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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. garland

    garland Senior member

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    I'm not going to get super involved in this, because quite frankly it isn't my job or responsibility to do so, but large portions of that aren't accurate or are severely over simplified.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  2. harlequin782

    harlequin782 Senior member

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    I read sometime last year that AE constructs its uppers in DR...not just for its budget line shoes either...for all of its shoes, except the Independence line maybe, I believe...I accepted it after a while and just convinced myself to overlook that and continued to make purchases. But when the heel came off of my Neumoks revealing what looked like a piece of a paper plate that had been cut into the shape of the heel and I began reading here that they had switched to using cardboard in their heels, along with ever ascending prices for full retail products, I started to understand why people only (or at least mostly) just shop at the Shoebank. Truth be told, if I worked for or at Allen Edmonds, I would consider everyone on this forum a moron too...if you follow this forum long enough, this forum leaves you very little reason to purchase their product at full retail, whether that's because youve become far more informed about quality shoemaking than you were before, or whether its because you become aware of each and every sale, and avenue to get their shoes at incredible discounts (Shoebank, Burlington CF, Nordstrom sales, as well as regular AE sales)..
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  3. Neo1

    Neo1 Senior member

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    @iloveplaid the Walden and the Grayson fit very differently. The Grayson will feel longer for sure - you may like it better (same size). What else have you tried? Need a little more info, but shooting from the hip, id check out the Addison, McGraw or something else in the 234.
     
  4. vmss

    vmss Senior member

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    Ignorance is bliss.
     
  5. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I think the guy that did that dissection is simply mistaken. The material that they make the heel stack out of is difficult to identify, but it's not stacked leather. I suppose there could be some leather board in there, but it seems more like a fiber/paper board to me.

    Here is a photo from one of my dissections of a main-line shoe:

    [​IMG]

    You can see the surface texture of the layer under the one I peeled back, and it has a finely patterned appearance as if it was stamped out. Whatever it is... leather, paper, some other unidentified fiber, it isn't stacked leather.

    I have no idea how long they've been using this material, so this may not be a revelation. Even in a lot of the high end English shoes, pre-assembled heels are the norm. But, the better ones are still leather.

    I certainly get outspoken about certain components being made of inferior materials, but I will say that synthetic heel and toe stiffeners are also the norm. There are a few out there that use leather in the non-bespoke world, but not many. So, AE isn't really violating any GY-welted shoe manufacturing standards there.

    Frankly, I'm much more worried about how many models are shifting to Poron insoles than I am about the synthetic heel stack since the heel stack gets replaced at recrafting no matter what. The insole, however, is there for life.
     
    4 people like this.
  6. antb29

    antb29 Member

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    That or he's just not wasting his time explaining to you why information on the internet that is not supported by any source doesn't have a shred of credibility.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. harlequin782

    harlequin782 Senior member

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    Whew...as someone who doesnt know the general trends among modern shoemakers, that's actually quite reassuring to hear...because realistically, if they are cutting more corners than is typical for a shoe at their price point, I was concerned about an ethical issue with the company's integrity. As in: how much lower than its contemporaries is the company willing to go, as long its not discussed or discovered?
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  8. vmss

    vmss Senior member

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    Your very own CEO of AE made a statement regarding uppers being made in DR:

    AllenEdmondsCEOCEO - Allen Edmonds
    1141d, 20h15




    We own our own plant in the Dominican Republic, the island where Columbus first landed in 1492. There we make shoes to compete in the rubber bottom and boat shoe niches dominated by offshore manufacturers in constructions we don't have the equipment to do in Port Washington, WI, and -- if we did -- we'd be so much more expensive than competitors we'd be sunk. We don't want our customers or our future customers building relationships with the lower cost boat shoe or rubber bottom comfort shoe suppliers anymore. We also do some initial leather cutting and pattern sewing there that lowers our overall cost structure and keeps our retail pricing below $400 for our dress shoes. Those folks are as much a part of our family as any of us. They're great when I visit. I'm proud of the expansion in employment we've also had there -- they sure need the jobs and we Americans need a healthy hemisphere. They do great work, too.

    We've expanded significantly in the U.S. because of all the things you mention -- especially commitment to community that is a part of our patriotism, you bet. The economically easier path trod by so many others would have been to shut down in the U.S. but my predecessor, John Stollenwerk, and our team never considered it. The flexibility we have as a domestic manufacturer in "time to market" and custom-sized quantities is becoming a bigger advantage all the time as we learn how to use it."
     
