Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mild Mannered, Sep 27, 2009.
I'm not usually a Carmina guy, however in this instance, Carmina wins out.
I'm not a huge fan of bal boots, but I'd pick the AE just cause they don't have speed hooks at the top.
The Carminas are worth it. Love my AEs, but these are a step up. I have these Carminas in suede and they are fantastic. I might be inclined to stay with calf, though. Carmina shell can get very spendy very quickly.
Might want to ask the same question on the Carmina thread if you want to balance out the responses.
These are pretty bad, I guess a pure function shoe
I present at the conferences 4-to-5 times a year and the boots have never been required for participants. This said, I'd take AE 'cause of the speed hooks and 'cause you know how the last is going to fit you.
Since you want one in black and brown, I'd get one of each brand, going for whichever brown offering you like best, then the other in black. I wouldn't get shell, as I wouldn't be wearing boots that much due to the warm St. Louis weather in the summer.
I don't necessarily share your view on this. In his interview a few years ago Paul said that AE has a unique niche on the market offering relatively affordable Goodyear welted shoes made of good leathers and of great quality. They don't seem to have competitors in their price range and their shoes are selling like the hot pies. What would AE to gain if it were to follow JM for instance? I am not a market researcher, but they would probably lose more than they would gain. There's more than enough cheap poor quality shoes on the market and I see no reason for AE to compete in that niche. Of course, it's hard to predict which scenario AE is likely to follow, but my hunch is that they are going to be OK in the long run.
E seems to provide a product in between Alden and J&M. Either an increase or decrease in quality/cost would bring them to a place where they would have more direct competition. I don't envision a scenario where this makes much sense for them. They have established a good business model allowing them to fill in the gaps between other manufacturers.
Now, the move into apparel starts to make more sense.
I have the AE Fifth Street in Brown and I like them. I also have Carminas (2 pair actually) in brown/suede and in black scothgrain.
I wear them all but I prefer the Carminas. They are much higher and the speed hooks do not catch on my trouser hems . The forest last is an extremely good fit for me. I'd also say spring for the shell if you can. Shell is worth it and the Carmina finishing is top notch.
Here are some pics of each:
Carmina Black Scotchgrain
Carmina Brown Calf and Brown Suede
AE Fifth Street in Brown Calf
Browsing old catalogues... Can't figure out why AE has discontinued so many great models they had, like this one for example (from the 1980 edition).
They needed to close that out like you need to close out Chrome tabs...
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