Good call on the lace to toe issue. I didn't immediately see it at first but you're right I'm also not a fan of the lace to toe (guess this shows how much I need to up my shoe game). I could go either way on the wedge sole though. The other AE I'm considering is the Branch (pictured below) but I'm not sure again how they'd compare to the Beckman. Would a coat of HDLP every couple of months keep the shoe pretty well protected over the winter?
Also the second shoe pictured is the Ugg Hannen (which took me a lot of convincing to even open on my browser) has an waterproof upper and the fur lining which sounds decent. I'm not a huge fan of the white sole in a work environment either.
Yes the Long Branch would be another option IMO, especially with more casual wear. The larger sized holes in the brogueing make it more informal to me. Not sure how waterproof the leather is or if you even need to waterproof it. I have used HDLP for quite a few years and it will waterproof any leather as long as the welt isn't too open and it is a well made boot. The RW Beckman, Wolverine, and AE are all well made boots and I have some from each. Another option is the AE Bayfield which I have in both CXL and black calf. You can only get the Bayfield through Lands End now and only in size D, and in just CXL. I am normally a D width and that is what I purchased and they fit well, but your not going to get a heavy winter sock in there. Honestly it isn't needed unless your going to be outside for a longer period of time. I've worn mine in the 20's below zero F walking to and from work. LE has a 30% off code right now so I checked but as usual the Bayfields are exempt and are hard to get at below full price at LE, which is $350.
They can take a fair amount of abuse:
And still clean up well:
I have never owned a white wedge sole before but would think it would be a bear to keep clean with winter slush. However a fair number of people must like them.