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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. chinngiskhaan

    chinngiskhaan Senior member

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    I will... as soon as I replace them with another black shoe. Unfortunately they are the only black dress shoe I own.
     
  2. OptoDoc

    OptoDoc Senior member

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    Please post pics of them when they arrive (for comparison's sake [​IMG])
     
  3. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    Will do. [​IMG]
     
  4. wdahab

    wdahab Senior member

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    I am not intimately familiar with Carmina, so I don't know how their widths fit. I just figured if I didn't mention the EE width, someone else was going to.

    Here's the problem with their options over all their lasts: I'm going to assume (though perhaps this is wrong) that they can't make each of their styles of shoe on any of those lasts. So, for example, their LWB can't be made on a narrow last, if its only made up for their extra wide last. So yeah, they have options, but if you want a pair of their boots, and they only come on a last that doesn't work for you at that width, you're out of luck. This is as opposed to AE who does a wonderful job of making their lasts available over the full range of widths.
     
  5. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Senior member

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    Oh my gawd.

    I think I just found a pair of boots to solve all my versatility problems. Now to save up for a year to be able to afford one of the shoes. I'll order the other one in 2015.

    :p

    And this is the advantage of having more volume. You can either be like cole haan and churn out a ton of shoes in different models or offer different widths for more classical shoes so more people can take advantage of them.

    I bet there's atleast one AE last/width combo for every person that wears dress shoes that would be a good fit. They clearly have enough.


    I think I own a pair of these that I bought used. Once I got them I was a little disappointed since they basically look and feel like plastic. They're pretty comfortable and they were brand new for like 40 bucks so whatever. I still wish I hadn't gotten them.

    Still, they'll be a good pair of shoes to learn to polish/shine etc. I bet I'll be able to take selfies of myself looking at the sole once I have them polished up.

    I might try using leather conditioner on them to see if they soften up a bit at all. I guess they're fine for what they are. Mine don't say 'optima' on the bottom though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  6. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Interesting discussion that's been taking place on the "high-end" status, or lack thereof, regarding AE.

    I just have a few thoughts, and with a couple of them, I don't mean any offense.

    I don't think AE considers themselves to be a "high-end" shoe company. I think they consider themselves to be a high quality shoe and strive to produce the highest quality they can while keeping prices as low as possible. These two goals are obviously at odds with each other, but I think AE balances them very well.

    I do think that the status of the men's clothing/shoe industry has incidentally made AE a "high-end" shoe. The proliferation of cheap materials, cheap manufacturing methods, and cheap labor has skewed the spectrum in the negative direction substantially over the last several decades. As a result, shoes which are made using traditional methods and respectable materials are forced to be more expensive, and they often stand out visually, even to the uninformed masses. They may not know why they look nicer, but they can frequently tell that you have on more expensive shoes. I fully believe that in a poll of "average" men, AE would end up being ranked as a "high-end" shoe. Those of us who have been on SF long enough, and know about shoes, know that there are absolutely other brands that spend significantly more time, effort, and money in their finishing. Those additional costs get shifted to the consumer when it comes time to purchase them.

    It is silly to forget that we are discussing a spectrum here. Saying that AE isn't a high end shoe simply because of the existence of better shoes available in the market isn't logical. Using that logic, there could only be one high-end product in any given product market, which we all know isn't true. High-end isn't synonymous with "king of the hill." Yes, there can only be one "best" but there can be many that are "better than most."

    In a similar vein, saying that there can be many that are "better than most" is based on the principle of a Gaussian distribution. However, by saying that, I am using the assumption that the people in this discussion have a good understanding of the available options and can reasonably come to the same conclusion using abstract or theoretical thought. Under that assumption, it is reasonable to make such claims for purposes of illustration. However, the discussion remains abstract or theoretical because we haven't presented any scientifically derived data with which to make such claims. For statistics to have any teeth, it must first have dependable data as a foundation.

    Here is where we insert Mark Twain's premise when he grouped statistics with "lies and damned lies." Using statistical jargon to make an argument sound more persuasive to those who are less informed amounts to employing proof by verbosity, or argument from authority. I think that it is reasonable to make claims about a subjective concept within a group of people who are on relatively equal footing in order to illustrate a point. Anything beyond that, however, is simply proving Twain's point. We can't make accurate claims using a Gaussian distribution, asserting how many standard deviations one shoe brand is from another, or even what the mean is, without hard objective data from which to calculate the distribution.

    Statistics may have changed a lot since the mid-19th century, but I think that the reason many people's perception of it hasn't changed is because it is still used as a tool in rhetoric and for the purposes of bolstering an argument at the expense of the less informed individual in the argument. That will never change.
     
    4 people like this.
  7. DJTraveler

    DJTraveler Senior member

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    To me they're a bit more casual version of the Patriot. Both are penny loafers.
     
