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I don't like Allen-Edmonds

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

  1. 127.72 MHz

    127.72 MHz Member

    Messages:
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    Hello All:
    I've been around for a few months but between trouble with my sign on password that was graciously taken care of by our board administrator and me being busy, no posts until now. I love "The Forum" and have enjoyed much of what has been posted but this may not be the most most well received post.

    The question was: "What do you see in Allen Edmonds?"

    In response I've read "Boring," "Blobby," "Clunky," "Fancy bowling," (Shoes)
    and lacking "Real English style" to name a few.

    Please keep in mind that all of these descriptions are highly subjective. Maybe "csgrad" (almost) hit the nail on the head when he said some don't want "Slim/Fashion forward cut." Please bear in mind that some subjectively find "Slim/Fashion forward" to be ghastly!

    Another member said he would rather buy an Alden,.....I believe to imply that many shoes in Alden's line are that much different than Allen Edmonds. Take a look at the Alden 990 and the Allen Edmonds "Leeds." Take a look at the Alden 691 and 693 full strap tassel and the Allen Edmonds "Grayson." Compare the Alden 908, 909, 911, and 913 all medallion tip balmorals with the Allen Edmonds "Chester." Comapare the Shell Cordovan Alden 975 with the Allen Edmonds Shell Cordovan "MacNeil." (I could go on with at least five other comparisions between Alden and Allen Edmonds that would be very difficult to tell apart)

    So okay I'll come right out and say it: I LOVE Allen Edmonds shoes, (I have seventeen pairs!)

    Now I'll also admit to owning two pairs of Heinrich Dinkelacker shoes I picked up while on business in Germany for nine months. (They wore me down and I HAD to buy them!) I have two pair of Church's, a pair of Edward green shoes, a pair of John Lobe,...(Again while on business in the U.K. it "Ate" at me to the point where I had no real choice in the matter, I HAD to buy them!) Too many pair of rubber sole Mephisto's and more "Other" pair than I am willing to admit to! (yes I have two pair of Alden's too, didn't mean to "Diss" Alden)

    What does the Allen Edmonds buyer typically look like,...a VERY conservative fellow,...

    Bottom line folks, good looking shoes are truly in the eyes of the beholder and to me the most highly subjective opinions of fashion are the area of shoes.

    My two centavos.
    Regards,
    Bill Woodward
    aka 127.72 MHz
    Portland, Oregon
    U.S.A.
     
  2. Kasper

    Kasper Senior member

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    I recently bought a pair of Park Avenues in black by Allen Edmonds and feel that this model has reached the highest taste level for a conservative business shoe. I am very happy with the purchase.
     
  3. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    ...or chunky tank Aldens. Wish there were better choices.

    These are pretty nice Alden choices from Leather Soul:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. visionology

    visionology Senior member

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    For one of if not the biggest clothing market on the planet and one of the highest per capita incomes we sure get the short end of the stick when it comes to anything clothing related.

    I can just imagine a company like AE putting out high quality shoes like they produce that have a nice edge to them yet are discounted like AE's often are. Maybe someone should slip a memo to them in the next board meeting.
     
  5. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    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...

    I was in the AE store in Chicago two weeks ago and the salesman said they will be debuting a $600+ benchmade line in the near future. At that price point, I bet they will bring in lasts that match the other shoes in that range.

    That said, it's probably a sad commentary, but.....the reason that US made lasts are less slender than the europeans (and the clothes for that matter) is that AMERICANS are less slender than europeans.
     
  6. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Aren't Aldens unsurprisingly popular in Germany?
     
  7. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    That said, it's probably a sad commentary, but.....the reason that US made lasts are less slender than the europeans (and the clothes for that matter) is that AMERICANS are less slender than europeans.

    Why is it, then, that AE and Alden readily offer narrow widths, which can't be had from many of the European makers? Sleekness of last has little to do with the slenderness of the foot.
     
  8. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    Why is it, then, that AE and Alden readily offer narrow widths, which can't be had from many of the European makers? Sleekness of last has little to do with the slenderness of the foot.

    Good point, I hadn't thought of it that way.
     
  9. jml90

    jml90 Senior member

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    Slim sleek English and Italian shoes make my large feet look like packed canoes.
     
  10. 127.72 MHz

    127.72 MHz Member

    Messages:
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    These are pretty nice Alden choices from Leather Soul:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Great example AlanC. As far as the two well known American shoemakers go Alden really has an edge on Allen Edmonds in their "Fan Shoes." The way it works is that any Alden Dealer can have Alden make up a special shoe which is usually one of their stock items with a slightly different sole, option in leather, (Shell Cordovan is most common) or special appearence so long as the dealer orders at least a dozen pair. I know the top boot is an example of an Alden "Fan Shoe," I'm not sure about the other.

    The Alden store in San Fransisco has many such Alden "Fan Shoes.'

