Around here, what the OP is suggesting would not be much of a stretch.
When I fly anywhere and looking for my Gate for a flight back to Seattle, I don't have to look at the sign which shows the flight destinations. For Seattle, I just look for a bunch of frumpy people who all look like they shop at REI (because they probably d). FWIW, the folks flying into places like NY, LA, Chicago, and etc., look really put together and stylish, in a good way.
For road shoes at REI, I second the Saucony Speed or the Saucony Endorphine Pro. I have both, and like them a lot. I got the older models, the 2's not the 3's, and the 2's tend to be a bit firmer if you want something a little less bouncy.