Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mild Mannered, Sep 27, 2009.
What last is the AE 'Polo' saddle shoe in? Thanks!
Those aren't Strands, it's a blucher. Looks like a walnut Player's. The appeal of the Macneil over the Strand is that the blucher macneil can be dressed down much easier than the balmoral, 1/4 brogue Strand. The Strand does business attire very well...casual attire not as well.
Yes, I know the pictures I posted arent Stands, but as I posted earlier, I wear my strands a lot more casually. I hope after a wear months of wear they begin to look like the blucher's posted above. I apologize for the miscommunication on my part.
Based on the guy not wearing socks, I'm guessing he beats the hell out of those shoes. Won't take long to make yours look like that if you want.
The other pair look like women's shoes? If those are men's shoes, the look without socks is not good.
I was nearby an Allen Edmonds store today and stopped in to take a look. Having seen a lot of the new shoes in person, I'm curious if my impressions match up with others here.
- Independence collection: The finishing on the shoes is really beautiful. Seems miles ahead of the regular shoes in attention to detail. I don't know if this matters at all in terms of durability and/or quality, but they don't have the rough edges around the stitching on the sole that most AEs have. And the embellishments - the wheeling, the nicer nail finishing, the waist, the painting are nice. Although I could do without the little metal tag on the sole.
The leather used for the upper is also much nicer, at least in black. The walnut, however, does not look good; it has wrinkles and almost looks cheap compared to the regular leather. I know that's not true, but the color is not kind. Finally, for some reason I find the balmoral (Jefferson) much better looking than the bluchers (Jefferson and Hancock). Something about that last is not kind to bluchers.
The Jefferson in black is a spectacular shoe.
- They had all the shells, except for the new limited edition cappuccino, on display. Interesting to note that they are now using J Rendenbach soles on the shell shoes - they have the J R stamp and the wording "Genuine Shell Cordovan" (or something like that) on them. I'd imagine they're using these on the Independence collection, too, but not sure.
..and no Walnut Shell MacNeils either.
- AE is now selling Davek umbrellas in store. Found that interesting!
Got to love SF
They were made on the 1 I believe (same as the Shelton).
I have somewhere in the 15-ish pair of shoes range right now (dress shoes, all either AE, Alden or C&J), and 10 or 11 are shell cordovan. Quite frankly, that's about as much as my part of the closet will hold at the moment. I built my collection over the past 18 months - mostly over the first 12 months, then slowed down. I plan to add 1-2 pair per year here for a while. I don't think they are a bad investment, but I really didn't go about building my collection with that in mind. I have purchased them as sales happened for the most part, so my average cost per pair is probably more around the $400-$450 mark.
I will say that what PhiPsi32 said is pretty much spot on - more shoes = less wear per pair, plus I tend to choose my shoes more carefully and based on the weather, so when it's going to be bad out, I will wear one of my pair of dress boots or my pebble grain Macneils rather than my shell strands or one of my pair of shell loafers. (I know that shell is supposed to be great in the wet, I just don't want to subject mine to it, except my shell boots).
Based on my first 12 to 18 months with a lot of these shoes, I think I'm going to be able to go a decade before resoling many of them... so I think they will literally last me the rest of my professional career (about 30 yrs to go). $500-$600 or so up front + $100 every 10 years for resoling isn't bad for footwear expenditure. Plus, I get to wear really great shoes throughout my career. Some may think that I'm way off on this decade estimate - but I am one of the fortunate ones who go from garage, to parking garage, to elevator, to carpeted office. My shoes really only see the pavement at lunchtime.
As far as disposable income - that certainly has something to do with it. I don't consider myself wealthy, but have taken strides to live within my means, which means that my income is not already spoken for before I earn it. So, I can afford to splurge on some $500 shoes a few times a year without affecting my family's standard of living or long-term plans.
Shoes are not a good financial investment, no matter how much you try to justify it with the longevity of the product (real or perceived).
doesn't wear / pair basically not matter as you get past 2 or 3 shoes though? if you have 365 pairs of shoes you can wear them all exactly once a year, and they will last your lifetime this way, but each pair of shoes still has the same amount of finite "lifetime wears" in it.
ie I understand that leather soled shoes should not be worn 2 days in a row, optimally. for instance if you wear a pair of Park Avenues every day, they may need a resole 100 days from now, while if you rotate 2 pairs, they each may last 125 wears before a resole is needed. but rotating 3 or 4 or 5 pairs, and they still probably need a resole after 125 wears. (obv the exact number doesn't matter here, just the idea)
so you're not really extending the life of any shoe by owning more of them - it just seems that way b/c you're using it less. and "using it less" actually costs a good bit of money, b/c that requires owning more shoes!
"Investment" might be a strong word for regularly worn shoes, but if one is fortunate enough to purchase, say Alden or C&J shell cordovan shoes (new or gently worn) especially at discount, they can easily be re-sold for more than the purchase price. Granted, we are not talking IPO, but it's still impressive considering shoes do tend to depreciate.
To me shoes are like cars, if you drive it off the lot, the value goes down; however, if they become rare or collector's items, they can easily be of value later on if cared for.
it would take a pretty insane discount to buy a pair of shoes, wear them for 5 years, and be able to sell them for close to what you paid (considering inflation). Florsheim Royal Imperial shell cordovan, even in awesome (used) condition, doesn't sell for more than $200 or so in current dollars. in the late 90's these cost $400 or so so new (which is obv a lot more than $400 today)
I did see a NOS pair of Florsheim shell cordovan sell for $600 last week. but these were literally NOS, in a rare model, and a rare color. and again when they were purchased probably cost around $600 in 2012 terms - they didn't appreciate at all. if they has been worn a few times they probably would have been worth $200.
even NOS generally depreciates compared to inflation
though, I do understand what your saying - that if you pay a steep discount to retail on desirable models, you ultimately haven't really spent a huge sum of money, b/c you could always recoup a healthy % of what your spend if you resell them
It's definitely difficult to find value on products (i.e., shoes, suits) that are worn. Eventually, each wear causes drops in value. It is true that if you want growth, you invest the $600-$700+ dollar on stocks and not shell shoes. You just can't show pictures of your stocks on SF
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