, not a carpeted one.
  6. Walk quickly in the shoes if you are able.
  7. 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.
  8. Pivot in the shoes.
  9. 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.

 

Old School versus New School

ECCO ST.1 HYBRID LITE WINGTIP BROGUE SHOES

$129.00

Offering that casual sneaker feeling in a formal shoe, the ECCO ST.1 HYBRID LITE Wingtip Brogue is an effortless update to your professional look. The innovative SHOCK THRU point offers a softer step for all-day comfort.

  • Crafted from either smooth full-grain leather, hand-finished full-grain leather, or hand-finished calf leather, all made in our own tanneries
  • Lined in rich leather and textile for softness and breathability
  • Innovative SHOCK THRU point for shock absorption with every step
  • Lightweight sole provides cushioning and flexibility, using innovative ECCO FLUIDFORM™ Direct Comfort Technology
  • Waxed textile laces are easily adjusted for a secure fit
  • Removable, leather-covered insole for added comfort and customisable fit

This edition of the ECCO ST. 1 Hybrid is a 3-eyelet Derby that’s sleek and sophisticated, but has the feel and comfort of a sneaker. It features an ultra-light PHORENE™ midsole and our SHOCK THRU technology for bouncy energy return and a pleasant walking experience. This makes it an ideal choice for the office or your weekend social events.

  • Crafted from smooth, full-grain leather, which offers a polished, yet slightly more laidback look
  • Derby shoe, with classic, formal features, such as a leather welt, but a modern feel and functionality
  • Leather-textile lining offers inner comfort and breathability, while a leather-covered inlay sole offers a stylish look and feel
  • Soft ECCO PHORENE™ midsole offers excellent energy return, while our innovative SHOCK THRU point provides shock absorption with every step
  • Lightweight sole provides cushioning and flexibility, using innovative ECCO FLUIDFORM™ Direct Comfort Technology

ECCO ST.1 HYBRID MEN’S BOOT GTX

$250.00

Made in a simple, yet eye-catching chukka boot silhouette this ECCO ST. 1 HYBRID features a PHORENE™ midsole and SHOCK THRU technology. The pull tab at the back of the ankle allows for easy on and off, while GORE-TEX technology keep your feet stay dry all the while ensuring that your look is effortlessly smart and stylish.

  • Crafted from full-grain or nubuck leather, made in our own tanneries
  • GORE-TEX offers 100% waterproof technology
  • Soft ECCO PHORENE™ midsole offers excellent energy return and our innovative SHOCK THRU point provides shock absorption with every step
  • Lightweight sole provides cushioning and flexibility, using innovative ECCO FLUIDFORM™ Direct Comfort Technology
  • Waxed textile laces can be easily adjusted for a secure fit, while a leather welt offers sophistication
  • Removable leather insole offers a luxe feel and breathability

ECCO ST.1 HYBRID MEN’S PLAIN TOE GTX

$230.00

This edition of the ECCO ST. 1 HYBRID has an on-trend design with the practical feature of being 100% waterproof. The derby silhouette delivers a sleek and understated look, while offering the incomparable sneaker-like comfort associated with the ST.1 collection.

  • Crafted from waterproof, full-grain leathers, made in our own tanneries
  • GORE-TEX technology offers 100% waterproof construction
  • Soft ECCO PHORENE™ midsole offers excellent energy return, while our innovative SHOCK THRU point provides shock absorption with every step
  • Lightweight sole provides cushioning and flexibility, using innovative ECCO FLUIDFORM™ Direct Comfort Technology
  • Removable, molded leather insole and leather-textile lining provide comfort and breathability
  • Leather welt offers an elevated style statement

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