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Allen Edmonds: So many shoes, so few choices

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jmatt, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. jmatt

    jmatt Senior member

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    I could also have titled this: Allen Edmonds - the casual choice

    Before Styleforum, my shoe of choice has been Allen Edmunds for at least 10 years. In the past year I've even bought two new pair. And now I'm out of choices with Allen Edmonds.

    Here's what a perusal of their website reveals:

    4 shoe lines (Dress, Dress Casual, Casual, and Casual Comfort), 76 different shoes.
    (I'll preface my comments by noting that I prefer balmorals when wearing a coat and tie.)

    Of the 76 shoes, 33 are in the "Dress" line.

    Of the 33 in the "Dress" line, 10 are slip-on with varying levels of formality.

    Of the 23 remaining, 8 are bluchers (The MacNeil is admittedly classic, but in a grandfatherly, country church kind of way).

    Of the 15 remaining, 7 are either casual or special circumstance shoes:
    A spectator, a saddle shoe, a patent leather shoe, a boot, and 3 shoes that seem way too casual: Hampstead, Hastings, and Saxon.

    That leaves 8 shoes:
    2 are Monks.

    That leaves 6 traditional, business appropriate balmorals:

    Park Avenue
    Add pinking to the cap and call it a Niles
    Add some brogueing to the cap and call it the Byron
    Make it a full-brogue wing and call it the Chester
    A wholecut found in the Westgate
    And the Dryden, a plain-toe with medallion.

    Am I the only one who can look at 76 shoes and find no choices?

    (If nothing else, this post is a reference to currently available AE shoes).
     
  2. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    They seem to make only one monkstrap, the Thayer. [​IMG] But I want one with a plain or cap-toe.
     
  3. bookish

    bookish Active Member

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    Mora

    [​IMG]

    Cap-toe, but it's a double-monk. I do wish they made a single-monkstrap with a plain or cap toe. I also asked one of their salespeople if they might ever come out with a jodhpur boot, but he laughed and said it wasn't likely, and that the double-monk pictured above was a stretch for AE, stylistically.
     
  4. lakewolf

    lakewolf Senior member

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    Buy another brand....
     
  5. jmatt

    jmatt Senior member

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    Buy another brand....
    I do. EG is my two most recent shoe purchases. But I'd gladly buy from AE. They've made me some great shoes, but styling has gone more Ken Cole than I like. Look at the dress shoe choices available from JL or EG, or many of the UK brands. Maybe Americans just need to wear bicycle toe shoes to work and I'm just being stodgy.
     
  6. lakewolf

    lakewolf Senior member

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    I actually like the Allend Edmonds, Nice and solid quality... a little clunkier than the Italian or French shoes I am more used to...

    But I have only bought real super deals on ebay.

    I've got the Copley plaint toe oxfords in Patent, that I gor for only $65 NIB and the Ritz Patent opera pumps I got for $75 NIB...

    I also have a pair of Wartons the have a comando style sole, but unfortunately I didn't noticed it was a 9 B so it is too narrow for my feet I should wear a D.

    I'll put them for sale on the forum when I am back from my holidays...
     
  7. jml90

    jml90 Senior member

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    NEPA!
    Their styling is nothing like Ken Cole. I see no parellel between fashion forward KC and classic even fogey style AEs. Albeit the choices are more limited than JL or EG. I actually like that EG makes the same shoe on 6 different lasts.
     
  8. Flame

    Flame Senior member

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    C&J or Grensons would be at around the same price range, if a little higher but aesthetically-wise much more pleasing to the eye.

    The Mora is a good example of AE's classic american stylings. Even with the adventurous double monkstrap, the overall look is still quite clunky and un-elegant.
     
  9. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff Senior member

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    out of all the AEs, I do love the

    Westgate in Brandy. a unique shoe for casual wear. maybe even dressed up.

    and the Hampstead in chili.

    oh man, the best AE I have ever seen yet.

    this one is actually almost sleek for AE.
     
  10. wgiceman

    wgiceman Senior member

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    Houston, Texas
    out of all the AEs, I do love the

    Westgate in Brandy. a unique shoe for casual wear. maybe even dressed up.

    and the Hampstead in chili.

    oh man, the best AE I have ever seen yet.

    this one is actually almost sleek for AE.


