Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Cap Toe Oxford: Is It Worth It? – Iconic American Dress Shoe

Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette!
In today’s video, we’ll discuss whether an iconic American dress shoe, the Park
Avenue from Allen Edmonds, is worth your money or not. Today’s video is another
installment in our ongoing series, is it worth it?
where we take an in-depth look at the history and quality of various menswear
and luxury brands, you can find the full playlist here. This video will focus on
what is perhaps the standard to which all other American dress shoes are
compared, the Park Avenue from Allen Edmonds. Before we go over the shoe
itself though, let’s start with a brief history of the company. In 1922, Elbert W.
Allen Sr. founded a shoe company in Belgium, Wisconsin. Ralph Spiegel was an
initial investor and partner to Allen but he was later bought out by William
Edmonds. Therefore, the company was christened Allen Edmonds. The company
quickly gained notoriety for their innovative manufacturing processes such
as removing nails and metal shanks from their construction to create a more
flexible and lightweight shoe, referred to as Osteopathic in its early years of
production. The shank of an Allen Edmonds shoe would often be made of wood to
maintain durability while increasing comfort. After providing shoes to the US
Army and Navy during World War II, Allen Edmonds gained a major following as many
of the soldiers from these branches of the military became lifelong customers
of the brand. Thereafter, founder Elbert Allen died in 1946 at which time, his son
Elbert Jr. took over control of the company. He was followed in turn by his
brother Boyd in 1968 and then by John Stollenwerk in 1980. The original factory
in Belgium, Wisconsin burned to the ground in January of 1984. Following both
a literal and metaphorical rebuild, Allen Edmonds opened
a factory in nearby Port Washington, Wisconsin where they still operate today.
We’re showing some photos here from Raphael’s trip to the factory but if
you’d like to see some video footage, you can check out these offerings from the
Kavalier and the Elegant Oxford, here. In 1987, the subsidiary company Woodlore
was launched, manufacturing shoe trees and other accessories. The 1990s were a
period of great growth and expansion for Allen Edmonds during which time, they
purchased the main shoe company of Lewiston, Maine and began to diversify
their product range incorporating other products such as umbrellas. In 2003, the
company invested 1 million dollars to refit their factory in order to cut down
on production costs. This may have been assigned that the boom of the 90s was
coming to an end. By 2006, they were again concerned with rising manufacturing
costs and wanted to enter other shoe markets. As such, they closed their
Factory in Lewiston, Maine and opened a factory in the Dominican Republic. While
the factory in Port Washington still produces the classic lines of dress
shoes in house, some of the other lines such as boat shoes are now produced in
the Dominican Republic. Additionally, some leathers for other
models are cut in the Dominican Republic and then assembled in the United States.
Also in 2006, 90% of the company’s shares were purchased by
Minneapolis based investment firm, Goldner Hawn Johnson and Morrison for
100 million dollars. In 2013, the company was acquired by private equity firm,
Brentwood Associates and in 2016, Brentwood sold it to shoe conglomerate,
Caleres for 255 million dollars. The current president today is Malcolm
Robinson who has previously worked for a variety of other menswear brands
including Phillips-Van Heusen. Today, Allen Edmonds pride themselves on their
history and status as an iconic American shoe company. Ronald Reagan, George H. W.
Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush are just some of the many American
presidents who have worn Allen Edmonds shoes and Park Avenues, in particular.
Allen Edmonds also differentiates itself from many other shoe companies by
offering a recrafting service whereby customers can send in old or worn pairs
of Allen Edmonds shoes to be largely rebuilt for a fee. As part of this recrafting, the welt will be replaced and a new cork lining inserted, the soles, heels,
and laces will also be replaced and the uppers will be polished. So long as there
are no deep cracks or tears in the leather of the uppers and linings, Allen
Edmonds will generally be able to recraft a shoe two or three times. While
you could, of course, take a pair of Allen Edmonds shoes to your local cobbler to
be repaired, sending it to Allen Edmonds means that the shoe will be stretched
over the original last shape again ensuring that it maintains its original
dimensions. Despite Allen Edmond’s heritage and
reputation for quality, however, they do find themselves today at a bit of a
crossroads. Their attempts in recent years to reach a younger, less formal
clientele with more avant-garde designs haven’t necessarily fared well. This
approach also alienated some longtime customers meaning that Allen Edmonds was
somewhat stuck in the middle. Also, other longtime buyers and fans within the
menswear community both on online forums and YouTube, among other places, have
