Seconds refer to second quality shoes, sold at their outlet stores and the Shoebank. These are not your "made for outlet" kind of shoes - similar to Brooks Brother's 346 brand. These seconds were originally intended to be first quality shoes but did not pass their quality control. Some of the "flaws" aren't even noticeable, and some are eye sores. It's really a crap shoot as to what will be wrong with the shoes. These seconds are usually discounted anywhere from $150 to $269, depending on the model (Strands are $269, $345 for first quality).
I myself have a pair of walnut McAllister seconds, and they're gorgeous. The flaws in them are hardly noticeable. Your best bet is to give one of the outlets a call and have them send you a list of inventory in your specific size. Once you decide what you want, you can have them inspect the shoe (if it's located in their store) or have them ship them to you. Try them on and only wear them inside on carpet, because they cannot accept a return that shoes any sort of wear on the leather sole.
I usually deal with Jay or Stewart at the Charleston, SC outlet. Give them a call at (843) 747-4002 and they can tell you all about seconds.
Thank you for your kind description. Do I have to live in SC in order to be in their service area? I'm Chicago suburb. Thank you!
no. They can ship to you.