The Shell Cordovan, non-Alden Shoe and Boot Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jhcam8, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. Joenobody0

    Joenobody0 Senior member

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    It could be AE's lazy lasting. I've seen many many many pictures of AE's gaping around a foot.
     
  2. Watchman1

    Watchman1 Senior member

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    @VRaivio

    @Joenobody0

    Both of you men are right. Thanks for your observations.

    While the Strand fits me well at the ball and heel both...

    There is a bit of gaping around the ankle. AE is notorious for not letting their shoes sit on the lasts long enough.

    Once I was speaking to a man was in the shoe industry and he told me his father was the VP for Hanover/Bostonian for many years while they were still made Stateside.

    He said his father hand lasted EVERY pair of shell cordovan shoes that the factory made to ensure a proper lasting process. He said that when he was a little boy growing up he would walk into his father's office and there would be shell cordovan shoes sitting everywhere in their lasts.

    Sadly, that kind of commitment is absent today.

    Thanks.
     
  3. scipionis

    scipionis New Member

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    My AE Dundees are among the most comfortable footwear I own. But, the stitching seems a little sloppy in places.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
  4. coolarrow

    coolarrow Senior member

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    If this is true, AE can certainly rectify that. I've given up on some AE lasts because I thought the gaping was too much. Heck, you can go to Nordstroms and see their Park Avenues on display that are pre-bowed!
     
  5. Joenobody0

    Joenobody0 Senior member

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    Can, yes. Will, probably not.
     
  6. minthe

    minthe Well-Known Member

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    So after being curious about shell pull tabs, on to shell tongues. How do you feel about those? Comfortable, too hard/stiff? I like the look of those Viberg service boots with their tongue sticking out, but I've also heard from makers who will use a soft calf instead of cordovan for the tongue. Opinions?
     
  7. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    Watchman, there's only one solution to gaping AE's: not giving them any of your funds until the maker gets a grip to their quality control. They seem to be all about quantity and volume these days, both maxims not really leading to quality shoes. We really should have better footwear instead of more, more, ever more pairs.
     
  8. Watchman1

    Watchman1 Senior member

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    Yes Sir.

    I think your right.

    This is why I am going to the better makers. The Strands in question are my sole pair of AE. Even Alden do not gap like those Strands.

    Balmoral styles look so good in shell cordovan. I am working on several big MTO projects at the moment.

    Thanks.
     
  9. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    When first buying quality shoes I purchased a few AEs, an I experienced this issue as well. This isn't the only reason but I haven't and don't plan on purchasing AEs anymore.

    Besides for just about the same or a little more Carmina is a much better proposition.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
  10. Joenobody0

    Joenobody0 Senior member

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    I strongly agree that AE versus Carmina is a no brainer for more svelte styles. Fortunately AE versus Alden is also a no brainer for more chunky styles. I really don't see why people buy AEs at all besides the frequent (but no longer great) sale. I'd literally never pick a $650 AE shell over any comparable shoe.
     
  11. Watchman1

    Watchman1 Senior member

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    Gentlemen,

    I think I paid 450 for the AE Strands in the pic. That was after another cosmetic issue that caused them to drop the price for me.

    At 450, even with some slight gaping around the ankle makes those shoes worth it to me.

    The ankle gaping actually is not that bad, and only my sartorially minded friends here would ever notice.

    On another note, I have at least 4 shell cordovan pieces incoming at this point.

    3 boots and 1 shoe.

    The only tid bit of info that I will give you is that they are all Horween examples from all over the world.

    Very exciting.
     
  12. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    I'm glad you got a good deal and I'm glad they work for you. I certainly didn't mean to pick on you or your shoes, AE just no longer works for me.
     
  13. Watchman1

    Watchman1 Senior member

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    Thank you Sir.

    Sadly, I feel the same way about AE as well.

    If I really did not mind the QC issues of AE and used my shoes for real life only and not as a hobby and past time...it would not bother me.

    I have moved away from AE just due to the ethical issues mentioned. I still recommend them to beginners, just because of their availability and the fact that AE, as we all have noted, were our first venture into better shoes.

    My philosophy is that if I can introduce someone to the concept of AE, then Alden and Carmina, C&J, EG, etc.

    Regarding Carmina, I have wide feet and Carmina does not offer stock shoes except in standard sizes....which poses a big problem for me.

    Single MTO price for Carmina is MORE expensive than Vass and EB. Really, for boots about 500 less than EG.

    Carmina is a top notch houses nonetheless.

    Alden has won my heart recently with their offerings. Albeit, I only wear their exotics notwithstanding.

    Sincerely,
    Joel
     
  14. sleepyinsanfran

    sleepyinsanfran Senior member

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    I prefer shell tongues. Calf tongues are just a cost cutting measure, especially on tall boots: you can feel the laces digging though a lot more when the tongue is made of soft calf (especially if you happen to lace your boots tight)
     
  15. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    I'm a bit confused. Why "lazy lasting"? Couldn't it just be that the AE last in question simply doesn't fit his feet well?

    I can't wear AEs, at least none made on the "5" last, as they simply don't fit my feet.

    I have nothing for or against AE shoes - I'm just confused as to what lazy lasting is and why it couldn't just be a case of the last not being suited to the shape of his foot.
     

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