begun to notice increasing issues with quality control. So with all that said
then, let’s take a look at their signature model, the Park Avenue, this is
a lace-up cap toe Oxford dress shoe. Allen Edmonds
refers to it on their website as a cap toe balmoral. While Balmoral is a term
often used, especially in America, to refer to Oxfords, it most technically
refers only to a kind of boot. You can find our article on that subject, here.
And what’s an Oxford? The shortest answer is this, Oxford shoes have a closed
lacing system where the vamp is sewn on to the quarter
whereas derby shoes have an open lacing system where the quarters are sewn onto
the vamp. If you would like to learn more about any of this terminology, you can
find our video on the differences in shoe styles here and our article on the
anatomy of a dress shoe here. Like many models of Allen Edmonds shoes, the Park
Avenues are Goodyear welted meaning that the uppers are stitched to a cork filled
welt and then to the sole. The Park Avenue receives an assembly method that
Allen Edmonds refers to as their 360-degree bench welt construction. A 360
degree welt holds no real advantage over the more conventional 270 degree welt, in
terms of quality, but it does allow Allen Edmonds to more easily replace the welt
and the sole when shoes are being recrafted. The shoes feature a single oak sole with rubber top lifts on the heel, lined calfskin leather uppers
made from premium horween leather, and six pairs of eyelets for the laces. They are
welted on the 65 last which is Allen Edmonds’ most popular shape and also used
for many other models including the closely-related
fifth avenue. This particular last is known for being slightly longer than the
typical American dress shoe last adding some sleekness to the overall shape. With
that said though, the overall styling of the shoe is very traditionally American.
While it’s not exactly chunky or unattractive, the shape isn’t nearly as
refined as what you might see from many other British or Italian shoemakers
today. In addition to this, the toe cap is a good deal shorter than many other
brands. For today’s video, we purchased a new pair of shoes online directly from
Allen Edmonds for a retail price of $395. We decided to go with black which is
perhaps the most signature and conservative shade. In addition to this
new pair, we’re also featuring a pair in brown that I’ve personally owned for
about a year now. My pair are factory seconds meaning that I purchased them at
a discount with the understanding that they didn’t necessarily meet the quality
control standards to be sold at full price, I got my pair for 250 dollars.
Furthermore, as I have poor balance due to a disability, I had rubber half soles
added to my shoes by a local cobbler. Allen Edmonds does offer a variety of
other sole styles in addition to standard leather including dainite
rubber. Overall, we found the workmanship on this new pair of shoes to be of high
quality. Stitching on the uppers was uniform with a pleasing stitch density
and very few loose thread ends and the welt stitching was largely uniform with
a few minor imperfections. There was a slight notch where the welt
meets the heel on the left shoe but this wasn’t major. The leather did have
creases or imperfections in some areas but these were all quite minor and could
likely be covered or even removed with proper care and polishing over time. One
somewhat unattractive feature is the slight hump where the vamp meets the toe
cap, this could be mitigated during production by skiving or trimming away
at the underside of the leather at the seam to a greater degree. The sides of
the soles received a uniform black painting that didn’t greatly spill over
onto the undersides of the soles. My factory second pair did have more
imperfections in the leather of the uppers and the soles and some uneven
stitching on the welt. Still, this was to be expected given that they were factory
seconds and they’ve been holding up well over a year’s worth of occasional wear.
Also, here’s a brief word on the overall quality control issues we alluded to
earlier, while we didn’t experience any major defects with the pair we purchased
for today’s video and I also didn’t experience anything major with my
factory second pair, it’s becoming an increasingly shared opinion in online
menswear spaces that Allen Edmonds has begun to cut back on quality control to
some degree. This should be taken with a grain of
salt, however, as demand for premium quality calfskin continues to increase
worldwide and even reputable brands like horween can sometimes struggle to find
enough perfect leather pieces for every single pair of shoes they produce. Other
brands, for example, fellow American company, Alden, have managed to keep up
their extremely exacting quality standards. With this though, their prices
are substantially higher, as much as $600 per pair and discounts on their shoes
are rare. So you may have to be a bit more cautious when buying from Allen
Edmonds today but we’re not going to go so far as to suggest that the overall
quality of their product has dramatically decreased. With that said
though, the Kavalier has also done a video on the current state of Allen
Edmonds as a company today and you can find it here. Regarding fit and comfort
