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AE Independence Collection

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Have any of us taken a look at Allen Edmonds Independence Collection shoes in person? Any opinions on how they measure up vis-a-vis construction and design?

The local store has only had a couple of display shoes. I did notice that they have a level of finish much higher than the regular AEs and more in line with what I saw at the NYC C&J store. The soles were quite nicely finished. No shoes to try on so no way to measure comfort or fit. The leather was indeed softer than the other shoes but I'm hard-pressed to say it is better. More luxurious feeling, perhaps.

Cost is around $400 which seem to be a weird price point. Has anyone bitten, or looked into them strongly enough to form an opinion?
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by swiego View Post

Have any of us taken a look at Allen Edmonds Independence Collection shoes in person? Any opinions on how they measure up vis-a-vis construction and design?
The local store has only had a couple of display shoes. I did notice that they have a level of finish much higher than the regular AEs and more in line with what I saw at the NYC C&J store. The soles were quite nicely finished. No shoes to try on so no way to measure comfort or fit. The leather was indeed softer than the other shoes but I'm hard-pressed to say it is better. More luxurious feeling, perhaps.
Cost is around $400 which seem to be a weird price point. Has anyone bitten, or looked into them strongly enough to form an opinion?

My thoughts exactly. I saw a bunch and actually thought they were C&J shoes. I think the soles are a bit thicker but not quite double soles. And I also agree that 400 is a strange price because its not too much more than the standard AE's, and you can get C&J for not much more than that. Its certainly not like standard AE's in that they are decent but not amazing shoes that go on sale. These are in the higher range and I'd be reluctant to take the plunge. The heels aren't entirely rubber either.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm reluctant, too, but generic designs aside, I'm trying to figure out why. They seem to be high quality shoes at a good price.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
I took a closer look today. The finish had me feeling a bit mixed. The soles are amazing, and IMO give up nothing to much more expensive shoes. The insole also has a "this will last forever and feel comfortable all the way" feel to it. As to the uppers, on the outside they seem a bit softer and classier than the regular AE calf line, but it's hard to know without seeing one with a few wears on it. The inside was disappointing; there wasn't much if any lining that I could discern, and some of the stitching/seams/finishing on the inside, around the ankles, was a bit messy.

Overall I think it's a better shoe, but I don't think it's worth the markup given that (a) the designs are somewhat usual and dull and (b) for a few dollars more, you can get their cordovan shoes which I think are a striking bargain.
post #5 of 6
I ordered a few in the recent sale and was disappointed with the finish and quality control. See pictures below showing scratches, uneven nails, dents, etc. I am a big fan of AE and have several pairs from outside this collection, so this experience was a surprise. Maybe I got unlucky and got a lemon or two, but at this price range I would expect them to have checked these better at the factory. Back to the normal collection for me...









post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by swiego View Post

I took a closer look today. The finish had me feeling a bit mixed. The soles are amazing, and IMO give up nothing to much more expensive shoes. The insole also has a "this will last forever and feel comfortable all the way" feel to it. As to the uppers, on the outside they seem a bit softer and classier than the regular AE calf line, but it's hard to know without seeing one with a few wears on it. The inside was disappointing; there wasn't much if any lining that I could discern, and some of the stitching/seams/finishing on the inside, around the ankles, was a bit messy.
Overall I think it's a better shoe, but I don't think it's worth the markup given that (a) the designs are somewhat usual and dull and (b) for a few dollars more, you can get their cordovan shoes which I think are a striking bargain.

 

This.  The price point for these makes no sense as, if I'm going to spend $450 plus, I'm going to buy C&J and get a more stylish last.

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