I recently purchased a pair of Cole Haan Air Samuel Plain Oxford shoes. I’d heard good things about the use of Nike Air cushioning in a formal dress shoe. My biggest problem with dress shoes has been that the soles just aren’t forgiving for extended wear.
It turns out that these are probably the worst made shoe I’ve ever bought. Within about 10 minutes of walking, I realized there was something bunching up in the toes of each shoe, making it really uncomfortable to walk. I assumed it was my socks and when I had a chance, I checked to see how I’d twisted my toes up. It turns out neither shoe’s insole was glued in. They were just floating around. Additionally, while the heel of the insole was about normal insole thickness, the insoles taper in thickness towards the toes, which are only slightly thicker than a handkerchief. While I only wore these shoes for one day (and am trying to get Zappos.com to take them back, despite being worn), I would have to imagine that the thinness of the insole in the toes could become uncomfortable over time.
Unfortunately the poor quality did not stop at the insole. At the end of one day of wearing them and a grand total of about 15 city blocks walked — with the rest of my day spent walking indoors on carpet and tile — the heel and toe of the soles looked like they were a year old. Whereas some shoes have wood or hardened leather for soles, Zappos described these as having a combination leather and rubber sole. If this stuff is leather, it’s the lowest quality and softest shoe sole leather I’ve ever seen. After one very easy day of use, these are look akin to spray painted hard cardboard. They have no durability and the severity of wear from one low-key day was truly appalling.
Beyond the lack of quality and durability, these shoes actually were fairly comfortable. It’s pretty disappointing that they are so poorly made. There’s no use making a comfortable shoe that promptly falls apart.
These shoes cost $158 on Zappos.com. That’s not cheap and I expected something orders of magnitude better than what I got. I’d say the shoes I got are probably worth about $30 at a discount shoe store.
I’ll update this when I know if Zappos is going to refund me for my order or not. Their policy is no returns if something has been worn, but since this is such an obviously defective pair of shoes, I expect them to take the shoes back for a refund.
Zappos has accepted my return and fully refunded me for this purchase.