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

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

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  1. JezeC

    JezeC Senior member

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    I'm much more forgiving on quality control, especially on 2nds. I think most of my pairs, whether first quality or second quality have some minor aesthetics that I tend to look the other way and just rock them as it.

    As you go up the price scale, problems like the ones you would find in AE are less prevalent. However, comparing Vass to AE is just simply unfair. AEs are great and domintes my rotation, but at the end of the day, people buy them for below $300 for first and below $250 for seconds during one of AE's ever seemingly perpetual sales.

    I'm just not sure there are that many alternatives which are superior to AEs. If one is willing to pony up $385 (or whatever retail price AE charges) for a pair of first, he may be better off taking that money and looking into something in the range or Carminas, Alred Sargents etc....However if your range is $200 to $300, AE is a pretty good bet.
     
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  2. Darkside

    Darkside Senior member

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    That's exactly my point. To the gentleman who spent almost $400 on a pair of AE firsts (which is what AE charges and expects most customers to pay), I would be completely dissatisfied with a shoe that had a glaring imperfection such as a tear in the topmost layer of the leather, or burnishing that detracts from the overall look. 99% of the population would shudder at the idea of spending that much on a shoe, let alone one that you have to "settle" for imperfections.

    If you are buying seconds, however, I agree that the standards should be more lenient. @Rugger 's analogy about Hondas and Bentleys was completely on point.
     
  3. Rugger

    Rugger Senior member

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    So if you went to buy a pair of trousers from J. Crew, you would be ok with a small but obvious stain on the fabric or a pull on the stitching simply because they are J. Crew and not Tom Ford?
     
  4. JezeC

    JezeC Senior member

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    Haha,ummm, I don't hold clothing and shoes in the same type of analysis. I accept these minor aesthetic flaws in AE not because I want to, but because there are no better alternatives in the $200 to $300 price range that offers what AE offers. If you think there is, let me know. The market offers what the market offers.
     
  5. peppercorn78

    peppercorn78 Senior member

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    I think AE would agree with you that your pair is not acceptable. Email CAC with some photos. They'll take care of you. Again. This happened to me with 3 different pairs of Bleeckers (before I gave up and applied the money towards the trunk show). One was gorgeous and almost conpletely perfect except for a cut even smaller than yours in the rear seem of the left shoe. My SA took one look at it and said "no, that's not good."
     
  6. Kahuna75

    Kahuna75 Senior member

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  7. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    That is not bad at all then. I know what you mean and it is a pain to have to pay full price unless you can find a pair sitting around at the Shoebank. They definitely should work for the orchestra attire, but did you ever just think of taking a nice pair with you and wearing a bad pair to get to work? You play the French Horn, right? if so, they don't take that much room that you can put them in your mute bag or take them with you when you don't need mutes. That is what I can do and I play the trombone so I always have to carry a ton of mutes for each concert anymore.

    Oh yea and there are a few others that can accommodate the sizing. Alden can if you order ahead, but 6 months is cutting it close. C&J can do some super narrow widths for MTO, but only one or two styles can be made for no extra charge. Church's can too for the classic styles. Even EG can, but the price is a huge jump.
     
  8. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    great look! don't see that color too often
     
  9. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    I'm starting to think that they do have problems more on the non-standard styles that are only available for a few months and are discontinued. They seem to make them like a fashion company who doesn't care.

    I haven't noticed problems in the standard styles though, which is definitely saying something. I think they may need to slow down with the new styles and just add a few a season at most while focusing on QC across the board. That will keep their sales up anyway, because they only need to make those styles to draw in some people and once they see the difference from cheap fashion shoes, they will be converted and try other styles.

    If they have problems that are as noticeable as some pictures we have seen, then those customers will no longer be customers at all for AE. They will start to lose some of us as well, which will really hurt them much more.
     
  10. Kahuna75

    Kahuna75 Senior member

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    those look great
     
  11. lemmy127

    lemmy127 Senior member

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    Looking at the picture of the first pair of Carlyles you rejected, a more suitable analogy would be returning those J. Crew trousers because a thread at the end of a seam wasn't trimmed close enough, so it was sticking out the end of a pant leg. Technically a flaw, but one you could solve on your with a pair of scissors and 2 seconds of your time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
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  12. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    No problem at all. I am not the only one who has a tough to fit foot. @random-adam has one that is almost as tough as mine. That is why we are all here. We want to learn what we can from each other and then give back to others. We are the team of shoe fanatics of all ages, sizes, and shapes.

    Since you are a size that they do carry, you can go to a store and ask them to have so many different sizes and widths in the various lasts that you desire. The problem is that feet are not just one size. That is the reason why companies like AE and Alden made combination lasts to fit tighter around the heel. Unfortunately those lasts aren't even enough for everyone. I would first compare just lace-up shoes and boots because the lacing allows the looser and tighter fits, where a slip-on/loafer does not. Some people like me, can not wear them at all. It just comes down to foot shape. I have a pair and only wear them at the most casual times in the summer because they are too wide and get horrible creases, especially around the heel. Most people with more narrow heels need another width more narrow to accommodate the lack of support around the ankle region.

