I don't like Allen-Edmonds

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Vintage Gent, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    I realize this sentiment is heresy in these precincts. But after three years I've finally come to this conclusion: I don't like Allen-Edmonds shoes.

    It's not that I haven't tried. I own two pair: a black Park Avenue and a chestnut Fairfax. The Park Avenues I wear as sartorial camouflage--when I need to look as unremarkable as possible. In short: funeral shoes. And I suppose I'll go on wearing them in that limited capacity for some years to come. The Fairfax are a bit jazzier, and I probably haul them out about once a month.

    But every time I don these shoes, I'm struck by the inelegant last, by the shapelessness. Of all my shoes, they're the least aesthetically pleasing.

    Truth be told, I probably wouldn't have purchased these at all were it not for my foot "situation." My left foot is a size-and-a-half smaller than the right, and Nordstrom is the only place that will sell me the proper fitting shoe for each foot, while still only charging for a single pair. At at Nordstrom, it's either AE, bottom of the barrel Santoni or mid-level Ferregamo. Alas.

    For those of you who like AEs, I mean no offense. But I wonder, with genuine curiosity, what you see in these shoes.
     


  2. Get Smart

    Get Smart Don't Crink

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    But I wonder, with genuine curiosity, what you see in these shoes.

    +1000000000

    having owned a couple pairs, they're ok as far as fit/comfort.....the styling is terrible, most shoes looking like logs. The price is high (at retail), and I'd feel like I was buying for the sake of it at sale prices.
     


  3. csgrad

    csgrad Senior member

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    I really do wonder, how hard can it be for AE to come out with a English/Continental style shoe last and design, actually, prob the same reason you don't see slim/fashion forward cut with good quality clothing in the US either, maybe people here just aren't ready.

    Good thing there's Thick of Thieves for suits at least!
     


  4. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff grrrrrrrr!!

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    ..Get the rope...
     


  5. maxnharry

    maxnharry Senior member

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    BUMP!

    I also wonder why they don't come out with shoes with real English style, but suspect that the majority of their customers would never buy such a thing and doubt many of the Grenson, Sargent, Peal, Crockett owners would be sufficiently moved to buy AEs.
     


  6. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

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    ..Get the rope...
    [​IMG] The two wholecuts I have I will genuinely wear on my own accord every so often (chestnut Fairfax and one more black one whose name always escapes me). The Park Avenue is perfect for what you described, which is the only reason I have them to begin with. Funerals/interviews/etc. Plus they were only 40.00 or so [​IMG] Beats buying the CT plasticky shoes for double that amount, even more if you want the 1880 level ones.
    BUMP! I also wonder why they don't come out with shoes with real English style, but suspect that the majority of their customers would never buy such a thing and doubt many of the Grenson, Sargent, Peal, Crockett owners would be sufficiently moved to buy AEs.
    I doubt there would be many unless the shoe was competitevely prices AND sleek. Hell, I'd rather have bought one of the listed above rather than the P.A. but hard to argue price - 40 (even if used) versus 300-400 at the very least for something I will wear very sparingly.
     


  7. csgrad

    csgrad Senior member

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    I mean seriously, what style is AE? Fancy bowling shoe? Out of the two best US men shoe makers, we have bowling shoe AE, or chunky tank Aldens. Wish there were better choices.
     


  8. visionology

    visionology Senior member

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    I don't understand AE either. I've tried, really I have. I've looked at their product lineup many times and can never find anything in their entire lineup that looks even remotely good. I'm sure they are well constructed and they can be found for good prices but I don't want to sacrifice good looks even if may cost a bit more. AE must not be doing too bad though or else I think they would have made a move to be more fashion forward.

    I get quite a kick whenever I go over my uncles house and I wear some C&J, Martegani's or something and he gives me a complement on them. Then we get talking about shoes and he always brings up how great AE are...I just keep quiet because I know his entire wardrobe consists of AE.
     


  9. Baron

    Baron Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have a pair of AE white bucks that I got off of ebay very cheap - the unassuming last works very well for those. Other than that I haven't seen a pair that I wouldn't rather buy in an Alden or Peal or benchgrade C&J.
     


  10. von Rothbart

    von Rothbart Senior member

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    One problem I have with AE if they keep discontinue the better looking classics like the Macallister in favor of the blobby, shapeless new models like the Fairfax. One member (was it zj?) posted an AE model for European market that was much better looking that any of the domestic offerings sans Park Ave. or Grayson. I don't think AE is incapable of producing better looking shoes, they just headed to the wrong direction.

    I think AE is capable of producing shoes at least equal to quality of C&J HG. If I were AE, I'd offer Gaziano or Gomez a sack of money to design a series of English-inspired lasts, then introduce a low volume higher line using the new lasts with channeled soles, better leathers and finishes. And if necessary, poach the EG and JL factories for the experienced shoemakers to train the next generations of workers the fine points of shoe making. The new line would have a halo effect on the lower regular line.
     


  11. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

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    One problem I have with AE if they keep discontinue the better looking classics like the Macallister in favor of the blobby, shapeless new models like the Fairfax. One member (was it zj?) posted an AE model for European market that was much better looking that any of the domestic offerings sans Park Ave. or Grayson. I don't think AE is incapable of producing better looking shoes, they just headed to the wrong direction.

    I think AE is capable of producing shoes at least equal to quality of C&J HG. If I were AE, I'd offer Gaziano or Gomez a sack of money to design a series of English-inspired lasts, then introduce a low volume higher line using the new lasts with channeled soles, better leathers and finishes. And if necessary, poach the EG and JL factories for the experienced shoemakers to train the next generations of workers the fine points of shoe making. The new line would have a halo effect on the lower regular line.


    I think AE is looking at it from the opposite direction - make more cheaper lines and leave the better lines as they are or just make subtle revisions...
     


  12. teflondog

    teflondog Member

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    Aside from the Mora monks, I can't find anything from AE that I would consider buying at full retail.
     


  13. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

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    Aside from the Mora monks, I can't find anything from AE that I would consider buying at full retail.

    I would not pay retail for any of AE shoes (although some of the colours of the Fairfax have made me consider it fleetingly but 300 is another pair of RM cheslea boots [​IMG] )
     


  14. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I like AE for casual bluchers. I just bought the Bentley, and it's a nice cords 'n' moleskins shoe. I also like the Park Avenue's affordability and availability, though I don't own it and have no plans to buy it.

    I imagine AE is serving a very specific clientele, one that wants a good-quality shoe in a conservative style. Even EGs might be considered too flashy by some. In terms of styling, AE is like the Oxxford of shoes, and that's OK. Someone needs to fill the role.

    I would guess that trying to compete with EG and Lobb directly would only limit AE's market, not expand it. At least part of the appeal of Lobb and EG is the prestige of the nameplate, and AE would lack that. Most folks who want a sleek high-end shoe already know where to find it.

    Here's some more heresy while we're at it: I don't get Lobbs. I like the Jermyn II, but many of the non-Prestige models do nothing for me. And some of their offerings are as off-base as some of AE's, only AEs are a fraction of the price.

    But what do I know. I don't even particularly like two-eyelet bluchers.
     


  15. Master Shake

    Master Shake Senior member

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    Uh oh, where's Kasper? [​IMG]

    Truth be told, you guys are basically spot on. I like the Park Avenue, but the rest of their shoes are very unappealing because of their chunky nature.
     


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