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Allen Edmonds Appreciation Thread - reviews, pictures, sizing, etc... - Page 1215  

post #18211 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyswatter View Post

To add to the discussion of gaping...

I purchased my first pair of Allen Edmonds shoes a month or so ago: a pair of black Park Avenues, first quality, purchased online directly from AE. I was sized in an AE store and also sized myself according to the very easy to use and seemingly accurate fit guide on AE's website. Both gave me a result of 10.5D, which seems to be spot-on. Anyway, the shoes arrived and I was mostly happy with them, but I had some slight gaping on the RIGHT SHOE ONLY. It started to bug me before I'd ever even wore the shoes, and I posted pics here in this thread a couple weeks ago. Here's one of them:

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

 



The general opinion of the posters' in response was that I should return them and try to get a pair that doesn't have any gaping. As I haven't worn the shoes outside at all, I plan to indeed return them.

Here's where it gets interesting. A few days after I posted about the gaping on my Park Aves, I received a pair of brown Fifth Avenue SECONDS from the shoe bank. Same size as the Park Aves of course, but the Fifth Aves have absolutely no gaping whatsoever, to my relief:

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

 



In my mind, this is proof that the gaping issue is absolutely NOT an issue of fit (generally), but it's instead some type of flaw/manufacturing defect. Of course, that's not to say that gaping CANNOT be caused by improper fit, but this wasn't so in my case. Just something weird going on with the right shoe from my pair of Park Aves. The issue is evidently not something that would cause an otherwise first quality shoe to be sold as seconds, however, or perhaps it's just not something AE checks for in the QC process. Some might say that there's no way to check for it until the shoe is on the wearer's foot, but comparing my right Park Ave to the left one, you can notice an outward bending near where my inside ankle would be, almost as if there's simply too much leather there:

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

 



On the whole, I'm much happier with the SECOND quality Fifth Avenues which have no gaping at all, and no other visible flaw that I can see that caused them to be deemed seconds. Not to mention, I of course paid less for the seconds. I do think the gaping issue is something that should be addressed and resolved by AE, as it's clearly not simply an issue of improper fit.

Overall though, I'm still very pleased with my experience with Allen Edmonds products. I'm happy with my Fifth Avenue seconds, and looking forward to replacing my Park Avenues with a pair that doesn't gape.

 

Best of luck!  I hope your next pair doesn't have a problem.  It will be interesting to see what happens, and please keep us informed.  In any event, I'm glad your Fifth Avenues are working out so well!

post #18212 of 70737
To add to the bowing discussion, I came to AE after living in the Cole Haan, Bostonian, J&M Made in India/China world (pre-SF). Supposedly, AE is a vast upgrade over these shoes. Yet, I've had more than a few AEs that have had this bowing issue (and I'm not alone). I don't recall the Cole Haans etc. shoes having the bowing issues that AE's have had. Via exchanges and returns, my issues have been rectified, but I've gotta think it's something on AE's end.
post #18213 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSizzle View Post

Here's the follow up for you, zerostyle, but it's not very sunny today...

(Taking the picture also makes me realize how much I need to clean up the toecap on my walnut Strands.)




Exactly the comparison I was looking for, too... Thanks!
post #18214 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyswatter View Post

To add to the discussion of gaping...


In my mind, this is proof that the gaping issue is absolutely NOT an issue of fit (generally), but it's instead some type of flaw/manufacturing defect. Of course, that's not to say that gaping CANNOT be caused by improper fit, but this wasn't so in my case. Just something weird going on with the right shoe from my pair of Park Aves. The issue is evidently not something that would cause an otherwise first quality shoe to be sold as seconds, however, or perhaps it's just not something AE checks for in the QC process. Some might say that there's no way to check for it until the shoe is on the wearer's foot, but comparing my right Park Ave to the left one, you can notice an outward bending near where my inside ankle would be, almost as if there's simply too much leather there:

 

 

