or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Allen Edmonds vs. Alden--Which American Great Do You Prefer?!! OFFICIAL
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Allen Edmonds vs. Alden--Which American Great Do You Prefer?!! OFFICIAL - Page 16

Poll Results: Allen Edmonds or Alden!?

 
  • 46% (149)
    Allen Edmonds
  • 53% (170)
    Alden
319 Total Votes  
post #226 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by AldenLuver View Post

 

 

To those who are critical of Alden for its "clunkier" lasts, it's absurd to make that kind of a blanket statement.  While the barrie (and Trubalance) last is a bit round and chunky, I prefer it for my (business)-casual wardrobe.  The aberdeen last (and even the hampton last) is quite nice for my dressier needs.  I don't need a European tapered look that will destroy my feet after a long day.  I like my Strands, but will not go to it if I know I will be on my feet most of the day.

 

 

I have a pair of black Alden plain toe oxfords on the Plaza last, which is a very European tapered looking last, and they are sublime. Its actually the Alden last which fits me best, of the few I've tried. My other two pairs of Alden are on Barrie last, and are both true to size. The Barrie is known to run a little big, and these pairs are definitely roomy, but going down 1/2 size for me meant that I had some toe rubbing on the welts. The Plaza TTS though is perfect.

post #227 of 242

Aldens, I used to have couple pairs of AE. They are great and offered substantial upgrade over other lesser brands. Aldens however, are just so much more comfortable. Easier on my knees. Fits like a glove. After a day in a pair of aldens my feet feel like they are in clouds. Maybe Alden's lasts just fit me better. I don't know. But I know which brand I prefer.

post #228 of 242
I have a strong preference for my Aldens from the 1980s.
post #229 of 242
I prefer Aldens, though AE has some nice shoes. My reasons are:
1. Steel shanks in Aldens. I know that AE uses a synthetic shank and though this is supposedly for safety reasons, I think it has more to do with cost savings. Im of the opinion that AE tries to sell this feature as a safety/FAA thing, when the reality is its a cost savings issue. I will concede that synthetic shanks are lighter than Steel, though it's a negligible difference. As someone who is in shoe repair and has chatted with multiple Cobblers about this, when a shoe ages or the glue around the synthetic shank ages, it tends to cause the shoe to squeek when you walk. This appears to be less likely with steel shanks.
2. "MADE IN USA" I understand that AE has their uppers stitched in the Dominican Republic and shipped to the Wisconsin plant to finish the shoe and this is done for cost savings, but I find it misleading that these shoes can be marked MADE IN USA under the regular Allen Edmonds brand and not the "AE by Allen Edmonds" which marks their Dominican Republic produced shoes just because the majority of labor is completed on US soil.
Unless I am purchasing running shoes, I prefer my shoes to be of USA or European origin.
3. As someone who is involved in shoe repair, I am further disappointed to encounter AE heel bases constructed from press-paper material (glued fragments of leather) and not actual stacked layers of layer.
That being said, AE makes a nice shoe by today's standards, but I would prefer to pay more to get more.
post #230 of 242
I own 31 pairs of AEs, 6 pairs of Aldens, and one pair of Crocket and Jones. All are well made shoes. There is a distinct and more robust feel to Aldens than AEs. I didn't get my first pair of Aldens until last year when I purchased a pair of Longwing No 8 Shell Cordovan. The steel shank provides more support and a more cushioned feel as you walk, particularly long distances. However, my AEs will never be replaced. I love the svelte look of AEs and having owned inferior products, I know AEs are premium quality and of good construction.

I can say, I will purchase more AEs because the price are great for what you get and the styles are unbeatable. Chunky or not, when I spend over $500 it will always be Alden. Regardless of looks, Aldens will get the nod when I spend above $500 because they feel more expensive. Below $300 it will be AE because they are always going on sale and for that price, they cannot be beat.

