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)
    46.6%
  2. Alden

    174 vote(s)
    53.4%
  1. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    So do most people agree then that Alden's quality control is worse than AE? I feel like (for some reason) people are more comfortable with bashing AE when they find something that they consider to be a defect. Sometimes this leads to the perception that Alden's quality control is better as if it is somehow taboo to bash Alden (especially in the Alden thread). There does seem to be a pervasive gestapo feeling when making comments in the Alden thread, that if you say anything wrong you will be excommunicated.
     
  2. Duspin

    Duspin Member

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    E has developed some really spruced-up lines that appeal to a broader spectrum of buyers. I find myself liking and buying both the traditional and the more hip styles but have serious considerations about the build quality. Frequently I've had to return shoes that are asymmetric in manufacture at great inconvenience--to the extent where you'd swear the pair of shoes were made by 2 different people at 2 different times. I own more than 2 doz pairs of AE shoes and have had 4 build problems within the last 18 months. Not good numbers at all. This new CEO has got to right this ship fast or I'm going to jump it for another maker who pays closer attention to detail and product quality.
     
  3. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Since you referenced the new CEO (I assume you mean Paul Grangaard), you must have experience with wearing AE's since the days of John Stollenwerk. How long have you been wearing AE, and do you feel that quality control was better under Stollenwerk? I think Grangaard is doing a fantastic job from what I have seen as far as business direction is concerned, but I didn't own any AE's under Stollenwerk's tenure. I agree with the tendency to find asymmetric issues with shoes. One of the first things I do when I pull a pair out of the box is check to see if they are symmetrical before I even look for other defects. I also always set them side by side on a flat surface and check to see if the shoes are the same height from the heels to the rear upper edge of the shoe. I have seen as much as 1/3 of an inch in variability between shoe heights. I have a theory on this one though. I do most of my AE shopping at my local outlet and an Nordstrom Rack where people have free reign to grab boxes and try on shoes. I know for fact that people will grab 2-3 boxes of the same pair of shoes and then cherry pick the best combination to avoid defects that they notice. This leads to the shoes being paired up with the wrong "mate."
     
  4. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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    It's hilarious that right now the poll (pole) (poal) is exactly at 50% each way, 22-22.

    Aldens and AE both make good shoes. Try them both and enjoy your purchase. No need to hate.
     
  5. Duspin

    Duspin Member

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    MWS, I've been wearing AE since 2006 and haven't really invested heavily in them till mid 2011. My earlier shoes seemed to be perfect in every way. I do buy 90% of my shoes on sale at the retail shop (not outlet) or through ae.com. It makes no difference where I get them, the symmetry is off on occasion, causing me to ask why such pairs aren't immediately sent to the outlet store for sale instead of to the customer paying at or near full price (in the case of Webgems, it's full price). Their answer to me is lame and I'm not giving them too much more time to correct their production quality issues. I've so many things to manage in my life, expensive shoes cannot be one of them.
     
  6. NoCleverName

    NoCleverName Senior member

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    I own a bunch of AE and a single pair of Alden's Indy boots. I like them both, but in general prefer AE. Every Alden shoe I've tried on is just too clunky, which works for a boot like the Indy, but not so much for dress shoes. Also, AE's customer service is unmatched, any problem I've ever had is immediately corrected.
     
  7. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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    I only own 3 pairs of Alden's. I especially like the flex welt/oiled sole Alden's. Starting to like them over AE's.

    I also own a bunch of AE's and CJ's.

    Haven't experienced any QC issues. Maybe there are threads about this topic, but what issues have you encountered? Finishing? Leather defects?


    Alden has many lasts at varying widths. Have you been wearing/looking at shoes on the Barrie, Trubalance, Modified lasts?

    Aberdeen/Hampton/Plaza/Copley/Leydon are quite sleek. Spoo wears Alden's with those lasts, pretty sure.



    CJ's have about the same amount of padding as Alden's. AE's are barebones. Guess I'm a young person who's a geezer at heart... or I'm a lot more active on my feet than you. I do a lot of walking during my commute and in my huge office.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  8. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    this is on the copley last:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Not seeing much of anything sleek there

    our definitions of sleek must be different.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  9. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    I predominantly have AE, and have no comfort issues walking a few miles a day.
     
  10. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I can understand that. Sorry to hear that AE may be losing a customer, but I don't blame you if you are having that much trouble.
     
  11. Jhors2

    Jhors2 Senior member

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    Es for me personally. I think they have a slightly better selection of shoes, and I am a fan of wingtips. My AEs are perfectly comfortable, the leather is quite good for the price range, and the lasts seem to be a touch bit sleeker, albeit nothing quite like some of the English/Italian lasts out there.
     
  12. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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  13. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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    Sleeker than the C&J Boston.

    What about the Plaza and Aberdeen? The Plaza loafer above is almost as sleek as the C&J merton above

    Also, can you answer my question about quality control?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  14. Mazderati

    Mazderati Well-Known Member

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    The quality control at both companies has room for improvement.
     
  15. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    Dude, I own mertons and the alden is NO WHERE CLOSE. sorry, its just not.

    Sleeker than the boston? I've seen lumps of coal sleeker than the boston.

    I personally have no experience with alden quality control. However, based on the anecdotal evidence I've seen from colleagues, friends, members of this very forum, as well as on other websites, alden has gotten very sloppy with their stitching and dye work, and basically has denied the problem, whereas AE has admitted to certain deficiencies and corrects them without argument.
     

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