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Allen Edmonds Appreciation Thread - reviews, pictures, sizing, etc...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mild Mannered, Sep 27, 2009.

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  1. rydenfan

    rydenfan Well-Known Member

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    Yes! I am a big suede fan. My ranking of most worn is:

    1. shell
    2. suede
    3.cxl/calf
     
  2. tifosi

    tifosi Well-Known Member

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    My ranking of most worn is

    1. shell
    2. shell
    3. shell
    4. calf

    haha!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Well-Known Member

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    I've certainly thought about some models in suede, but just haven't ever followed through. No solid reason, just the way it's worked out. I had a couple of pairs of oiled nubuck bluchers once upon a time, but that's the closest I've come.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  4. bjspicer

    bjspicer New Member

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    Hey guys, first time poster here.

    I just picked up a pair of McTavish in Natural Wax and am having trouble picking a belt. I did a few google searches (some of which led me here) that suggested pretty much any color tan or brown belt will go with the shoes, and that the belt does not need to be an exact match, especially in casual settings. Any of you guys with these shoes have any suggestions, be it AE brand belts or otherwise? Thanks in advance.
     
  5. crizq0

    crizq0 Member

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    I need to get me a pair of those. I already have walnut strands but I really want to get some walnut mcallisters or dalton's. Decisions decisions.
     
  6. chinngiskhaan

    chinngiskhaan Well-Known Member

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    since you seem like someone with a good handle on most things. I thought I would ask you your opinion on whether shell is worth the extra money? At nearly double the price, it's hard for me to imagine that shell shoes are really twice as good as calf ones.

    For me it seems like 2 pair of calf shoes would be better looking for far longer than 1 pair of shell shoes. I'm also wondering why the rolling experienced with shell shoes is considered better than the creasing that comes with the wearing of calf shoes. To me the rolling looks odd.

    I should also mention that I have yet to see a pair of non-new shells in real life. I saw a few new ones at the local AE store and they were certainly better looking than their calf counterparts.

    anyone else who would like to give their .02 is certainly welcome and encouraged to do so!
     
  7. random-adam

    random-adam Well-Known Member

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    From my perspective:
    • Scratches in shell (like chromexcel) tend to buff out. Scratches in calf, by comparison, often gouge the leather or leave permanent marks.
    • I find calf shoes rarely look as good as they do after their first wax polish. Shell on the other hand looks better, with less maintenance, as the years go by. Given the oils imbued into the material during the tanning process it also tends not to crack like calf can.
    • The smell is sublime.
     
  8. tifosi

    tifosi Well-Known Member

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    Biggest selling point for me! I am sitting here at my desk and the cordovan smell wafting up from my boots has kept a smile on my face all day!
     
  9. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Well-Known Member

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    Well, we had a stimulating conversation on this topic recently starting with this post here: http://www.styleforum.net/t/354137/leather-quality-and-properties/200_100#post_6514608

    Also see a recent discussion here: http://www.styleforum.net/t/354137/leather-quality-and-properties/200_100#post_6514608

    You will need to scroll through to get the whole conversation and skip over other conversations mind you, but it's probably easier than trying to summarize everything.

    Long story short, I think you really have to make your own decision as to whether shell is worth it's price. I think it probably is. It won't necessarily last twice as long, particularly due to the inherent lifespan that comes with Goodyear-welted shoes (being that you can only expect ~3-5 recraftings over the life of the shoe). This inherent lifespan doesn't necessarily change simply because the upper is made from cordovan instead of calf. Rather, it comes from how many times the upper can be restitched at the inseam during welt replacement. Every time the welt is replaced during recrafting, the leather around the area that it is stitched becomes weaker and weaker due to the needle "machine gunning" through the leather as the new welt is stitched on. Think of it like a piece of perforated paper. The more holes, the easier it is to tear.

    However, if you wear your shoes infrequently enough by having a sizable rotation (preferably no less than 3-5 pairs), I think the inherent properties of cordovan will allow it to age much more gracefully than calf. In other words, if you can get 20 years from a pair of shoes by only having them resoled every 4-5 years, I feel very confident that a pair of shell shoes will look significantly nicer than a pair of calfskin shoes of the same age (assuming the leather upper of the calfskin shoes are well cared for and actually last that long).

    To specifically address your point above about the rolling creases... I think the appearance of the creases being better in shell shoes is subjective. To each his own. That said, the rolling creases likely contribute to shell lasting so much longer than calf. The inevitable cracking leather in an otherwise well cared for shoe that will eventually happen (hopefully after many years) can largely be blamed on microscopic impurities that get imbedded in the creases (dust, dirt, etc.). These impurities are abrasive and wear out the leather at the microscopic level. This is why brushing before and after you wear your shoes is crucial (it isn't just for looks). By doing that, you brush off these abrasive contaminants and prevent them from embedding in the leather and causing abrasion during wear. Since cordovan tends to roll rather than crease, this abrasive action is decreased.

