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Help choosing AE's

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm tired of wearing out dress shoes that never really look great after the first month of wear, and thanks to the advice on this forum decided to invest in a pair of Allen Edmonds dress shoes. This is a long term investment and I'm hoping to get some style advice. I wear suits or sport jacket daily and rarely with a tie. Charcoal and grays are worn the most, and I want a brown pair of AE's.

1. I like the look of split toe's like the lasalle, delray and possibly parkway (although, I'm unsure about the heavy stitching). Is something like the kenilworth going to be more timeless or am I ok with the split toe? I prefer the look of split, but don't want something that's out of style in three years. Among the split toe styles, are any preferred for comfort?

2. Are the chili colors too light or red to go with charcoal or navy? I assume brown burnished is safe, but they aren't quite as rich in color.

I appreciate any feedback.
post #2 of 8
Welcome to Styleforum. Most of the stylings are well established so they don't 'go out of style' per se. it comes down to fulfilling a need and when essentials are covered, your preferences. Nothing wrong with doing Chili with grey. Their Burnished Walnut finishes are probably the most popular after black.
Some afficianados on the forum dislike split toes, though I have never seen them fully articualte as to why. Personally I have several split toed shoes, AE & other though I only wear them casually. Whatever pleases you is what you should own.
post #3 of 8
Cap or plain toe would be my choice if longevity and flexibility are of primary concern, though I have no issue with split toe and own them myself.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Then again, the Strands are really growing on me. Definitely a bit outside my comfort zone, but they are really sharp!
post #5 of 8

I have Strands and my Cronmok is being shipped. I used to own McTavish, Park Avenue...

 

Love those shoes. Can't go wrong with AE
 

post #6 of 8

Why exactly don't your shoes look good after the first month? Could it be because you beat the shxt out of them and don't use any maintenance tools/products? If that's the case, then buying AE's could be a very expensive mistake.

post #7 of 8
The LaSalle and Delray look like they are on the same last and are on a different last from the Parkway. The Strand is on a different last. Comfort really depends on how well a particular last fits your feet, so the best thing to do is to try them on.

I think that black or dark brown are the best shoe colors if you are wearing a suit and tie, but if you are wearing odd jackets and trousers with no tie, you have a bit more flexibility in both design and color. I personally prefer chili with grey trousers as opposed to navy, but it sounds like you mostly wear grey in various shades anyways. None of those designs are going to go out of style anytime soon, so it comes down to your preference. I really like the Strand of the ones you mentioned, but you of course have to wear it. I personally dislike split toes. I don't have a good rationale for this; it's just a personal taste thing. They are a more casual feature, but your dress doesn't sound formal enough that this would be an issue.

If you want a shoe to wear with a suit and tie, the Strand is probably your best choice of them all as it is a balmoral rather than a blucher. A busy balmoral for sure, but still more formal in my mind than a split toed blucher. I'd go Park Avenue or Fifth Avenue for wear with a suit and tie, but it sounds like you don't have to do this very often and you're better off getting shoes that actually match the level of formality of your usual dress. Eventually get something more formal for when you need it, but for the sport coat and trousers sans tie look, any of the ones you mentioned are fine.

Also, have at least two pairs that you rotate (more is better). The reason is that shoes wear out much faster and get beat up more quickly when you wear them everyday and don't give them a chance to rest between wearings. Also make sure you polish them and clean them to keep them looking good.

Good luck selecting your shoes and welcome to SF.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyMac View Post

Why exactly don't your shoes look good after the first month? Could it be because you beat the shxt out of them and don't use any maintenance tools/products? If that's the case, then buying AE's could be a very expensive mistake.

Nope, the issue was cheap leather that never looked great even after polish and I seem to quickly/unevenly wear the inside of all-rubber heels. I'm a former military guy. If I learned one thing, it was how to dress leather.
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