My number 1 complaint about the Independence collection as well.
My number 1 complaint about the Independence collection as well.
Has anyone found the McAllister to fit differently than the Strand? I've been breaking in my bourbon McAllisters with combination sole the past few nights at home and they seem to be substantially looser than my year old Strands.
Yeah, you must be thinking of the Harrison (not my favorite either). The Jefferson is a balmoral wingtip (looks identical to the McAllister). I agree on the welt size, and to me it is most pronounced on the Rutledge. The wheeling combined with the size of the welt makes it look like a cemented sole with a bond-welt to me. It isn't a deal breaker for me, but it does stand out.
I just contacted AE to see if they would price match the Manistee belt which is on sale for $76.90 at Nordstrom's, but in Bourbon. No go for launch. They will price match, but only in the colors that are part of the sale.
I had to put tongue pads in my McAllisters, and they are still a little loose. My Strands in the same size fit fine. Both are regular leather sole and leather insole. My Fifth Aves fit the same as my Strands, so the McAllister seems to be the outlier.
Just pulled the trigger on some Merlot McAllisters. Can't wait to get them.
My Walnut McAllisters fit me a lot better than my Strands in the same size (7.5 E). My Strands feel kind of tight throughout, especially near the big toe area.
I have both and they seem to fit exactly the same as I would expect given that they are on the same last.
I'll have to side with Wurger on this. I don't think AE meets the criteria for being a "premium" shoe. Bgp001, I think you are missing a crucial piece to the puzzle on why AE shoes are the price they are. They are in a completely different echelon of shoes than Kenneth Cole, Steve Madden, and Aldo (to use your examples). Those shoes are glued together using inferior materials, intended to be disposed of when they wear out. You get what you pay for. AE shoes, being Goodyear-welted, and made of high quality leather (generally full grain), are at the basic price point for shoes in this level of quality. They are one of the most cost effective quality shoes available in the U.S., and are amongst the most cost effective shoes in many other countries. There are a couple of other brands that fit into similar price points made in Europe, but being that they are made in Europe, there are complications regarding fit, returns, recrafting, etc., that make them less cost effective for Americans. AE is a "no-frills" quality shoe manufacturer, where you are paying $200-335 for shoes that are made using a proven construction method that has stood the test of time, and uses durable high quality materials. The cost of a pair of AE's is the cost of these materials, plus the cost of paying their employees (they are apparently well paid for their industry) to make these shoes with their hands, plus the cost needed to keep the company growing and stable. You aren't paying for a name or a fashion brand that delivers the latest styles, using questionable materials, with nothing but a "cool" factor to stand on. You also aren't paying for extras that are considered subjectively valuable (with the exception of AE's Independence Collection). The premium that you are referring to is what makes other Goodyear-welted shoes so much more expensive than AE (think Alden, Crockett & Jones, Gaziano & Girling, John Lobb, Edward Green, etc., etc.) Those other companies spend much more time on the finishing of their shoes that are otherwise constructed the same way as Allen Edmonds. The other brand's shoes won't necessarily last longer. Some of the "premium" Goodyear-welted companies often use only the highest quality parts of the calfskin to make their shoes, so that is the one major exception that can theoretically make them last a bit longer, but even that isn't guaranteed.
AE's Independence Collection does have some frills built in, and you pay a $140 premium for them. I don't think the differences between the Independence Collection and AE's regular line is great enough with regards to cost of materials alone to justify the price increase (in other words I don't think they have $140 more materials and labor in them). I think you are paying a premium for those because they use a slightly nicer leather, and have more attention to details (wheeling, polished soles, brass nameplate, cushioned sock-liner). When you buy a shoe from the Independence Collection, you are enjoying your premium quality shoes that sets them just a little bit apart from the basic product. There is nothing wrong with this, if that's important to you, but these differences aren't going to make a pair of these shoes last longer than the regular line, which is what makes their differences subjectively valuable.
The differences between basic Goodyear-welted shoes and cemented cheap shoes are objective, are worth more money, and cost more to make. They will make a better shoe that will last longer and look better for the life of the shoe. Once you are in the realm of Goodyear-welted shoes (or better) you then have to separate the premium brands from the basic ones, and decide which bells and whistles you are willing to pay for.
Well, that's fine, it's just my opinion. I'm a car guy, and I automatically draw similar analogies across car brands.
Lexus is in my opinion, a "no frills" car manufacturer. You're not paying for a brand name (because frankly, Lexus has never been and will never be an aspirational brand), what you're paying for is better build quality, better materials, and a higher standard of manufacturing compared to a POS like a Nissan or a Kia. This is also objective, not subjective. A Lexus is built better than a Nissan. But at the same time, you also expect a higher level of fit and finish in a Lexus compared to the Nissan, which Lexus delivers. Have you ever taken a close look at Lexus paint? It's beautiful. It is at lustrous as the finish on a hand-polished Bentley? No. But it's a darn bit nicer than any run of the mill Nissan or Toyota.
The shoes we consider high end, Vass, C&J, Lobb, etc, these are your Rolls Royce, Bentley, Maybach. Do I expect AE to be built to the same levels of quality as them? No, because I'm not paying anywhere near that much money. But do I expect flaws and defects that you would expect on run of the mill shoes either? No.
Again, just my opinion as a consumer.
I couldnt agree more. Going through this thread and seeing everyone talk about how they HAVE TO dress a certain way in their office, it's crazy! I don't think you will every find it in an employee manual where you have to dress in all black or grey and cant show any sign of personality.
Colored laces and more importantly colored socks are a great way to break up the boredom around you!
I've sat in a Nissan. I stick by my analogy.