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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. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Referencing my post above from a few days back is relevant to this discussion as well I think. There are countless people wearing AE's around the world, and a few harsh critics in this thread will never derail the prevailing opinion on what is an acceptable business shoe, especially one that has been around for decades. And frankly, I don't think it should change it. Like you said, don't fix what isn't broken. Current trends and thinking will shift soon enough, and people will move on to something else that they are judging. The Park Avenue will keep cranking away as the quintessential American business shoe.
     
  2. TheSizzle

    TheSizzle Senior member

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    I think you're missing walnut shell options. They don't have enough of those (none right now).
     
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  3. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    Oh, and I would be all over a pair of brown shell short wings based on the Dalton boot.
     
  4. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I really don't mean to sound snarky, I'm just curious since this discussion has always baffled me a bit when it arises periodically. I'm hoping to understand a bit better. Above, you describe this shoe as "correct toe cap placement." Do you have a reference for what "correct toe cap placement" is? Is it conceivable that there is no such thing as correct placement, or heaven forbid, that AE's placement is correct and all the others are wrong? Obviously this is conjecture, so take it as such. I get the "fashion trend" mentality, but fashion trends are fleeting. Here today, gone tomorrow. The Park Avenue has transcended fashion trends and endured through time because it is timeless. Are you looking at it from a fashion perspective, which means you may decide you like it a year from now when the "trends" are different, or do you just not care for it on a personal level (subjective), which doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the shoe itself (objective)?
     
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  5. Cold Iron

    Cold Iron Senior member

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    This. I sipped on the SF Kool-Aid for awhile so hesitated getting the PA thinking the captoe may be too short. During the recent sale picked up the BB version of the PA for $129.50 to use in bad weather, figured couldn't go wrong. I was shocked, in real life the cap toe is just about perfect IMO. In fact I ordered the black shell version last week once I saw how nice it was. For the perf captoe may go with the Alden for BB however. Not because of the cap toe, but because of a review on the BB website I read last week when I was doing research. The very first review is more than a year old but very good. Then I noticed the name at the top which is sevenfoldtie and almost pulled the trigger right there, that was good enough for me. But the AE 5 last fits me like a glove and is a known so will see.
    Outstanding!! Cambridge would be my next one in that collection but that is just me. And of course a Dundee in shell.

    In cigar shell then I'd flip my C&J for RL Marlow in cigar shell. And the Dundee in cigar shell. And a basic plain toe suede shoe PLEASE! I have enough wingtips LOL.
     
  6. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    Ok, fine, "correct" was not the right word. Preferred may have been better.

    That said, the park ave is basically the only plain toe oxford that AE makes (non independence). Given AE's position as really the only widely available, moderately priced American shoe maker, when combined with the PA as the only plain toe oxford, AE probably could have put the toe cap wherever the hell it wanted, and guys would still buy it. 1) Because they need a plain conservative shoe, and this is what is handed to them: 2) because they don't care; 3) because they don't know better.

    The toe cap location makes a stubby shoe look even more so. It ruins whatever elegance exists. It doesn't make the shoe hideous in the way a duck bill toe would, but when there are other options, I don't see why one would go with a PA. I can't even recommend them to new employees at my firm.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  7. kmdsimpson

    kmdsimpson Senior member

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    Quad, I thought about this and some other brands (Meermin for those more adventurous). But you're dealing with shoes that you can't try on in person and brands that have no real presence in the US. AE's are the readily accessible option in the US. When you factor in risk of having to ship back overseas, it's a tough sell.

    Actually (and I hope any Allen Edmonds employees reading this will cover their eyes), the alternative used to be Johnston & Murphy, before they went to overseas production, with a noticeable slip in quality. I applaud AE for resisting that approach (and yes, the Dominican Republic is not the US, but they've handled it so much better) and keeping their quality high. Still the only game in town for this price, quality, and made in the USA.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  8. mp906

    mp906 Senior member

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    Very helpful thanks for your input ..
     
  9. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    All fair enough. I think you hit the nail on the head here actually. Since there aren't any true rules, AE just did what they did (possibly semi-arbitrarily), and the results follow as you listed regarding why everyone buys it no questions asked. I see the issue on some PA's and not others. The cap looks fine to me on a foot that is moderately balanced on length/width, and I think it looks fine on long/narrow feet. On short/wide feet I see the stubbyness as much more pronounced.
     
  10. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    There is a contemporary element to it, but it is also an issue of simple aesthetics. The issue is that the placement of the toe cap on many Park Avenues is too far from the laces, which makes the rounded toe look even stubbier. By moving the toe cap more to the laces, it would make the rounded toe look sleeker and more elegant.

    I also agree that part of the Park Avenue's success is due to the absence of competition in this price range from a quality goodyear welted shoe. That's changing as the Meermin Hiro last captoe and Andrew Lock's benchgrade captoe are both around the $225 price range. As big of an AE fan as I am (and a Park Avenue owner to boot), I tend to recommend these two for black captoes over the Park Avenue.

    Pictures of both below with a few C&J's thrown in to illustrate the better placed captoe.

    Andrew Lock:

    [​IMG]


    Park Avenues:

    [​IMG]


    C&J:

    [​IMG]


    C&J (not a fair comparison due to last shape, but I throw it in anyways):

    [​IMG]


    Meermin (not mine):

    [​IMG]

    Edit: my shoes are all 12D's.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  11. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    This is what keeps me as a loyal customer of AE. That, along with their customer service that I enjoy having as a back-up in a pinch.
     
  12. Winston S.

    Winston S. Senior member

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    Is this true? I don't have both shoes to compare, but I thought the Fifth Streets cap toe was longer.
     
  13. mp906

    mp906 Senior member

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    Dude, no one cares what you think. This is the "Allen Edmonds appreciation thread". Go away.


     
  14. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    I should have added Strands as well, as they have a well placed cap toe and look significantly sleeker (with an assist from the broguing):

    [​IMG]
     
  15. elbastardocalvo

    elbastardocalvo Senior member

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    They had that, it was called the Soho. It was built on the 0 last, and it had a much longer toe cap. I have a pair in saddle brown and wear them all the time. It's a great shoe. I would buy them in black and any other color they were offered in if AE made them again.
     
  16. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Thanks for the pictures. Nice looking captoe collection! I think I will just stick with what I said above and handle it on a case-by-case basis (fortunately for my size, the placement is fine with me). For what it's worth, the PA's may actually have been my favorites in your group. I know I'm as subjective in my tastes as everyone else, but that quintessential American look generally wins me over. I may take an Alden captoe on the Aberdeen or Hampton over a PA, but the funny thing is, I see versions of those where the cap seems to be in a similarly placed position and people don't really seem to criticize Alden for theirs.
     
  17. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I also like the Niles, and think it has a great balanced look.
     
  18. kmdsimpson

    kmdsimpson Senior member

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    Yes. Question is why don't they bring back something like these as an alternative to the PA? Not as a replacement.
     
  19. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I just assume that it is a supply and demand thing. They probably can't justify taking up factory/worker/storage/webpage space on a pair that your "average joe" will look at and not see a huge difference. With Park Avenue being a household name in entry-level high-end business footwear, it will win out. They are more busy with the other shoes alot of us keep griping about that are mostly appealing to the transient fashion market.
     
  20. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    For the same reason that AE made all shell shoes MTO and has discontinued less popular models: inventory cost.
     
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