Thanks.. Took pics again now.. this is the tighest lace possible for my feet for both these shoes(not very comfy esp FA).
Maiden voyage for the sand suede “Sanibel” loafers last week. I now have seven pairs of AEs (in six months...Thanks guys. Yeeesh!), but NO OTHER pair has gotten as many compliments as these. Ridiculously comfortable, and apparently one of the few 800 Last (Handsewns) made in Port Washington AND can be re-crafted in spite of the non-welted sole—which is awesome ,cause I got these for $69.00 from the hated Burlington Coat Factory store here at Union Square in NYC.
Mercy, they're so soft and comfy. Like plush slippers, but sleek and light. Had a woman who barely talks to me at work reach down to touch them. WTF?
Now, the kicker here is that I'd sworn to myself that THIS WAS IT! Six pairs in six months was IT! Lay off until maybe the Fall or something, right? Right?
And then...I stopped by the Burlington on 6th Avenue between 22nd & 23rd Streets and saw these...
How does one NOT pick up a pair of black suede “Graysons”? HOW? These sleek beauties were $139.00 with no visible defects—and you have to check on the ones at Burlington HARD because they'll be three pairs of one style there and if you DON'T look hard, you'll find minor, but obvious once you spot 'em defects that'll just gnaw at you something fierce. These are so damn sleek and comfy. I especially dig how the calf piping around the opening contrasts with the matte suede.
Okay...NOW I'll lay off until the Fall. (Right!)
One more thing—or rather, a FEW more things...
There's another pair of snuff suede Graysons at the Burlington Union Square store here in NYC, also for $139.00 in 13D. Magnificent looking! As well as a couple more pairs of Sanibels in 11.5 3E. These are for $69.00. Yeah...I know.
Also found these three winners at the Burlington Store on 6th Avenue between 22nd & 23rd Streets in Manhattan—spotted these last night just before closing:
From left to right, snuff suede Gobis—there are two pairs of these there in 12B for $99.00 with the deep salmon Dainite sole.
Then there are two pairs of black calf Manchesters in 13A. These are $139.00 each. They are sooooo beautiful!
Lastly (pun unintended) are a pair of Light Tan 11.5 suede Big Sur Shortwing Derbys. These have a Toby mini-lug rubber sole, are Goodyear welted on the 511 last and can be re-crafted. Price on 'em? $99.00. Handsome, rustic-looking shoe—part of the old “Rough” collection. Slightly funky contouring on the left shoe's toe cap. I'm guessing old Nordstroms Deadstock on these. They open tomorrow at 9 a.m.
Additional goodies are on the Size 13 rack if you have a narrow foot.
So I went a bit overboard and, among the other AE boat shoes, I bought Kirkwoods in both golden brown and dark brown, planning on keeping one and sending one back. I like them both, though, and I'm not sure which one I like best.
If anyone wanted more pics of the Kirkwood in these two colors, here they are.
Update: decided to keep the dark brown Kirkwoods, as I also had ordered a pair of golden brown Maritimes (and a pair of navy Maritimes). I also already own a pair of dark brown Sperry boat shoes (bringing my total to 3 boat shoes and 1 pair of beefroll boat loafers). The Sperrys will be my beater pair. I'm tempted to just get a pair of dark brown Maritimes as well for once the dark brown Sperrys bite the dust. I had tried to order some the night the sale was ending but had trouble with the website. Customer service was very helpful and has offered to sell me a pair at the sale price if I decide I want them.
It's not that I plan to wear them all in a constant rotation; however, even with nice boat shoes I predict I will wear them hard, and they may not last long. The $125 for these two models is easily the best value in boat shoes when it comes to quality/price.
For all the minor missteps I feel AE may have made in the past with various strange models/patterns and such, they knocked it out of the park with the Maritime/Kirkwoods.
To go with YoungSweet's post, I will offer that of my ~15 pairs of AE shoes/boots (not including the several new pairs of boat shoes I've been going on and on about), 2 are firsts and the rest are seconds. My firsts include a pair of brown Delrays I will be selling (since I already have brown Lasalles) and a pair of Shaker Heights I got on amazon for $160.
Of all my seconds, the worst "defect" is a slightly askew toebox stitching on my tan RL Sandersons, but it doesn't stop me from wearing them all the time. I find that with boots, the common seconds "defect" is usually poor clicking/slightly "wrinkled" leather along the medial aspect of the panel that covers your medial malleolus and above. It's something that no one will ever see when you're wearing pants, unless maybe if you're sitting down, your pants ride up, and you turn your foot outwards to show someone. So, basically a non-issue. For the rest of my non-boot seconds, most of them I have tried and tried to find the defect and have failed. I think on one pair of walnut shoes, there was a little bit of "fading" in the color around the throat of the shoe - and I added a bit of Cognac polish (AE doesn't sell it anymore, but it's closer to Walnut than the Walnut polish is) and fixed it forever.
I know others have had some not-so-great results with a few pairs of seconds (striping is a common problem with bourbon and maybe oxblood shoes) . . . maybe I am just much less picky or perceptive (although I'd like to think that, as a Dermatologist, I have a pretty good eye for detail). Either way, chances are if you're someone who is "moving up" to AE/AE seconds, you're not the kind of person who will vehemently protest the QC and expect $1000 quality at $200 pricing.
I bought a pair of Wilbert seconds recently in outland brown, and now have ordered a dark brown pair. They are one of if not AE's top selling / most popular casuals.
Of your 4 choices...
the 678 last Ashton and 511 last Wilbert are my preferences, as they are both slightly wider than the 65 last Black Hills and 108 last Clark Street.
If you have tried any of these lasts, the foot-shape differences are significant enough between these 4 shoes that fitment should be considered even before your visual preference imo.
That said, I think the Ashton would be the best choice with wool trousers of the 4.