    I've had a bit of a difficulty being fitted in some of Alden's shoes especially one's on their "Barrie" Last which is VERY full. I do wish there were more dealers with most if not all of Alden's line. (I guess it's just too expensive to stock)

    Although I've already said how much I love Allen Edmonds, my favorite pair of shoes is by Heinrich Dinklacker, jeeze Louise I love these shoes and unless I'm mistaken, (I hope I am) I know of no dealers in the U.S.A..

    I'm looking at a trip to the U.K. and possibly the continent later this year,...you can bet I'll be picking up another pair, (or two!!) of shoes while I'm there.
    Regards,
    Bill Woodward
    aka 127.72 MHz
    Portland, Oregon
    U.S.A.
     
  11. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

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    You should be able to find AE Fairfax at the Rack and DSW right now for ~$160. At least my local DSW had a bunch. I'm debating whether or not to pick up a pair in chestnut.

    I have a tan or caramel Fairfax but the sole DSW here does not have any AEs.
     
  12. hmhill

    hmhill Active Member

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    I wear AE's because of their wide selection in A and AA widths. The other brands of shoes have very limited selections in narrow widths.

    Max
     
  13. Fabro

    Fabro Senior member

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    I think AEs are the gateway drug of welted shoes. You buy them cheap on eBay, refine your aesthetic, and the next thing you know you are cashing in the children's college fund for EGs, Lobb, G&G, and the good Italians.
     
  14. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff Senior member

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    I think AEs are the gateway drug of welted shoes. You buy them cheap on eBay, refine your aesthetic, and the next thing you know you are cashing in the children's college fund for EGs, Lobb, G&G, and the good Italians.


    perfectly said.

    i be peddlin AEs in the alley way to get my hands on the JL and FAM primo stuff
     
  15. jjgold

    jjgold Senior member

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    ksm...man did you nail it! I bought my first pair of Edmonds in 93. I remember how guilty I felt spending the extra bread. They were like twice as expensive as the J&M. I have owned probably 20-25 pairs in the last 14 yrs. They were fine and durable. I still own a bunch. But I have drifted to Alden...then Gravati....then Barrett...then Green.....and recently ordered a pair of Vass. I really love the way the Italians fit my foot. I consider myself VERY conservatively dressed with a bit of flair (I love seven and eleven fold ties and killer shoes). I will continue to wear the Edmonds. I wear them in inclement weather and rainy days. I will buy a pair of the Delrays when I get around to it. But after wearing them for so long when you wear the other premium shoes...man you can just tell the difference.
     
  16. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    I think AEs are the gateway drug of welted shoes. You buy them cheap on eBay, refine your aesthetic, and the next thing you know you are cashing in the children's college fund for EGs, Lobb, G&G, and the good Italians.


    Very true....too bad I keep paying retail [​IMG] I started wearing them years before I read this forum or understood the terminology. I didn't know what a welt was, but I was quite sure the fact that I saw stitching on the bottom of the leather sole meant they would not fall apart like the K. Coles and Johnston and Murphys I had worn until then.

    Question.......as ksm noted above, I'm leaning towards moving up the food chain once I have enough volume to keep the rotation broad enough that I don't buy $500+ shoes and wear them out prematurely. I notice that Church's are never listed w/ Lobb, C&J, etc. I tried some on in Sak's a few weeks ago and loved the fit... MUCH better for my foot than the two pair of C&J I tried on at Polo or the Testoni that I tried at sak's.

    Why don't they get the same respect as other English shoes? I read some earlier posts that they're using corrected/top-grain leather in some of their shoes. Does that include the custom-grade line? How does one identify that? Is it fuzzy/suede-like on the inside?
     
  17. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    As some forumites may be aware, I'm kinda partial to A-Es myself. I find the majority of Italian shoes insubstantial and flimsy looking. I think the differences between A-Es and higher-end English shoes are greatly magnified in the eyes of biased beholders. I will admit that Greens and JLPs are a tad more elegant, but not worth the huge price differential to me.

    However, "de gustibus non est disputandum," as they say.
     
  18. Christofuh

    Christofuh Senior member

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    I find the majority of Italian shoes insubstantial and flimsy looking.

    I've seen these shoes ( in bottle green ) in person, and as far as build and solidity they'd give AEs a major [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  19. von Rothbart

    von Rothbart Senior member

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    I was in the AE store in Chicago two weeks ago and the salesman said they will be debuting a $600+ benchmade line in the near future. At that price point, I bet they will bring in lasts that match the other shoes in that range.

    Aha!! I can't wait to see the new higher line. At $600+ they should be better made than C&J HG since C&J is at disadvantage with the forex rate and duty, and probably approach EG's quality.
     
  20. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff Senior member

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    I've seen these shoes ( in bottle green ) in person, and as far as build and solidity they'd give AEs a major [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    man, these look good enough to eat with a knife and fork and a little A1 sauce.
     

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