of the Park Avenues, we’ll start with my own personal pair since I’ve obviously
worn them quite a bit more. I will say that they did have a bit of a break-in
period, perhaps two or three wears, where I did find them to be slightly
uncomfortable, particularly in the heels where I experienced some irritation and
mild blistering. After this initial break-in period though, I’ve had no
further issues and I now find my shoes to be quite comfortable. I wear a size 8
and a half D in most dress shoes and that’s the size of both my personal pair
of Park Avenues and the ones we purchased for the video. I find that both
pairs fit relatively well though the quarters do gap somewhat and there is a
bit of space in the heel. I could certainly try a different fit, in fact,
one point of pride for Allen Edmonds is the wide variety of different fit
options they offer. Many models will range all the way from size 5 Triple A
at the smallest and narrowest to 15 Triple E at the largest and widest. I was
fitted to a size 8 and 1/2 D, however, when I visited an Allen Edmonds store
locally so it may just be that the 65 last on which the Park
Avenue is built isn’t the ideal last shape for my foot. As a side note here,
I’ll also mention that I do own a handful of other pairs of Allen Edmonds
shoes in different styles and made on different lasts and I’ve found that the
initial break-in period and overall fit of the shoe has varied somewhat from
pair to pair. After these varying break-in periods though, I have again
found that the shoes fit well overall and are generally quite comfortable.
Raphael also owns a handful of Allen Edmonds shoes, as well as boots, and his
experience has varied from pair to pair. Some pairs he likes more than others. Now,
for our main question of the video then, is a pair of Park Avenues from Allen
Edmonds worth your money or not? Ultimately, it’s likely going to depend
on your budget as well as your taste. As we said before, Allen Edmonds currently
sells Park Avenues on their website for a retail price of $395 though they do
often run sales so you should be able to find them for less. The shoes are well
made with no major flaws and a durable construction. If you properly care for
them and wear them in rotation with other shoes, they should last you for a
good many years. Remember also that you can send them back to the factory in
Port Washington for around a hundred to a hundred and fifty dollars per pair to
have them re– crafted extending their life even further. Even so, their overall
look is definitely conservative and not quite as elegant as some other British
or Italian models that you might find today. If you’re looking for a more
flattering silhouette at a similar price point, you might want to consider
spending your money elsewhere. Speaking personally, I don’t mind the slightly
stodgy or old-fashioned silhouette of the shoes, in fact, I find some more
modern European models to be too bold so this isn’t a downside for me. If you
haven’t purchased from Allen Edmonds before and you’d like to try out some of
their styles including the Park Avenue, you might want to do as I did
and try factory seconds first. Currently, seconds aren’t available on the Allen
Edmonds website all the time but you will find them occasionally. If you do
decide to sign up for their email list, they’ll notify you when seconds go on
sale. So while they may not be the most elegant dress shoes on the market today
and quality control is perhaps a bit more of a gamble than it was in past
years, the models from Allen Edmonds and the Park Avenue in particular stand as
quality American dress shoes. They’re durable, comfortable, recraftable, and
made in the USA with a few exceptions on each of these points. Are they the best
shoe on the market today? Not necessarily but they are a dependable shoe that
should serve you well as a sort of base model and for that reason, we think they
are worth it. in today’s video I am of course wearing a pair of Allen Edmonds
Park Avenue cap toe Oxfords. these are the brown models that I’ve had for about
a year now. to go for a more conservative and traditional look I’ve chosen to pair
them with a charcoal Brown suit that features a fine pinstripe in tan and
light blue the jacket is ventless and the trousers have pleats as well as
suspender buttons as such I’m wearing suspenders today which happen to also be
blue harmonizing with the overall yellow and blue color palette which I’ve got
going I’m also wearing a pastel yellow dress shirt with French cuffs in which
I’m wearing the gold-plated sterling silver Eagle Claw cufflinks from Fort
Belvedere featuring lapis lazuli as the stone the cufflinks harmonized well with
my other accessories which are also from Fort Belvedere these include my
boutonniere which is an Edelweiss model my socks which are Shadow striped models
in navy and yellow my madder silk tie also in navy with a repeating diamond
motif in red buff and orange and my silk wool blend pocket square in a color
we’re calling antique gold ochre featuring a pattern of printed geometric
medallion in beige red and blue with a cream
contrast edge you can find all of the accessories I’m wearing in today’s
outfit including the cufflinks tie pocket square boutonniere and socks in
the Fort Belvedere shop

