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whats so great about allen edmonds?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by in stitches, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    They are incomparable.
     
  2. Geoff Gander

    Geoff Gander Senior member

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    As others have said, for their quality they are a good deal when on sale. If you're starting out in your career, or if you just need to build a basic rotation quickly, you could do a lot worse than spend a few hundred bucks on 3-4 pairs of AEs at one of their tent sales. Had I known about the sales 12 years ago, I could have skipped a lot of pain.

    The Park Avenue in black and the Fifth Avenue in brown or walnut, for example, are no-nonsense conservative (IMO) shoes that won't look out of place in any working environment. Once you have the basics covered, you can look at other brands to decide what style suits you best. C&J benchgrade offers excellent value and slightly sleeker (again, IMO) style for an extra $100/pair (or so).

    YMMV, of course, but those are my views on the matter.
     
  3. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Fair point. I don't know enough yet to have an eye for the difference between some of what I consider to be AE's sleeker models and the more loved (on this forum) italian and english shoes.

    "Sleek" is like "slim-fittnig" in that both tend to be very one-dimensional aesthetic judgments. Most of the forum gets hung up on those sorts of overly simplistic metrics (arm hole height is another favorite). In truth, a shoe's aesthetic character is defined by much more than how "sleek" it is. For example, a shoe can be very low-profile (hence, sleek), yet have very little shape or be shaped inelegantly. Even more low-profile AEs tend to lack shape and have odd proportions. They're very snouty compared to Aldens, for example. Sure, one can argue that the differences are subtle, but that is going to be the case with almost all things discussed on the forum.
     
  4. bluemagic

    bluemagic Senior member

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    They are the cheapest Goodyear-welted U.S-made shoes available at retail.

    +1
     
  5. inter71

    inter71 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure you know what goodyear welted means by this comment.

    Just because AE is clunky does not make every goodyear welted shoes clunky...


    I got you!!!

    The unstated assumption is to buy some of AE Goodyear welted shoes which are in my view (most of them) clunky. Otherwise, I do know what Goodyear welted means.
     
  6. reidrothchild

    reidrothchild Senior member

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    "Sleek" is like "slim-fittnig" in that both tend to be very one-dimensional aesthetic judgments. Most of the forum gets hung up on those sorts of overly simplistic metrics (arm hole height is another favorite). In truth, a shoe's aesthetic character is defined by much more than how "sleek" it is. For example, a shoe can be very low-profile (hence, sleek), yet have very little shape or be shaped inelegantly. Even more low-profile AEs tend to lack shape and have odd proportions. They're very snouty compared to Aldens, for example. Sure, one can argue that the differences are subtle, but that is going to be the case with almost all things discussed on the forum.

    Now that you mention it, I suppose I would classify my Bel-Airs as "snouty," if I'm understanding how you use the term. They're still a pretty good-looking shoe to my eyes, and I think the Delrays have a pretty well-balanced shape. And yeah, obviously if someone wasn't interested in getting into subtleties most others would find trivial, they should not be on this forum. As far as Alden, I think the question is whether the subtle differences you allude to are worth the price premium. I'm not sure I've ever seen Alen's calf offerings on sale for less than $300 per pair, whereas AE can be had regularly for around $150.
     
  7. Beatlegeuse

    Beatlegeuse Senior member

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    I think for the price, when found on sale, it's tough to beat AE as an entry-level dress shoe. Their looks are conservative for the most part, but I find that they have some styles that are "flashier" than what you would find on the feet of 99% of people in an average business office. I have a pair of Walnut Strands, and I can tell you that every other guy in my office wears a much more boring shoe in comparison. Obviously, when being compared to some other higher-priced SF-Approved brands, AE will look a little more conservative, but I still think you won't find much better in their price point, unless you can get a very deep discount.
     
  8. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Now that you mention it, I suppose I would classify my Bel-Airs as "snouty," if I'm understanding how you use the term. They're still a pretty good-looking shoe to my eyes, and I think the Delrays have a pretty well-balanced shape. And yeah, obviously if someone wasn't interested in getting into subtleties most others would find trivial, they should not be on this forum. As far as Alden, I think the question is whether the subtle differences you allude to are worth the price premium. I'm not sure I've ever seen Alen's calf offerings on sale for less than $300 per pair, whereas AE can be had regularly for around $150.

    If one needs and can only afford a single pair of $150 shoes, I get it. But the truth is that many wind up buying mutliple pairs (dozens in some instances). SF is plagued with the "more-worse-stuff" syndrome. People get int he mode of collecting without developing a taste for quality--which, admittedly, always comes in small degrees.
     
  9. Chargersfan

    Chargersfan Senior member

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    Allen Edmonds look great on me...then again, I'm hot.
     
  10. ktrp

    ktrp Senior member

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    SF exists on a different plane from most of the world in terms of cost expectations in two ways.

    1) what they're willing to spend

    2) what they pay for a given item.

    Most men buy shoes when they require shoes. They do not have their ear to the ground for a great sale. So they pay retail, or close to it.

