I really like the Buff Split Reverse welt on these.
I'm tempted by a couple options (including pretty much that setup), but I think the picture is misleading. If Neumoks looked like that, I'd grab more of them, but in my experience (the ones I own and the ones I seen in stores), the toe is a lot flatter (not nearly as much rise at the tip). It may be a subtle difference, but I think it really changes the aesthetics of the shoe.
I'll still probably pick up a pair.
I guess it could have something to do with lining, but i think there's not enough leather to even allow it to rise that much. Here are a couple real-life images to show that, even stretched over a shoe tree, the toe will lay quite a bit flatter (and the reverse welt makes it look even lower). I still like it, but I like the taller toe of the McAllister and McTavish more.
I think you will be quite happy with the Long Branch. I am really enjoying mine. The Brown Waxy Leather version does not have the pebbled look that the Dark Brown Long Branch does. All of the Brown Waxy pairs I have seen (including mine) are quite smooth. One interesting difference between the Brown Waxy LB and the Dark Brown LB seems to be that the Dark Brown have a functional storm welt, which is evident upon close inspection of photos where you can see the second row of stitching on the split reverse welt. The Brown Waxy LB just has a split reverse welt with no additional stitching.
As for the differences between the LB and the Dalton, the LB is decidedly more casual. However, I think it will be fine based on what you said you plan to wear with it. I also assume that given where you live, people may be more forgiving of a more casual boot than they may be in warmer parts of the US. The Dalton has a natural leather insole just like the majority of the rest of AE's. However, the Long Branch has a synthetic insole (probably some form of fiberboard), covered with leather wrapped foam. That was my only hold up when I was looking into getting them, since I favor the natural leather insoles. I believe that the natural leather insoles are eliminating a potential weak link after years of wear and tear. I decided not to worry about it since I got them on such a great sale, and my needs were more like yours. The walnut Dalton's are using the same calf leather as the rest of AE's line (unless you get the shell version), while the LB is using full cow hide. The color is quite different between the two, but not enough to change what you can wear them with IMO. In fact, the more conservative types may even say that the more traditional brown color of the LB may be more versatile than the walnut.
Let me know if I can tell you anymore details.
For those holding out for a sale, I just got an email from the freeport store...
Our annual February Sale will be taking place this February 4th - 18th. We will be offerings savings of 15-50% on our entire current collection of factory second styles. Included in those savings will be 50% savings on the Delary in black and chili; now $134.50, 45% savings on the Parkway in black, walnut or brown; now $149, 30% savings on the Maxfield in black and chili; now $149, and many more great features to choose from.
In addition, new this year we will have select apparel items with savings of 40-60% off their original price - including sport coats, vests, shirts, ties and socks.
I'm wearing the parkways in brown today and I love them! Highly recommended
New shoes popping up on AE's website!!! I'm not a fan so far.