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srmd22

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Thinking about ordering a pair of these. Anyone owned a pair and have opinions/advice? Maybe you prefer cordovan vs. calf, prefer similar style in a different brand (at around the same pricepoint), love 'em, hate 'em, etc?

I have a pair of McAllisters in 9 1/2 A which fit pretty well, same last. Also thinking about cordovan or calf McNeils, but would need a custom size (they don't come in A), so I could not return them. Different last, so it would be a bit of a crapshoot for me. Should fit at least well enough to get through a workday or a wedding. I realize that these are different types of shoes, eg. blucher vs. bal, country vs. city, etc, but I don't care about that.

Thanks!
 

Gauss17

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This is my own person experience. I have found the AE cordovan shoes to not be as comfortable as others brands. I also think the Alden cordovan looks a bit better. That said, as a brand, I really love Allen Edmonds, their customer service is excellent (much better than Alden) and they make good looking shoes. They have some excellent calfskin colors (merlot and walnut being my favorites) and these seem to fit me better. The strand is a fantastic shoe, maybe one of AE's best. I would however opt for a calfskin version were it me. Walnut and merlot being my top two choices. If you already have a pair of Mcalisters, the macneil is a similar shoe, but a blucher (more casual) version. I love the aesthetic of the macneil (I actually have one in black cordovan that I will be getting rid of at some point), but I found the fit to be off for me. If I were to get another longwing, it would be an alden, meermin, or carmina. If you are going to be on your feet a lot, I recommend a low-profile rubber sole. In the end, it depends on what you want the shoes for and how they fit you. If you can, I would try to stick to shoes that come in "A" because many times even on the same last, different shoes fit differently. I tried the strand vs the kenilworth (both 5 last) and there were worlds of difference in fit.
 

bespoken4me

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Just bought the shell strand, and as an owner of many shells eg...Alden, Crockett and Carmina, these have the most interesting color. One of only 4 models I think in the brown shell, they have a nicer shading than even Alden's Ravello or Cigar. Without question, AE's are slightly lighter in feel and the shell even seems more pliable. The real beauty of the Walnut coloring though is that it has an olive hue, just gorgeous
 

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