I agree it is not fit in every instance, but doesn't this more go to my point that most of the time the bowing/gaping seems to involve the Park Avenue?  Is it a defect particular to the PA?  Don't know.  Does it have something to do with how the black calfskin in the PA is more rigid?  That's my suspicion.  As others have noted, the black calfskin for the PA's is more rigid and tougher to break-in.  Pure speculation, but I wonder if this plays a role in the bowing/gaping issue.

post #18215 of 70737

Does anyone think that the bowing issue might have to do with AE moving the initial leather work to the Dominican Republic? In the past, the AE collection shoes were completely made in the DR and the regular shoes, completely in the USA. Now, at least some of the made in the USA have "Made in the USA of fine imported leather" stamped on the insole (my Strands have this for example and have slight bowing on only the left shoe). Apparently this is because the company has moved some of the initial leather work (stitching of leather pieces into the 'whole' upper for instance) to their DR facilities. Now, not all Allen Edmonds shoes have leather from offshore sources, but it seems to be some of the high demands models, mostly 5 last, like the Strand, Fifth Avenue, etc. It's entirely possible that lesser quality handiwork in making the upper could lead to inconsistent uppers that lead to the bowing problems. Just throwing this idea out there.

post #18216 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSizzle View Post

Here's the follow up for you, zerostyle, but it's not very sunny today...

(Taking the picture also makes me realize how much I need to clean up the toecap on my walnut Strands.)




Hey Sizzle, are those AE laces? I like the size!
post #18217 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillardiv View Post


Hey Sizzle, are those AE laces? I like the size!

 

Yes, those are just the 30" colored, waxed laces that AE offers.

post #18218 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSizzle View Post

Yes, those are just the 30" colored, waxed laces that AE offers.

Thanks!!
post #18219 of 70737

First wearing of my shell Dundee today

 

post #18220 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustygator View Post

Does anyone think that the bowing issue might have to do with AE moving the initial leather work to the Dominican Republic? In the past, the AE collection shoes were completely made in the DR and the regular shoes, completely in the USA. Now, at least some of the made in the USA have "Made in the USA of fine imported leather" stamped on the insole (my Strands have this for example and have slight bowing on only the left shoe). Apparently this is because the company has moved some of the initial leather work (stitching of leather pieces into the 'whole' upper for instance) to their DR facilities. Now, not all Allen Edmonds shoes have leather from offshore sources, but it seems to be some of the high demands models, mostly 5 last, like the Strand, Fifth Avenue, etc. It's entirely possible that lesser quality handiwork in making the upper could lead to inconsistent uppers that lead to the bowing problems. Just throwing this idea out there.

 

I suppose anything is possible.  I suppose the assembly of some uppers at their DR plant could be throwing a QC variable into the mix, but they have carefully stated that the employees of the DR plant receive the same training and are Allen Edmonds employees.  They aren't just paying another factory to produce a product and then stamp it with the AE name.  The only difference is the soil that is under the factory floor.  However, the imported leather is a separate issue.  They source the best leather they can, and naturally, it is going to come from a variety of tanneries around the world.  I don't know for sure, but I would assume that they have always used leather from all over the world, and they simply started stamping that "Made in the USA of fine imported leather" for transparency.  As far as I know, all shoe companies source their leather from the world over.  Just like wine, different places produce different qualities and it is subject to change, as is the market value. 

post #18221 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbtaylor View Post

First wearing of my shell Dundee today

 

 

Looking good!

post #18222 of 70737

According to this thread at dappered.com:

 

 

Quote:
AE will be offering "15% to 30% savings on select shoes and accessories from 4/15 - 4/29" as part of their 91st anniversary sale.

 

Anyone else hear about this?

post #18223 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by kentyman View Post

According to this thread at dappered.com:



Anyone else hear about this?

Yes, I got an email from one of the outlet stores. No details other than what you show here.
post #18224 of 70737
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmdsimpson View Post

Yes, I got an email from one of the outlet stores. No details other than what you show here.

 

Which outlet store emails you about these? I've tried to get on these emails but to no avail.

post #18225 of 70737
Mine was Freeport. I've purchased from them before.
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