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Allen Edmonds vs. Alden--Which American Great Do You Prefer?!! OFFICIAL - Page 2

Poll Results: Allen Edmonds or Alden!?

 
  • 45% (121)
    Allen Edmonds
  • 54% (146)
    Alden
267 Total Votes  
post #16 of 199
They are both good shoes. I have some of each. I tend to buy a lot of shell cordovan leather instead of calf and generally buy Alden cordos instead of AEs. I believe all my Aldens are shell cordovan.
post #17 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman View Post

They are both good shoes. I have some of each. I tend to buy a lot of shell cordovan leather instead of calf and generally buy Alden cordos instead of AEs. I believe all my Aldens are shell cordovan.

 

Admittedly, Alden does seem to have their shell down to more of a science than AE.  AE seems to get a bit more flak about the finish they put on the shell after they recieve it from Horween.  I haven't seen AE's new shell finish in person yet, but I am hoping they are making improvements that will make them much more desirable. 

post #18 of 199
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyWellSpent View Post

 

Admittedly, Alden does seem to have their shell down to more of a science than AE.  AE seems to get a bit more flak about the finish they put on the shell after they recieve it from Horween.  I haven't seen AE's new shell finish in person yet, but I am hoping they are making improvements that will make them much more desirable. 

 

Wait are they getting new finishes? When/how did you find out about this?  biggrin.gif

post #19 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadcammer View Post

allen edmonds, all day every day over alden

Why? Price?

Alden seems a no brainer.

I much prefer Alden if I have unlimited funds. Softer leather, padding on the inside (HUGE difference in comfort), sleeker lasts.
post #20 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by JermynStreet View Post

 

Wait are they getting new finishes? When/how did you find out about this?  biggrin.gif

 

Mostly through the Allen Edmonds Appreciation Thread.  Go there and do a search on "new cordovan finish" and you will find several members who have already recieved new shoes with the finish.  They implemented this several months ago, but all of the old stock hasn't been depleted yet.  So if you are buying some new cordovan shoes make sure you specifically request the new finish.

post #21 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd617 View Post


Why? Price?
Alden seems a no brainer.
I much prefer Alden if I have unlimited funds. Softer leather, padding on the inside (HUGE difference in comfort), sleeker lasts.

 

I don't think it is quite a no-brainer.  As you can see from reading through past posts in this thread as well as the many others to be found in Styleforum alone, there is much debate about the merits of both brands.  Many who have dozens of pairs of shoes (and therefore may arguably have "unlimited funds" still purchase both brands).  As for the comfort difference from the sock liner, what is your opinion on my comments from the previous page regarding this issue?  As I say in that post, comfort is definitely subjective, so please don't hear me saying that I think they are worthless.  I can definitely see how they would make the shoes more comfortable when being broken in, but what about when they are a year old?  Two years old?  The foam in the sock liner gets compressed, and it's effect becomes minimized.  I think that both AE and Alden have enough of a range in styles and lasts to say that it isn't quite fair to call Alden's "sleeker" across the board.  For example, the Alden LWB on the Barrie last is definitely not sleeker than the Allen Edmonds MacNeil on the 7-97 last.  It just isn't fair to generalize IMHO.   

post #22 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd617 View Post

Why? Price?
Alden seems a no brainer.
I much prefer Alden if I have unlimited funds. Softer leather, padding on the inside (HUGE difference in comfort), sleeker lasts.

quality control blows
price is far too high ($466 for calf, get the fuck out)
sleeker lasts? have you been drinking? Alden is pretty much the opposite of sleek. They have the blobbiest lasts in the business
I don't want padding on the inside, I like the AE leather insole. I'm not 90.
post #23 of 199
I have no experience with Alden because I can't afford Aldens. Believe me, I'd own plenty if I could. Heck, I'd be on a first name basis with the guys over at Leather Soul and Leffot. But while I'm willing to believe that Aldens might be better than AE, from a quality/price ratio perspective, AE knows no equal. Anything at or below its price point is significantly inferior in quality. Anything better in quality is only marginally better but for significantly more money. It helps that it's so easy to score an AE first quality on sale or closeout, not to speak of factory seconds.

Where AE also shines is with its superlative customer service. I've had several occasions to pick up the phone and call them or send an email. When I call, a well-informed and helpful human answers, fast. When I email, I get a similarly well-informed response. The few issues I've had resulted in generous and gracious responses. AE has earned my loyalty. One day I'll pick up a pair of Aldens, but I don't sense that I'm missing out on a lot. If I were to stray from the AE fold it would be to dabble in more exotic realms such as Trickers or perhaps a Continental shoe maker. Or for specialized stuff such as Rancourt's offerings.

I should add that CEO Grangaard's occasional contributions to threads at AAAC have been seriously classy. For anyone interested in American manufacturing and menswear, he merits hero status.
post #24 of 199
I have some of each brand. OK, a bunch of each. The shoo journey started with AEs at discount prices (and moved to a shell cordo) then I went to Alden for a couple of casual shoos and more shell (mostly via Leather Soul). Now I am a fan of C&J (Ralph Lauren) shell and leather shoes and Alden for casual shoes. The AE are great workhorse shoes or in the rain. They are all good at their various sale pricepoints. Lately AE is really becoming more innovative, while Alden seems to have QC issues.
post #25 of 199

Aside from its iconic cordovan LWB and PTB and maybe its unlined chukka and Indy boots, Alden has nothing appealing at its quality or price.

post #26 of 199

For me, it all depends on the model.  

 

AE makes better cap toes for me, as I simply love the Fifth Avenue in brown suede, but Alden's loafers, like the 987, are top notch. The Alden Shell Chukka is a standout, and nothing that AE makes in regard to a Chukka compares, IMO. The Leeds in shell cordovan is a close second to the Alden 990, but due to the higher vamp. However, I do like the height and shape of the 990's heel a bit more, which are a bit sleeker than that of the Edmonds' shoe.

 

I prefer Alden's Long Wing over the AE MacNeil counterpart, due to the more rounded toe box of the Alden, which makes the shoe a bit more versatile.   

post #27 of 199
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadcammer View Post


quality control blows
sleeker lasts? have you been drinking? Alden is pretty much the opposite of sleek. They have the blobbiest lasts in the business

 

Totally agree Quadcammer. I do love my Aldens, but they just feel so clunky. I'd like to see a bit more "tailoring" in the shoes. When I wear my AE Cambridges, they look filled out and fit nicely, not too snugly. My Aldens just feel heavy and like they were made for someone in the 1920s. A sleeker approach would do wonders for Alden.

post #28 of 199
I think Alden makes a slightly better shoe, at least when it comes to cordovan. However, AE is easily the superior company. Their customer service is top notch, they are available at more locations, and they are extremely flexible on MTOs. If they fit me better, every shoe I own would be AE.
post #29 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by JermynStreet View Post

Totally agree Quadcammer. I do love my Aldens, but they just feel so clunky. I'd like to see a bit more "tailoring" in the shoes. When I wear my AE Cambridges, they look filled out and fit nicely, not too snugly. My Aldens just feel heavy and like they were made for someone in the 1920s. A sleeker approach would do wonders for Alden.

Funny many people say the exact opposite foo.gif
post #30 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd617 View Post

Funny many people say the exact opposite foo.gif

you like alden, thats cool. But for an extra 1/3rd the price with dodgy quality control, why even consider alden. I can honestly say that I've never considered a shoe they produce
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