Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by JermynStreet, Nov 11, 2012.
How could I forget Vass? Vass is Hand-welted.
You make an excellent point here MWS. I never get too involved in the hand-welted, GYW, pegged, etc. conversation as I have not seen much of a significant drop from my handwelted shoes (e.g., Vass) to my GYW ones (Alden, EG, AS, etc.). I recognize the superior construction of hand-welted shoes though but prefer other brands (coincidentally GYW) due to last fit and convenience. I wear my shoes that have been resoled and have had no change in fit. I walk a distance (anywhere from 3 to 5 miles a day) and haven't encountered much problems. Maybe since I'm a smaller guy I put less stress on them.
Haven't had any of my Aldens resoled since they are all double-leather and I only typically wear them on the weekends, but I've seen a pair that have been resoled and they looked good. I do have to say that AE does excellent work on the uppers and a decent job with the soles. Although my preference is Alden, I do have to give AE this one for the treatment of their uppers, quick turn-a-around, and customer service.
I'm supersede, and I joined this blog to ask these questions.
Please give me your expertise and help me to find the shoes (and briefcase) that I desire. Thanks.
I wear a size 10 B in the Allen Edmonds "Grayson" (or newer model "Adams") tassel loafer, and they are the most comfortable shoes I own. I wear a size 10.5 B in the Alden tassel loafer (whose name, if there is one, I don't know), and they are the most beautiful shoes I own. I wear a size 10 B in the Johnston & Murphy "Westchester" tassel loafer, and they are fine shoes too, but I prefer the previous two.
I would like to find a barely-worn pair of tassel loafers or "full strap" penny loafers (by Alden or Allen Edmonds, which also calls its full strap model the "Westchester"). I am also interested in the Allen Edmonds "Patriot" penny loafer, preferably with a leather and rubber combination sole and heel. I would like to find a black or a wine/burgundy pair.
In addition, please tell me what size to order in the Gokey Sauvage oxford, casual moccasin-style shoe (sold new by Orvis), which I have been told requires one half size larger than usual and one size wider. If this advice is correct, then I figure I should get a 10.5 C in that casual shoe. I would have to pay $50 more for a new pair ($275), because the "regular" pair ($225) sizes begin with a "D" width.
Finally, I am interested in finding a classic-styled briefcase, with the single clasp flap, single handle, which reflects quality craftsmanship. Rawlings used to offer a "legal-styled" brief bag, new, for around $500, but no longer offers that model.
The best fit for me in the Gokey is one size wider but the same length as I normally wear, i.e., from 10 1/2 D to 10 1/2 E.
Very interesting thread. I would have thought Alden would have ran away with it but there are good arguments on both sides.
I have something from each company and would agree that its really just a judgment call - both make great products.
Will also be interesting to see if AE keeps expanding and if Alden will ever go that route.
I have heard a lot about these two types of shoes but to my eye (in Australia) they appear to be much the same, with AE having the rounder toe and also additional styling along the side, irrespective they have a nice colour. I love the pictures they are just what I needed to know what they look like when sitting next to each other so that i can make a choice of shoe.
Thank you for the thread.
I'm sure AE will tell you the same, but it bears repeating: Do not buy shoes second hand. Ever. No matter how much money you think you will save. The cork beds in well-made shoes conform to the owner's feet, and while the speed with which the cork conforms isn't known, it makes sense to think that the cork will not "readjust" to a second foot. Further, the sweat and body oils of another person don't magically leave the leather lining of the shoes before you put your own foot in them. Save your money a little longer and buy new.
I think most people including AE enthusiasts would readily concede that Alden's shell cordovan finishing/color is superior to AE. For example, Alden's color 8 is a much richer, deeper shade of burgundy than AE's burgundy shell. That's indisputable. While AE has recently tried to improve their shell offerings with walnut, cappuccino, truffle shell colors (and I would agree that they have), they still lag behind in a big way with the variety and avaiability of shell models.
With regard to the "rounder toe," not sure anyone would agree with you here when comparing similar lasts. Most AE enthusiasts assert that AE's lasts are more attractive than Alden lasts because AE tends to be sleeker and more dressy than Alden's typically bulkier, rounder, clunkier looking lasts.
In any case, I have both and enjoy both but prefer Alden. Here are some from my collection...
Ravello PTB (Alden)
Alden color 8... (PTB)
Perf Cap Toe boot
Medallion cap Toe Blucher
Alden's original Tassel Moc in color 8...
Leisure Handsown Penny Loafer...
Same loafer with AE Walnut shell Wingtip boots...
Alden's ravello wingtip (similar to AE's walnut)
Nope. While I do prefer Alden Color 8 over AE Burgundy shell, I will take AE brown over Alden Cigar:
^^^ Awesome shoe my friend and I grant you that they look spectacular, but I think good people can agree to disagree. With AE brown shell as their web gem this month I was ready to pull the trigger on the Jefferson or possibly the strand but just haven't found any pics "in the wild" that do it for me. I'm sure you will agree that AE's website doesn't do much to help their cause. Not to mention, my old and ailing joints need the comfort and support that Alden's superior construction and double leather soles provide that I have never gotten from AE.
Nevertheless, you have a wonderful shoe.
ps I need a better camera.
These would be beautiful if they had some shape to them. I'm not sure why AE insists on making their shoes so blocky and lifeless.
I have yet to put my hands on a pair of Alden shoes here in Florida. I would like to see what the hubbub is all about, I have been intrigued by their models at times...
That's your opinion and you're welcome to it. I'm not sure why some people confuse their personal view of what is beautiful with some universal law of general application. I see beauty in a wide variety of styles - from the slender and delicate to the stout and sturdy. If your ability to appreciate aesthetic diversity is limited, that's your problem.
Repp - absolutely we can hold different views. But I wasn't comparing web pics - I have Alden Color 8 and love it. And I have seen Alden cigar in hand and prefer the AE that I purchased. Some of the lighter shades are a push between the two. So I don't accept that all Aden shell is better finished than all AE shell.
These are the Alden:
PS - your collection is VERY impressive!
@Suited - It's a blucher. It 's supposed to be somewhat casual with some versatility. Not sure what you mean by lifeless. AE's lasts generally have decent shape and sleekness to them.
@RogerP - Thank you for complimenting my collection. I didn't mean to say every Alden shell shoe is finished better than every AE shell shoe. There are some Alden shell colors that didn't come out as well as I would have liked. But if you compare similar shell models with the same color, I would generally take the Alden version over the AE version 9 out of 10 times. For example...
Alden Medallion Cap Toe v AE Sanford
Alden LWB v. McNeil
Alden NST v. AE Bradley
Alden PTB v. Leeds (this one's pretty close)
LHS v. Patriot
Tassel Moc v. Grayson
Perf cap toe v. Fifth avenue
Straight tip v. Park Avenue
Alden Short Wing Blucher v. AE Player's
Alden's BB short wing bal/oxford v. AE Cambridge
Almost any Alden boot v. the comparable AE boot
The only AE version I would select over Alden would be the Dundee (chukka) bc of AE's third eyelet. However, I would go with Alden's 6 eyelet chukka if given the choice.
I have had several of these AE versions in calf, but opted to go with Alden shell when it came time to choosing the shell version. Not sure there is an Alden counterpart to your brown shell cap toe blucher. The closest one to it that I know of would be the medallion cap toe blucher; I would still go with mine.
As they say though, to each his own.
ps Nice Alt Wien!
Surely you're not saying Alden's have more shape than AEs?
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