100 thoughts on “Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Cap Toe Oxford: Is It Worth It? – Iconic American Dress Shoe

  1. Bass was the shoe then moved into Cole Haan but both are China made junk now. Big step up to AE but never looked back. 4 pairs with the "Passenger" as my daily wear. Soft sole comfort, soft leather uppers that replaced my Rockport's that have offshored also.

  2. Personal I would prefere a dress boat, chucka or chelsea boat, if you wear unformal suits, live up north and do not work in a formal workplace.

    But the brown full brouge is beutiful, and a shoe I would consider if I would buy new shoes. Black oxford is not something I use that much.

  3. Thanks for the shoutout, guys! Love your channel. Been a fan since before I even learned to shine a shoe.

  4. The recrafting service has been a big disappointment for me. They are apparently scaling back their operations and don’t really want to work on shoes that need “ground-up” refurbishing. I had a pair of Grayson loafers which simply had worn out soles and they were returned to me “unrepairable.” The uppers were intact and in very good shape, including the tassels. Made no sense.

  5. Balmoral isn't a boot. It's a style of Oxford where the piece of leather on the toe reaches all the way around the back of the heel. Oxford boots are most often Balmoral boots, as in the photo you showed. There are also non Balmoral Oxford boots, but nowadays they are often also called Balmoral boots.

    Edit: I don't believe the Oxfords in this video are balmorals however.

  6. I would very much like to see a video from you people about smoking (cigars, cigarettes, pipes) an smoking etiquet.

  7. Great info on Allen Edmonds. I don't personally care for the most classic or conservative style, so I've yet to shop for a pair. Unless I find a good deal I'll probably keep to other GG recommendations (which have been very helpful!).

  8. Let’s do more “is it worth it” videos, please. You all get to buy nice stuff under business expense while we get awesome videos with nice consumer advice 😉

  9. I love the classic conservative look. Just pricey. I still have dress shoes that were issued to me when I first joined the Air Force that 20 years later are still great. I would buy another pair of those.

  10. I wish you would spend a little time getting the used shoes to look like new. Polish, edge dressing, and a little shoe wax would really be helpful. It just looks bush league to have an old pair of shoes, where a very little work and they would look perfect. You spend a significant time to write and do the script and very well practiced, but a sloppy pair of shoes really ruins the overall work. Just sayin’ guys… I love the work, but please step it up a little…

  11. This was excellent!, I love AE styles, I have purchased several different pairs this past year and have had absolutely no issues with any of them. AEs are simply excellent!