    The Westgate in Brandy is indeed a very dressy shoe and it looks great. I get numerous compliments whenever I wear it. The Hampstead in chili is my next targeted acquisition. It will be a great dress casual shoe. I also have the Mora in brown, which also gets rave compliments.

    I have noticed that shoes on the #8 last appear to be sleeker and more appealing to newer customers. In fact, I am awaiting the newer styles from AE.
     
  11. Sator

    Sator Senior member

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    Park Avenue
    Add pinking to the cap and call it a Niles
    Add some brogueing to the cap and call it the Byron
    Make it a full-brogue wing and call it the Chester


    Aren't these shoes on different lasts?

    Yes, you have to be choosey with AE but there are always a few worth cherry picking.
     
  12. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

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    Fairfax FTW! That is the only AE I have considered actually spending money on. Thankfully I found that in tan (I think) and its cousin, the Hastings (in black) for $45 IIRC each at a discounter. I just have a thing for wholecuts [​IMG]
    Otherwise, I'd say go for a more interesting manufacturer.
    I have seen no AEs I'd actually lust after the way I have after some Gravati, Santoni, C&Js, Vass, et.c. As basic utilitarian footwear that are durable and most importantly easy to find at good prices they are a good choice.
     
  13. Jared

    Jared Senior member

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    If you have each of those 6 shoes in every colour they make them in, that's a pretty full wardrobe, isn't it? (And if you think it isn't, then you obviously need to branch out on brand.) Plus there's all the discontinued models which are the ones that are often available at discount. Finally, by the time you've acquired all those already discussed, they will have released new models.
     
  14. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    Fairfax FTW! That is the only AE I have considered actually spending money on. Thankfully I found that in tan (I think) and its cousin, the Hastings (in black) for $45 IIRC each at a discounter. I just have a thing for wholecuts [​IMG]
    Otherwise, I'd say go for a more interesting manufacturer.
    I have seen no AEs I'd actually lust after the way I have after some Gravati, Santoni, C&Js, Vass, et.c. As basic utilitarian footwear that are durable and most importantly easy to find at good prices they are a good choice.


    I'm definitely with you on this. I have every color of both the Fairfax and Hastings.
     
  15. rick lombardo

    rick lombardo Member

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    I am with you. I can't believe all the hoopla surrounding AE.
    Pedestrian in their styling at worst and at best a good shoe for the money.
    We don't buy shoes becaus they are a good value. They must speak to us, must instill a sense of awe and wonderment. We want to see the shoe and wonder how a craftman can get get it so "right"

    I love this forum and AAAC, but the continious love affair with AE is beyond me.

    More forumites talking about Santoni and Vass....less AE.

    IMHO of course




    I could also have titled this: Allen Edmonds - the casual choice

    Before Styleforum, my shoe of choice has been Allen Edmunds for at least 10 years. In the past year I've even bought two new pair. And now I'm out of choices with Allen Edmonds.

    Here's what a perusal of their website reveals:

    4 shoe lines (Dress, Dress Casual, Casual, and Casual Comfort), 76 different shoes.
    (I'll preface my comments by noting that I prefer balmorals when wearing a coat and tie.)

    Of the 76 shoes, 33 are in the "Dress" line.

    Of the 33 in the "Dress" line, 10 are slip-on with varying levels of formality.

    Of the 23 remaining, 8 are bluchers (The MacNeil is admittedly classic, but in a grandfatherly, country church kind of way).

    Of the 15 remaining, 7 are either casual or special circumstance shoes:
    A spectator, a saddle shoe, a patent leather shoe, a boot, and 3 shoes that seem way too casual: Hampstead, Hastings, and Saxon.

    That leaves 8 shoes:
    2 are Monks.

    That leaves 6 traditional, business appropriate balmorals:

    Park Avenue
    Add pinking to the cap and call it a Niles
    Add some brogueing to the cap and call it the Byron
    Make it a full-brogue wing and call it the Chester
    A wholecut found in the Westgate
    And the Dryden, a plain-toe with medallion.

    Am I the only one who can look at 76 shoes and find no choices?

    (If nothing else, this post is a reference to currently available AE shoes).
     
  16. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

    Messages:
    6,324
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    I'm definitely with you on this. I have every color of both the Fairfax and Hastings.

