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4.1 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2013
I had a pair of these for 15 years: I wore them dozens of times for various military duties or formal military balls, as well as to a variety of civilian black tie events and weddings (including my own!).

A couple of weeks ago they finally gave up the ghost and the uppers split from the sole (I have wide feet) and so I ordered the exact same style and size that I bought when I was an E-2 fresh out of AIT.

They got to my house the day before the black tie event I was attending, and the next day I threw them on with my tux and walked around Chicago's McCormick Place convention center for 4 hours and the shoes felt and looked great - fit perfectly and no break-in needed.

If you are looking for a comfortable, high quality, long lasting dress shoe for military or civilian use, look no further.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2014
Love the fit and weight of these shoes, but they have some serious durability issues.

I was walking through the parking lot in uniform to go to a function and it felt like something was stuck to my heel. Upon inspection there was my heel, just barely hanging on. The whole thing just broke off in one chunk.

Later on in the evening the same thing happened with the other one. Just broke right off.

This wasn't from too much wear. I bought these shoes maybe 5 years ago and have only had to wear them maybe 20 times which included wearing them during NCO Academy school for the Air Force.

They're really comfortable and light, but none of that matters when they just fall right apart.

::EDIT 14 October 2014::
After contacting Bates' customer service department regarding my disintegrating shoes, they replied back to me within about 24 hours or so stating that they used to have issues with some of the sole material they used to use. Basically the soles would dry rot.

After giving them some information about the shoes and when and where I purchased them I received an email today stating that they'll be sending me a brand new pair to replace the ones that fell apart on me.....5 years after I bought them.

That's great customer service to me, and nice to see a company stand behind their product. I'll be editing my star rating once I receive the new ones and get a chance to examine them thoroughly. But as of right now, outstanding customer service on the part of Bates.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2014
Usually wore flight boots, but last 10 years out of the cockpit had me wearing brown and black bates shoes because that's all they sell at the Navy Exchange. I have had one pair of brown shoes' heels and soles disintegrate the first day I wore them. I had 2 pairs of black ones disintegrate after being a few years old, but worn a handful of times. Customer service said they have fixed the dry rot issue and stand behind their product. If it was issued, please tell them where. If it was bought from a retailer, they will give me a refund. If it was bought at a military exchange (like mine) then I would have to take it up with the exchange. Does not sound like standing behind their product to me when they knew they had issues for years, but the captive audience at the military exchanges had no other place else to go, so they kept selling junk.

Bottom line - you want to roll the dice and be someplace important where you have to look your best? I don't and that's why I will never buy another pair of Bates anything.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2014
I typically wear a 13W in everything including boots. AAFES could not get me this shoe so I had to try my luck with sizing online. The 3E width is perfect for my normally W foot, but the size 13 is about (3/4" - 7/8") too long. I'm returning and ordering a 12/3E.
Quality wise...it's fine. The shoe feels light and properly forming.
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on August 11, 2013
I sent back another brand because the surface failed in the area my foot bent as I walked. I chose the Bates brand as they had been around a long time. I was pleased when I got the Bates shoes delivered and unpackaged. They seemed like a very well made shoe. I actually had to wait a few days before I could wear them. I put them on and the right shoe let my heel slide up and down. I thought this was odd but wore them anyway. I ended up putting in a 16 hour day and both my heels were blistered. The left shoe began to do the same as the right and it was funny to watch me walk by the end of the day. I finally had to put duct tape on my heels to get me through the remainder of the night. I got home and couldn't wait to get these shoes off. I woke up the next morning and grabbed a couple pieces of a heavier black tape similar to duct tape but namd after an ape. I put it on my heels then put my socks on and decided I was not going to go another day wearing tape on my heels just so I could wear a pair of shoes. I took the tape off and put on a pair of boots and headed off to work. My heels were pleased with this decision.

Normally, I buy shoes and have no problem with anything that is an 11 D. My feet just fit in most shoes. They didn't in these and were simply far too uncomfortable to wear. I think a breaking in period may have changed the fit but just didn't think I could do it.