On another note, to save money I have purchased seconds from AE and I have a irregular pair of Aldens en route. Can't beat the savings. If you don't want either, Crocket and Jones makes one hellava pair of shoes as well.
Edited by reggieburris - 8/18/15 at 7:51pm
post #231 of 242

AE Strand

Alden 954

Alden 979

 

Alden 909

Alden 975

AE McGregor

AE LaSalle


Edited by reggieburris - 8/21/15 at 4:57am
post #232 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReppTiePrepster View Post

Comparison shots side-by-side...
Alden Ravello Wingtip Boots versus Allen Edmonds Walnut Shell Cordovan Dalton















A little different lighting...


Can't wait for Fall.....I have a pair of fresh ravello wingtip boots begging for some cool weather!
post #233 of 242

Alden for me.  They just look better.   Do they do something to prep their leathers prior to the dye and finish process ?

Why do AE 4 BB, with BB badging, often look better than AE's own products ?  Dove tail heels on AE ! ?

 

With comparable styles, yes, Alden costs more.  Are labor costs a factor ?  What does a Massachusetts journeyman union cobbler make at 5 years seniority,  at 15 years seniority ?  What does AE  pay in Wisconsin ?  AE offshores, too !  Which one is actually fair priced ?  Which one has a larger profit margin per unit cost ?

 

Looking at the entire Alden range dilutes the bulby, chunky concern. Nothing chunky about the 909, eg .

I'm on the fence over comfort. I once got a used pair of Alden Welterweights, downsizing for the Barrie last, and they were horrid.

The cork bed factor ?  Barries are not for me ?

 

There is more sizing consistency with Alden.

 

Although it is lowbrow to say "mass market" , with AE it's if it walks like a duck .......   For comparison, check the number of offerings for each on Ebay.   AE has been trying for years to be trendy or off edgy  with styling flops, and a higher style turnover.

AE is also offering more cemented and corrected grain styles.  Which is more important at AE,  market share or a flawless pair of shoes ?  Where QC is a problem, a peppy CS can step in.

 

All in all, I wonder where AE believes the future thrives ?  Is it with Alden and other premiums  (C&J, Trickers,  A.Sarge, etc),

or with  the likes of  (shhhh !)  C--O---L---E   H--A ---------------  ?

 

I wish there were more Alden sales !!

post #234 of 242
This is like saying Crocket and Jones or the Herring store brand
post #235 of 242
Resurrecting an old thread.... On average I's say Alden is a little better if only for consistency. AE at its best is very close to Alden. I bought my first AEs in 2004. At the time the quality was quite good. Around 2008/09 the quality really started to slip. Either they switched to a lower quality calfskin or a more plasticky finish. This was about the time they switched to black insoles/linings. I do think Paul has fixed most of their quality problems. The heels are so still crap and can not survive a Chicago winter. A little bit of salt and they fall apart. i am slowly having all my AE recrafted on dainite soles.

Alden has been more consistent over the years. There are 3 reasons I don't own more:
1) Sizing. Alden are difficult to fit. I can swing from a 10e to 11.5d depending on the last. I have returned more pairs than I own. AE are much more consistent across shoes. I am a 10.5e in their bluchers, 10.5eee/11e in balmorals and can't wear their loafers. The loafers are too tight across my instep. I don't need to know which last they are built on, with AE I know what size I will be based on the style. And of course, it is much easier to be fitted in person with AE.

2) Price. Alden never go on sale, AE routinely does. AE on sale is about half the price of Alden. I wear my shoes. They don't sit on a shelf in a museum. Yes I will pay for quality but at the end of the day, it is still a utilitarian object. AE has a nice trade off between quality and price.

3) Style. AE is good about introducing new styles every season so they get me on impulse buys.

I am happy with the Alden I own. Quality is superb. I have a whisky shell chukka, black cap toe balmoral, indy boots and a tobacco chamois longwing. Each one is a different size. That is the real issue with me.
post #236 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by valentinasmj View Post

Resurrecting an old thread.... On average I's say Alden is a little better if only for consistency. AE at its best is very close to Alden. I bought my first AEs in 2004. At the time the quality was quite good. Around 2008/09 the quality really started to slip. Either they switched to a lower quality calfskin or a more plasticky finish. This was about the time they switched to black insoles/linings. I do think Paul has fixed most of their quality problems. The heels are so still crap and can not survive a Chicago winter. A little bit of salt and they fall apart. i am slowly having all my AE recrafted on dainite soles.

