Why did these Bruno Maglis last only three hours?

By | December 1st, 2016

Why have Lawrence Hughes’ shoes fallen apart after just three hours of wear? And why won’t Bruno Magli fix them?

Question: Some time ago, when I believe they may have been on sale, I purchased a pair of Bruno Magli shoes to be worn on future occasions. Last week, for a business trip in which I wanted to make a good impression, I brought the new shoes with me, never before worn.

The style was fine, and the shoes looked good. However, within three hours of first wearing the shoes, the rear portion of the sole came detached from the shoe upper. The hotel conference center concierge called the maintenance person to see if a temporary fix could be had, but to no avail.

Within another hour, the entire sole had fallen off the shoe. I had a particular conference session that I had to attend, but throughout I had the embarrassment to shuffle along, instead of walking properly, so as not to lose the sole of the shoe.

After this session, I had intended to network with other attendees, but I could not do so because of the detached sole and needing to shuffle along on carpeted surfaces. Although I had intended to return from the conference hotel to the hotel in which I was staying by using the local public transportation system, I could not do so because the distance of the detached sole, and instead had to incur an unanticipated taxi fare to return.


The following day, I was compelled to wear my casual shoes — which really did not match the suit I wore to the conference — and I was unable to present the appearance I had wanted. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed with the quality of the shoes I had purchased, and did not get all the anticipated benefits from attending the conference, solely on account of the Bruno Magli shoes I had purchased, and had depended upon.

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I realize that shoe quality, in general, may not be as good as it once was in years past, and I would not complain about a shoe that had reached the end of its useful life. However, I would think that most shoe manufacturers, and their customers, would expect their shoes to last longer than three hours of normal wear.

I would like to think that this would be even more true with Bruno Magli in particular. I would like to invite the company to replace the pair of shoes that I had purchased and which had lasted for just three hours. So far, they’ve only offered me a 25 percent coupon. Can you help me? — Lawrence Hughes, Flushing, N.Y.



  • Jeff W.

    What is the definition of “some time ago”? Bruno Magli was acquired in early 2015, so is the article suggesting that he bought the shoes in late 2014 or early 2015 and he is now wearing the shoes for the first time in late 2016? If that is the case, I can see why the company only offered a 25% coupon, especially since he did not have a receipt. If the purchase was made this year, the company’s acquisition is a red herring and has nothing to do with the problem.

    Although never worn, lots of things could happen to a shoe or any product if it sitting in storage. (like extreme temps if stored in a garage.)

    But it would be quite frustrating to use a product for the first time, regardless when purchased, and it falls apart. Glad to hear that there was a successful resolution.

  • William McShane

    Kudos, sir. One of the best letters ever.

  • Pegtoo

    I was skeptical of the time lapse also, and the possibility of the OP making his purchase on eBay or other reseller site. But when I googled the brand, I see these are not inexpensive shoes, and I would expect the manufacturer to stand behind this product. Glad to see this result, though I wish it wasn’t so difficult to get there.

  • sirwired

    Ecco FTW. Classy, comfy, durable.

  • Dutchess

    Oh the long suffering plight of the the poor conference attendee! If only this world offered stores that carried hundreds of varieties of footwear that one could purchase!! We would call them something simple like “shoe stores” so they could be easily recognizable! No we are instead forced to take taxis (gasp!) and shuffle on carpet (the horror!!) instead of spending 5 minutes and buying new shoes!!!

    Seriously this has to be a troll because who is so passive that that would allow their trip to be ruined by not finding a new pair of shoes????

  • Dutchess

    There are different levels of his shoes. Bruno by Bruno Magli for example are the discount line and can be bought for sub $100 price range. Not cheap shoes but not luxury by any means.

  • AAGK

    For the future, since Mr Hughes is from NY, he should take his new shoes to Leather Spa or another recommended cobbler and have them place an undetectable rubber sole on the shoe before he wears them. I do this with all expensive shoes as well as have the leather sprayed. This extends the life of the shoe forever. I would’ve had the concierge refer me to a local cobbler for a temporary fix or used crazy glue to get me through the trip, and of course insisted on a replacement upon return. There’s nothing worse than shuffling around with uncomfortable footwear.

  • Pegtoo

    It surprises me to see “good” brands do that to their reputation. I understand wanting to offer another price point in the market, but why use your “good” name? I wonder what version the OP had.

  • Dutchess

    They do it because it makes them tons of money. How many $500 pairs of shoes can you sell? Far fewer than $100 pairs of shoes. Even if your margin is smaller, you can make that up in volume.