  12. Marines wearing Allen Edmonds on Mount Suribachi, and Patton/Bradley/Eisenhower wearing Allen Edmonds???? Dang, any shoe company that helped in wiping out the Japanese Imperialists and the Nazis has me as a customer for life!

  13. I have a pair of AE dress shoes that my father bought for me 30 years ago. I have had them re-soled 3 times. Just as comfortable and classy today as ever.

  14. IMO, they're worth it. I bought my first pair of Allen Edmonds wingtips, the McAllister model, in 1989 when I got my first "real" corporate job. I had that pair recrafted somewhere around 2003 or so, and since then I've bought about half a dozen other Allen Edmonds shoes, including one pair of boat shoes made in the DR. Every pair has been pretty good for me, with my brown McAllisters as my favorite work shoe.

  15. They didn't want to come out and say it but AE's quality has gone down significantly over the years. Still a decent shoe but for the money there are much better alternative brands out there. They are really just selling shoes on the brands name which is typical of hedge fund owned companies. All they care about is maximizing profits to make books look attractive to sell if to someone else down the line.

  16. I'm a banker by trade and need a comfortable shoe that will get me through the day on the regular. I now have three pair of AEs and they are the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned. I keep them in rotation and keep shoe trees in then when not in use. Plus I polish my shoes every other use. So far these 3 pair have lasted me four years of daily use! I own 2 pair of Park Avenues and one of Madison Avenues. Until I find a bad pair like people online apparently have found, I'll keep buying these.

  17. Friendly suggestion: those factory seconds look like they're due for some fresh edge dressing 🙂

  18. I definitely agree that these are worth it!
    One thing though, Kirby Allison does a $50 EBay challenge where he buys a pair of Allen Edmonds and puts them through his shoe restore process. I recently purchased a pair of Allen Edmonds (5th Ave) off eBay for $47 and I absolutely love them. 8/10 condition and about 7/10 on the sole/heel. I took them to my local cobbler and he said in about a year or two to bring them back and have them re-soled! Definitely one of my best purchases.

  19. Tip for anyone wanting to buy Allen Edmonds for a lower price: Buy used, whether it is at a thrift shop, or eBay, but make sure it is not on its last leg. Then, have it recrafted, and there you have it. It looks like new!

  20. Took hubbie to the AE store, got him sized, bought this shoe in black. First week pinching and hurting. Took to cobbler for shine and overnight stretch. Still too uncomfortable to wear. $400 shoes sitting in closet on AE shoe trees. He wears $95 Johnston Murphys. Go figure. One of our sons will inherit them.

  21. A few years ago I bought two pairs of Park Avenues. Black for my daughters wedding and dark chili just because. Loved the fit, finish, and comfortable. So looked at more casual shoes and now I have McAllister, Strand weave, Southside, a brown suede sneaker and a walnut weave sneaker, and a pair of oxblood Bond. Nice shoes and I received military discount on all. So I guess you could say I'm an Allen Edmonds guy. I'm a little older so I don't go into the less conservative styles. Love your channel. Nice video.

  22. I did have a little issue with my pair – the welt snapped at the bottom near the toe after about 2 months of wear. The retail store took care of it no hassle tho

  23. Great video. I have over six pairs of AE's and have used the recrafting service. Please note, when I had my boots recrafted, I did get a $40 coupon, which I do not know if it was normal policy or a "one off." I also have found need of a "break in period" which may go up to six "wears" and also involved some blisters. Once broken in, they are extremely comfortable shoes. If you monitor their website periodically, they do offer sales from time to time.

  24. It was a touch of class for you to mention other channels and great videos. The ones mentioned are some of my favorites and the I have already seen those videos, but it was nice to see the information being spread. Thank you Gentlemen's Gazette, you will never know how much you improved my appearance.

  25. I’d love to see an “is it worth it” video about Christie’s London Hats

  26. I purchased a pair of choclate brown Cliftons. They are my first and only Allen Edmonds. I found them on sale locally. I like them. Would I buy again? Yes. Do I think they are worth it? Yes. To me, buying American made products makes a difference. Cost is not the primary factor. I buy GEC and Buck and Noodlers Ink as well.