Alden has been more consistent over the years. There are 3 reasons I don't own more:
1) Sizing. Alden are difficult to fit. I can swing from a 10e to 11.5d depending on the last. I have returned more pairs than I own. AE are much more consistent across shoes. I am a 10.5e in their bluchers, 10.5eee/11e in balmorals and can't wear their loafers. The loafers are too tight across my instep. I don't need to know which last they are built on, with AE I know what size I will be based on the style. And of course, it is much easier to be fitted in person with AE.

2) Price. Alden never go on sale, AE routinely does. AE on sale is about half the price of Alden. I wear my shoes. They don't sit on a shelf in a museum. Yes I will pay for quality but at the end of the day, it is still a utilitarian object. AE has a nice trade off between quality and price.

3) Style. AE is good about introducing new styles every season so they get me on impulse buys.

I am happy with the Alden I own. Quality is superb. I have a whisky shell chukka, black cap toe balmoral, indy boots and a tobacco chamois longwing. Each one is a different size. That is the real issue with me.

I'm confused... you said you think Alden is better, but most of your reasons seem to sound like you prefer AE.
post #237 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyWellSpent View Post

I'm confused... you said you think Alden is better, but most of your reasons seem to sound like you prefer AE.

The build quality of Alden is higher and more consistent, in my experience. AE is more accessible to me, cheaper, and easier to fit, so I own more of them.
post #238 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by valentinasmj View Post

The build quality of Alden is higher and more consistent, in my experience. AE is more accessible to me, cheaper, and easier to fit, so I own more of them.

Fair enough.

For what it's worth, I've dissected pairs from both makers, and found the Alden's to be a bit tougher to tear apart. Alden certainly uses some stronger components. They don't shy away from using plenty of nails, and of course there is the steel shank.

Alden's welt and sole finishing is undoubtedly superior to AE.

Believe it or not, both makers use some cheap synthetic components in the heel stacks of the main line shoes, including fiberboard.
post #239 of 242
I think I mentioned it in my earlier post, but my alden heal stacks have stood up much better to chicago winters. (Yeah I know I should wear rubbers over my shoes but I don't always. The weather here can be unpredictable). A little salt and snow and the AE heals delaminate pretty quickly. I guess the nails in Alden help. I do like the AE dainite soles and will eventually have all my AE recrafted onto them.
post #240 of 242

Own seven pairs of Alden and have owned many pairs of Allen Edmonds shoes most of which I have donated except for two pairs of shell cordovan AEs  Alden and AE both make very high quality shoes although I have to give a slight nod in quality control to Alden.

 

The ultimate answer is -- WHICH ONE FITS BETTER?  If you have standard happy feet, it's may not be so clear.  Because both manufacturers have a variety of lasts for different types of feet, you may find comfort in either Alden or AE.  For my particular hard-to-fit feet, Alden wins hands down.

 

The Alden modified last is the only last among any I've ever tried that keeps my dogs happy all day.  I have a huge wide forefoot and the typical Asian pronating style with a high arch (typical of many Japanese and Korean feet).  When I discovered AE's wide variety of styles with EEE width, I was pleased.  But when I discovered the Alden modified last in my EEE width, I discovered pedal heaven.

 

It follows that I purchase most of my Aldens from the NY shoestore that specializes in the Alden modified last and has a wide selection styles in the modified last which are not available from any other Alden dealer.  This particular shoe store has an extremely loyal following of customers who, like me, keep returning for the Alden modified last.  When I was young and poor, I thought I was saving money by buying Allen Edmonds at discounts or sales.  But this did not end up being the case since I have gotten rid of all of those shoes (and thus wasted money).  I just never wore my AEs them because my modified last Aldens are far far far more comfortable.

 

So Alden.  No question.  But that's just me.  Unlike the prior poster, I find Alden sizes extremely consistent.  The variation in lasts is much more extreme than in Allen Edmonds shoes... especially with more orthopedic lasts like the Trubalance or the Modified last.  Like any shoe, once you learn your size in a particular last, you're good!


Edited by bkdc - 7/6/16 at 6:56pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Allen Edmonds vs. Alden--Which American Great Do You Prefer?!! OFFICIAL