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Allen Edmonds Appreciation Thread - Page 1861

post #27901 of 46522
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollinsay View Post

 

Black shell Dundees. Anyone else experience this almost brownish/reddish tint with black shell under direct sunlight?

I have both the Dundee and Park Ave. in black shell and neither of them have the rust tint in bright light. If it is something that bothers you and you would like solid black then I would think Saphir Cordovan Black cream would work. I have only used the Saphir Cordovan Cordovan cream on an older pair of burgundy Leeds that had turned fairly brown and it worked well. Although many desire the brown patina that burgundy and #8 shell are known for I figured that I own enough brown shell variants that I wanted to keep them burgundy. I really think that the Saphir cordovan black cream would do the same for you. Although I also think there is nothing wrong with how yours look as the are, to me they look great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OptoDoc View Post

Pish Posh. These are a complete travesty. I showed a few patients of mine pictures of them and moments later they suffered from hysterical blindness. With all of the procedures that must be done, I will make enough $ to purchase a pair, which I guess I will...to possibly illicit such reactions in the future (shhh, don't tell my patients this condition will resolve on its own).

LOL thanks for that Doc! 

post #27902 of 46522
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyWellSpent View Post

 

 

Well, we had a stimulating conversation on this topic recently starting with this post here: http://www.styleforum.net/t/354137/leather-quality-and-properties/200_100#post_6514608

 

Also see a recent discussion here: http://www.styleforum.net/t/354137/leather-quality-and-properties/200_100#post_6514608

 

You will need to scroll through to get the whole conversation and skip over other conversations mind you, but it's probably easier than trying to summarize everything.  

 

Long story short, I think you really have to make your own decision as to whether shell is worth it's price.  I think it probably is.  It won't necessarily last twice as long, particularly due to the inherent lifespan that comes with Goodyear-welted shoes (being that you can only expect ~3-5 recraftings over the life of the shoe).  This inherent lifespan doesn't necessarily change simply because the upper is made from cordovan instead of calf.  Rather, it comes from how many times the upper can be restitched at the inseam during welt replacement.  Every time the welt is replaced during recrafting, the leather around the area that it is stitched becomes weaker and weaker due to the needle "machine gunning" through the leather as the new welt is stitched on.  Think of it like a piece of perforated paper.  The more holes, the easier it is to tear.  

 

However, if you wear your shoes infrequently enough by having a sizable rotation (preferably no less than 3-5 pairs), I think the inherent properties of cordovan will allow it to age much more gracefully than calf.  In other words, if you can get 20 years from a pair of shoes by only having them resoled every 4-5 years, I feel very confident that a pair of shell shoes will look significantly nicer than a pair of calfskin shoes of the same age (assuming the leather upper of the calfskin shoes are well cared for and actually last that long).  

 

To specifically address your point above about the rolling creases...  I think the appearance of the creases being better in shell shoes is subjective.  To each his own.  That said, the rolling creases likely contribute to shell lasting so much longer than calf.  The inevitable cracking leather in an otherwise well cared for shoe that will eventually happen (hopefully after many years) can largely be blamed on microscopic impurities that get imbedded in the creases (dust, dirt, etc.).  These impurities are abrasive and wear out the leather at the microscopic level.  This is why brushing before and after you wear your shoes is crucial (it isn't just for looks).  By doing that, you brush off these abrasive contaminants and prevent them from embedding in the leather and causing abrasion during wear.  Since cordovan tends to roll rather than crease, this abrasive action is decreased.  

 

Finally, I think the size of your shoe rotation has to be considered in your decision.  I agree that two pairs of calfskin shoes will last longer than one pair of shell shoes, if that is all you own.  However, I think that 3 pairs of shell shoes will last longer than 3 pairs of calfskin shoes.  You have to have enough shoes in your rotation to ensure that they are drying out appropriately between wears by "resting."  Not letting your shoes rest between wears so that they are only worn every other day, at the most, is the quickest way to prematurely destroy them.    


thanks for the input!  Of course 3 pair of shell shoes is going to last longer than 3 pair of calf shoes, but will 3 pair of shell shoes last as long as 6 pair of calf shoes?  Also, when I say "lasting" I'm not talking about how long the shoe will last before it completely falls apart and renders itself impossible to wear, I'm talking about how long a shoe will last before it becomes unpleasant to the eye.

