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The Allen Edmonds MTO Thread

post #1 of 5644
Thread Starter 

Howdy and welcome to the Allen Edmonds Made-to-Order (MTO) Thread!

 

The intent of this thread is to:

A) Provide information on the MTO background information and process

B) Provide information on expected MTO options (leathers, soles, welts, linings, etc.)

C) Provide and share ideas on new, unique and interesting MTOs

D) Share all of your awesome pictures of your custom made Allen Edmonds shoes.

 

Background Information:

 

Paul Grangaard posted the following post into the Allen Edmonds Appreciation Thread in his gratitude towards the enthusiasm towards Allen Edmonds on StyleForum.

 

Quote of Paul Grangaard (AE's CEO) (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenEdmondsCEO View Post

StyleForum Friends -

Thanks very much for your great interest and support of Allen Edmonds. I'm seriously impressed and, on behalf of the company, honored by the 615 pages in this thread. I want you to know that we strive to live up to your high standards every single day, not just in product quality and styling but also in customer service. Customized shoes require special processing and, as you'd expect, aren't as efficiently done as our long production runs of in-line shoes. However, in return for your support, if it's a leather we carry in another style that you'd like on your chosen shoe but is not currently offered -- or if it's a width on a legacy last (such as the 5, the 7, the 8 or the 1) that isn't currently offered -- just send me an email at pgrangaard@allenedmonds.com. If we can do it for you, we will. The pricing will be "ad hoc" based on degree of difficulty, but I'm eager to give you a special deal. If we can't do it, I'll explain why. In other words, we'll do whatever we can to return your loyalty and trust.

Thanks very much again to you all and best wishes,
Paul
 
 

Ordering Information:

 

The primary point of contact at Allen Edmonds for ordering shoes is Allison. Her contact information is as follows:

 

Allison of the Allen Edmonds Customer Assistance Center

E-mail: ameyer@allenedmonds.com

Phone: (262) 235-6428 (Mon-Fri 7am-6pm CST)

 

I personally highly endorse calling her to get the best and most expeditious service.

 

Design Options and Expected Pricing:

 

Pricing is typically based upon the type of leather that you select for the upper of your shoes. At the simplest level, AE has three primary price points.

 

Regular Leathers/Materials - Currently $365

Regular Leathers/Materials are typically Calfskin (Regular, Distressed, Wax Infused), Chromexcel, Dublin, Suede, and Sharkskin (rarely available).

 

Independence Leathers - Currently $495

The independence shoes are made out of premium distressed calf-skin leather. This provides a nicer (objective) look and a leather that is softer to the touch. They typically do a nice job of burnishing the shoes, particularly in the toe area.

 

Exotic Leathers - Currently $650

Predominantly, I am referring to Shell Cordovan, which is leather based upon the hind quarters of a horse. The leather has a much more dense fiber structure and is tanned by Horween in Chicago, IL for 6 months. Shell Cordovan typically has more of a shine (out of the box) than Calfskin does. Shell Cordovan tends to form larger, deeper "rolls" versus the fine creases typically observed in calfskin. Shell Cordovan is also most commonly known for its durability.

Ostrich skin is also available at this price point.

 

Reptile Leathers - Currently $2,400

Crocodile/Alligator skin in Black and Brown are available if money is no objective. This leather is subject to availability.

 

Boots - There is typically a surcharge for boots versus shoes. The calf Daltons cost $395 versus a shoe which runs $365 ($30 price increase). The Shell Cordovan Dalton costs $725 versus a shoe which runs $650 ($75 price increase).

 

Colors by Leather:

 

Allen Edmonds offers a wide variety of colors depending upon the material. Basic colors are as follows:

 

Calf-Skin - Black, Chocolate Brown, Brown, Burgundy, Merlot, Navy, Chili, Walnut, and Bourbon (which is Walnut burnished on the Black burnishing wheel).

Distressed - Smokey Gray, Brown, Tan, Olive, Navy, Red (think Nuemok)

Wax-Infused - Black and Natural (think McTavish)

Chromexcel/Dublin - Black, Brown, Golden Brown, Natural, Cognac (Dublin) (See this post)

Suede - Black, Bitter Chocolate, Olive, Snuff, Sand, Navy, Blue, White Nubuck

Sharkskin - Black and Chili

Premium Calf-Skin - Black, Brown, Burgundy, Walnut

Shell Cordovan - Black, Burgundy (Color 8), Brown - Formerly AE also offered Cappuccino and Walnut, but these colors are currently unavailable.

