Originally Posted by Arethusa
It's not the quality of the shoe (AE's aren't the best shoes in the world, but they are well made); it's the shape. Allen Edmonds and Alden are American brands with American aesthetics. They're rounded, blunt, and very conservative. If you want braidkid's shoes, you should be looking at English and especially Italian shoes. PM him for advice, post in MC asking for sleeker shoes and boots, etc.
Not all AEs and Alden are rounded, blunt, and conservative. There are some sleek and elongated lasts, and I think the wingtip bals (McAllister, Fairhaven, Chester) are pretty good for casual outfits. While some Italian shoes (Mantellassi, especially) are very sleek, I don't think any italian or british makers that make sleek shoes are going to be in his price range anyways.