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Burgandy shoe: Allen Edmonds McAllister or Daltons

Discussion in 'Menswear Advice' started by jacksonkeeper, Mar 4, 2019.

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  1. jacksonkeeper

    jacksonkeeper Well-Known Member

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    I know one is an "traditional" low cut and oxford shoe and the other is a boot. But if really pressed to get one pair of burgundy shoe...would you go with the McAllister or Dalton (might even be the cordovan burgandy daltons)


    Thoughts?
     

  2. aj2603

    aj2603 Well-Known Member

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    First of all let me start off with the material choice. In my opinion cordovan is a much better material than calf skin. Some people don't like the shine of it , but if u like the look and shine of cordovan, the it is a superior material in every regard. It is lower maintenance than calf skin, stronger and longer lasting than calf skin. If taken care of properly it can easily last you 30 plus years in terms of the upper.

    That being said cordovan in the Allen Edmonds is from the Horween Leather Company, which is one of the best. and because of that the is a premium that has to be paid. You have to take into consideration the budget as well. which suits your budget.

    Recently Allen edmonds has gone for the business model of inflating their prices and then putting up the items for regular sale. And the chances of the McAllisters being on sale is more than the Daltons. So you might get a better deal on the McAllisters.

    Both the models are Goodyear welted. But all Allen Edmond Cordovan shoes uses the JR sole from the Rendenbach tannery in Germany. These are considered to be one of the best leather soles that you can get. So if you go for the Cordovan, you will be getting a better sole which is more waterproof and long-lasting (almost twice as much when compared to normal soles).

    But most important is what profession you are in and why are you planning to buy. If you are in a office environment and want to wear it for work then go for the McAllisters. IF your dressing style is more formal then again the McAllisters.

    If you are gonna wear them casually or you work environment is not as formal then go for Daltons.

    Another thing you might want to take in to consideration is the weather of the place that u live in. cold vs hot.
    The Daltons are better suited for cold and places with rain.
     

  3. jacksonkeeper

    jacksonkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Appreciate the post aj.

    Several things:


    Yes there is a premium for the dalton in general and especially the cordovan leather. The McAllister can be had for much cheaper online.


    Dor cordovan really last as long as people say they do though? I mean I know you can resole the bottom and all
    But when the toe box gets wrinkly, then the shoe does start to not look as good. Also I understand that it rolls instead of creasing like calf but still it gets crease like. I guess I'm just hesitate to believe the a shoe will last you 30 40 years motto.


    Secondly, the environment context. I'm in a business casual leaning towards the professional spectrum. Subtle button up shirt and wool trousers.


    Current rotation is a black plain toe blusher and walnut long wingtips.


    The dalton really pop and no one will give me grief but no one in my office even the senior managers wear dress boots...so this is a point of concern a bit. Maybe it could be something I own and make it my own and be that person. Just thinking out loud...
     

  4. aj2603

    aj2603 Well-Known Member

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    yes they do last. if properly cared for. if u use the right tools. a cordovan shoe cream and shoe trees regularly. let me put it this way, a cordovan can take much more beating than calfskin.

    This is a good article for how to take care of Cordovan shoes : https://www.hangerproject.com/shoe-care-guide/polishing-shell-cordovan/
     

  5. aj2603

    aj2603 Well-Known Member

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    that is completely a personal decision
     

  6. madhat

    madhat Distinguished Member

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    What other pairs do you own? What do you plan to wear with them? Does the 65 or 511 last fit you better? The Cambridge is similar to the McA, but shell and double leather sole, if that's your fancy.
    I'm partial to shell (approx 25 pairs myself), but I'd need to know more about your style and use before really pushing you to that.

    I personally own only one McA in black calf and one walnut calf Dalton that is on the chopping block for fit as well as being replaced by an Alden ravello shell boot. McA is a great design, I just find myself with a bunch of Strands instead. I personally prefer Alden's wing tip boots to the Dalton pattern, but with the designer's passing maybe it's the one to grab!
     

  7. madhat

    madhat Distinguished Member

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    I see there was some activity after opening the tab. Based on your info, it's definitely a personal choice. Shoes are a bit cheaper than boots if that matters.

    Yes. Shell really can be a fifty year shoe IF TAKEN CARE OF. It is a bit of an acquired taste, and I strongly suggest you do some reading before dropping that kind of money.
    http://aldenofsandiego.com/caring-for-your-shell-cordovan/ Mike has some care tips here.
     

  8. jacksonkeeper

    jacksonkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Definitely a personal preference. Currently I own


    AE Black Cordovan plain toe blusher
    AE Walnut long wingtips



    Peal & co burgundy chukka
    AE first Avenue brown pebbled grain boots
    Clarks desert boot suede

    The first 2, black plain toe and walnut long wingtips, I wear for the entire work week. On Friday, I could get away with sneakers though I usually wear the wing tips.

    I have yet to wear the pearl & co burgundy chukka and AE boots.
     

  9. johng70

    johng70 Senior Member

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    So,
    A couple thoughts. I have calf Daltons. I also have Fifth avenues and #8 shell Aldens. So, not exactly the 2 you are looking at but I think I have some relevant experiences:

    1. The 65 last (McAllister last) is more comfortable for ME than the last of the Daltons. My calf daltons (in Bourbon) look great but they're not as comfortable as my Fifth avenues (or other boots). You may be different. When buying AE I seriously recommend you try on shoes from a given last before you buy.
    2. I don't have burgundy shell from AE but my #8 shells from Alden look almost black in most indoor lighting. With time and sunlight they will get lighter I'm told. But, it's a much darker shade than you might think. And darker than non-shell (assuming it's similar to #8). So I would advise seeing what the shell daltons look like in person to ensure you are happy with the shade. The dark shade limits your pairing options compared to other colors so just be aware.
    3. Don't sweat the dress boot idea. Daltons look fabulous even with a suit. Suit to jeans, they're a very versatile look.
    4. Finally, I waited to buy cordovan until I was plenty full of other shoes. My personal opinion is it's better to get 2 quality calf shoes / boots instead of just 1 pair of shell.

    I really like my Alden shell longwings. But, if I had to choose between them or 2 of my calf shoes/boots I'd take 2 of the calf over 1 of the shell.
     

  10. madhat

    madhat Distinguished Member

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    AE's burgundy is still lighter than Alden's current #8, but it is indeed still darker than their burgundy calf. It will lighten with time though!
    (I have 2 AE burgundy and 5 Alden #8 shells to compare against)

    I agree to buy calf until you have a collection, but now I'm replacing my calf with shell and suede...
     

  11. jacksonkeeper

    jacksonkeeper Well-Known Member

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    A thought about the saying: "cordovan will last forever"


    I have a pair of cordovan plain toe blucher and I have to say I dont really buy it. I mean I know you can replace the sole and polish the upper...but the toe box eventually wrinkles/rolls too much. I read people saying they love the roll and it's a point of pride of a well loved shoe...but imo there comes a point where it just rolls too much. No matter how polished it is, with the roll build up it just seems/comes off to people as untidy old shoes. Thoughts?
     

  12. madhat

    madhat Distinguished Member

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    Depends on fit. Calf can look rather worn with creasing too. I hate to quote an uninformed AE salesperson, but "you either get shell or you don't". It really is a person to person thing; shell is more of an American thing. (Not to say others don't)
    I don't get excessive rolls; I'm actually some times enjoy when I find a last or specific pair that gives me some visual interest with more rolls.

    (It's boot season for me)

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