    Finally, I think the size of your shoe rotation has to be considered in your decision. I agree that two pairs of calfskin shoes will last longer than one pair of shell shoes, if that is all you own. However, I think that 3 pairs of shell shoes will last longer than 3 pairs of calfskin shoes. You have to have enough shoes in your rotation to ensure that they are drying out appropriately between wears by "resting." Not letting your shoes rest between wears so that they are only worn every other day, at the most, is the quickest way to prematurely destroy them.
     
  10. DJTraveler

    DJTraveler Well-Known Member

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    Guys - who do I email or call to place a MTO using our special SF arrangement?
     
  11. RogerP

    RogerP Well-Known Member

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    Shell is definitely worth the cost to me - particularly with AE and Alden, where I have a fairly strong preference for shell versus calf. Whether it's worth it to someone else is up to them. Buy what you like.
     
  12. ScottyBoy920

    ScottyBoy920 Well-Known Member

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    Allison @ 262-235-6128
     
  13. DJTraveler

    DJTraveler Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I want to ask about getting the wide basic dress belt MTO in bourbon. I already have the manistee in bourbon, but really want a wide basic version as well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  14. CEE88

    CEE88 Well-Known Member

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    ... And it's a no go.

    Here's what I was told:

    Original plan was to re-release the Jodox in 2012 with "some minor changes to the pattern" (what???);

    They changed the last of the shoe as they "no longer have the original form we made it on" (Ugh....);

    "Due to difficulties in the (re?)design" of the shoe they had to remove it from our 2012 line;

    Apparently the (new) Jodox pattern is "still in development and it is possible you would see it Fall of 2014;" and

    MTO is not possible.

    Hey Allen Edmonds, you wouldn't take the Mona Lisa and draw a mustache on her, would you? The point was to re-release a classic AE shoe, wasn't it?
     
  15. tifosi

    tifosi Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, CEE. That sucks.
     
  16. Cold Iron

    Cold Iron Well-Known Member

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    I have both the Dundee and Park Ave. in black shell and neither of them have the rust tint in bright light. If it is something that bothers you and you would like solid black then I would think Saphir Cordovan Black cream would work. I have only used the Saphir Cordovan Cordovan cream on an older pair of burgundy Leeds that had turned fairly brown and it worked well. Although many desire the brown patina that burgundy and #8 shell are known for I figured that I own enough brown shell variants that I wanted to keep them burgundy. I really think that the Saphir cordovan black cream would do the same for you. Although I also think there is nothing wrong with how yours look as the are, to me they look great!
    LOL thanks for that Doc!
     
  17. chinngiskhaan

    chinngiskhaan Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the input! Of course 3 pair of shell shoes is going to last longer than 3 pair of calf shoes, but will 3 pair of shell shoes last as long as 6 pair of calf shoes? Also, when I say "lasting" I'm not talking about how long the shoe will last before it completely falls apart and renders itself impossible to wear, I'm talking about how long a shoe will last before it becomes unpleasant to the eye.

    From the pictures I have seen of shell shoes on this website. The rolls on their shoes are significant enough that the model of the shoe is nearly unrecognizable. I saw a few pair of brown shell shoes that looked not unlike the surface of a pan of freshly baked brownies (extremely wavy).

    I see that the patina of shell is better, and that it improves over time. I also see that people seem to think that shell cordovan smells better. It seems that the advantage of shell is that the color is not just polish slathered on top of the leather, but rather the leather is tanned in such a way that the color of the leather itself is changed, which is why scuffs are more easily buffed out.

    Is shell cordovan thicker/heavier than calf?
     
  18. RogerP

    RogerP Well-Known Member

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    Buying shell because you admire appreciate its beauty, rarity and unique properties makes sense to me. Trying to justify the cost on the basis of whether x number of shell shoes will last longer than y number of calf shoes just doesn't make any kind of sense to me at all.

    Do some reasearch on how much many shoes can be derived from a single horse (generally one pair only) versus one cow (a dozen - 16 pair?). Then factor in the length of time it takes to tan shell versus other leathers. The consider how many tanneries produce shell versus other leathers. These all contribute to the increased price for shell.

    Bottom line - if you don't like the look of shell, why are you even considering it?
     
  19. Cold Iron

    Cold Iron Well-Known Member

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    Yes it normally is thicker than calf, but it can depend and there is lined vs. unlined. Most of my shell has very little in the way of rolls but then again that is another reason that I stick with AE for the most part, 1 and 5 last especially fit me extremely well. And fit is very important to me. You have received some great replies already, and I agree with pretty much everything else said. The only .02 I could add is that only you can determine if shell is worth it, that is up to you in the end. But also be warned that englade is correct...
     
  20. DJTraveler

    DJTraveler Well-Known Member

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    Apr 15, 2012
    Just spoke with Allison. Should have my MTO bourbon wide basic dress belt in 6-8 weeks! :)
     
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