Ostrich - Black, Chili, and Brown

Crocodile/Alligator - Black and Brown

** This is not an authoritative or complete list, but gives you the basics.

 

Shell Cordovan Colors (Click to show)

Black

Burgundy (Color 8)

Brown

 

Exotic Leather Examples (Click to show)

Black Ostrich Height Streets

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, z1.1.0. ||B2

 

Black Gator, Black Gator, and Black Shark (courtesy of @polojock615).

 

Black and Chilli Shark (courtesy of @polojock615).

 

Colors and leathers can be combined depending upon your preference to create a certain look, such as the Broadstreet or Polo.

 

Welt:

 

The welt is a sturdy piece of leather that connects the shoe's upper to the sole. Allen Edmonds uses a Goodyear style welt to construct their shoes. The Goodyear welt allows Allen Edmonds to separate the upper from the sole several times to be able to replace the sole with minimal to no damage to the upper. The following types of welts are typically available for selecting from when designing your MTO.

 

Allen Edmonds offers to basic styles of welts. Typically the welt type is tied to the shoe model. Their welt types are:

  • Flat
  • Spilt-Reverse (a.k.a. Storm Welt)

 

Regular vs. Split Reverse Welt (Click to show)

Images from LeatherSoul (www.leathersoulhawaii.com)

 

Additional Technical Information on Welts (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyWellSpent View Post
 

There is some inconsistency between shoe manufacterers when it comes to welt terminology.  The MacNeil has a Split-Reverse Welt using AE's terminology.  Some call them Split-Reverse Storm Welts.  It isn't really doing anything to keep water out of your shoe other than adding a few more millimeters of height to the profile of the welt/sole edge.  I suppose it could theoretically keep out a bit more water if you are walking down a sloppy wet sidewalk by adding the small amout of extra height, but that's all it can do.  Water during a heavy storm, or if you step in a deep puddle will still spill over the top and have an entry route underneath the insole and into the cork cavity where it is stitched at the inseam.  It is really more of an aesthetic addition to the shoe to give it a heavier appearance. 

 

True storm welts (see this source: http://www.barbourcorp.com/pdf/welting_catalog.pdf) are built slightly differently and have more of a rounded bead effect up against the leather.  It will act more like weatherstripping on a door.  It will do a bit more to keep water out, but even they are not perfect.  It is simply the best that can really be expected short of going to more modern methods and materials such as Gore-tex or using molded rubber soles that bond to the leather upper like many hiking/work/hunting boots. 

 

Sometimes you will see a line of stitching around the upturned edge of the split-reverse welt, and many people have believed that this is an additional line of stitching that is sealing the upturned edge using waxed thread to prevent water entry.  This isn't the case, however.  The stitching in those cases is false, and it is purely decorative.  These are sometimes call "fudge welts."  Here is an AE McTavish using decorative stitching around the upturned edge of the split-reverse welt:

 

 

 

 

 

If the shoe is Goodyear-welted, these are pretty much the main options.

 

 

 

Alternatively, a Norwegian welt (not to be confused with the Norwegian Split-Toe design which is a decorative stitching of the uppers) actually has two functional rows of stitching.  See this diagram:

 

 

Therefore, if you see a shoe with two rows of stitching, first determine if it is Goodyear-welted, or Norwegian welt construction.  If it is Goodyear-welted (as most high-end shoes are) then one of the above scenarios should apply.  If it is Norwegian (again, not to be confused with the Norwegian Split-Toe design which is a decorative stitching of the uppers), then the crossection of this diagram is what you are looking at. 

 

 

 

 

Each of these welts can be offered in any of the following colors:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Chili
  • Buff
  • Natural

** This is not an authoritative or complete list, but gives you the basics.

 

Edging:

 

The following edging colors are typically available for selecting from when designing your MTO.

  • Black
  • Brown - Roughly equivalent to Alden's Dark Antique Edging
  • Brown Transparent - Roughly equivalent to Alden's Antique Edging
  • Light Brown Transparent / Toasted - Roughly equivalent to Alden's Light Antique Edging
  • Natural - No color added - a light cream color.

** This is not an authoritative or complete list, but gives you the basics.

 

Additionally, you can choose to stick with standard edging or Wheeled edging. I have included the following picture as a reference. The wheeled edge is a standard feature of Allen Edmond's Independence Collection. I personally really like wheeled edges, as I believe that it adds an extra level of refinement.

