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Allen Edmonds Dalton - shell cordovan in walnut

post #1 of 93
Thread Starter 
http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline/producti_SF0131_1_40000000001_-1

I ordered a pair this afternoon. What I learned from the sales manager:
- this is the first time AE has been able to secure walnut cordovan from Horween. They are quite excited.
- they clearly have some uppers already prepared. I'm told to expect my shoes within a couple of weeks.
- the sole is the same double sole from the calf Dalton. Upper is shell cordovan. Tongue and quarters are unlined; the rest is lined.
- $100 off if ordered by December 13 or so
- the shoe runs large. I am a 12E in the Cambridge shell; I went 11.5E for this one.

For the price, this could be one of the best deals for shell cordovan boots on the market.
post #2 of 93
I believe the soles are JR like all their other cordovan offerings. Also, I think this last is more true to size.

Not sure if the quarters are lined or not.
post #3 of 93
Nice I probably would have jumped on this had I not recently bought the Lindrick boot. Walnut shell is awesome.
post #4 of 93

I spoke to Mark McNeil, A&E's chief designer, last October 4.  He told me the walnut cordovan is a very early proprietary color held for AE for years by Horween and recently rediscovered by AE.  The color is called "truffle."  The soles on the calfskin Daltons are the same used on the Wolverine 1000-mile boot, since Wolverine contracted with AE to assemble their cordovan line.  But the limited cordovan line appears to feature the Redenback double-oak sole.  I have the calfskin - they're a grand pair of boots - but wish I held out for the cordovan.

 

post #5 of 93
Too bad AE lasts are so damn ugly and their fit and finish is sub-par.

Oh well, I guess you get what you pay for.
post #6 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patek View Post

Too bad AE lasts are so damn ugly and their fit and finish is sub-par.
Oh well, I guess you get what you pay for.

So true. Hard to understand all these stupid, middle class losers who choose to spend "only" $500 on a pair of AE shells.
post #7 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by reidrothchild View Post

So true. Hard to understand all these stupid, middle class losers who choose to spend "only" $500 on a pair of AE shells.

Is this an attempt at sarcasm? It has nothing to do with price. AE makes ugly, blobby shoes with very questionable finishing and workmanship. With all of the sales going on over the holidays, you can do much better for around the same price. Yes, other shoes start at around $1,000 but you can pick them up on sale around the $500 mark with $1,000 dollar shoe materials and finishing and much more handsome lasts.

I guess I should have said you get somthing close to what the original price was.
post #8 of 93
Thread Starter 
Patek, what is your experience with AE shells?

My limited experience is that they are quite good and seemed to be finished to a substantially higher standard than the calf shoes. My current pair is easily the match of my C&J hand grade in terms of detailing, construction, finish, and being shell, the AE "blob" look actually works out well since most shell cordovan shoes struggle with sleekness anyway.

I agree with your comments on the AE calf shoes, but those are half the price of these, or less.

Outside of the rare Ralph Lauren 4 hour sale, how often do shell cordovan boots appear at this price point?
post #9 of 93

These criticisms of A&E seem misplaced to me; A&E occupies a venerable spot in the American marketplace, long since abandoned by the others in their peer group, like Cole Haan, J&M and Florsheim.  They represent accessible, USA-made, high-quality shoes made for the professional man who may not earn the wage that allows him easy access to George Cleverley.  That A&E is now lumped together with -- and critiqued against -- bespoke makers or upper-tier shoemakers like Lobb, E. Green or even Alden, is more a mark of its success than its lapses. 

 

As late as the 1990s, one could still choose among a gamut of American shoemakers get a quality American-made product, and even chose among a range of styles in shell cordovan from makers like J&M, Florsheim and Hanover.  Now we have only A&E left.  Every time I take out my J&M Aldrichs from fifteen years ago and realize I can't replace them because J& M now makes only crap, I thank God for A&E.  A&E stuck to their guns when the others capitulated to the sterile cyniscms of profit margins over loyalty to the American shoemaking tradition.  They deserve praise for that, not flyspecking over aesthetic considerations more appropriate to a significantly different market niche. 

 

post #10 of 93

MWSH, I agree completely. Because Allen Edmonds is now the entry level "nice shoes" maker instead of many in the class, they get grouped together with all other "expensive shoes." Essentially anything you can't buy for under $200 at a Macys.