 

From the pictures I have seen of shell shoes on this website.  The rolls on their shoes are significant enough that the model of the shoe is nearly unrecognizable.  I saw a few pair of brown shell shoes that looked not unlike the surface of a pan of freshly baked brownies (extremely wavy).

 

I see that the patina of shell is better, and that it improves over time.  I also see that people seem to think that shell cordovan smells better.  It seems that the advantage of shell is that the color is not just polish slathered on top of the leather, but rather the leather is tanned in such a way that the color of the leather itself is changed, which is why scuffs are more easily buffed out.

 

Is shell cordovan thicker/heavier than calf?

post #27903 of 46522
Buying shell because you admire appreciate its beauty, rarity and unique properties makes sense to me. Trying to justify the cost on the basis of whether x number of shell shoes will last longer than y number of calf shoes just doesn't make any kind of sense to me at all. Do some reasearch on how much many shoes can be derived from a single horse (generally one pair only) versus one cow (a dozen - 16 pair?). Then factor in the length of time it takes to tan shell versus other leathers. The consider how many tanneries produce shell versus other leathers. These all contribute to the increased price for shell. Bottom line - if you don't like the look of shell, why are you even considering it?
post #27904 of 46522
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinngiskhaan View Post


thanks for the input!  Of course 3 pair of shell shoes is going to last longer than 3 pair of calf shoes, but will 3 pair of shell shoes last as long as 6 pair of calf shoes?  Also, when I say "lasting" I'm not talking about how long the shoe will last before it completely falls apart and renders itself impossible to wear, I'm talking about how long a shoe will last before it becomes unpleasant to the eye.

 

From the pictures I have seen of shell shoes on this website.  The rolls on their shoes are significant enough that the model of the shoe is nearly unrecognizable.  I saw a few pair of brown shell shoes that looked not unlike the surface of a pan of freshly baked brownies (extremely wavy).

 

I see that the patina of shell is better, and that it improves over time.  I also see that people seem to think that shell cordovan smells better.  It seems that the advantage of shell is that the color is not just polish slathered on top of the leather, but rather the leather is tanned in such a way that the color of the leather itself is changed, which is why scuffs are more easily buffed out.

 

Is shell cordovan thicker/heavier than calf?

Yes it normally is thicker than calf, but it can depend and there is lined vs. unlined. Most of my shell has very little in the way of rolls but then again that is another reason that I stick with AE for the most part, 1 and 5 last especially fit me extremely well. And fit is very important to me. You have received some great replies already, and I agree with pretty much everything else said. The only .02 I could add is that only you can determine if shell is worth it, that is up to you in the end. But also be warned that englade is correct...

Quote:
Originally Posted by englade321 View Post

I just came over here looking for info @ some shoes im interested in and i find you guys messing around with SHELL CORDOVAN . Do you guys have any idea how dangerous that stuff is ! You can never have enough . If you fret about spending $300 on shoes now you aint seen nothing. Mess with that stuff and you'll find yourself dropping $750 a pop and you'll be looking at another pair you gotta have while they'r still in the mail Dont take my word for it. Go lurk around the alden thread . Those poor guys got problems . Not only is the stuff outrageously priced .Its hard to find . Just when you realize you cant live without that pair of color4 captoe boots w/commando soles you find they'r all sold out and the manufacturer dosen't when if ever they will ever be made again . This is no way to live . You just stay away from that stuff you be a lot happier and certainly a lot wealthier . Don't say you weren't warned!
post #27905 of 46522
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottyBoy920 View Post


Allison @ 262-235-6128

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJTraveler View Post

 

Thanks!  I want to ask about getting the wide basic dress belt MTO in bourbon.  I already have the manistee in bourbon, but really want a wide basic version as well.

 

Just spoke with Allison.  Should have my MTO bourbon wide basic dress belt in 6-8 weeks!  :)

post #27906 of 46522
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerP View Post

Buying shell because you admire appreciate its beauty, rarity and unique properties makes sense to me. Trying to justify the cost on the basis of whether x number of shell shoes will last longer than y number of calf shoes just doesn't make any kind of sense to me at all. Do some reasearch on how much many shoes can be derived from a single horse (generally one pair only) versus one cow (a dozen - 16 pair?). Then factor in the length of time it takes to tan shell versus other leathers. The consider how many tanneries produce shell versus other leathers. These all contribute to the increased price for shell. Bottom line - if you don't like the look of shell, why are you even considering it?