I will abandon these type of shoes unless I can go to a retail store and try them on. Done taking chances. (Until a bargain comes along I can't pass up...)

I can't say I don't like the shoes as they were well made and looked great. They are heavier than some but I believe that will allow them to just last longer. I would recommend trying them on somewhere to find out exactly what size you need. Amazon is great about returning things but it's just a hastle not having something you want.
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on January 24, 2015
I bought these shoes about 3 months ago and wear them about 4 times a week. I am writing a review because many of the reviews scared me from buying these shoes and decided to buy them. The shoes are absolutely beautiful. There are no issues with them what so ever. The shoes really punch up your dress clothes as well. Not everyone wears theses kinds of shoes, let alone polish the ones they wear, so you stand out and look sharp and professional. My bosses and coworkers were worried I was job hunting. It was funny.

Note: If you work with a bunch of contractors that are ex military, they will call them "cheater" shoes. Honestly, I have spit-shined my fair share of shoes and take no offense to it. I think their jealous.

My normal shoe size is a size 12. I bought a 12D and its a perfect fit for me. There are ways of determining your exact shoe size. If you are not 100% sure, just look up online for how to measure your size. Its easy!

I also use to own a pair of these when I was in Civil Air Patrol. They held up extremely well under constant drill. They never fell apart or anything.
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on November 24, 2013
I came across a pair of these at a Goodwill in Denver and I was thrilled since I had been on the hunt for a high gloss oxford for a while. They were in a worn yet decent condition when I purchased them a year ago. Since then, I've been wearing them at least every other day as they're extremely comfortable, look great, and complement my style quite well. I walk about 4 miles a day in these with no problem. The shoes are also conveniently water proof (not sure if they're suppose to be or not, but I didn't get my toes wet out in the rain). They're my go-to shoe.

I'll admit, these shoes did take a little bit of breaking in (2 weeks or so), so I'm assuming had I purchased them brand new, the process would take a while longer. The insole for my right shoe wore down at the heel, presumably from the way I strike my heel and the frequency in which these are worn, so I had to replace them. For more casual use, I think it would've lasted longer.

Now, after much wear, the shoes have begun to crack on the sides of the shoe crease. I'll probably buy a new pair next month as a Christmas gift to myself.
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on March 11, 2015
This is 1 of 2 NEW Bates shoe models that I bought at the same time last year, and I checked the other model 1301 first, it fell apart, then I tried this model, and the same thing happened. These were unworn, with tag. Took them out of the box, and the bottom of inside of box was black. It seemed that the bottom of soles were melted. I had never brought the box any where near the sun or heat. Then I rubbed my finger on the sole, and it rubbed off black. I pulled VERY lightly with two fingers on the sole, and a chunk broke off! And then little crumbs kept on falling off. It was like a cookie crumbling. The shoe was trash, so I wanted to see how bad this shoe was- I kept on pulling apart chunks off of the sole by pulling so lightly. I use much more force to rip apart a piece of bread. So, worst shoes I ever brought, and worst brand. 2 Bates pairs crumbled apart without even wearing once.
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on April 8, 2015
The shoes look really nice but there is one severe problem: the sizes are wrong. I usually wear a size 101/2 EEE or 11 EEE so I bought a pair size 11 EEE. They were too big, to the point where they were sliding off my foot every other step. I returned those and ordered a pair of 10 1/2 EEE and the same exact thing occurred. Returning those now. I just bought a size 11 at my local PayLess and they fit perfectly. I don't l know if this company has odd sizes or they sent me mislabeled products but the shoes are not compatible with the sizes I have worn for the last 25 years or so. I am disappointed because they do look great but I can't testify to their feel.
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on August 20, 2013
I bought these to replace my issue high gloss coroframs (Army) that had a gigantic scratch through them. These shoes are not only fit better but they look better too. I recommend these for any service members as they fit the criteria and I hope to continue to use this pair for a long time.

NOTE: I did not give it 5 stars because of the shipping. I used Amazon prime and it took double the time to receive them then was promised. First time I've ever had an issue with that, but I believe it was the shipper who shipped it incorrectly and I was in a time crunch.
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