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AE shoe advice

AE_afficionado

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I just purchased my first pair of AE's Clifton's to be exact in 11.5D black. I bought them for a relative steal of $225 at Nordstrom's. I am completely smitten with the comfort and quality of these shoes. Previously my best pair of shoes were a pair of $170 brown split-toe Bostonian's from their made in Italy 'Cobbler collection' last year. They were/are nice shoes, but I clearly over paid for them considering that the same shoes are being sold for $90 new today brand new, and can be be had for $45 if purchased in combination with a new pair of Bostonian's at full freight. I abused them by wearing them too often, not using shoe trees often enough, and perhaps even wearing them in inclement weather. They will be due to be resoled in the not too far future. How much would you pay a cobbler to resole?

In addition to the Clifton's I also purchased a paid of Burgundy Cole Haan Caldwell's from Nordstrom's for $99. Also a great shoe, but not comparable to the AE's in comfort or style.

In my new rotation I have the Black Clifton's, Burganday Cole Haan Caldwell's, an old pair of black Rockport captoes with some minimal brogueing and rubber soles, and for when I want to be really casual, a pair of brown casual LL Bean oxfords.

I just stareted looking into AE's in more detail today and discovered their sale lasting until 02/22 of this week:

http://www.allenedmonds.com/wcsstore...c_Spring09.pdf

I'm considering picking up a a pair of Hale's and/or Park Avenues. I spoke to Doug in the AE NC store who was VERY helpful and explained that an extra 15% can be had on any pair of AE's or in lieu of the 15% discount, a second pair could be had for 50% off.

Questions:

1. Quality: In general how is the quality of AE factory seconds? Would I have any regrets? Is it true that the sole of factory seconds are branded in some way?

2. Fit: How much deviation can I expect between different AE last's? In the Clifton's and the Cole Haan Caldwell I wear an 11.5D. The 12D clearly was slipping in the heel with heavy socks. I tried a J&M Melton, and the 12 was also too lose in the heel but the 11.5 was much better. In my Bostonian's I wear a 12 as those don't have half-sizes. Rockports also a 12. I believe the Hale is the same last as the Clifton (#8), so the fit should be similar. What should I expect out of PA's? I may be able to try on a pair if I go out at lunch tomorrow, but any information would be helpful.

3. Color: Given my other shoes, what do you think about PA's in black and Hale's in Merlot ( or even Chili?)? I've read that PA's should be had in Black. That said, the discontinued PA's in Brown are available on Ebay for <$170. We are dress casual in my office which for me means, button down shirts, usually something in the range of Nordstrom's Smart Care line or similar and slacks. I don't mind being dressed > than my coworkers. I firmly believe in dressing for the role that you want.

Pictures would be appreciated since the photos on AE's website are suboptimal.


Thank you with Kindest Regards!
 

bdeuce22

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others will chime in but i will answer 1.

the Seconds i have owned have been excellent quality. i could never see the flaw that made them a "second". the sole is branded (it sort of looks like you stepped on two tacks). it is not very noticeable and you certainly don't feel it while walking.
 

bc78

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3. Color: Given my other shoes, what do you think about PA's in black and Hale's in Merlot ( or even Chili?)? I've read that PA's should be had in Black. That said, the discontinued PA's in Brown are available on Ebay for <$170. [/quote] I think both of those are nice. Personally I'd go for the Hales in Merlot.
Originally Posted by bdeuce22
others will chime in but i will answer 1. the Seconds i have owned have been excellent quality. i could never see the flaw that made them a "second". the sole is branded (it sort of looks like you stepped on two tacks). it is not very noticeable and you certainly don't feel it while walking.
I've had very good luck with factory seconds as well.
 

JLibourel

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Originally Posted by bdeuce22
others will chime in but i will answer 1.

the Seconds i have owned have been excellent quality. i could never see the flaw that made them a "second". the sole is branded (it sort of looks like you stepped on two tacks). it is not very noticeable and you certainly don't feel it while walking.


I believe the two holes are for returns at Nordstrom, maybe. They are not usual on seconds. There is a little shoe branded on the sole of A-E seconds.

On some seconds, the flaw is visible but usually trifling. On many of the seconds I have purchased I agree that it is indiscernible.
 

AE_afficionado

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Are these the brandings in the sole near the heal that indicate that it is a factory second?
ab03_1_bl.JPG
 

Trojanman74

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1. there are numerous threads made up about the quality of AE seconds. do a search and a few should pop up from just the past couple months. a bunch of people commented so i wont go into length here.

2. the PA last is longer and thinner. again a lot of threads have been dedicated to this but wont be as east to find. so if the #8, which is a wider than normal width, fits you perfectly, the #5 will be way too tight and uncomfortable for walking in.

3. and if you get the PA, the black makes for a always safe go-to shoe. the chili and the walnut are both beautiful on the hale.

good luck and welcome to the addiction
 

AE_afficionado

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Originally Posted by Trojanman74

2. the PA last is longer and thinner. again a lot of threads have been dedicated to this but wont be as east to find. so if the #8, which is a wider than normal width, fits you perfectly, the #5 will be way too tight and uncomfortable for walking in.



I tried on two different pairs of PA's yesterday in the same 11.5D size that i bought the Ciifton's in. To my surprise, the shoe was quite roomy and loose and I had to re-lace them to get propper tightness. They are very nice shoes, but felt somewhat 'plain-jane' while wearing them.
 

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