    For most men in the non online world, AE are a $300 shoes in canada. C&J handgrades look to be just under $700 before shipping at pediwear, who are as far as I know a pretty good site. I have no doubt that if C&J handgrade were available in stores around me, they'd be more then that.
     
  11. uNiCoRnPriNcEsSx

    uNiCoRnPriNcEsSx Senior member

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    I wondered about this question myself. I'm starting to build my wardrobe from ground up, and was wondering why Allen Edmonds are considered "entry level". So I went to the nearest Nordstroms to check them out. Not bad. Blows Kenneth Cole and Bostonian out of the water. Now I know what to look for in a shoe.

    Last night I got a chance to go visit a Johnson & Murphy store. Grabbed the Melton from the shelf, ran my finger over it once, and put it back. A salesman asked if he could help me out. I told him no thx as I walked out the door. It had an ugly shine to it and the leather looked like excrement. Just go check it out and you'll see. Though what's going to end up happening is that you'll buy a pair of AE's and start lusting after C&J's or Lobbs, lol.
     
  12. reidrothchild

    reidrothchild Senior member

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    If one needs and can only afford a single pair of $150 shoes, I get it. But the truth is that many wind up buying mutliple pairs (dozens in some instances). SF is plagued with the "more-worse-stuff" syndrome. People get int he mode of collecting without developing a taste for quality--which, admittedly, always comes in small degrees.

    "SF is plagued with the "more-worse-stuff" syndrome. People get int he mode of collecting without developing a taste for quality--which, admittedly, always comes in small degrees."

    But is your objection to AE about quality of materials and construction? I thought you didn't like them for more subjective reasons such as the shape, which I can't argue with, because it is a highly personal judgment as to whether you want to may more for what you perceive to be a better looking shoe. I'm not sure I'd categorize the design of a shoe under "quality."
     
  13. bananananana

    bananananana Senior member

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    If you're talking about just the leather and construction, AE is on par or better than a lot of shoes in the 400ish range easily, so sure, it's a great deal. But along with the more-worse stuff syndrome, there's too much emphasis here on perceived quality like the whole "goodyear shoes will last a lifetime with resoling," that in the end, doesn't make a lot of difference for people when they flip their AE's at 10% of what they bought it at after a year.
     
  14. needshoehelp

    needshoehelp Senior member

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    2. It makes a middle class businessman shoe. Perfectly acceptable. Nothing sexy. Nothing unusual. Totally proper and acceptable for business and leisure pursuits. But, nothing beautiful. An example is its penny loafer.
    In no universe other than this one is AE entry-level or middle-class; most people would consider $300 on a shoe outrageous. A middle-class shoe in the real world is Bostonian, Florsheim, J&M and Ecco, AE being on the high-end. Obviously, the world of Lobb/EG/similar is another stratosphere altogether.
     
  15. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    But is your objection to AE about quality of materials and construction? I thought you didn't like them for more subjective reasons such as the shape, which I can't argue with, because it is a highly personal judgment as to whether you want to may more for what you perceive to be a better looking shoe. I'm not sure I'd categorize the design of a shoe under "quality."

    No, they're objectively ungood to look at.

    AE thrives on a customer base that wants the most bang-for-the-buck in terms of quality and construction. But they are ugly shoes--ok, plain and unobjectionable in some instances--so it makes little sense for someone who purports to care about style to buy many, many pairs of AEs.
     
  16. Shoeby Doo

    Shoeby Doo Senior member

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    "Sleek" is like "slim-fittnig" in that both tend to be very one-dimensional aesthetic judgments. Most of the forum gets hung up on those sorts of overly simplistic metrics (arm hole height is another favorite). In truth, a shoe's aesthetic character is defined by much more than how "sleek" it is. For example, a shoe can be very low-profile (hence, sleek), yet have very little shape or be shaped inelegantly. Even more low-profile AEs tend to lack shape and have odd proportions. They're very snouty compared to Aldens, for example. Sure, one can argue that the differences are subtle, but that is going to be the case with almost all things discussed on the forum.

    To be fair Aldens have ugly shapes as well.
     
  17. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    To be fair Aldens have ugly shapes as well.

    Maybe not to everyone's tastes for sure, but Aldens have shape. They look like Aldens. And like full-grown shoes. AEs always look half-baked to me.
     
  18. reidrothchild

    reidrothchild Senior member

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    No, they're objectively ungood to look at.

    AE thrives on a customer base that wants the most bang-for-the-buck in terms of quality and construction. But they are ugly shoes--ok, plain and unobjectionable in some instances--so it makes little sense for someone who purports to care about style to buy many, many pairs of AEs.


    So rather than two pair of AE, just go with Alden? In your opinion, what shoe maker represents the best value out there?
     
  19. unprofessional

    unprofessional New Member

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    For the money, I think it's hard to beat AE, especially buying used in the US.

    The reason I'll always love them: I have super wide feet, and their recrafting service is awesome.
     
  20. inter71

    inter71 Well-Known Member

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    For the money, I think it's hard to beat AE, especially buying used in the US.

    But I do not encourage to buy used!!!
    Save money and get a new pair of AE!!!
     

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