    I remember those pics you posted of your collection before The Great Crash, I could hardly believe those were AEs!
    THE AE site makes those two shoes look really ugly and blobby which is unfair to them, frankly.
     
  17. Jared

    Jared Senior member

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    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    We don't buy shoes becaus they are a good value. They must speak to us, must instill a sense of awe and wonderment. We want to see the shoe and wonder how a craftman can get get it so "right"
    Speak for yourself. As I said: if you're a shoe fetishist, AEs hold nothing for you. They are the perfect shoes to discuss online. Most forum members have some available at retail in their city so they can find their size. There's a good amount of authoritative information about them online (unlike Vass' garbage website, for example). And online is one of the best places to buy them. OP excepted, they might also be gateway shoes: once you're comfortable buying AEs, you start to branch out.
     
  18. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

    Messages:
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    Aug 7, 2004
    We don't buy shoes becaus they are a good value. They must speak to us, must instill a sense of awe and wonderment. We want to see the shoe and wonder how a craftman can get get it so "right"

    "Speak to us"..."instill a sense of awe and wonderment"? Good Lord, isn't that laying it on a little thick? Some shoes can arouse acquisitive lust in me, but "awe and wonderment"...never! I've scrutinized Greens and JLPs, and, yeah, they're a notch up the quality scale from A-E. If they were $100 maybe even $200 more than what I customarily pay for A-Es, then I'd be tempted, but even if I won a high-dollar lottery, there is no way I'd pay the ridiculous prices currently asked for those shoes. I certainly was never stricken with "awe and wonderment." When all is said and done, they're still just shoes! C&J Handgrades have always left me cold; the Benchgrades strike me as no whit more appealing than A-Es. Santoni FAMs are, eh, nice, but there's no way I'd pay the high prices asked for them. The lesser Santonis just look flimsy to me and do absolutely nothing for me. Bottom line: While there are plenty of other shoes I find as appealing as A-Es and some few a bit moreso but never appealing enough to pay a substantial premium over A-Es for them.

    I just figure that if A-Es are good enough for the POTUS (the last three of them actually), they are certainly good enough for me!
     
  19. rick lombardo

    rick lombardo Member

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    Dec 26, 2006
    "I just figure that if A-Es are good enough for the POTUS (the last three of them actually), they are certainly good enough for me!"

    They wear them, for the most part, because they are American Made. And so they should, but I doubt it has anything to do with their passion for the shoes.
    I know that you may all think I am laying it on a little thick when it comes to shoes, but those who purchase a great suit or fab.tie must have at some time been overwhlmed by it's perfect shape, texture, or colour.

    This is a forum for people who have a passion for their clothes.
    Not only for people who want to a good deal for the money.

    Look up "PASSION"
     
  20. Sator

    Sator Senior member

    Messages:
    3,083
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    "Speak to us"..."instill a sense of awe and wonderment"? Good Lord, isn't that laying it on a little thick? Some shoes can arouse acquisitive lust in me, but "awe and wonderment"...never! I've scrutinized Greens and JLPs, and, yeah, they're a notch up the quality scale from A-E. If they were $100 maybe even $200 more than what I customarily pay for A-Es, then I'd be tempted, but even if I won a high-dollar lottery, there is no way I'd pay the ridiculous prices currently asked for those shoes. I certainly was never stricken with "awe and wonderment." When all is said and done, they're still just shoes! Bottom line: While there are plenty of other shoes I find as appealing as A-Es and some few a bit moreso but never appealing enough to pay a substantial premium over A-Es for them.

    Having collected quite a few pairs of shoes by EGs (enough for a decent rotation) I have lately started to wonder what it was all for when you consider that the Park Avenues are actually a bit sleeker and in some ways almost as elegant as the Oxfords in the EG or C&J catalogue. Yes, the finish on EGs is better, the stitching finer... etc. Yet in many cases 99% of people out in the real world would be unable to tell which was the finer shoe. I sometimes fear we just buy really high end shoes to impress ourselves and to show them off on shoe porn threads. Beyond that I am often troubled by doubts as to whether paying much beyond the price of AEs adds significantly to the overall impression of being elegantly dressed. Or at best it is a game of diminishing returns.
     

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