Allen Edmonds vs. Alden--Which American Great Do You Prefer?!! OFFICIAL

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by JermynStreet, Nov 11, 2012.

Allen Edmonds or Alden!?

  1. Allen Edmonds

    152 vote(s)
    46.5%
  2. Alden

    175 vote(s)
    53.5%
  1. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

    Messages:
    27,426
    Likes Received:
    7,608
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Location:
    NE PA
    They are both good shoes. I have some of each. I tend to buy a lot of shell cordovan leather instead of calf and generally buy Alden cordos instead of AEs. I believe all my Aldens are shell cordovan.
     


  2. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

    Messages:
    2,427
    Likes Received:
    638
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Admittedly, Alden does seem to have their shell down to more of a science than AE. AE seems to get a bit more flak about the finish they put on the shell after they recieve it from Horween. I haven't seen AE's new shell finish in person yet, but I am hoping they are making improvements that will make them much more desirable.
     


  3. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    97
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Location:
    Saint Louis, MO
    Wait are they getting new finishes? When/how did you find out about this? [​IMG]
     


  4. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

    Messages:
    14,725
    Likes Received:
    2,328
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    

    Why? Price?

    Alden seems a no brainer.

    I much prefer Alden if I have unlimited funds. Softer leather, padding on the inside (HUGE difference in comfort), sleeker lasts.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012


  5. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

    Messages:
    2,427
    Likes Received:
    638
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Mostly through the Allen Edmonds Appreciation Thread. Go there and do a search on "new cordovan finish" and you will find several members who have already recieved new shoes with the finish. They implemented this several months ago, but all of the old stock hasn't been depleted yet. So if you are buying some new cordovan shoes make sure you specifically request the new finish.
     


  6. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

    Messages:
    2,427
    Likes Received:
    638
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    I don't think it is quite a no-brainer. As you can see from reading through past posts in this thread as well as the many others to be found in Styleforum alone, there is much debate about the merits of both brands. Many who have dozens of pairs of shoes (and therefore may arguably have "unlimited funds" still purchase both brands). As for the comfort difference from the sock liner, what is your opinion on my comments from the previous page regarding this issue? As I say in that post, comfort is definitely subjective, so please don't hear me saying that I think they are worthless. I can definitely see how they would make the shoes more comfortable when being broken in, but what about when they are a year old? Two years old? The foam in the sock liner gets compressed, and it's effect becomes minimized. I think that both AE and Alden have enough of a range in styles and lasts to say that it isn't quite fair to call Alden's "sleeker" across the board. For example, the Alden LWB on the Barrie last is definitely not sleeker than the Allen Edmonds MacNeil on the 7-97 last. It just isn't fair to generalize IMHO.
     


  7. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

    Messages:
    2,970
    Likes Received:
    277
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    

    quality control blows
    price is far too high ($466 for calf, get the fuck out)
    sleeker lasts? have you been drinking? Alden is pretty much the opposite of sleek. They have the blobbiest lasts in the business
    I don't want padding on the inside, I like the AE leather insole. I'm not 90.
     


  8. DC Office Hack

    DC Office Hack Senior member

    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    25
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I have no experience with Alden because I can't afford Aldens. Believe me, I'd own plenty if I could. Heck, I'd be on a first name basis with the guys over at Leather Soul and Leffot. But while I'm willing to believe that Aldens might be better than AE, from a quality/price ratio perspective, AE knows no equal. Anything at or below its price point is significantly inferior in quality. Anything better in quality is only marginally better but for significantly more money. It helps that it's so easy to score an AE first quality on sale or closeout, not to speak of factory seconds.

    Where AE also shines is with its superlative customer service. I've had several occasions to pick up the phone and call them or send an email. When I call, a well-informed and helpful human answers, fast. When I email, I get a similarly well-informed response. The few issues I've had resulted in generous and gracious responses. AE has earned my loyalty. One day I'll pick up a pair of Aldens, but I don't sense that I'm missing out on a lot. If I were to stray from the AE fold it would be to dabble in more exotic realms such as Trickers or perhaps a Continental shoe maker. Or for specialized stuff such as Rancourt's offerings.

    I should add that CEO Grangaard's occasional contributions to threads at AAAC have been seriously classy. For anyone interested in American manufacturing and menswear, he merits hero status.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012


  9. mdao63

    mdao63 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    I have some of each brand. OK, a bunch of each. The shoo journey started with AEs at discount prices (and moved to a shell cordo) then I went to Alden for a couple of casual shoos and more shell (mostly via Leather Soul). Now I am a fan of C&J (Ralph Lauren) shell and leather shoes and Alden for casual shoes. The AE are great workhorse shoes or in the rain. They are all good at their various sale pricepoints. Lately AE is really becoming more innovative, while Alden seems to have QC issues.
     


  10. chogall

    chogall Senior member

    Messages:
    6,564
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Aside from its iconic cordovan LWB and PTB and maybe its unlined chukka and Indy boots, Alden has nothing appealing at its quality or price.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012


  11. Eleganza

    Eleganza Active Member

    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Location:
    New York City The County of Kings
    For me, it all depends on the model.

    AE makes better cap toes for me, as I simply love the Fifth Avenue in brown suede, but Alden's loafers, like the 987, are top notch. The Alden Shell Chukka is a standout, and nothing that AE makes in regard to a Chukka compares, IMO. The Leeds in shell cordovan is a close second to the Alden 990, but due to the higher vamp. However, I do like the height and shape of the 990's heel a bit more, which are a bit sleeker than that of the Edmonds' shoe.

    I prefer Alden's Long Wing over the AE MacNeil counterpart, due to the more rounded toe box of the Alden, which makes the shoe a bit more versatile.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012


  12. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    97
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Location:
    Saint Louis, MO
    Totally agree Quadcammer. I do love my Aldens, but they just feel so clunky. I'd like to see a bit more "tailoring" in the shoes. When I wear my AE Cambridges, they look filled out and fit nicely, not too snugly. My Aldens just feel heavy and like they were made for someone in the 1920s. A sleeker approach would do wonders for Alden.
     


  13. Gauss17

    Gauss17 Senior member

    Messages:
    1,297
    Likes Received:
    236
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
    I think Alden makes a slightly better shoe, at least when it comes to cordovan. However, AE is easily the superior company. Their customer service is top notch, they are available at more locations, and they are extremely flexible on MTOs. If they fit me better, every shoe I own would be AE.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012


  14. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

    Messages:
    14,725
    Likes Received:
    2,328
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    

    Funny many people say the exact opposite :foo:
     


  15. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

    Messages:
    2,970
    Likes Received:
    277
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    

    you like alden, thats cool. But for an extra 1/3rd the price with dodgy quality control, why even consider alden. I can honestly say that I've never considered a shoe they produce
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by