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

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

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  1. tietherope

    tietherope Senior member

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    There is no specific thread, I was just saying there is a lot of advice out there on burgundy shoes and endless debates on burgundy vs. black. Sorry for the confusion.
     
  2. Cold Iron

    Cold Iron Senior member

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    I didn't get the memo yesterday about walnut shell dang it!! [​IMG]

    They look great and well done good sir!
     
  3. fiddlestyx

    fiddlestyx Active Member

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    So I re-ordered a pair of Strands this morning prior to returning them in store and was wondering if I am able to mix and match the pairs? (ie replace the scuffed left one with the new pair and then pick the best between the two right shoes) Are these shoes uniquely numbered as a pair or just with the model and size number?
     
  4. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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    no, shoes are not made together in pairs, should be fine.
     
  5. jasonmx3

    jasonmx3 Senior member

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    Thanks for the great advice everyone. Glad I posted that question here.

    I'm now seriously considering getting the McAllister in Merlot. The more I look at it, the more I'm getting to appreciate it. I just need to get another belt to match.[​IMG]

    The only reason I started considering the MacNeil was because it seemed like such a versatile shoe -- can be either dressed-up or down. Considering that I still have other office pairs in rotation (To Boot, J&M, etc.), I thought I could use a "dual purpose" AE pair.

    As for the Strand, I really like my dark brown pair (fit, shape, design, etc.), which is why I thought of getting another one in a different color.

    Thanks all!
     
  6. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I'll have to side with Wurger on this. I don't think AE meets the criteria for being a "premium" shoe. Bgp001, I think you are missing a crucial piece to the puzzle on why AE shoes are the price they are. They are in a completely different echelon of shoes than Kenneth Cole, Steve Madden, and Aldo (to use your examples). Those shoes are glued together using inferior materials, intended to be disposed of when they wear out. You get what you pay for. AE shoes, being Goodyear-welted, and made of high quality leather (generally full grain), are at the basic price point for shoes in this level of quality. They are one of the most cost effective quality shoes available in the U.S., and are amongst the most cost effective shoes in many other countries. There are a couple of other brands that fit into similar price points made in Europe, but being that they are made in Europe, there are complications regarding fit, returns, recrafting, etc., that make them less cost effective for Americans. AE is a "no-frills" quality shoe manufacturer, where you are paying $200-335 for shoes that are made using a proven construction method that has stood the test of time, and uses durable high quality materials. The cost of a pair of AE's is the cost of these materials, plus the cost of paying their employees (they are apparently well paid for their industry) to make these shoes with their hands, plus the cost needed to keep the company growing and stable. You aren't paying for a name or a fashion brand that delivers the latest styles, using questionable materials, with nothing but a "cool" factor to stand on. You also aren't paying for extras that are considered subjectively valuable (with the exception of AE's Independence Collection). The premium that you are referring to is what makes other Goodyear-welted shoes so much more expensive than AE (think Alden, Crockett & Jones, Gaziano & Girling, John Lobb, Edward Green, etc., etc.) Those other companies spend much more time on the finishing of their shoes that are otherwise constructed the same way as Allen Edmonds. The other brand's shoes won't necessarily last longer. Some of the "premium" Goodyear-welted companies often use only the highest quality parts of the calfskin to make their shoes, so that is the one major exception that can theoretically make them last a bit longer, but even that isn't guaranteed.

    AE's Independence Collection does have some frills built in, and you pay a $140 premium for them. I don't think the differences between the Independence Collection and AE's regular line is great enough with regards to cost of materials alone to justify the price increase (in other words I don't think they have $140 more materials and labor in them). I think you are paying a premium for those because they use a slightly nicer leather, and have more attention to details (wheeling, polished soles, brass nameplate, cushioned sock-liner). When you buy a shoe from the Independence Collection, you are enjoying your premium quality shoes that sets them just a little bit apart from the basic product. There is nothing wrong with this, if that's important to you, but these differences aren't going to make a pair of these shoes last longer than the regular line, which is what makes their differences subjectively valuable.

    The differences between basic Goodyear-welted shoes and cemented cheap shoes are objective, are worth more money, and cost more to make. They will make a better shoe that will last longer and look better for the life of the shoe. Once you are in the realm of Goodyear-welted shoes (or better) you then have to separate the premium brands from the basic ones, and decide which bells and whistles you are willing to pay for.
     
    4 people like this.
  7. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    Sometimes I forget how perfect Park Avenues and Fifth Avenues would be with the cap toe line moved back a little bit. I took a picture (forgive the poor lighting) of one of my favorite round toe lasts from Carmina (Forest) next to AE's Strand. The Strand (which has essentially the same shape as the Park Avenue) is very similar to the Forest last, but is only slightly more round in the toe.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  8. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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    +1, and I didn't even know that AE has a premium range; just checked them out, got to say, their side views are pretty average, especially how the toe box is shaped from the side, not a fan.
     
  9. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I think the Jefferson is a very handsome shoe, personally. The Independence Collection uses the same lasts as their regular line, so they should have similar shapes, but they use a heavier sole leather gauge (which may be throwing off the balance to you, not sure).
     
  10. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    Quote:My only complaint about the Independence collection is that the welt part of the sole is huge. It may look fine on the Jefferson, which I believe is a blucher, but I don't like it on the Harrison or whatever the cap-toe model is.
     
  11. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    My number 1 complaint about the Independence collection as well.
     
  12. bespoken pa

    bespoken pa Senior member

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    I think the issue I have with the IC is that better options become available at or near that price point. AE's regular line provides a great value for what they
    charge, particularly in the seconds market.
     
  13. OptoDoc

    OptoDoc Senior member

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    Has anyone found the McAllister to fit differently than the Strand? I've been breaking in my bourbon McAllisters with combination sole the past few nights at home and they seem to be substantially looser than my year old Strands.
     
  14. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Yeah, you must be thinking of the Harrison (not my favorite either). The Jefferson is a balmoral wingtip (looks identical to the McAllister). I agree on the welt size, and to me it is most pronounced on the Rutledge. The wheeling combined with the size of the welt makes it look like a cemented sole with a bond-welt to me. It isn't a deal breaker for me, but it does stand out.
     
  15. OptoDoc

    OptoDoc Senior member

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    I just contacted AE to see if they would price match the Manistee belt which is on sale for $76.90 at Nordstrom's, but in Bourbon. No go for launch. They will price match, but only in the colors that are part of the sale.
     
  16. tietherope

    tietherope Senior member

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    I've noticed the same thing and find that my toes are noticeably closer to the end of the shoe in my Strands.
     
  17. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    Quote:I had to put tongue pads in my McAllisters, and they are still a little loose. My Strands in the same size fit fine. Both are regular leather sole and leather insole. My Fifth Aves fit the same as my Strands, so the McAllister seems to be the outlier.
     
  18. OptoDoc

    OptoDoc Senior member

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    Good to know I'm not the only one. Mine are 8E. I will decide tonight whether 7.5E or 8D would be a better option for the exchange.
     
  19. DHD28

    DHD28 Senior member

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    Just pulled the trigger on some Merlot McAllisters. Can't wait to get them.

    My Walnut McAllisters fit me a lot better than my Strands in the same size (7.5 E). My Strands feel kind of tight throughout, especially near the big toe area.
     
  20. Scottyb06

    Scottyb06 Senior member

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    I have both and they seem to fit exactly the same as I would expect given that they are on the same last.
     
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