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

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

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  1. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    As kmdsimpson says, it isn't news. It is there for anyone to see if they are looking for it. Obviously it is a bit of an overstatement to say that everyone knows since many of the questions in these threads are cyclical, but it has been discussed at length.

    The issue is very easily blown out of proportion. With most manufactering outsourcing, people contract with a manufacterer in another country to make a product for them, slap their brand name on it, and ship it back to be sold by the brand at retail. The whole QA/QC process is maintained by the contracted manufacterer rather than the brand. Obviously, the brand has the right to send defective products back to the contracted manufacterer if they find glaring problems. This is not what Allen Edmonds is doing at all. They have simply purchased some real estate in the DR, built their own factory, trained their own employees who are making AE shoes while wearing AE uniforms (I say this to make a point, not because they actually wear AE uniforms). Their paychecks say AE on them, and they are hired and trained by AE. They save money by doing this, which in turn saves us money. If the shoe is made entirely in the DR, it says so on the shoe. Cutting some leather that will later be used to make Goodyear-welted shoes on presses at their own factory in the DR doesn't rub me the wrong way.

    As for the "Made in USA of Fine Imported Leather" comment, this was discussed briefly a few weeks ago as well. This has nothing to do with initial leather work being done in the DR. Shoe companies search the world over for the best quality leathers that they can find (at the right price) to make their shoes from. This has always been the case. AE started putting that on their insoles for transparency purposes, since "made in USA" doesn't have to mean "made from products grown in the USA." They aren't the same thing, and they shouldn't be. I wouldn't want my shoes made from some inferior quality calfskin simply because the grass the calves ate was in Montana rather than Germany. If this year's crop of calfskin from Germany is better than Montana's, by all means, make my shoes from the German hides.
     
  2. phototristan

    phototristan Senior member

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    If you want a suede Chukka of higher quality, look to Alden. Those will definitely not squeak and are of higher quality all the way around. You get what you pay for.
     
  3. phototristan

    phototristan Senior member

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    That's the problem, you have to look for it. That does not equal 'transparency'. In fact, AE goes out of their way to hide this information on their website and blogs.

    As I've stated, I don't care where the shoes are made, I just believe AE should be completely up-front about it on their website and PR, rather than obscure it. If they are so proud about how good their DR manufacturing is, or how great it is for their business that they have a duplicate plant in the DR, why are they not blogging about it, advertising it and why do they fail to mention this key fact in any of their PR?

    Yes, the AE CEO has posted here and on other industry forums, but that does not equal 'transparency' given that this information has not been conveyed in any way on their website, blogs or advertising. They talk *a lot* about their USA plant but conveniently never talk about their Dominican Republic plant (except when pressed, and only on forums). Gee, I wonder why? Because they know it diminishes their 'The Great American Shoe Company' branding.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  4. mexicutioner

    mexicutioner Senior member

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    i love AE as much as the next guy, but the reality is likely more:

     
  5. Busa

    Busa Senior member

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    So- if you were senior management in a successful company you would make an effort to advertise not only the best things about the company and it's products but also things that the public would obviously perceive as a negative?

    Please... (insert eye roll here)

     
  6. Busa

    Busa Senior member

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    I just had an episode of unexpected style-culture shock...

    I am living and working in North Africa, and as far as style goes it is essentially a European-influenced country. I recently for the first time in months pulled my beloved, broken-in pair of burgundy Bass Weejun loafers out of the closet and slipped them on, looked down and saw- well, it looked like a pair of boxes on my feet, I hate to admit... [​IMG]
    It was a sad moment, when you have a pair of handsewn shoes that have molded to your feet perfectly it is a beautiful thing.

    I will never go the extreme that I actually see every day on the street, the pointy-toe or even worse pointy-turned-up-toe look, but that being said:


    Can anyone recommend from personal experience AE shoes that are more sleek, elegant if you will, a longer last with a narrower look to it? As well as the profile of the shoe as seen from the side? Pictures would be nice as well- the website pictures don't always give a really good perspective on this aspect of the shoes.

    I have to say, I really like the European influence mens shoes better than the basic American "always stop the shoe 1/4" past the big toe" shapes... just for reference I have a pair of JM Williams Yearling boots on order, with the screwed sole option. That is what I think an elegant shoe looks like... [​IMG]
     
  7. phototristan

    phototristan Senior member

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    The CEO views it as something positive and has stated so here, yet keeps it hush hush on their own site and blog. Real transparent...

    Please...  (insert eye roll here)
     
  8. Busa

    Busa Senior member

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    You didn't answer the question...

     
  9. jkater1

    jkater1 Senior member

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    Well my first pair of AE's come today, the Townleys, first impressions are wow these things barely weigh a thing. The finish was not as bright and didn’t have as much shine as I thought it would being cordovan, probably due to the cream issue. I'll post pictures of them tonight.
     
  10. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    My perception simply hasn't been that they go out of their way to hide anything. They simply don't mention that a particular step in preparing their Goodyear-welted shoes is done in another factory other than their Wisconsin location. Their website is as comprehensive (or more) than any other shoe company, but that doesn't mean that they take up the space to describe where each and every component of the shoes comes from. As Busa says, not advertising something that many may be percieved to be a negative is completely normal in the world of sales. I agree that it may not meet everyone's definition of "transparency." However, transparency is a slippery slope. If they believe that they can produce a product that is equal in quality while saving some money in the cost of manufactering, we reap the benefits of that as long as the quality is indeed equal. To me, transparency is best described as answering a question honestly when asked, which AE's CEO does. Voluntarily explaining each and every step of the process right down to where every single piece of leather is cut would be going the extra mile above and beyond what AE already does, and it just doesn't interest everyone, and would make for a website that is overburdened with details (not good marketing). The people in SF are a special breed in that we do enjoy knowing these details, but we make up only a tiny fraction of AE's annual sales. AE's website is already quite information packed compared to most other shoe companies.
     
  11. CousinDonuts

    CousinDonuts Senior member

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    Furthermore, AE is a private company, not public. As a customer I choose to buy or not to buy, but I'm not a stockholder and don't think they owe me too much detail. Mediahound, please pick out your nearest $50mm manufacturer, walk in the front door, demand to see the President, and report back here if he divulged any trade secrets or dirty laundry about his company.

    In other news, my 6month old MacAllisters have started squeaking in the last 2 wears. Just the right shoe, and it appears to originate from the section of leather that goes over my instep and bends when I step (the upper?). I was thinking that was part of the break in process, but this never happened with my 18month old Strands. Do I just need to give it a really good conditioning and polish?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  12. Busa

    Busa Senior member

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    Just noticed AE even has the matching belt for these, each color- on sale now!! Nice...

     
  13. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I've been under the impression that European calfskin is quite often considered higher quality than anywhere else. The finest sole leathers (obviously cowhide rather than calf) are absolutely from Europe - JR Redenbach, Bakers, Belgian chestnut tanned leathers...
     
  14. konoyaro

    konoyaro Senior member

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    Have you taken a look at the Parkway? This shoe is a bit more European influenced than the average AE shoe IMHO. There are several user shots in this thread to give you an idea.
     
  15. elbastardocalvo

    elbastardocalvo Senior member

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    FWIW, my Amoks do not and have never squeaked.
     
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