I find the McAllister to be a great looking shoe. Maybe the reason you do not hear much about that model is based on its contradiction. A full brogue, balmoral shoe. It is designed in a formal style, but with casual detailing. Just a thought. I would have bought them if not for the Tresanas.
Thanks for the feedback. That makes sense, though Ive never actually considered that possibility. Being a fine-shoe noob, I never really thought about the possibility that the Balmoral is considered less formal than a Blucher. Im not sure why but I thought perhaps since the McAllister is part of the Timeless Classics Collection, that it would carry a natural air of sophistication.
easy_golfing, I am using the Superfeet 8810 (that's the Men's 3/4 insert for dress shoes). It's just the plastic arch support, no top cover or padding. Surprisingly, it feels OK. I'm just not used to arch supports yet.
I am also a fan of the McCallister (especially after seeing the display shoe in Merlot) as well as its offspring, the Neumok and McTavish. And I like it precisely because it's a brogue wingtip with closed laces. The Neumok and McTavish also throw in a little twist with the rough, unpolished upper. The mix of a formal shoe design with informal details like the broguing give the shoe some texture.
On the other hand, Derbies don't catch my eye except for something like the Player's Shoe. This seems to be a matter of personal style. If you like the McCallister, go for it.
And, yes, the Strand is a really awesome shoe.
Great points, and I agree. I ordered my first pair of AE's online. Even before I ordered my Fifth Aves, I was mulling the purchase of the McAllister first. Then when I found out I had an actual Allen Edmond's store in my city, I decided to go in and get some shoe trees. Welp, I saw the McAllister on he shelf in Merlot, and in person it is absolutely striking. [Along with the Strand - it too has a very artistic quality to it] Its interesting, because online Allen Edmond shoes tend to look attractive but mediocre. I think much of it has to do with the posing of the shoes in their advertising, and could be in part due to the lighting. However in person, the tightness of the stitching and the quality of construction is readily apparent across the board in person. Now that Ive seen how much better Allen Edmond shoes actually look in person, in contrast to their online images, I have a hard time not justifying a follow-up purchase of the Merlot McAllisters.
The Black McTavish is also appealing, but I want a shoe I can shine.