  9. shoenoobie

    shoenoobie Well-Known Member

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    Got some new pairs of AEs. Want to protect them from creasing/cracking, what not.

    My understanding now is that I need to use shoe cream. I don't want to go too hard core with polishing situation, since at most I will wear 1~2 times a month a pair. But what kind of actual shoe cream should I buy?

    Is "neutral" tone from Kiwi something I can use from color black to walnut? Is this shoe cream what keeps the leather moist and prevents excessive cracking of the leather?

    Thank you!
     
  10. antb29

    antb29 Member

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    That is actually helpful. Is this from the Reddit AMA ? You could have just quoted that instead of wikipedia.
     
  11. vmss

    vmss Senior member

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    yes from reddit. I thought that wiki was credible apparently for some of you not.
     
  12. peppercorn78

    peppercorn78 Senior member

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    I guess you don't know that @garland works for AE. So I wouldn't call him ignorant. At the very least he knows more about the brands products than anyone else here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
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  13. Kahuna75

    Kahuna75 Senior member

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    When Paul was on platform he said the uppers were clicked and described it as receiving a flat disc of leather...he seemed to make it like the patterns were cut and sections attached but all of the brogue work and wings and stitching outside the stitching to hold the pieces together were done stateside.
     
  14. vmss

    vmss Senior member

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    I didn't know you worked for AE, and if you truly did you would have corrected me if I had mentioned something that didn't make sense.

    I am curious now, why don't you make it clear where the uppers at produced? If they use paper or cardboard heel or leather stacked etc.

    I would like you to prove me and other posters wrong for clarification.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  15. vmss

    vmss Senior member

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    I have visited many shoe stores where the salesman were either unknowledgeable about their own shoes they were selling or uninterested. They were just trying to tickle your ears and sell as much possible for extra commission.

    If he does work for AE it doesn't tell me anything unless he start to educating us regarding the fabrication of their shoes.
     
  16. tharkun

    tharkun Senior member

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    Shall we get DFW in here to talk about quality of manufacturing etc? ;) Goodyear welting itself means you are cutting a corner. You're replacing the work of a skilled shoemaker to sew the welt on by a cheap laborer that uses a machine to sew on the welt. This is one of the inventions that made shoes cheaper and more affordable for the average joe but its cutting corners just like replacing leather soles or heels with cheaper materials (and arguably sometimes that actually also makes them better - commando soles for Montreal winters vs a nice leather sole anyone?). So the real question I think is whether you're honest about your process. Does AE say they use leather heels? Probably not but they probably also don't stick your nose in the fact that they aren't since people will believe what they want to, if you don't. I.e. they want to believe that goodyear welted shoes are "handmade" (just ask DFW or any real shoemaker about that) and they want to believe that their chosen shoe's heels are all leather. It's much easier to make fun of the people that pay full retail for say a Cole Haan and talk about people that don't know cheap corrected grain leather from good leather than to accept that you yourself didn't even notice that your favourite pair might not actually have leather heels ;)
     
  17. P12OFIT

    P12OFIT Senior member

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    *Reads past three pages of the thread*

    *Thinks "are these guys fucking serious right now?"*

    *Moves on with his night*
     
    3 people like this.
  18. vmss

    vmss Senior member

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    It's not about only cardboard heels, decrease in leather quality and now poron insoles in their recent collection. We are seeing a trend here and at the same time they are increasing their prices.

    The AE shoe stores I visited and Nordstrom did tell me that the shoes were handmade and actually the shoes themselves mentioned at the insoles "handcrafted" while these are machine-made shoes. My point is that these are marketed as handmade untill you come here on styleforum and learn what truly handmade means.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  19. iloveplaid

    iloveplaid Well-Known Member

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    @Neo1

    Thanks. I do have the delrays in 8 EEE and they are quite loose around the toe and slightly loose around the middle of the foot where I'm relatively the widest.

    I will check out the addisons - however I do really like the Grayson style. In terms of the width alone, would they be wider than the Waldens?

     
  20. iloveplaid

    iloveplaid Well-Known Member

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    @Neo1 one more reference point, I tried on the brooks presidio loafer and the 7 EEE was too tight on the baby toe but fine in the middle. 8 EEE was almost perfect except the heel slippage - essentially too long. I think I need 7.5 eeee or eeeee. Any additional help would be appreciated.
     
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