I generally lean in this direction as well. I think that the closed lacing alone can't be the main driving force in the decision. I look at formality as a spectrum, not as black and white. There are many casual balmorals on the market (many nice ones by AE) that are obviously intended for jeans/chinos. I tend to approach the concept more from a scoring system perspective, sort of like a "pro/con" list if you will. Call formal a "pro" and casual a "con" just to use arbitrary terminology. In other words, know the "rules" for each component of the shoe and whether it is considered a formal or a casual component to see if your overall score ends up in the formal or casual side of the spectrum. Some will fall in the middle, making them versatile for being dressed up or down. I know many here disagree and feel that balmorals are strictly formal, and that the casual balmorals are simply enigmas that have no place. That's totally fine. Personally, I like the way a shoe that is made of casual leathers can be dressed up with traditionally formal shoe construction to make it appropriate for business casual environments. I think that is one of the main purposes of AE's Rough Collection. I don't think their sole intention with the Rough Collection was for weekends with jeans. I'm not as fond of some of the newer Rough offerings, but the members of the original collection (McTavish, Elgin, Finch, Stewart) all fit this bill very well and look fantastic on a casual friday with chinos and a button up or everyday if that is your style and work environment. The traditional dress shoes with heavy broguing in casual colors can fit into the same niche. Another thing is that people almost always ask if the shoes go with a particular pair of pants rather than the entire ensemble. It is much more helpful to consider the entire ensemble. Walnut McAllisters with jeans and a polo? No thanks. Walnut McAllisters with Jeans and a nice button up, casual tie and sport coat? Sure!