 

Wheeled Edges vs. Normal Edges (Click to show)

 

Soles:

 

The following types of soles are typically available for selecting from when designing your MTO. Allen Edmonds offers the following types of soles that can be added to nearly any shoe:

  • Single or Double Leather Regular Sole
  • Single or Double Leather Regular Sole with Dove-Tail Heel
  • Single or Double Leather Reinbach Sole with Combination Heel
  • Single or Double Butyl Leather Sole
  • Independence Collection Sole
  • V-Tread Sole
  • Tempest Combination Sole
  • Mini-Lug Tap Outsole
  • Standard Rubber Sole
  • Hamlet Rubber Sole
  • Othello Rubber Sole
  • VIP Rubber Sole
  • Danite (Black or Red) Sole
  • Vibram (Black or Natural (White)) Sole
  • Vibram Mini Lug Sole
  • Toby Mini Lug Sole

** This is not an authoritative or complete list.

 

Here are pictures of the soles that Allen Edmonds offers, taken from the bottom.

 

Allen Edmonds Sole Offerings (Click to show)

Regular Leather Sole (available in single or double)

Regular Sole with Dove-Tail Heel (available in single or double) 

Rendenbach Leather Sole with Combination Heel (available in single or double)

Butyl Leather Sole (available in single or double) - Offers superior wet surface performance from regular leather soles.

Independence Collection Leather Sole

V-Tread Sole

Tempest Combination Sole

Mini-Lug Tap Outsole (Photo courtesy of @bkotsko)

Standard Rubber Sole

Hamlet Rubber Sole

Othello Rubber Sole

VIP Rubber Sole

Danite Sole in Black

Danite Sole in Red

Vibram Rubber Sole in Black

Vibram Rubber Sole in Natural (White)

Vibram Mini-Lug Sole

Toby Mini-Lug Sole

 

Note, several of the soles, especially those that do not show stitching on the bottom will require a mid-sole of which the lower-sole is cemented to. This is to retain the recraftability of the shoe.

 

Sizing:

 

The shoes can be made in any size of which Allen Edmonds has a last in that size. You can get shoes made in different sizes if desired, i.e. Left in 10.5D and Right in 11C.

 

Belts:

 

I have tried several times to get a MTO belt done, unfortunately, when I tried to get one made, I was told that Paul did not want AE to make custom belts, due to safety concerns related trying to burnish the belts on the burnishing wheel.

 

Timeline:

 

The timeline for your MTO Allen Edmonds shoe can depend upon a variety of factors, such as leather availability, backlog at the factory, etc. But, it typically is quoted to take between 6-8 weeks to complete the order. Both of my MTOs to about 5 weeks, however others have experienced much longer waits, especially if their shoes were rejected from a quality assurance perspective and required remaking.

 

Questions/Comments:

 

Finally, if you have questions or comments, please feel free to PM me.

 

I will try and maintain this first post, so that it can be a reference for all future / basic inquiries.

 

Most importantly, please enjoy your new shoes and I hope that this is an useful resource to everyone who may be potentially interested in purchasing a MTO, bouncing ideas for your MTO, or sharing your MTO.

 

-Mike


Edited by mdubs - 3/9/14 at 9:37pm
post #2 of 5644
Thread Starter 

Here is my first Made-to-Order design.

 

Allen Edmonds Jefferson in Cappuccino Shell Cordovan.

 

*HONOR REDISCOVER AMERICA SALE PRICE

*CAPPUCCINO CORDOVAN
*MOCHA MILLED LINING AND INSOLE
*TONE ON TONE UPPER STITCH

*CHILI REGULAR WELT
*LIGHT BROWN TRANSPARENT EDGE DRESSING

*WHEELED AND FUDGE WELT LINE

*INDEPENDENCE SOLE AND HEEL 

 

Pictures:

 


 

Additional Pictures (Click to show)

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Mike

post #3 of 5644
Thread Starter 

Here is my second Made-To-Order design.

 

Allen Edmonds Harrison in Black Shell Cordovan.

 

*BLACK CORDOVAN
*MOCHA MILLED LINING AND INSOLE

*BLACK REGULAR WELT
*BLACK SOLE EDGE DRESSING

*INDEPENDENCE OUTSOLE AND HEEL

*WHEELED AND FUDGED EDGE 

 

Pictures:

 

 

Additional Pictures (Click to show)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Mike

post #4 of 5644
Awesome work, Mike! I will try and get some images of my MTO's up over the next few days
post #5 of 5644
Excellent idea, sir!