  8. clarinetplayer

    clarinetplayer Senior member

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  9. OptoDoc

    OptoDoc Senior member

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    MWS dropping eloquent knowledge as always.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. kentyman

    kentyman Senior member

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    I embarrassingly realized that with all my recent travel, I forgot to email Allison and thank her. I also asked her about the new pattern. Here was here response:

    Quote: Exciting that they may improve the pattern, and an excellent example of Allison's (and AE's in general) great customer support.
     
  11. cincikid

    cincikid Senior member

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    I have them too and I like them a lot. Great casual shoe for the fall weather.
     
  12. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    If they permanently implement the change, you can always look at the McAllister and know that you had something to do with it's improvement. Kinda cool. [​IMG]
     
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  13. kjd2121

    kjd2121 Member

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    I would like to give a shout out to the Allen Edmunds store in Phoenix, AZ. Last Thursday I took my McAllister's in to get the left shoe stretched free of charge (it takes a week). I noticed there was a sale on and my eye was drawn to the Blue Neumok. I told the salesman I would need to discuss another purchase with my wife. One week later,yesterday, I went in to pick up my newly stretched McAllister and noticed that the sale was over, damn. I asked the saleswoman when the sale ended and she said they would honor the sale price on the Blue Neumok. I asked her if I could get the sale price on my 7 week old McAllister's as I paid full price. Guess what - She gave me the sale price on the McAllister, Neumok, matching belt for the Neumok, shoe trees, travel kit, and shoelaces.

    Damn fine people working for Allen Edmunds.
     
  14. DNSamurai

    DNSamurai Senior member

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    I ordered a few pairs of cedar shoe trees during the recent JAS sale ($8.50 a pair). I thought I would take a picture to compare the three different brands of trees I now have. I was surprised to see how noticeably wider the fixed full-toe trees are compared to the split tree. All three are size L.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  15. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    The proper term is "full toe" for the ones that are fixed. When the split toe trees are inserted, they expand to fill the space appropriately. Thus, the wider forepart on the full toe trees makes sense, given they can't expand.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    The flaw in your argument is that, identical to Carmina, not all AE lasts work for all feet, regardless of the shoe's availability in different widths. I cannot wear the 8 last because a D width is perfect in the heel but too narrow at the ball of my foot. The E width in the 8 last is too wide in the heel and my foot swims in the shoe. Same problem with the 2 last for most people. There are also many with low volume feet that cannot wear the 5 last due to the bowing issue. Some cannot get a good fit with the 7 last, regardless of width.

    With regard to Carmina, I will never get my foot in the Simpson and other narrow lasts, but the Rain, Inca and Forest lasts are almost identical in shape to the narrow lasts and work for wider feet.

    I do agree with you, though, that an individual with an irregular width or other fit issue is much more likely to find a shoe that fits him at AE than at Carmina, due to the number of AE lasts and widths available.

    It is interesting to me that we are only discussing Carmina vs. AE with regards to quality. For me, my major incentive to step up to Carmina is not the difference in the finishing, but the difference in the lasts. The stubby toe cap and extended welt on the Park Avenue and 5th Avenue can appear blobby, which is why I began looking elsewhere for my cap toes. When I justify the price increase to go outside AE's offering, it is to obtain a sleeker shoe on a last that fits my foot as well or better than AE. When it comes to more casual shoes, I can't see myself going outside of AE.
     
  17. DNSamurai

    DNSamurai Senior member

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    Interesting. Thanks.

    Why would someone choose a full-toe versus the split-toe, or vice versa?
     
  18. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    You are probably going to get several responses to that question. Personally, I think it comes down to individual preference. AE claims that the full-toe tree is better for AE models, and the split toe tree is better for "all other brands." I don't believe that, or see any reason why that would be true. All full-toe trees are the same shape, but AE's has many different shaped lasts. Unless they somehow used a computer to "average" out the shape to basically accommodate all their lasts to some degree, then it doesn't seem like it would matter.

    I use full-toe trees because the split toe trees annoy me. Plain and simple. [​IMG] I find the split toe ones to be more finicky, and I always feel the need to reach inside the shoe to make sure they are fully expanded with my fingers, because they never seem to expand appropriately on their own. This may not be the case for everyone, but it's been my experience.
     
  19. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    I do this as well. Always need to check to make sure they expanded.
     
  20. green garden

    green garden Senior member

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    I realize this is the AE thread but will ask these questions since you seem to have a lot of experience with Carmina. I also hope that others in the thread would benefit from your response.

    What are the narrow Carmina last aside from the Simpson? And which last shape corresponds to what?

    I am a US C width and want to understand which of the Carmina lasts fit the best for narrow and low volume feet like mine.
     
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