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Allen Edmonds Dalton - shell cordovan in walnut

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by swiego, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. swiego

    swiego Well-Known Member

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    http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline/producti_SF0131_1_40000000001_-1

    I ordered a pair this afternoon. What I learned from the sales manager:
    - this is the first time AE has been able to secure walnut cordovan from Horween. They are quite excited.
    - they clearly have some uppers already prepared. I'm told to expect my shoes within a couple of weeks.
    - the sole is the same double sole from the calf Dalton. Upper is shell cordovan. Tongue and quarters are unlined; the rest is lined.
    - $100 off if ordered by December 13 or so
    - the shoe runs large. I am a 12E in the Cambridge shell; I went 11.5E for this one.

    For the price, this could be one of the best deals for shell cordovan boots on the market.
     
  2. Akeem

    Akeem Well-Known Member

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    I believe the soles are JR like all their other cordovan offerings. Also, I think this last is more true to size.

    Not sure if the quarters are lined or not.
     
  3. makewayhomer

    makewayhomer Well-Known Member

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    Nice I probably would have jumped on this had I not recently bought the Lindrick boot. Walnut shell is awesome.
     
  4. MWSH

    MWSH New Member

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    I spoke to Mark McNeil, A&E's chief designer, last October 4. He told me the walnut cordovan is a very early proprietary color held for AE for years by Horween and recently rediscovered by AE. The color is called "truffle." The soles on the calfskin Daltons are the same used on the Wolverine 1000-mile boot, since Wolverine contracted with AE to assemble their cordovan line. But the limited cordovan line appears to feature the Redenback double-oak sole. I have the calfskin - they're a grand pair of boots - but wish I held out for the cordovan.
     
  5. Patek

    Patek Well-Known Member

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    Too bad AE lasts are so damn ugly and their fit and finish is sub-par.

    Oh well, I guess you get what you pay for.
     
  6. reidrothchild

    reidrothchild Well-Known Member

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    So true. Hard to understand all these stupid, middle class losers who choose to spend "only" $500 on a pair of AE shells.
     
  7. Patek

    Patek Well-Known Member

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    Is this an attempt at sarcasm? It has nothing to do with price. AE makes ugly, blobby shoes with very questionable finishing and workmanship. With all of the sales going on over the holidays, you can do much better for around the same price. Yes, other shoes start at around $1,000 but you can pick them up on sale around the $500 mark with $1,000 dollar shoe materials and finishing and much more handsome lasts.

    I guess I should have said you get somthing close to what the original price was.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  8. swiego

    swiego Well-Known Member

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    Patek, what is your experience with AE shells?

    My limited experience is that they are quite good and seemed to be finished to a substantially higher standard than the calf shoes. My current pair is easily the match of my C&J hand grade in terms of detailing, construction, finish, and being shell, the AE "blob" look actually works out well since most shell cordovan shoes struggle with sleekness anyway.

    I agree with your comments on the AE calf shoes, but those are half the price of these, or less.

    Outside of the rare Ralph Lauren 4 hour sale, how often do shell cordovan boots appear at this price point?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  9. MWSH

    MWSH New Member

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    These criticisms of A&E seem misplaced to me; A&E occupies a venerable spot in the American marketplace, long since abandoned by the others in their peer group, like Cole Haan, J&M and Florsheim. They represent accessible, USA-made, high-quality shoes made for the professional man who may not earn the wage that allows him easy access to George Cleverley. That A&E is now lumped together with -- and critiqued against -- bespoke makers or upper-tier shoemakers like Lobb, E. Green or even Alden, is more a mark of its success than its lapses.

    As late as the 1990s, one could still choose among a gamut of American shoemakers get a quality American-made product, and even chose among a range of styles in shell cordovan from makers like J&M, Florsheim and Hanover. Now we have only A&E left. Every time I take out my J&M Aldrichs from fifteen years ago and realize I can't replace them because J& M now makes only crap, I thank God for A&E. A&E stuck to their guns when the others capitulated to the sterile cyniscms of profit margins over loyalty to the American shoemaking tradition. They deserve praise for that, not flyspecking over aesthetic considerations more appropriate to a significantly different market niche.
     
  10. xieish

    xieish Member

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    MWSH, I agree completely. Because Allen Edmonds is now the entry level "nice shoes" maker instead of many in the class, they get grouped together with all other "expensive shoes." Essentially anything you can't buy for under $200 at a Macys.

    That's really unfair. AEs offer a much higher quality shoe than anything you can get in a department store at an affordable price. On sale they often dip under $200. Because they have no peers, they get compared to other high end shoes, almost all of which cost more money and were never meant to be the equal of Allen Edmonds.

    I have a pair of Florsheims I picked up a few years ago from the thrift store with the tags still on them. They're a wonderful and not chunky walnut PTB. I love them to death and would love to replace them as my daily wear shoes, but Florsheim doesn't make anything nearly as nice anymore. I even went to the store and looked at everything, it was either significantly uglier than my shoes, or the leather was basically painted plastic.

    I do have a pair of Florsheim Imperial black captoes that were just too cheap to pass up ($70 with a free tree) though. :)
     
  11. Joenobody0

    Joenobody0 Well-Known Member

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    Hardly proprietary... Ron Rider offered this color last year.
     