My MTOs so far:


Burnished Brown Calf Strand, V-Tread Combo sole, no medallion


Merlot Calf MacNeil, V-Tread Combo Sole with midsole added, brown edge dressing

(Edit: Specs added)
Edited by LeviMay - 2/28/14 at 7:49pm
post #6 of 5644
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeviMay View Post

Excellent idea, sir!

My MTOs so far:



 

Very nice shoes! May I ask the specs?

 

If I recall correctly, the first is a brown calf Strand without the toe medallion (everything else appears normal to me)? The second is a Merlot Calf MacNeil with a lighter edging?

 

-Mike

post #7 of 5644
Please post all details with your pics so we don't get the same questions over and over. I'm going to sub this thread
post #8 of 5644

Shell Franciscan MTO ($505)

 

BURGUNDY CORDOVAN
TONE ON TONE STITCHING
INDEPENDENCE LINING AND INSOLE
BLACK FLAT WELT
WHEELING AND FUDGING
INDEPENDENCE OUTSOLE
LIGHT BROWN TRANSPARENT EDGE DRESS 

 

AppleMark

 

AppleMark

 

AppleMark


Edited by GOP Shoe Guy - 2/28/14 at 8:44pm
post #9 of 5644

Walnut Shell Macneil MTO ($595 - seconds were $299)

 

*WALNUT CORDOVAN
*BROWN SPLIT REVERSE WELT

*DOUBLE RENDENBACH OUTSOLE 

 

AppleMark

 

This was my first MTO, and it didn't pass inspection. I fortunately was able to grab them as seconds when they got to the shoe bank. I think the flaw was the way the laces line up on the left shoe. Nonetheless, a great deal at second pricing. I then saw another walnut shell MTO, and decided to change the welt to natural on the remake. The laces still don't line up 100%, but I can live with it.

 

AppleMark

 

AppleMark

 

Here is the comparison of the two. 

 

AppleMark

 

 

 

 


Edited by GOP Shoe Guy - 2/28/14 at 8:45pm
post #10 of 5644
Amazing how much the welt changes the look between the two
post #11 of 5644

Eagle County MTO ($197)

 

*BOURBON CALF 2066
*TONE ON TONE STITCHING
**EXTRA BURNISH ON TOE AND HEEL AREAS

*BLACK SPLIT REVERSE WELT
*LEATHER MIDSOLE
*MINI LUG OUTSOLE
*BROWN TRANSPARENT EDGE DRESSING 

 

AppleMark

 

AppleMark

 

 

 


Edited by GOP Shoe Guy - 2/28/14 at 8:46pm
post #12 of 5644

Football Neumoks MTO during Custom Neumok sale ($199)

 

ALL FOOTBALL LEATHER

TONE ON TONE STITCHING

BUFF SPLIT REVERSE WELT

OAK LEATHER SOLE

 

AppleMark


Edited by GOP Shoe Guy - 2/28/14 at 8:46pm
post #13 of 5644
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOP Shoe Guy View Post


Walnut Shell Macneil MTO

AppleMark


GOP these are amongst my favorites of all the MTOs that I have seen. But Walnut Shell is my all time AE leather. You got very lucky indeed with this ordeal.

-Mike
post #14 of 5644
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdubs View Post

Very nice shoes! May I ask the specs?

Thanks!

Specs added to post.
post #15 of 5644
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOP Shoe Guy View Post

Eagle County MTO

*BOURBON CALF 2066

*TONE ON TONE STITCHING

**EXTRA BURNISH ON TOE AND HEEL AREAS
*BLACK SPLIT REVERSE WELT

*LEATHER MIDSOLE

*MINI LUG OUTSOLE

*BROWN TRANSPARENT EDGE DRESSING 

AppleMark


Quote:
Originally Posted by GOP Shoe Guy View Post

Football Neumoks MTO during Custom Neumok sale

ALL FOOTBALL LEATHER
TONE ON TONE STITCHING
BUFF SPLIT REVERSE WELT
OAK LEATHER SOLE

AppleMark

Holy cow GOP, you are really eating up this MTO program! Somehow I didn't connect all of these shoes to you!

With that said, your Eagle Country's are amazing. And I am pretty sure those football leather Wingtips would make you the talk of the town at any tailgate party.
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