 

That's really unfair. AEs offer a much higher quality shoe than anything you can get in a department store at an affordable price. On sale they often dip under $200. Because they have no peers, they get compared to other high end shoes, almost all of which cost more money and were never meant to be the equal of Allen Edmonds.

 

I have a pair of Florsheims I picked up a few years ago from the thrift store with the tags still on them. They're a wonderful and not chunky walnut PTB. I love them to death and would love to replace them as my daily wear shoes, but Florsheim doesn't make anything nearly as nice anymore. I even went to the store and looked at everything, it was either significantly uglier than my shoes, or the leather was basically painted plastic.

 

I do have a pair of Florsheim Imperial black captoes that were just too cheap to pass up ($70 with a free tree) though. :)

post #11 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by MWSH View Post

I spoke to Mark McNeil, A&E's chief designer, last October 4.  He told me the walnut cordovan is a very early proprietary color held for AE for years by Horween and recently rediscovered by AE.  The color is called "truffle."  The soles on the calfskin Daltons are the same used on the Wolverine 1000-mile boot, since Wolverine contracted with AE to assemble their cordovan line.  But the limited cordovan line appears to feature the Redenback double-oak sole.  I have the calfskin - they're a grand pair of boots - but wish I held out for the cordovan.

Hardly proprietary... Ron Rider offered this color last year.
post #12 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by swiego View Post

Patek, what is your experience with AE shells?

My limited experience is that they are quite good and seemed to be finished to a substantially higher standard than the calf shoes. My current pair is easily the match of my C&J hand grade in terms of detailing, construction, finish, and being shell, the AE "blob" look actually works out well since most shell cordovan shoes struggle with sleekness anyway.

I agree with your comments on the AE calf shoes, but those are half the price of these, or less.

Outside of the rare Ralph Lauren 4 hour sale, how often do shell cordovan boots appear at this price point?

I just picked up the C&J for BB shell boots for $533 or something like that. I am bothered by the finishing of my Alden shell boots, but have to admit that I have never seen AE shells, just figured they would be below Alden.
post #13 of 93
I have 2 pairs of AE shells (1 vintage, 1 newer) that are awesome. redenbach soles, high quality shell, solid build quality, etc.

I will say other AE do have cheap leather that obviously feels cheap

I have 2 pairs of C&J shell boots which are a step above, but the AE are awesome as well.
post #14 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patek View Post

I just picked up the C&J for BB shell boots for $533 or something like that. I am bothered by the finishing of my Alden shell boots, but have to admit that I have never seen AE shells, just figured they would be below Alden.

AE shell is the only shell I've worn, so I can't dispute that C&J's is nicer. I've examined BB's and Ralph Lauren's shell offerings, and I can't say my admittedly untrained eye could discern any difference. But I think the problem with comparing your $533 BB boots to AE is that the price you got for those boots is a price you can get for maybe 3-4 days out of the entire year. AE shell shoes RETAIL for $550, and you can get seconds under $400 any day of the year. So I don't think it's fair to compare AE to a pair of boots that retails for nearly double just because you got them for 1/2 off during a very small sale window.

"AE makes ugly, blobby shoes with very questionable finishing and workmanship." Every part of this statement is purely subjective.
post #15 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by reidrothchild View Post

AE shell is the only shell I've worn, so I can't dispute that C&J's is nicer. I've examined BB's and Ralph Lauren's shell offerings, and I can't say my admittedly untrained eye could discern any difference. But I think the problem with comparing your $533 BB boots to AE is that the price you got for those boots is a price you can get for maybe 3-4 days out of the entire year. AE shell shoes RETAIL for $550, and you can get seconds under $400 any day of the year. So I don't think it's fair to compare AE to a pair of boots that retails for nearly double just because you got them for 1/2 off during a very small sale window.
"AE makes ugly, blobby shoes with very questionable finishing and workmanship." Every part of this statement is purely subjective.

Well, not every part if that statement is subjective. When you can visually see defects at an arms length and the leather looks like plastic is is hardly subjective. My opinion on their styling is subjective, so I agree with you on that. However, my opinion that most Victoria Secret models are hot is also subjective.

My whole point is that you can get much better shoes for the same price if you shop around. While I sometimes buy things at full retail (such as the Alden Indy shell boots that I just picked up), I would venture to say that most people here on SF love to get 50-60% off a much better quality item than pay full retail for a decent item. This time of year there are plenty of sales...
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