  12. Patek

    Patek Well-Known Member

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    I just picked up the C&J for BB shell boots for $533 or something like that. I am bothered by the finishing of my Alden shell boots, but have to admit that I have never seen AE shells, just figured they would be below Alden.
     
  13. makewayhomer

    makewayhomer Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 pairs of AE shells (1 vintage, 1 newer) that are awesome. redenbach soles, high quality shell, solid build quality, etc.

    I will say other AE do have cheap leather that obviously feels cheap

    I have 2 pairs of C&J shell boots which are a step above, but the AE are awesome as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  14. reidrothchild

    reidrothchild Well-Known Member

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    AE shell is the only shell I've worn, so I can't dispute that C&J's is nicer. I've examined BB's and Ralph Lauren's shell offerings, and I can't say my admittedly untrained eye could discern any difference. But I think the problem with comparing your $533 BB boots to AE is that the price you got for those boots is a price you can get for maybe 3-4 days out of the entire year. AE shell shoes RETAIL for $550, and you can get seconds under $400 any day of the year. So I don't think it's fair to compare AE to a pair of boots that retails for nearly double just because you got them for 1/2 off during a very small sale window.

    "AE makes ugly, blobby shoes with very questionable finishing and workmanship." Every part of this statement is purely subjective.
     
  15. Patek

    Patek Well-Known Member

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    Well, not every part if that statement is subjective. When you can visually see defects at an arms length and the leather looks like plastic is is hardly subjective. My opinion on their styling is subjective, so I agree with you on that. However, my opinion that most Victoria Secret models are hot is also subjective.

    My whole point is that you can get much better shoes for the same price if you shop around. While I sometimes buy things at full retail (such as the Alden Indy shell boots that I just picked up), I would venture to say that most people here on SF love to get 50-60% off a much better quality item than pay full retail for a decent item. This time of year there are plenty of sales...
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  16. pebblegrain

    pebblegrain Well-Known Member

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    I love A&E, especially their show Hoarders. Never heard of J&M - is that the black channel?

     
  17. reidrothchild

    reidrothchild Well-Known Member

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    Actually, no, your belief that the leather looks like plastic is also subjective. If you hold a pair of AE's up next to a pair of Florsheims or Bostonians, they will definitely not look like plastic. As far as defects at arms length, I've not see those. But, again, if you're accustomed to much more expensive shoes, maybe your idea of defects is different than mine. Your point about not paying full retail for things is well taken, but it certainly applies equally, if not more so, to AE's, and that's my point. You can get 50-60% off of nicer shoes, but most people on here aren't paying $325 for AE's. I've purchased 3 of my pairs for $130 each. Look, I just don't understand why, in a thread started by someone who is clearly excited about a new AE shell model, you would offer the insight, despite having no experience with AE shell, that AEs are damn ugly and subpar. I just took it for a troll move, hence my sarcastic response. If that was just your way of saying that there are nicer shoes out there, I don't think anyone disagrees. It seems, however, like you're kinda attempting to argue that there are nicer shoes in AE's price range. In this respect, you could not be more wrong.
     
  18. swiego

    swiego Well-Known Member

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    Well, it gets better; there is a promotion going... buy these boots and get a free scarf thrown in.
     
  19. Patek

    Patek Well-Known Member

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    Point taken about AE in general. I will not continue to argue their quality.

    However, the original post was about a specific boot at a specific price and that is where my comment came in. Not that AEs are not a good value at $130 dollars, but that if you are going to spend $500+ on a cordovan boot, there are other options to consider and that there are better values to be had in that price range.

    If the OP had posted that they are 40% off, I would have probably purchased a pair. Arguing that AE is a great value when on sale for 40-50% is irrelevant to this conversation because these have no such sale.
     
  20. swiego

    swiego Well-Known Member

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    I think this is a striking statement to make when you acknowledge that you have no experience with AE shell footwear, much less the new AE boots. Yes, there are other options to consider. Claiming that there are better values to be had, however, is simply an opinion on your part.

    Furthermore, for the dollar, these are by definition a good value for shell boots in this range, simply because there are so few values to be had at all. Lindrick keeps disappearing from the RL site. Carmina boots are hard to source here. The Harlechs I wanted seem unavailable from C&J. Frankly speaking, there just aren't that many options... IMO the mere fact that these can be ordered with a reasonable delivery date alone makes them worth keeping an eye on. I'm not wedded to AE by any means, but I think the fact that I can pop into an AE store, get fitted, order these in my size, return them without hassle if they don't fit or I don't like them all make for an attractive option. I missed the Lindrick because I wasn't on this forum for 24 hours. I had to opt out of the Peals because there were none to try on, even in the NYC flagship store. So, I'm excited to be able to get boots, at my price point, with what I feel is a proven track record from AE on shells + the ease with which I can work with their retail chain. And then they call me and say they throw in a free $70-something scarf too. You bet I'm excited, and that I think they're a good value.

    I hope the finishing and construction lives up to the $500 shell shoes they make, rather than the $130 calf seconds. If so, and if it fits, it'll be a keeper.

    Believe me, I hope you are enjoying your Peals and I went out of my way to try to get a pair in my size as well. If the service at the 346 Madison Ave store had been even mediocre, I'd probably be wearing them now, but it wasn't meant to be so I'm going with AE instead and hoping for the best.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011

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