    You also may need to think about which compromises you would rather make. You first need to find the proper length for each last that you can truly use. Make sure you have enough room past your longest toe. (The "rule of thumb" is usually the best way, even though many people don't seem to follow it), and then make sure that the ball of your foot is at the widest part of the shoe, because that is where they bend and it is actually the most important measurement to help the shoe mold to your foot over time. This is where the shank under the foot is factored in because that is the support for your foot but if too far past it can cause foot problems or if too short it just may not do its job.


    Once you have the proper size in each last that you like and feel may actually fit your foot (sizes can vary from each last), then you want to factor in which width will work for you in each of those lasts. Since you seem to have a greater difference between your forefoot width and heel width you probably need to compromise in one of two ways:

    The one is to get the proper width to fit your heel that may be a little tight in the front, so you can go to a cobbler or a pedorthist (someone who went to school to learn about making and modifying shoes, insoles, orthotics, etc) to modify the width in the problem spots with shoe stretchers or other means that I will not go too much into at this point. (There are quite a few options that they have which can work wonders because many of them work with people having major orthopedic problems like some of my patients.)

    The other is to get the width that fits your forefoot the best but is a bit wide on the heel. For that you may need to consider using heel or tongue pads to take up the room that you can't fill / push your foot to the back of the shoe. You also could consider a type of sock like a boot sock, which has a much thicker material just around the heel and bottom of the foot to fill up that area, which can help the fit there. I actually have used a pair of boot socks under a thin pair of dress socks to fill up the area that I can't fill around my heel. I have also used the various pads in other shoes. They all can help to make things better and for some people, they actually make the shoe more comfortable from the extra padding that is now in use.

    I know that you as well as many others aren't a fan of using the change of socks or various pads, but sometimes you have to either try them out, just deal with the problems of the shoes, or be willing to pay more money to try out higher end shoes that may fit your feet better. In my opinion, the biggest problem for people is finding the actual size that they need in a last, and finding lasts that actually have a shape that truly works with their feet. In the end, I bet most will at least give those cheap options a shot when they see how few options there really are to have nice shoes.
    If you would consider the most expensive way, which is getting higher end or even custom shoes, I do have many contacts around the world, who would be willing to work with you to make you something. Quite a few of them have stuff written about them here on Styleforum. I know of ones from $350-400 up to over $10,000 a pair, with various levels of aesthetics and quality. Some of the less expensive ones can look just as good as AE.

    I hope that helps and please let me know if you or anyone has more questions. I'm a shopaholic plus since I'm in this part of the medical field, this is a passion of mine, especially when it comes to tough to fit feet. In the end, fit is the most important, and when you find a good fit like you haven't had before, it completely changes your whole day. People don't think of how important your feet and ankles are to the rest of your body until they have problems.
     
  13. Scottyb06

    Scottyb06 Senior member

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    My understanding is their business is really booming and have thus increased production quite a bit. I'd imagine that their error rate then increases but is still relatively low. Not saying it's acceptable but I think that's the rationale.
     
  14. Al Dente

    Al Dente Senior member

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    An update: I emailed AE customer service and they said it was a defect. My wife said take them back, and the salesman at the AE store said it would bother him too; but when I looked at the non-defective boot, it just sealed the deal. I thought people may be interested in what the AE salesman said. He said 3 of the 7 stores he called had Dalton Bourbons that were defective in some way. According to him my only option was to order a new pair from AE and wait 4 weeks. Supposedly they will be checked for defects. I will just consider them "custom made".

    I thought the wrinkling in the detailing looked like the leather piece was too big and had to be squished together to fit. the salesman called it "air bubbles".
     
  15. peppercorn78

    peppercorn78 Senior member

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    Yeah, that happens when the matching pieces of upper and luning aren't cut identically, or stitched together straight.

    It's also possible that it was a bad cut of hide, like belly, which can be unpleasantly wrinkly.
     
  16. mdubs

    mdubs The Mayor of Aldensville

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    Great Light Colored Wingtips guys. Both of these are terrific!
     
  17. antb29

    antb29 Member

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    Hey guys, first post - I credit this thread with convincing me to get some Allen Edmonds.
    I bought a pair of Dalton seconds and just received them, and since I'm not yet very knowledgeable on shoes I wanted to know if the two defects I spotted more or less immediately were worth worrying about. For $200 as long as it's cosmetic/not too bad I don't really mind, I'm only worried about durability issues. The first photo was the one I was more worried about.
    Thanks.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Rugger

    Rugger Senior member

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    Both are purely cosmetic. The first one is unfortunately very, very common with AE. They can't seem to figure out how to connect the welt consistently. I have some pairs that have perfect welts, and others that look like they were connected with a hatchet. It seems that your chances are about 50/50 of receiving a pair with at least one poor welt.

    The second photo....I have no idea but my guess is whatever that is..is why they were $200, since AE has no problem selling shoes with the issues in your first photo as "first" quality.

    My advice...if either issue bugs you at all, return them. If not...enjoy!
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  19. coolarrow

    coolarrow Senior member

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    To those wondering about the next 2nds sale. credit goes to SF member Kael84:

    I am pretty new to this forum, but I have learned a ton from reading the different posts throughout. I just thought this would be a good place to put this information I just found out. I have been looking to pick up some Allen Edmonds factory seconds, and next week they are doing 15% off all factory seconds, and some styles have even bigger discounts. The style I was looking into will be $149. So i just thought I would put this out there for anyone interested. Have a good one!
     
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