Some people here might disagree but the classic shoes are basically the same no matter were you get them, from a design. The Allen Edmonds Park Avenue, which I am wearing right now, is no different from thw C&J Whitehall or whatever the equivelant Alden shoe is from an asthetic point of view. Obviously, quality is another story
As a shoe aficionado, I strongly
disagree. Ironically, I find that the characteristics in build quality that separate Aldens or the Allen Edmonds Park Ave. from a Lobb or Green is less
bothersome than the difference in aesthetics. For example, let's examine captoe oxfords--a quinessential staple in a man's wardrobe. The first example I recalled was the John Lobb Phillip II from the Classics collections, but I can't find a pictures. So here is a close approximation from an A Harris auction: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....27&rd=1
Note the bootmaker sole and toe shape among other details. Now compare the previous shoe with a similar model from Alden: http://www.aldenshoe.com/cat_ane2_c906.htm
I had the opportunity not long ago to buy the black version of this shoe, brand new, for just a tad under $100 + tax. Although the Aldens were really comfortable, I'd rather pay a tad more for an English shoe that's leagues ahead of the Alden in terms of aesthetics.