  • The OP violated a travel rule – never ever wear something for the first time on travel! When you do that you are inviting Murphy to join you.

  • Hanope

    This type of thing always worries me when I buy stuff but don’t use right away. I buy Christmas presents through out the year, but they don’t get used until late December. I buy stuff for my kids for school in June, even though they may not use it until September. so many companies have 30 day warranty and I don’t even use the product once during that time. Glad the OP got satisfaction finally.

    BTW, I still think of OJ whenever i hear Bruno Magli shoes.

  • LeeAnneClark

    LOL! I have to admit I had the same thoughts. I couldn’t help but picture this poor, sad-sack guy shuffling around all dejected, unable to fully participate in his convention while everyone else was whooping it up and collecting piles of business cards…while all he could do was shuffle on the carpet. And imagine all the static electricity he was generating from all that carpet-shuffling! It’s a good thing he didn’t try to network with anyone – just shaking someone’s hand might have sent enough of an electric jolt to launch the poor sucker across the room!

    This was definitely one of the more entertaining complaint letters I’ve read. Oh the DRAMA he was able to draw out of one floppy shoe! ;-)

  • technomage1

    That depends on where the conference is. I’ve been to conferences in Japan, for example, where shoes and clothing in my size simply aren’t available. Being paranoid I always packed a second pair, but the fact remains the poster may not have been able to obtain new shoes.

  • Tricia K

    I understand being upset about an expensive pair of shoes falling apart, but if my future business depended upon connecting with customers on the floor of a conference, I wouldn’t have let the “embarrassment” of a sole coming loose on my shoe stop me. He also mentions that he couldn’t take public transportation and had to deal with an “unanticipated taxi fare” as if that was beyond his budget. If the budget was that tight, why was he buying an expensive pair of shoes like that in the first place? Unless he showed up in a pair of sneakers duct taped together, I don’t think his clients or potential customers would have even given it a second thought.

  • Tricia K

    Super glue works wonders.

  • Tricia K

    Business trip or otherwise. I learned that the hard way with a new pair of sneakers on a trip to Madrid. The first day my toenail turned black from bumping into the toe box. Made for difficult walking for the rest of the trip.

  • Dutchess

    He would have had to take a taxi to get it…Quelle Horreur!!

  • PsyGuy

    I have both brown and black wingtips that were made in italy by a cobbler. They cost me a little more than €300 for each pair. They will, with proper care, outlive me, and look great throughout their lifetime.

  • PsyGuy

    Those $500 shoes last a lifetime, unless your a man with a shoe fetish not a lot of opportunities for repeat business.

  • PsyGuy

    Always carry a small tube of superglue with me when I travel, doubles as a liquid bandage.

  • LFH0

    This was a conference of public transportation government officials, bus company managers, consultants, and academics; no “customers” in the usual sense, but rather colleagues in the same industry.

  • LFH0

    Wish it did, but it didn’t.

  • joycexyz

    Doesn’t matter. When a company puts its name on a product they need to stand behind it. It’s a matter of reputation. And I would expect even cheap shoes to hold up better than these did.

  • joycexyz

    The embarrassment and inconvenience issues are irrelevant and detract from the real issue–an expensive pair of shoes that fell apart.

  • LFH0

    Size 13 is not always east to find, especially when in a distant locale never visited before, and with little time during the day to look for shoe stores.

  • LFH0

    Purchased in a real brick-and-mortar shoe store (a regional chain that has since gone out of business), and kept in original box in bedroom closet, alongside other shoes.

  • Pegtoo

    So glad they are making it right for you…. bummer what you’ve been through to get there (trying to wearing them and dealing with the company).

  • AAGK

    I’ve bought shoes and not worn them for the first time until a couple of years later. I have the receipts though and also, wouldn’t the purchase be on his credit card bill? He also could’ve used purchase protection on his credit card, if he had that service.

  • AAGK

    But the key is proper care. A lot of people aren’t that shoe savvy.

  • Patrica

    I have a very tiny foot and have always purchased any “grown up” shoes in my size wherever and whenever I can find them. THE very worst thing I ever did with my pre-use purchases was that I didn’t wear them. They were stored next to each other, on upper shelves. The soles CRACKED with the first—well — attempt at wearing them. For others, there was transfer of color from one shoe to another. I have Ferragomos (glove leather–so soft–but wearing them is what keeps the leather supple) that have lasted me 10 years., not storing. Although I feel badly for him.. I too have learned to pack more than one pair of shoes AND to always “practice” wearing those shoes for a while before an event (women’t shoes, high heels, etc.).

  • PsyGuy

    That’s true, but it isn’t like they need to be taken into the shop or anything.

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