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

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

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  1. spitshine123

    spitshine123 Senior member

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    Right- but there might be a chance they might acquire more shells? Why are lighter shades of shell considered more rare- is it because lighter shades require better quality shells, and thus are produced less by Horween?
     
  2. tifosi

    tifosi Tire Kicker

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    When I ordered my MTO they said thay had no plans to restock any light shell in the near future.
    You are correct. Higher quality shells are required.
     
  3. rydenfan

    rydenfan Senior member

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    Nope. I have been told multiple times that black, burgundy and dark brown will be the only stocked colors
     
  4. bespoken pa

    bespoken pa Senior member

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    One of the reasons I really appreciate Allison. When I ordered my Daltons I originally wanted them in cappuccino but she advised me that if I wanted anything in Walnut I had to order it asap. Glad I did.
     
  5. rydenfan

    rydenfan Senior member

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    Good call! I love my walnut Daltons and I am sure you do as well
     
  6. bespoken pa

    bespoken pa Senior member

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    Lighter shells cannot have imperfections like the darker dyed shells. The light dye of say walnut will not cover the blemishes like black or burgundy, thus only the highest quality shell can be used.
     
  7. tifosi

    tifosi Tire Kicker

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    Is it appropriate to ask AE for updates on a MTO...err...order? Or will I be a PITA? I am about halfway through their lead time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  8. ScottyBoy920

    ScottyBoy920 Senior member

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    I called Allison about another MTO and asked about my current order, she gave me a quick update.
     
  9. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Breaking the shoes in on indoor surfaces is certainly going to decrease the heavy toe wear that happens initially. I think if you can be patient, it's worth it. If Mac gets credit for that idea, so be it. I was wearing my shoes around the house to break them in before I ever heard of Macarthur, for what it's worth.

    I actually have a pair that I was impatient with, regarding the indoor break-in period. They are seconds, and the right shoe had been tried on several times in the store, as evidenced by the amount of creasing, while the left shoe was pristine. I didn't wear them indoors for any significant time to break them in, and now the toe on the right shoe has several millimeters more sole depth than the left one. The right shoe still has stitching present at the toe, while the toe of the left shoe has worn through the stitching.
     
  10. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Brushing is a proven method, for any type of leather, and will help prevent the leather from cracking after many years of wear. Brushing leather is an age old method that is far older than Mcarthur. It's part of the care for saddles and other leather equipment as well. Part of what contributes to leather cracking in shoes (or any other leather articles) that are many years old (and are kept conditioned) is the microscopic accumulation of dust and grit in the creases. This accumulation begins to act as an abrasive, destroying the leather by acting like sandpaper every time it flexes. Brushing your shoes before wear to remove any accumulated dust before wearing them, and brushing them when you take them off to remove accumulated dust and dirt will keep you ahead of the game and help prevent the grit from settling into the creases. Also, wiping the shoes with a damp cloth to remove any potential grit before you apply conditioner/polish will keep you from rubbing the grit into the leather fibers during shoe care. Don't assume that just because the shoes look like they are dust/dirt free that they actually are. Plenty of this abrasion happens at the microscopic level. Turning microscopic surface grit into a nice paste to be rubbed into the fiber mat using your conditioner/polish isn't exactly good shoe care.

    I don't think Mac started his "method" based on any scientific reasons. Rather, he has figured out a way to get his shell shoes to shine at their best. Essentially, less is more when it comes to getting a nice clean shine on shell. I have no problem with that, or giving him credit for that. However, I fully agree that some conditioner of some sort needs to be applied every now and then, regardless of what it does to the beloved shine. No leather can survive to it's fullest potential without ever replacing lost oils, and shell is no exception. Shell is very saturated from the factory with oils, and it certainly needs less care than calf to replace it, but that is finite. I think that those who follow Mac's "Method" too literally will end up destroying their shoes over the long term (the definition of long term varies from person to person, and amount of wear). Don't forget that Macarthur apparently has so many pairs of shoes that he only has to wear each pair a handful of times per year (given equal rotation). At the rate of wear that he has, it makes perfect sense why he can have pairs that are 30 years old and still look relatively new with little care. In other words, a pair of his shoes that are 30 years old, may have less wear on them than the average SF member's shoes after one year! Don't miss that when you are deciding to blindly follow his care method! I think there should be a disclaimer regarding this for any newbies that come along seeking to make their shell shoes last as long as possible, while still looking good as well. You may lose some of your nice shine when you apply conditioning agents, but the shine will return, and the leather will have received some nourishment.

    With regard to the comment above about the "Method" only working on Alden... that's not the first time I've seen that possibility mentioned, but I don't think it's the case. While different manufacturers do apply their own finishes to shell after they get it from Horween, those finishes aren't necessarily impacting the end result of the leather over the long term. Once aftermarket shoe care products are used, the original out-of-box finish starts to change and become something new based on each individual's care routine. Additionally, Bucksfan and Cold Iron both have excellent examples of Allen Edmonds shoes that have just as much aesthetic appeal as Mcarthur's in my opinion. Mcarthur himself has also said that outdoor lighting and camera quality play a large role in the effect of his pictures as well.
     
  11. tifosi

    tifosi Tire Kicker

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    Very well written and informative post as usual, MWS. What conditioner to be used on shell do you personally recommend?
     
  12. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Now that's a whole new can of worms... [​IMG]

    Nick Horween recommends Venetian Shoe Cream. Those who are scared of petroleum distillates don't like the idea of using that, however.

    Saphir Cordovan Cream is probably fine to use as well, or a small amount of Renovateur.

    Some really like Lexol Conditioner.

    If you want something mild that is made by an SF member (Glenjay), and doesn't use petroleum distillates, then I'd recommend these products: http://glenkarencare.com/gkcp/ These would be my highest recommendation.

    The problem with most products on the market is that knowing what is in the ingredients is nearly as hard to find out as the secret recipe for Coca-Cola.

    Since shell should only need to be conditioned a time or two per year (depending on wear), any product will probably be ok, and I would think it would come down to personal preference in the end.
     
  13. ryansto

    ryansto Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG]

    couple of quick shots of my NEW bourbon hanover wholecut bals! Digging the color...
     
  14. tifosi

    tifosi Tire Kicker

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    I thought that I had read somewhere that Nick at Horween recommends VSC. That was the direction I was intending to go. I can't imagine something that MAY BE or perceived to be harmful to leather being endorsed by Horween.
    I figured Saphire would be in the mix, too.
    Personal preference is tough. It's not what I want...it's what my shell shoes want!
    I may wear one pair of shell shoes once a week and not for 52 weeks a year straight. I would say maybe 26 or so wears a year. I think a once a year conditioning would be plenty.

    Thanks for the link. I will have to look into that.
     
  15. rydenfan

    rydenfan Senior member

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    I believe Horween is now even selling their own branded VSC. I think I saw that online somewhere
     
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