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AE shoes

unicornwarrior

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I have to make a confession that I honestly don't own a pretty good pair of shoes. I have some aldos, a pair of kenneth coles, and some non-square toed shoes that are wearing. I've read a little bit about these AE shoes and was wondering what you thought of this particular pair?

http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline...val=&Widthval=


Would you argue they are of good quality and worth the money?
 

dopamine

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From what I've learned on these forums, AE is a decent value for money. I just recently was guided into my first purchase, and I highly suggest you look into getting a pair of Crockett & Jones on sale instead of paying retail for AE. I purchased a pair of black oxfords (oddly enough, the model was also named "Strand") from Robert Old for a great price shipped from England, and the quality should be alot better than AE. Here's a link to their sale page: http://www.old.co.uk/acatalog/_Bin_Ends___.html The Tavistock and Strand are great buys if you can figure out your sizing, but keep in mind that C&J is UK sizing. The Tavistocks are handgrade and should be considerably better quality than AE, but in the same price range as the pair online. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the broguing that you seem to like on the pair of AE's you posted. I'm fairly sure that the consensus on this forum is that C&J is a great value for the price, and that if you want to downgrade a bit, you go to AE, and if you want to upgrade, you go to EG/Lobb/G&G and so on.
 

dopamine

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No problem - I found when I first posted that it's difficult to get a lot of people to post in these types of threads, but the information is floating all over SF if you take the time to browse through it. If you'd like a lower price range, you can find new pairs of AE floating in the B&S forum and on Ebay for a little over $100 usually - decent price imo. I just have a bit of trouble because I'm specifically looking for captoes and my size is quite small - 7E in AE.
 

unicornwarrior

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well I just need a decent pair of dress shoes to go along with my suit. Also seeing as I plan on buying a Thick as Thieves suit rather soon, I'd like a decent pair of shoes to go with it.
 

nmprisons

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C & J sizing is a bit of a mess. I don't suggest purchasing a pair sight unseen unless you are fairly confident about your shoe size on that last. I own Allen Edmonds shoes, as well as some stuff that this board considers to be nicer (Vass, C & J, etc.) and, to be honest with you, my Allen Edmonds shoes stack up just fine, particularly dollar for dollar.

You might want to give ebay a quick spin as there are often decent deals to be had . . . and you might want to consider something slightly more traditional for your first shoe, but you will be happy with the quality of the brand (especially if you find a pair on fairly deep discount).
 

whiteslashasian

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Originally Posted by nmprisons
You might want to give ebay a quick spin as there are often decent deals to be had . . . and you might want to consider something slightly more traditional for your first shoe, but you will be happy with the quality of the brand (especially if you find a pair on fairly deep discount).

I find that Ebay is a pretty solid source for finding deals on AE shoes. I've bought several pairs both slightly used and brand new. Cannot beat the value for money.

However at retail I'd much rather look into those C&J's posted by dopamine.

I also think that it would help to go for a more sleek shoe as I'm guessing the TaT suit you're looking to get will have that modern and slim look.
 

jc138

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Originally Posted by unicornwarrior
well I just need a decent pair of dress shoes to go along with my suit. Also seeing as I plan on buying a Thick as Thieves suit rather soon, I'd like a decent pair of shoes to go with it.
It might be worth seeing these in person before you pull the trigger (or be willing to return online).

Some A&Es tend to be slightly less sleek than some others. If you are going with TaT, this may be something you care about.
 

Smahatma

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I actually own the AE Strand in dark brown (linked in the original post). While it's a nice shoe, had I known at the time of purchasing that handgrade C&J's could be had at basically the same price that I paid for the AE's, I would have gone with a C&J 348 last shoe (like the Westbourne) instead. If the Strand was more like $150, then scales may tip back to AE.

Additionally, I have a few TaT house cut suits. Again, while the AE Strand is a nice looking shoe, it is a little too rounded/chunky/bulbous/gunboat/american to pair with house cut TaT trousers. The contrast just doesn't look right...see Mafoofan's last couple WAYWT pics with his Alden shoes.

A few weeks ago I was in NYC and had the opportunity to try on several pairs of C&J's at the Turnbull & Asser location. The 348 lasted shoes are much sleeker and a much better pairing for TaT than any AE (Also the 358 last handgrade shoes, but those cannot be had at significant discount from plal/pediwear like the 348 benchgrade shoes can). IMO, the 337 last is not elongated enough to match the narrowness of the shoe in combination with the quite slim nature of the pants.
 

phillyesq

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I saw a pair of AE shoes almost exactly like the ones that you are looking at on e-bay in the past week. Sold for just over $100, iirc. I can't speak to the higher end shoes, but I've always heard good things about AE.
 

dopamine

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Originally Posted by Smahatma
I actually own the AE Strand in dark brown (linked in the original post). While it's a nice shoe, had I known at the time of purchasing that handgrade C&J's could be had at basically the same price that I paid for the AE's, I would have gone with a C&J 348 last shoe (like the Westbourne) instead. If the Strand was more like $150, then scales may tip back to AE.

According to the sellers at Robert Old, the Strand is produced more like a handgrade than a benchgrade shoe, with a full leather lining, and I think a channeled sole. Not sure if that's true.
 

FreedBird

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If this is your first time buying a nice pair of shoes I recommend you go to an actual store to try on some shoes. The AE outlet stores are the perfect place. The quality is good, there is a wide selection of sizing and you can try on different lasts to see how they work. You can also get some good deals there and become more familiar with dress shoes in general. Buying shoes before you haven't tried them on can work well sometimes, but it can also be a disaster.
 

unicornwarrior

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Well I just found that 3 stores in my area readily carry some AE's as well as other nice shoes. I'm going to have to go take a look, I believe! Thank you for your input.
 

otc

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I would suggest going to an AE store and finding out what size of park avenue fits you. It seems that the park avenue is often used as a baseline when describing fit on this site (e.g. "this 11D fits me and I wear a 10.5E Park Avenue...").

I'm going to stop into an AE store this weekend and do the same thing.
 

JLibourel

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It may be a little unfair to compare C&J handgrades at a closeout price with A-Es at full retail. In point of fact, it is comparatively easy to get A-E shoes at deep discounts, particularly for closeouts and seconds. A large percentage of the many Allen-Edmonds shoes I have purchased I have paid $129 for, even less than that for a few pairs. These were all purchased from or through the Allen-Edmonds outlet store in Cabazon, California. The A-E outlet stores are a great resource for bargains if you live near one. Otherwise you have to be very confident about the fit of varying lasts if you want them to ship to you.

Gauging fit from the A-E Park Avenue could be somewhat chancy since it is on a somewhat atypical last. The A-E #5 last used for the Park Avenue is longer and narrower than other A-E lasts, and many men find they have to go a shorter, wider size to get a good fit with the #5 last, although I personally have not needed to.
 

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