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Love, and occasionally hate my AE Leeds

A Review On: Allen-Edmonds Men's Leeds Oxfords,Black,10 C

Allen-Edmonds Men's Leeds Oxfords,Black,10 C

Rated # 8 in Dress Lace-Ups
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Price paid: $480.00
trouble
Posted · 478 Views · 3 Comments

Pros: Remarkably comfy, make me feel incredibly confident, easy to care for, look amazing

Cons: Slightly too narrow for me, blacks don't match, sewing machine markes

I was a happy 24 year old with my first real job and no decent shoes.  I read that good shoes could be resoled and last decades, so I went to AE because it was reasonably priced and made in the US.  (I found later the uppers are made in Brazil, a shameful deception.)

 

The sales guy was out of calf Leeds in my size (9EEE) so he showed me the shells cordovan ones.  I was immediately in love.  I got a pair in black and a pair in color 8.  Did I get upsold like woah? Totally.  And I don't care.

 

For the most part, they are gorgeous and surprisingly comfortable.  I don't like too much padding so I like the stacked leather soles.  It took a while to learn the dark arts of polishing shell, but it's easy and fun.  Now that they're two years old they still get welts from water, but not very badly.

 

Here are problems:

All the stitches have marks from the part of the sewing machine that clamps down on the leather to move it through the machine.  It takes the form of a 1/8th inch of dimples running in a line along each seam.  I wish it were smoother.  Also there are two places where stitches have frayed a little.

 

BUYER BEWARE: my black shoes don't match.  One is slightly shinier than the other no matter what I do.  

 

Also I have flippers instead of feet, so my toes feel a little pinched even in the extra wide shoes.

 

BOTTOM LINE - I think they're stunning, but I bet any shell oxford would look the same to me.  Every time I put the black pair on, I still get a little annoyed that one of them is shinier.  Just be careful about making sure they match and you'll have yourself long lasting shoes that make you feel capable and classy.

3 Comments:

Leeds shell cordovan is made in the USA by Horween, not Brazil...
I should have made it more clear that the leather is from the US but it is sewn abroad.
http://www.styleforum.net/t/228354/are-all-allen-edmonds-uppers-made-in-the-dominican-republic
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2007/04/30/story1.html
Though it looks like I misremembered WHERE abroad they are made.
Regarding blacks that don't match, that is one of the joys and heartaches of Shell. One piece of Shell is enough to make one shoe. Two pieces are required for a pair and due to the nature of the leather, no tow are ever an exact match. Even in one shoe, you will find variations in color. Enjoy them even with their variations.