I'd actually differentiate between lace-up and loafers. Strange, I know, but my experience with each has been a bit different. With respect to lace-ups, I've had better experience with the quality and finish of the uppers with Alden than Allen Edmonds. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but Alden shoes have lasted a bit longer than comparable shoes from Allen Edmonds. With respect to loafers, I've very much enjoyed Allen Edmonds (partly because Alden loafers do not seem to fit me as well) but have also been very impressed with the quality of the shoes themselves. I think that both are good quality shoes and I still shop Allen Edmonds for loafers, especially at discounted prices. For lace-ups, if I'm paying the Alden premium, I'd prefer to just go with C&J, but prefer Alden if I only get the two choices in this thread.