Edited by hohneokc - 4/27/12 at 8:03am
Quick question: Does anyone know what last the Stafford was made on?
I've never heard of the model before but I found this pair on e-bay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-Allen-Edmonds-STAFFORD-BURGUNDY-SHELL-CORDOVAN-OXFORD-SHOES-9-E-9E-/221008449870?pt=US_Men_s_Shoes&hash=item337521514e
Is that too high of a price for used shell? Looking at the soles, I'm guessing they were recrafted at some point. What do the resident experts think?
Thought I would post my comparison of the AE Amok as compared to an Alden 1493 snuff suede chukka. I currently own olive Amoks (first run of Amoks, purchased on clearance at $99 - should have gotten a different color, but oh well). Recently purchased an Alden 1493 suede chukka. I suspect many have been curious about the differences between these two, I know I've been. Let it be known that I'm a major AE fan, especially from a value perspective (factory second sales mean that most of my AE purchases are in the $150-200 per pair range - really can't beat this..). I have around 12 pairs of AEs, and until now it had been the only brand that I own.
I anticipated purchasing the Alden 1493 and AE Snuff Amok to compare colors. Your price comparison is $460 for a pair of the Aldens, to $250 for the Amoks. Factory second Amoks would be $199. I can tell you that I've never spent over $220 on a pair of shoes before, the Aldens were a big jump for me...
I did not end up purchasing the Snuff Amok. After receiving the Alden, I compared to my olive Amoks and found the following:
1. The quality of the Alden suede far surpasses AE's suede quality. AE's suede isn't horrendous by any means, but Alden's is truly buttery smooth. My AEs have only had about 4 wears so far, and there's already some marks that I know I'm gonna have a difficult time removing. And they've been babied, in my opinion. (Note that I did not clean these up at all before snapping the pictures below). I feel I can confidently say that the Alden suede is going to hold up much better in the long run.
2. There are subtle differences in the shape of the shoe. You'll notice that the AE is a bit more pointy in 2 aspects. First, in the overall shape, the toe is a tad bit more pointy. Secondly, the AE's cut a bit more pointy or forward where the quarters (??) meet the vamp (??) (somebody correct me if I'm using the wrong terms...). The Aldens round downward at this area, and I personally prefer the rounded shapes of the Alden more.
3. The Alden has a small heel support on the insole. At first, it was annoying...felt like a big piece sticking into my foot. But comparing back and forth between the Amok and the Alden, the support is helpful and more comfortable. As soon as I got used to it, I tried the Amoks back on and if felt like I was now missing something. The support makes a difference in daily walking.
4. Better appearance of "layering" in the heel. See side-by-side pics for what I'm referring to...
There aren't many other differences to speak of. They both are 2 eyelet chukkas with an oil soaked sole and split-reverse welts. The shape and the suede quality were my 2 big factors between the 2 shoes.
So, regardless of the price, I ended up keeping the Aldens. My thoughts can be summarized as this: Nobody besides you, the wearer, is going to recognize the differences in these shoes. They honestly look nearly identical. If the little things change your opinion though, you're going to struggle with the AEs after trying the Aldens. The Aldens are just a bit nicer. Are they worth an extra $210-260 over the AEs? No, not really. The AEs are far and away a better value. But, to me, the details made enough of a difference that I knew I wouldn't be truly satisfied with the AE version and I'd always be wanting the Alden pair. I hope this helps anybody who's been on the fence one way or the other. If you have money to kill, try the Aldens (I didn't, but hey..finances be damned..). If you don't, please please please go with the AEs.
I've included some pictures below. Again, these are the olive Amoks versus the snuff Aldens, and I had originally planned to try the Snuff AEs until I saw the differences above... Pardon the crappy cell pics. Lastly - please note that I am normally an 8.5D in AE. I took an 8E in the Aldens. Feel free to PM if you have any questions about either of these.
Putting on my Neumora this morning & the rear strap with the buckle broke off on the left shoe when I was buckling it. The strap broke off above where the stitching was at. Took the shoes back to the AE store for a refund. Didn't want to get a replacement pair since the same thing could happen down the road again. I probably wore the Neumora about three times.