  27. This is one where I must disagree. For about the same price, you can buy a Carmina which rivals bespoke shoes, including JR soles, the best made, and hidden channel stitching. I have to disagree that the Allen Edmonds are worth it given other options

  28. Sorry – I’ve worn AE shoes for more than 25yrs and prior to that, I was raised on Nettleton brand shoes, as their main factory was originally in my hometown of Syracuse NY, I have two pairs of AE black Park Ave that were purchased for my 1995 wedding…. 25 yrs old and still going strong (albeit rebuilt 2x), never worn, at most whilst traveling, more than 3-4 days in a row, always reshaped, after each wearing, by having cedar shoe-trees placed inside, etc.

  29. Really wish you guys would cut out the background music on these clips. Content is impressive and thorough but the choice of music and distraction is questionable.

  30. No mention of their composite heel? My cobbler recently showed me a removed heel from a pair of Allen Edmonds, and it looked like junk. Composite in a heel is the equivalent of building your dining table from MDF instead of solid hardwood. I would have liked to learn in this video whether the Park Avenue is now supplied with composite leather in their stacked heel, or whether it is real, cut & laminated (not ground-up into a paste) leather.

  31. AE = clunky silhouette. I prefer Italian-style Blake-stitched shoes for a much sleeker silhouette (e.g. Ace Marks, which is also cheaper than AE)…

  32. I am very pleased with all of the Allen Edmonds shoes that I own. I receive a lot of compliments on how nice they look. I believe they are well worth the price

  33. 0:26 – I think you're having a bit too much fun with the budget there Mr. Schneider.

  34. Can you answer my question?
    In place where i live, here is so cold, almost everyday the temperature gets -10 degrees. So i can handle my body even my top head but can't about my ears. I wanna look classy and stay warm what should i wear?

  35. I have a dark brown pair of Park Avenues and I love them, but I am a big fan of Allen Edmonds in general. Even though it would be much easier to get shoes from the UK as I am living in Germany.

  36. If you’re paying <$250 for Allen Edmonds they’re a fantastic value. However if you’re paying full retail for the shoes it’s tough to get over their quality control. There’s nothing worse than paying $400 for shoes and them having easily noticeable imperfections.

    I love the AE style and have been ultra happy with Alden, they’re a good option if you’re willing to pay more.

  37. I do love your buttonhole. Is it an edelweiss? And BTW, you are now THE face of The Gentleman's Gazette 🙂

  38. I've worn A&E's exclusively since I was in my early 20's and worked at a shoe store. I wear a narrow width which is difficult to find and none of the 'cheap' companies make them. From patent leather dress pumps (no longer made) to deck shoes… none finer. They have an outlet store for 'Factory Seconds' which I've had excellent luck with and have never found a visible flaw. Treat yourself, you will be glad you did.

  39. Picked up 2 pairs for 15 bucks at a flea mkt one my size other sold on ebay! Mine was vintage better quality then the modern AE

  40. This review is quite unfair about Allen Edmonds shoes.
    Allen Edmonds shoes are very comfortable and with the large choice of different widths if you choose the right size they could fit like a glove. I have bought must of the major brands in England , and they are never as good as Allen Edmonds for the fitting.
    Furthermore Allen Edmonds are durable and if sometimes you could find some tiny defects, it doesn't change the overall quality. They are classic but Allen Edmonds are dress shoes, not sneakers or trendy boots.  
    The Park Avenue Oxford is classic and very elegant.
    For $400 there is no equivalent on the market (all British brands included).
    If you want better leather buy some Edward Green shoes at more than $1200.

  41. One recommendation that I learned re: Allen Edmonds and most new dress shoes, is to polish and wax them before wearing the first time. Many GG viewers might already know this, but apparently most new dress shoes come from the factory without the protection that a wax provides, so it's wise to apply it straight away.

