If you like them, then rock them.
In the words of Richard Feynman, "What do you care what other people think!"
Agree. The 'new' MTO will take aim at the cost of variation, so an associate likely can allow the C with upcharge.
Merlot McAllisters came in last night. I'll try and get pics up later showing them next to my Oxblood and Dark Chili Strands. In a nutshell - the burnished parts of the Oxblood look identical to the Merlot, can't tell them apart, but the unburnished parts of the Oxblood are lighter and more red.
The 511 last is definitely more generous in the ball of the foot than the 65, though some find they are not happy with the length compared to their 65's in the same size. The same length is fine for me. I size 8E in 65 balmorals, and comfortably wear 8D in my Dundees. I can go either size in the Dalton, but prefer the 8E because I like to wear them with fairly thick boot socks. My bannock is 8.5 in length, and I straddle the D/E line.
Hope that helps.
I'm the same except with 9E 9D. I've looking to make a dundee purchase, so far only gone as far as trying them on in store.
What happened to all of the soles?
I recently received a Sole Conversion guide from AE when I was planning a recrafting. The list contained 7 options for customers:
Single oak, double oak, VIP rubber, V Tread Rubber, Othello, Toby mini-lug and Dainite.
This is a drastic change from just 5 years ago when the 2011 fall catalog boasted of "25 superbly crafted soles." I offer this to show changes in the production options in the past half decade and a reference to the age of some of the shoes we encounter with other soles.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
To be fair some of those belong to non-recraftable shoes, or are for specific make-ups like driving mocs and boat shoes. Though, I'm not sure why single and double butyl were not in the list they sent you.
In any case, at least I now know the name of the sole type on my Chocolate Daltons (Clare Rubber). I don't believe it was in the list of soles at the beginning of the AE MTO thread.
After giving it more thought, I think the catalog picture was trying to show all soles used in the production of all AE shoes at the time. Some of those are still being used. The recraft list is significantly reduced in choices. But some, like the butyl sole, is certainly used in shoes that can be recrafted and yet it is not an option. This also helps explain why AE will not allow us to request the dovetail heel in a recraft unless it came with the shoe originally.
Definitely return that. Truthfully their QC has become somewhat of a joke. I'm having the exact same problem you are. I just received my 4th pair of those Merlot McAllisters from the May sale and all they did was send me back the ones I just sent them. I've had about enough of it and am going to wave the white flag I think. Its completely insane that if I return them (which why wouldn't I since nothing was fixed) I would be waiting for them to send me a 5th pair. I am starting to think robots make and package these shoes (sarcasm).
This weekend is the 148th annual running of the Belmont Stakes horse race, the third race of the Triple Crown. To honor this event I broke out my black shark skin Belmonts. They are tough as nails. AE offered them in black and chili shark only in the 2002 catalog, which makes them one of my oldest pairs. The Belmont style in calf was discontinued in 2007.
An interesting option for those who, like Lobster 33, have all sorts of color variations in their $400.00 Allen-Edmonds shoes might be to imagine that their shoes are $1500.00 Museum Calf shoes from other shoe manufacturers rather than $400.00 shoes from Allen-Edmonds.
People (even people who work in shops that sell $1500.00 shoes) sometime think that my Allen-Edmonds shoes are $1500.00 shoes.