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First shoes, help!

Breedlove

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Starting law school in the fall (or deferring for a year to work) and need a decent pair of shoes for interviews and such..

I pretty much know that the Allen Edmonds Park Avenue in black (or any comparable captoe) is the shoe I should be looking at...
Also looking at the Strand, but for my purposes, should I be avoiding excessive brogue?

I know there's a brooks brothers corporate sale coming up and the big nordstrom sale in July...
Wouldn't mind the Alden-BB Perforated Balmoral if I can get it at a discounted price if there is no guarantee the PA will be on sale this year..

Either way this will be my first real dress shoe (other than a really crappy wingtip I got in HK that I can't wear for more than 10 minutes without significant discomfort...)
Help please!
 

Gauss17

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For your very first shoe, I would buy black and stay away from excessive brogueing. While they are technically less formal than a plainer shoe, they are often considered "fancier" by the general public. After you have the staple black work shoe down you can branch out into other colors and style options. The AE Park Avenue as you state is the standard recommendation, but that does not mean you must choose it for yourself. Most Nordstrom stores do carry the Park Avenue. If you would prefer to try and take advantage of the corporate sale at Brooks Brothers, then you have some options there as well. The Cordovan Perforated Captoe would be a very acceptable choice (little brogueing) if you wish to spend the cash, just be aware that some say it fits differently than Alden's standard model. Brooks Brothers also carries a calfskin plain-toe balmoral you could consider (it says Made in England, so I will guess C&J) as well as a Peal & Co. Perforated captoe in black calf. My best suggestion to you is pick whichever model fits you the best and is the most comfortable to walk around in. Also, pay close attention to heel fit and do not accept much, if any, heel slipping. Beyond that, pick which shoe you personally like the best and good luck.
 
Last edited:

Breedlove

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Can anyone clarify the difference between the AE original and the BB branded Fifth Avenue?
 

Breedlove

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Can anyone clarify the difference between the AE original and the BB branded Fifth Avenue?
 

SpiffEngineer

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The differences I know of are price and sole. The BB tends to be a bit more expensive, and has rubber on the front and back of the sole,with leather in the middle, whereas the AE model has leather for the front, and rubber on the back. There may be other differences, of which I am unaware.
 

nihraguk

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For your very first shoe, I would buy black and stay away from excessive brogueing. While they are technically less formal than a plainer shoe, they are often considered "fancier" by the general public. After you have the staple black work shoe down you can branch out into other colors and style options. The AE Park Avenue as you state is the standard recommendation, but that does not mean you must choose it for yourself. Most Nordstrom stores do carry the Park Avenue. If you would prefer to try and take advantage of the corporate sale at Brooks Brothers, then you have some options there as well. The Cordovan Perforated Captoe would be a very acceptable choice (little brogueing) if you wish to spend the cash, just be aware that some say it fits differently than Alden's standard model. Brooks Brothers also carries a calfskin plain-toe balmoral you could consider (it says Made in England, so I will guess C&J) as well as a Peal & Co. Perforated captoe in black calf. My best suggestion to you is pick whichever model fits you the best and is the most comfortable to walk around in. Also, pay close attention to heel fit and do not accept much, if any, heel slipping. Beyond that, pick which shoe you personally like the best and good luck.

I've been told that shell is considered less formal compared to calfskin. Not sure how widespread this view is, but something to bear in mind.
 

Breedlove

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Went shopping today and passed by Allen Edmonds outlet. With the memorial day sale going on now I was able to pick up a PA second (can't tell what the flaw was) for 220 after tax. Was super excited and ended up going back to the store later and made a super impulse buy of a pair of shell cordovan McNeils for about 350 (again my untrained eyes couldn't find any flaws).
I now have a shoe for work and interviews and a pair for less formal occasions.
Hoping someone will tell me this was a good idea and that i made the right choice because I'm seriously second thinking spending so much in one day. I am not strapped for cash but part of me just feels that I should have just been satisfied with the PA and built on my shoe collection on a later date....
 

Breedlove

Senior Member
Joined
May 21, 2012
Messages
114
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Went shopping today and passed by Allen Edmonds outlet. With the memorial day sale going on now I was able to pick up a PA second (can't tell what the flaw was) for 220 after tax. Was super excited and ended up going back to the store later and made a super impulse buy of a pair of shell cordovan McNeils for about 350 (again my untrained eyes couldn't find any flaws).
I now have a shoe for work and interviews and a pair for less formal occasions.
Hoping someone will tell me this was a good idea and that i made the right choice because I'm seriously second thinking spending so much in one day. I am not strapped for cash but part of me just feels that I should have just been satisfied with the PA and built on my shoe collection on a later date....
 

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