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Alden worth the price diff over AE? (can of worms) - Page 3

post #31 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by gomestar View Post
I do not believe that Alden's are a better product over AE necessarily, I merely appreciate the smaller firms/operations that aren't pushing out object after object on an assembly line. I believed this well before SF.

Can anybody actually prove that Alden is not this?
post #32 of 137
AE suffers from the lack of mystique associated with being a larger operation. When it's so widely available, both in stores and online, it loses some of its luster.
post #33 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
There's a quality about AE's that's always made me winch and I can never quite put my finger on it. I think it's something to do with the finishing and shape that strikes me as obnoxiously bland. In fact, Aldens are much less uniform pair to pair. I'm not sure if that means Alden pays less attention to detail, but their shoes wind up looking and feeling much more like lovingly crafted objects and less like widgets pumped off an assembly line.

"Winch" or "wince," counsellor?

Curious, in most types of manufacturing, product uniformity is considered a sign of superior quality control.
post #34 of 137
I prefer my Alden shoes to my AE shoes simply for look and comfort. I feel that the construction quality is slightly better in the Alden's as well.
post #35 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee_44106 View Post
Can anybody actually prove that Alden is not this?

I can't comment on actual machines used. I can only form my opinion on the little information I have available or care to find.

That said, I think AE are great shoes and I have recommended them to many people.
post #36 of 137
I've got four pairs of each [dress shoes, anyway] that I wear with any frequency. I honestly can't compare them since they're all very different styles. Most of the Aldens are casual and the AEs dressier. The only comparable styles I've got in both are captoes and the AE last and styling are better in just about every respect. The Alden is superior in construction, however (combination heel, closer-cut sole). Can't compare the leather since I don't have a single smooth calf pair of Aldens. The Alden suede example that I have is definitely nicer than the AEs, though.
post #37 of 137
I think Alden has really pulled ahead in the last ~2 years. Allen Edmonds' downshift into lower grade leather uppers for some shoes and their misstep on switching to rock hard insoles (since corrected?) were really bad moves IMO.

I like AE's longwing better, if only for the more robust stitching on the uppers.
post #38 of 137
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrZRM View Post
To some extent, this forces you to decide if you measure the inherent quality of a brand by the overall shoe company or from a single shoe. I have a few pairs of AE shoes in my closet (Mora and a cap toe I can't remember the name of) as well as many pairs of Aldens (Ultimate Indy, long wings in calf and shell, cap toe [maybe...anyway I have a #8 cap toe boot on order from Leathersoul.com], wing tips, etc.). While I hate loafers (especially with any sort of tassle) I recognize thier place in a shoe wordrobe, and there are very few shoes in the Alden line that actually make me cringe when I see them. On the other hand, AE has bicycle toes, square toes, rubber soles (I know Alden have a few of these too) not to mention the whole Italian knockoff Seven line. I go into the AE store and there is a tiny percentage of the shoes I like, much much smaller than the percentage of Alden's I like and would think about buying.

I admit that the Mora is a great looking shoe, however, I believe it is no longer made? If it is no longer made, would the AE Shoe Banks be the best place to find a pair?

I have a pair of AE Hillcrest's which utilized a bicycle toe... frankly I think the shoes look quite distinctive and different than what I usually see on store shelves or people's feet.
post #39 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimslade View Post
Jon is back?

You're back, too?
post #40 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by greekgeek View Post
I think Alden has really pulled ahead in the last ~2 years.

I visited the SF Alden store today and learned a lot about the construction of Alden shoes and why they are so comfortable compared to most others, as well as a lot of useful info about shell. The guys in that store spent a lot of time with me, they were terrific.
post #41 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS View Post
I admit that the Mora is a great looking shoe, however, I believe it is no longer made? If it is no longer made, would the AE Shoe Banks be the best place to find a pair?
I thought it was still available as part of the classic collection, but it looks like it got cut sometime in the past year.

Quote:
I have a pair of AE Hillcrest's which utilized a bicycle toe... frankly I think the shoes look quite distinctive and different than what I usually see on store shelves or people's feet.

The hillcrest is probably the nicest mass-produced bicycle toe shoe you can get. The key difference is that it was on a round toe last, not on the typical square toe last that is often used for a bicycle toe.
post #42 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoVaguy View Post
I
The hillcrest is probably the nicest mass-produced bicycle toe shoe you can get. The key difference is that it was on a round toe last, not on the typical square toe last that is often used for a bicycle toe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS View Post
I have a pair of AE Hillcrest's which utilized a bicycle toe... frankly I think the shoes look quite distinctive and different than what I usually see on store shelves or people's feet.

Ah, the AE Hillcrest. And here I thought I was the sole forumite with an appreciation for it.





post #43 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJay View Post
You're back, too?

This whole exchange needs to be placed prominently on the SF banner, lording over the affiliates.
post #44 of 137
There are more attractive Alden models than AE models by far, but for models I like, I'd take the AE and save the dough.
post #45 of 137
At this point I own rougly 20 pair of AE and only 1 pair of Alden (the 966's in my avatar).
It barely qualifies me to provide a comparison but I will say this;
I am very happy with my AE's..all of them. They are all comfortable and wear well.
My Alden 966 wingtips are even more comfortable than most of my AE's,
and based on that I will be buying more Alden in the future.
There are about half a dozen Alden & AE models I intend to buy yet.
Both are worth the money and I will say that Alden is worth the extra $$.
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