Most helpful critical review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Look and feel good, but treads pick up debris like crazy!
on February 12, 2013
This is my second pair of Skechers. My last pair were a dressier brown with faux-wear patterns on the toes, but after two years, they developed a bizarre, super-loud squeak in the left rear sole that made it embarrassing to walk around in public. Never had that happen to any other pair of shoes I've ever owned. Nothing on the bottom to indicate a crack or something stuck in the grooves. Other than the squeak, I loved them, and since they didn't make that style anymore (and the closest one in appearance had received bad reviews of its tongue falling out!), I ended up choosing these Blake Oxfords instead. There's no doubt Skechers makes great-looking shoes, but the company seem to have some quality control problems depending on the style (check out reviews for a broad sampling of their shoes and you'll see what I mean).
These Blake Oxfords are good-looking, dressy sneakers. I ordered mine in black, because the brown and white versions are way more expensive, and black is fine by me. The black version with its gray stripe and pleasantly different greenish-brown laces is quite striking and I've gotten a lot of compliments on these shoes. I ordered a size 9.5 and they were comfortably snug everywhere but the heels, particularly the left. It took a few weeks to stretch them out. They are fine for walking around, but I don't think I'd want to do much running in them.
The biggest problem with these shoes is that the treads are a weird (some might call it "cute"), gravel-type pattern that sometimes make obnoxious "grippy" noises on certain surfaces (like stairs), but regardless, the spaces are way too wide and *love* to trap debris in the nooks and crannies. If you walk across wet grass or dirt even once, you have to clean the bottoms of your shoes in the bathtub. A welcome mat or scraping them off on a step won't even help much. Wet sand, mud, walking through the forest, forget about it, and don't get me started about dog poop! Even walking down the street or across a parking lot will cause them to pick up anything and everything and jam the disgusting mess into the bottom of these shoes!
Basically, whoever designed the "cute" treads is a moron obsessed with form over function, and you will have to waste a lot of time cleaning the bottoms out (especially if you live in the Pacific Northwest, which is full of wet plant debris). I hardly ever had to do this with other shoes I've owned. While I love the look of the shoes and they are comfortable and snug (four stars for that), the near-daily tread cleaning (or worrying about what surfaces I can safely walk over without having to clean the shoes) means I would never buy this style again (1 star for the treads). They're good-looking shoes, no doubt about that, but I would not buy another pair in this style again and frankly, the tread design make me question ever buying another pair of Skechers again. That averages my review out to 3 stars.
UPDATE (Jan. 27, 2014): Almost one year later, and these shoes are still holding up quite well, so they're durable. I've learned to avoid stepping in stuff that will cling to the bottom of the shoes (which is just about everything), but even being careful, the bottoms are always crusted with some level of debris--just not clogged and having to be cleaned daily like before.