    I picked up my first pair of AEs on factory seconds last year and love them. Not wanting the full-on formal Park Ave, instead got the Boulevard darby in dark brown. Like Preston, it took a couple of wearings to break them in but now they feel great.

  42. It is worth it if you can actually fit into them comfortably, which most can't. The last 65 is narrow and flat, doesn't work for many and lots of people force their fit into this last and wear them uncomfortably. I bought Parks and they felt so uncomfortable, I returned them and bought a pair of Hopkinson from the Independence line. These were seconds, they fit ten times better and they're even more comfortable than Cole Haan shoes. If you don't fit into Parks, then you need to try the Independence line even though is more expensive, since is not Allen Edmonds popular line, you can get them for much cheaper. They cost $530, but I've seen them go as low as $320 for first during their sales, whereas park avenue rarely go on sale and when they do, is not that much compared to the other models.

  43. I bought my first pairs of PA's 1975 in the military. I had to lace my service honor guard issued Bates with that good looking but gawdawfull straight laced system. On the PA last it was horrid. I have managed to wear an 11EEEon my 11 1/2EEE foot with thin hose and that pair is now on it's 7th and probably last rebuild WITH A SENSIBLE LACING PATTERN. My current purchases were a nightmare of poorly made shoes not worth the second label and 3 returns later I had two contemporary pair. Six months into the rotation 4" of sole ripped loose with thread my cobbler said was junk. Note also shoe trees and protective flannel sacks are history. Worth it? When I called about the stitching problem I was denied any help and a snarky comment of being a 'California Bernie Supporter as they hung up. I have hung up on AEs.

  44. Allen Edmonds are on sale a few times a year, and their value can't be beat. The AE factory seconds also go on a deep discount sale around the end of each year, and it's usually hard to find what's wrong with them! Great company, great shoes (belts, and much more,) great value.

  45. I have a pair of park avenues in black. Owned them for about 9 months. They are great shoes both in fit and look. Yes the toe cap is a bit unusually short, but it hasn't bothered me at all.

  46. Excellent and thorough review, thanks Preston! I can personally echo the recent concerns of quality control. My wife bought me a pair of beautiful Dark Chili McAllister wingtips (firsts quality on sale) for Christmas. Unfortunately, they had severe bumps at the toe caps—much like what you mentioned in the video. Unfortunately, due to the curving shape of the wingtip design, this layer bump was rather unsightly.

    It took me two exchanges at my local store to get a decent pair, with the 2nd of the 3 pairs also featuring uneven heel blocks and faulty welt stitching. It was so bad, I couldn’t help but feel I was being unfairly penalized for my promo firsts with “seconds quality” exchanges.

    Not sure what’s going on, but I’m hoping they get their act together as their last fits my feet like a dream! Easily the most comfortable dress shoes I’ve experienced.

  47. I would like to buy a pair on eBay and have them recrafted, but I don't feel right going to the store just to be sized without buying… it is the Catholic guilt. Maybe I can find something at a thrift or something similar for sizing purposes.

  48. I have been going to my local thrift store lately and on these journeys I have come across some well worn shoes like bostonians, Allen Edmonds, etc My question is would it be worth it to purchase them and have a gobbler restore them?? Some of the prices at my thrift store range between $10-$20

  49. Allen Edmonds used to be great. i got my first through a factory seconds deal and was hooked and bought lots more over the years. then a few years ago a PE firm bought AE out and eviscerated it. Quality and service evaporated. I'll go barefoot before I spend another penny at Allen Edmonds. oh yes, the dominican shoes. i have a pair of dominican mocs that the eyelets fell out of. Trash.

  50. I'm done with Allen Edmonds… I own several pairs, and even though fitted for my wide feet, they just are never comfortable. I'm planning on looking for something else for the Spring Season

  51. Ownership of the company has changed and quality checks now are nonexistent. I've never seen shoes made this bad, even pay less shoes are better made.