Solid logic there, RogerP. I feel like I've learned to appreciate shell over time, having a few pairs, seeing many more on SF. If it was less durable than calf (assume shell was highly prized yet very delicate) then I definitely wouldn't even consider shell. So it's durability is definitely "a" (but not the only) factor in choosing shell over calf. At the same time, it seems that sometimes people understate the durability of calf when promoting shell as a "lifetime" shoe. There are a lot of examples of calf shoes lasting 20-30-40 years, and there are many NOS//deadstock calf shoes from the 1920s/30s/40s/50s available for purchase that are still supple and "as good as new." Shell is more durable than calf, but it's not like all calf dries up and shrivels away after 5 or 10 years. Some people just don't like how calf creases - all the little hairline cracks - but that's a different issue (same as if you don't like how shell looks).
post #27907 of 46522

Wore the tan Strandmoks today......

post #27908 of 46522
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJTraveler View Post

 

Just spoke with Allison.  Should have my MTO bourbon wide basic dress belt in 6-8 weeks!  :)

 

Thats great, glad you could reach her.

 

You mind me asking, how much was the belt? The standard cost of the other wide basic belts?

post #27909 of 46522
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinngiskhaan View Post


thanks for the input!  Of course 3 pair of shell shoes is going to last longer than 3 pair of calf shoes, but will 3 pair of shell shoes last as long as 6 pair of calf shoes?  Also, when I say "lasting" I'm not talking about how long the shoe will last before it completely falls apart and renders itself impossible to wear, I'm talking about how long a shoe will last before it becomes unpleasant to the eye.

 

From the pictures I have seen of shell shoes on this website.  The rolls on their shoes are significant enough that the model of the shoe is nearly unrecognizable.  I saw a few pair of brown shell shoes that looked not unlike the surface of a pan of freshly baked brownies (extremely wavy).

 

I see that the patina of shell is better, and that it improves over time.  I also see that people seem to think that shell cordovan smells better.  It seems that the advantage of shell is that the color is not just polish slathered on top of the leather, but rather the leather is tanned in such a way that the color of the leather itself is changed, which is why scuffs are more easily buffed out.

 

Is shell cordovan thicker/heavier than calf?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cold Iron View Post

Yes it normally is thicker than calf, but it can depend and there is lined vs. unlined. Most of my shell has very little in the way of rolls but then again that is another reason that I stick with AE for the most part, 1 and 5 last especially fit me extremely well. And fit is very important to me. You have received some great replies already, and I agree with pretty much everything else said. The only .02 I could add is that only you can determine if shell is worth it, that is up to you in the end. But also be warned that englade is correct...

 

Cold Iron already touched on the thickness question.  It's thickness and inconsistency that make most wearers fan of it, is also what makes some shoemakers dislike working with it.

 

I want to touch on what I bolded in your comment above though.  Make sure you fully understand what shell is.  It is called "leather" and it is considered leather by the tanneries that make it.  It is classified as leather.  However, it isn't skin.  It is a muscle sheath.  Specifically, the muscle sheath that lies directly under the skin of the hind quarters of the horse.  As such, it has completely different properties than traditional leather.  What you touched on regarding the depth of color is actually applicable to all leather.  Cheap leather is only tanned on the surface.  Good leather is tanned all the way through.  Here's a decent summary: http://www.saddlebackleather.com/Leather-101

 

The tanning methods of shell are uniquely done because they are required to turn the raw material into what we call shell cordovan.  It is not just a different method of tanning skins.  In other words, you can't take a piece of cowhide and impart the same properties into it by tanning it with the same methods as shell cordovan and end up with the same product.  

 

As for whether 6 pairs of calf will outlast 3 pairs of shell, it's obviously impossible to say due to the number of variables (which are nearly limitless).  I would never presume to say one way or the other.  I think it's possible that 3 pairs of shell shoes could have uppers that are in better shape than 6 pairs of calf shoes after a certain period of time.  This is because each pair in a 6 pair rotation of calfskin shoes will still be worn frequently.  At some point, you will reach the level of having so many shoes that they are simply never worn enough to show it.  

 

However, don't miss what I said previously about the limited number of resolings that any Goodyear-welted shoe can take, no matter what it's made from.  Just because the leather can last a certain period of time, doesn't mean that the shoe can!  At some point, you will reach a level of diminishing returns due to the cost of shell.  When you can afford so many more pairs of calf due to it's lower cost, you will inevitably end up with a longer lasting collection of shoes at some point, if you keep adding pairs.  Then question is when.  Nobody can answer that with anything definitive. 

