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

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

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  1. SuitedDx

    SuitedDx Senior member

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    There's a pic showing Alden restoration where they have a stack of old and new insoles in The JL thead so it appears Alden does it if needed In their refurbishing. Also, it is possible since I've had EG refurbishing and they replaced my insoles. Hard to compare since their refurbishing price is more than retail AE and may not be a fair refurbishing comparison; however, insole replacement can be done... It is probably just too labor intensive and costly and more realistic to buy a new pair. The 20% discount is an excellent gesture. I'm curious if they would even make a discontinued model if the irreplaceable shoes are not current stock. With AE's customer service I have a feeling they would go above and beyond...
     
  2. Winston S.

    Winston S. Senior member

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    I think you are referring to open channeled shoes vs hidden channeled soles and not a beveled sole. Not sure what beveling has to do with the stitching on a shoe as it really only relates to the waist of the shoe. Most of my AE shoes have open channeled soles similar to C&J benchgrade shoes. I do have a pair of shell Leeds though that do not look channeled.
     
  3. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

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    I think this issue is due to the way AE/Goodyear welted shoes are constructed. Replacing the insole requires far more work than just taking it out and putting in a new one. After the insole would be removed, the leather upper would have to be restretched and nailed down to the new insole. While this sounds easy, it puts a considerable amount of stress on the upper to the point where it could actually break the upper and ruin the shoe. In conclusion, with Goodyear welted shoes, this type of process is much more difficult because of the stress the lasting machines put on the upper during the lasting process. Replacing the insole is much easier with hand welted shoes. Hope this makes sense.
     
  4. PhiPsi32

    PhiPsi32 Senior member

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    Makes sense to me. Thank you for the information.


    AE can make a discontinued model provided they have the pattern on file.

     
  5. lostron

    lostron Senior member

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    I am still waiting for a good cordovan boot..
     
  6. PhiPsi32

    PhiPsi32 Senior member

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    Call AE and tell them what you want. They'll make it.
     
  7. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Goodyear-welted (and hand-welted) shoes are designed to keep the shoe safely intact and enable easy replacement of the outsole as needed. However, this doesn't preclude replacement of other worn components as needed, including the insole. The more cost effective companies that produce quality Goodyear-welted shoes do not replace the insole as part of their re-crafting because it would require more hands, hand-work, and time to accomplish. It would simply drive the cost of re-crafting higher than the average AE customer would be willing to pay.

    Replacing the insole is not as difficult as you would think, and I would contend that it is easier to replace the insole in a Goodyear-welted shoe than it is in a hand-welted one. The only difference is that a maker of hand-welted shoes is "used" to replacing more components due to the nature of their trade. When a shoe is sent to Allen Edmonds for re-crafting, it is put back on it's original last, the welt and sole are removed, and the cork is scraped out. At this point, there is nothing securing the insole other than the lip of lasted leather (the upper) that is butted up against the canvas gemming. All you have to do is grip the canvas gemming with a pair of pliers and the insole will lift right out. At this point, a new insole with new gemming attached can be slipped into place and the leather upper can be tugged back down with lasting pliers before everything is bound back together by stitching on a new welt (which drives thread through the welt, upper, and gemming to secure everything in place).

    All of these steps are done automatically by any Goodyear-welted manufacturer during re-crafting, including tugging the leather back down with lasting pliers to return the upper to it's original level of tautness. However, the more cost-conscious companies like AE don't replace other parts for reasons previously mentioned. People who are willing to pay far more for their shoes are also far more willing to shell out more money to replace other parts during the re-crafting process, so some of them will replace the insoles as needed.

    In hand-welting, the shoemaker would have to remove the outsole and welt, remove any bottom filler if there is any (a well made hand-welted shoe will not have cork, but may have a thin piece of leather or felt to even out the bottom). They would then pull out the old insole, and insert a new one. However, the bottom of the insole has to be carved to create a hold-fast so that the new welt has a place to be hand-stitched to. They would probably remove the upper from the last in order to create room to do this effectively, and then re-last the upper afterword. Then they could proceed with stitching on the new welt, by hand. It is worth noting that the insole of a hand-welted shoe is far less likely to need to be replaced in a quality hand-welted shoe due to the grade and thickness of leather that hand-welting requires for the insole. Hand-welted insoles are typically at least twice as thick as a Goodyear-welted one.

    For what it's worth, here is the photo from the Alden factory showing a stack of worn out insoles waiting to be replaced with new ones:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. SuitedDx

    SuitedDx Senior member

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    MWS, as always, great synopsis!
     
  9. Buddy0329

    Buddy0329 Senior member

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    Here's the happy ending:

    Drive back into the city to revisit the AE store, since after trying on the shoes again this morning it was very obvious that they were both too tight.

    The McAllisters being returned were 10E's. We tried the 10EEE's and they were definitely too wide all over. Then we brought out shoes in 10.5E and 11D. The 10.5E probably felt slightly better than the 11D, the latter feel slightly narrow in my forefoot, but i know that will loosen up as they break in. It was odd that i could not adequately close the lacing on the 10.5E, and compared to what I was used to in my old 11.5D, it was jarring mentally to look at my feet which just looked "off" to me compared to what I was used to. With the 11D I can also stay in a normal width, which I'll admit is vanity driven since it keeps the shoe's silhouette to what I'm used to. In a few months I'll know if I made the right decision and whether future 5-last dress shoes should be purchased in an 11D or 10.5E. Maybe these 11D's are just gateway shoes for me mentally before going to 10.5E's in the future. I have lost more than 65lbs in the last 11 months through a big lifestyle change. I want to lose another 25-30lbs. I'm sure my foot has changed over the past year which is precipitating my problems, and will continue to change in the near future as I get closer to my goal weight.

    [​IMG]

    The exchange of the Patriots was a more straightforward matter. The 10E's were too narrow. The 10.5E's were too long. The 10EEE's fit me just about perfectly out of the box.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Buddy0329

    Buddy0329 Senior member

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    These calf skin Patriots just feel so good out of the box. The leather is really so supple and I think they look great. I was originally going to order these in Shell cordovan but backed off following the sizing indecision and since I've never worn loafers before I was hesitant to make the investment in them.. If these prove to be versatile for me I may just go ahead and order the shell Patriots down the road anyway.

    They're just a tad loose without socks. I may try some no-show loafer socks to see how I like that.

    [​IMG]

    I also have to give the best recommendation possible to the staff at the Philadelphia Allen Edmonds store. Great service and very patient with me. Now that we have out first local AE store in the region, I suspect my wallet will be crying uncle.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  11. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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    +1, and a great read.
     
  12. VinnyMac

    VinnyMac Senior member

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    Nice merlot McA's. They look like they fit well. A lot of guys' shoes look like they could be used for a guitar solo because of how they fit across the strings.
     
  13. AdamAdam

    AdamAdam Senior member

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    Since we seem to wear the same size, did you go with the same in your BB Fifth Ave (different insole) as AE Strand and McAllister?
     
  14. DHD28

    DHD28 Senior member

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    Yes. 7.5 E in Strand & McAllister, 7.5 E in BB Fifth Ave. BB's feel way more comfortable though.
     
  15. ScottyBoy920

    ScottyBoy920 Senior member

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    How do they size compared to other AEs you have? I own various pairs of AE shoes and compared to my Patriots, I find that the patriots are extremely tight on the instep. I am thinking about returning for a new size… anyone have tips on how to get more room on the instep while maintaining a proper fit?
     
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