More like hows the quality, fit, comfort, are there better choices for $220? etc...
Allen Edmonds will NOT do a "re-crafting" on shoes with a "W" branded into them. As for the "double-drill", I have bought quite a few, and if they are "seconds" I can't find them, and I own over 50 pairs. I do own some of the used "double drills" that I bought on ebay. I don't quite buy into the sellers' "to keep them from being exchanged at retailers". Something smells, and it's why I found this forum. Aside from buying direct, you can get fantastic buys from some of the smaller retailers, often a 90% off, barely used, and definitely eligible for re-crafting. As far as American shoes, there's A/E, and everyone else. Some of the shoes, however, are greatly dependent on how your foot fits with the different "lasts". The terminology, shoe care, and everything you need to know about shoes is on allenedmonds.com. PS, I strongly advise buying, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, the proper, high quality cedar shoe trees, and flannel bags to store your shoes in. I buy all my trees and bags from A/E, the cost add up, but it's a false economy to skimp on this issue. If you can't afford it, don't buy it, or save up. I can tell you I learned a very bitter lesson years back, not to be repeated. Another thing thing I highly recommend is reading EVERYTHING that the A/E website has to say about shoe care, they have videos, Q&A's, and a GREAT spreadsheet that you can download that tells you exactly how to care for the majority of their shoes. And most/all of their info is applicable to other brand shoes as well.
One final, important message. It behooves, strongly to really read the section on Cordovans, they are literally a "horse of a different color" as they are made of horse hair. DO NOT treat them as you would regular calf leather! You can ruin them, and they are, as many as you know, VERY EXPENSIVE! Also, regarding "distressed leathers" and suede leathers are also treated differently. Read what they say, and reread and re-watch all their videos before you start shining away!
I said "final" on my last paragraph, but I lied. Something that I had never heard of, but by using the same brushes, rags, etc, will in time change the color of your shoes. I recommend buying the different brushes, marking the colors, and stick to them. The cost will pay for itself, over time. With quality shoes, you need to take a long-term view, because a shoe such as A/E could last you a lifetime. No, I DO NOT work for them in any way, but after being burned by some of the thing listed above, and paying large amounts of money for imported shoes, I've learned the hard way. And as long as the dollar remains weak, I'd stay away from imported good as much as possible. And avoid buying any brand from any "merchant" from Asia. A lot of crap, and a lot of fraud. I'm not talking about large Japanese companies, but of the re-sellers, and owners of companies who do "great knock-offs" until it rains, or time passes..... Hope this helped some. Good luck!
The Neumok is an awesome shoe. It's light, comfortable, and breathes well for a leather shoe. The suede option even more so. I have never worn socks with them.
Again: Save it.. where have I at all implied that I am frustrated with any part of my exchange process? I clearly noted that I have accepted the outcome. The more important question is why such passive aggressive vitriol has been projected upon my recount of the situation, here?
I actually decided to email Paul. Impressively, I received a response in less than an hour from the man himself; a very busy man to say the least. As I informed everyone INITIALLY, the exchange simply ISNT POSSIBLE due to the logistics of an already scarce shell resource making reproduction of multiple MTO shell shoes in a very unique size cost prohibitive. These are the words (essentially) from the horses mouth. There isnt anything left to be done. He was very attentive to my inquiry and I feel that he gave me the most honest answer to an already delicate exchange that one could realistically expect. I thank him for his time, and for expressing interest in delivering resolution to my dilemma. Things didnt turn out quite as I had hoped, but as always, I leave from my most recent experience with AE's customer service, with nothing but the utmost respect for them, appreciation for their effort, and moreover, an eager anticipation of the arrival of my Shell Cordovan Shoes.
Not sure why you edited your response to now accuse myself and the others of "passive aggressive vitriol." All we've done is respond to your several posts complaining about your difficulties and suggest that you expedite the matter by e-mailing Paul, rather than continue to pursue the questionable methods you have been describing. Glad to see you finally e-mailed Paul and finally have resolution, even if it is not the ultimate result you wanted.
Tough call, could be why it's seconds. It appears more of a sanded down section than a scuff. Can you tell? It's nice that it's not on the top of the toe, it's not so nice that it's on the outside edge. If it's actual missing leather, I wouldn't keep it.
It appears they nicked the upper when they were finishing the sole. It's tough to see how much material was removed, so I'm not sure I or anyone can really speak to any problems this would cause with longevity. However, from the picture it looks mostly superficial. For care, I'd start with a wax polish in the same color as the shoe, followed by brushing and a polishing cloth.
I would definitely wear them for a bit on carpet, to see how much stress that area gets when worn - then make the decision whether to return and exchange.
On another note: Inaugural wearing of my burgundy shell Patriots today:
I snoozed on those too long unfortunately, so I missed them. Yours look great and are breaking in nicely! I wonder what percentage of AE's shell cordovan shoe production goes to SF members...
I have been reading the forum for a few weeks and I have to thank you all for the great posts.
They are inspiring and educative.
I am learning a lot from your comments, pictures, arguments and discussions.
One thing that I hate about this community is that I look at the beautiful pictures you post and I want to buy a new pair of shoes every 30 minutes!
I have just started my own AE collection and my line up consist of dark brown Park Avenues, burgundy Grayson tassel loafers and brown Kenwoods. I alternate them with a few british made shoes and I have to say that although the break in period of the AE is longer and a little more painful (feet talking), the quality is all there.
I am traveling to Italy in a few weeks and I might be lucky enough to visit an Allen Edmonds outlet over there, would you happen to know if the collection over there differs from what is offered in North America?
Thank you again for all the inspiring messages you post everyday,
Unfortunately Bonaventure's closed about 10-15 years ago. However, my best friend has purchased the land it used to sit on and is planning on opening his own place in similar fashion...bar/restaurant with a marina, gas pumps and sand volleyball courts.