 

I think you are the only one who can answer whether a shoe is pleasant to the eye as far as that definition of "lasting" is concerned.  It's too subjective for anyone to really answer that for you.  Many here love "new" looking shoes, and others enjoy "old" looking ones.  

post #27910 of 46522
Quote:
Originally Posted by tifosi View Post

Sorry, CEE. That sucks.
Thanks, tifosi. If you need me, I'll be over in the Alden thread licking my wounds.
post #27911 of 46522

Hi,

 

Does anyone out there have the Townley, Lexington and Leeds?  I would really appreciate a side by side shot of the Leeds with the either Townley or Lexington, or both if available.  I am interested in comparing the length of the vamp, and subsequently the size of the opening for the foot.  I am trying to find a brogued blucher pattern in the 1-511 for an MTO and have narrowed it down to the Townley and Lexington.  But I want to make sure that the vamp proportion are indeed similar to the Leeds.  A side by side top shot would be awesome if available.

 

Thanks!

post #27912 of 46522
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyWellSpent View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pastor View Post

For me AE has the edge in a few categories. Price is the biggest. I went with the AE patriots in burgundy shell and brown shell over the Alden LHS. The reason was primarily price. I got both pair (as seconds) for what I would have paid for one pair of Aldens. Plus you can't even get Alden cigar right now. The other area where I like AE is with their non traditional colors. I have the Daltons in walnut shell and the Dundees in cappuccino shell. While these colors may be soon gone from AE I liked them and picked them up (at full retail) because of their uniqueness. If, in the future, all AE offers in shell is black, burgundy and the occasional brown then Alden will probably be the better value unless you can get AE's on sale.


For me Alden makes a great casual shoe/boot and all my Aldens are worn with casual dress. AE excels in dressier situations which for me is most of the time. Let's face it, $700 for shoes/boots is expensive and the quality/value is not there at that price point. For another $100 I can get Carmina Shell or even Vass calf which both of these are far higher quality than anything AE or Alden makes. I've even seen some Edward Green shoes on sale at the $850 price point.

The greatest strength that I see in AE is that their prices are low compared to other brands. If this changes then they will lose their appeal. $345 (the current price of calf models) is higher than what most people will pay for shoes but that price is at least attainable. I know i've personally turned 5-6 guys to AE who would have never paid that kind of price without some prompting and pushing from me. Now that they have tried AE they will be customers for life unless the prices continue to sneak up. If that happens they will probably move to other brands. AE has a great niche in the market between lesser quality brands such as Cole Haan, Johntson and Murphy, Kenneth Cole and higher quality brands such as Crockett and Jones and Carmina. In my opinion AE needs to stay in that niche and if on occasion they can offer something unique (like they did with the walnut and cappuccino webgems) then all the better.

Well said.  I think AE is fully aware of this niche that they have created which is largely due to their price point.  I'd be surprised if it ever significantly changes.  I am sure prices will inevitably sneak up, but the prices of the other brands will likely sneak up accordingly.  Thus, the niche will likely still exist.  

Well said and pointed out, guys.
post #27913 of 46522
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerP View Post

Buying shell because you admire appreciate its beauty, rarity and unique properties makes sense to me. Trying to justify the cost on the basis of whether x number of shell shoes will last longer than y number of calf shoes just doesn't make any kind of sense to me at all. Do some reasearch on how much many shoes can be derived from a single horse (generally one pair only) versus one cow (a dozen - 16 pair?). Then factor in the length of time it takes to tan shell versus other leathers. The consider how many tanneries produce shell versus other leathers. These all contribute to the increased price for shell. Bottom line - if you don't like the look of shell, why are you even considering it?

Well said, People really should decide their price point first before deciding which shoes to buy, it's a law of diminishing returns on all high end items, if you only looking at value vs quality, then you never need to buy luxury items.
post #27914 of 46522
Money, thanks for the information on shell, with all theses qualities, it's not that common in European shoes, I am sure there are plenty of horses in Europe.
post #27915 of 46522

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Hey guys, I just picked up some killer AE's at a thrift store, thought you guys would appreciate a look. 

 

I guess they were a limited edition for the 1992 Olympics. Size 10.5 D. Sadly, they dont fit. so they're available. 

 

 

 

 

 

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