Thanks for the feedback. That makes sense, though Ive never actually considered that possibility. Being a fine-shoe noob, I never really thought about the possibility that the Balmoral is considered less formal than a Blucher. Im not sure why but I thought perhaps since the McAllister is part of the Timeless Classics Collection, that it would carry a natural air of sophistication. Great points, and I agree. I ordered my first pair of AE's online. Even before I ordered my Fifth Aves, I was mulling the purchase of the McAllister first. Then when I found out I had an actual Allen Edmond's store in my city, I decided to go in and get some shoe trees. Welp, I saw the McAllister on he shelf in Merlot, and in person it is absolutely striking. [Along with the Strand - it too has a very artistic quality to it] Its interesting, because online Allen Edmond shoes tend to look attractive but mediocre. I think much of it has to do with the posing of the shoes in their advertising, and could be in part due to the lighting. However in person, the tightness of the stitching and the quality of construction is readily apparent across the board in person. Now that Ive seen how much better Allen Edmond shoes actually look in person, in contrast to their online images, I have a hard time not justifying a follow-up purchase of the Merlot McAllisters. The Black McTavish is also appealing, but I want a shoe I can shine.