  52. I love AE shoes and have worn nothing but their cordovan for the last 25 years of my corporate career. I currently own six pair and have disposed of probably only two pair in my career, despite wearing them four days a week. They have all been recrafted many times and always come back looking brand new. The cordovan leather never wrinkles or creases, keeping them looking brand new practically forever.

    I love the classic American businessman look, and always feel very well put together in them. Also, they are comfortable hour after hour – even on the long days returning from the east coast to CA. Of the six pair I have “in stock”, three are black and three are burgundy. My favorite style is the MacNeil. I find the PA a bit plain and the Cambridge a bit too British banker.

    Now the big secret – I have never paid retail. I have a permanent search on eBay and buy them when a good pair pops up. I’ve never been disappointed!

    In a nutshell, I believe I have spent WAY less on shoes in my career by buying lightly-worn previously-owned cordovan than I would have buying retail calfskin.

    Great video!!!

  53. If you want really nice leather shoes, you should really buy english. If you’re feeling flush go John Lobb. Otherwise there are a number of other makers who are great.

  54. Heyyyy their not suspenders their braces my friend nice outfit also😊🤙🏾✌🏾

  55. Great review and I fully agree conclusion. I’ve owned total three pairs of AE shoes, but now only one. I’ve sold two just because lack of use due to other shoes what I like even more. Quality of AE in my shoes was good, but I don’t like it’s traditional American shapes as much as I like for example Crockett & Jones (especially their 348 last). However, AE is cheaper than C&J and almost the same quality. If you like AE style, then it’s definitely worth of money. Personally I will find more attractive models in Carmina or Crockett & Jones with the same or bit higher price level.

  56. I have several pairs of both Alden and Allen Edmonds shoes. The thing with Allen Edmonds is their shoes have truly become a quality lottery. If you are interested in the brand they can make a good shoe. I would buy at a retail store and see what you are getting. When you buy online be prepared to send them back. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any real quality control inspection on the shoes fulfilling website orders. I have about 4 pair of the Park Ave model, two in shell. The original order shells, black and color 8, had to be sent back after waiting 8 weeks for them. The replacements were much better although I would not say they are stellar. In AE's defense this type of shoe is largely hand made and that skill set just does not exist in our current workforce. Finding craftsman is far more difficult than finding "factory workers". This is why I try to stick with the brand and support American manufacturing. I like Alden as well as their quality is generally a bit higher than AE but I don't really like the boaty overly wide Alden last. AE last have a narrower profile that looks much better in my opinion than a comparable Alden model if you have narrow to normal width feet. I used to be an exclusive Bostonian, Cale Haan and Johnston Murphy customer respectively before I went full on Allen Edmonds. Those brands have totally abandoned the traditional shoe making art in favor of synthetic materials and non repairable glued construction while still changing premium prices. AE may have some quality issues to work out but you are still getting a repairable shoe made from good materials. Other than Alden you really cannot say that about any other reasonably priced American brand.

  57. Allen Edmonds, FootJoy, and Johnson & Murphy are all good long lasting shoes, naturally Bass makes a number of classic styles. All well worth the money.

  58. OId AE? Worth it. New AE? Not worth it. Sad that another brand has gone down the tubes. Bostonian, Florsheim, AE, etc.

  59. Even though they are quality shoes, AE’s style is rather plain and old fashioned. I rather go with: Mezlan, Carmina, Vass, and my absolute favorite French shoemaker Calaincourt!

  60. A few comments and questions for you to respond. 1. Is it worth getting the Cordovan premium shell or stick with the standard? 2. How about the Bond street that has the integrated rubber sole for traction? Although the brand seems to be getting some bad reviews on the website… Your thoughts? I've been wearing Crockett and Jones now for years but do not like paying that premium

  61. I own 12 pair of AE dress shoes and I have never paid full retail. I only buy in september during the annual "rediscover America sale" (most popular styles Park ave, 5th ave, Strand range from 20-50% off retail) and I picked up a couple factory 2nd's. Both pair of 2nd's I have are virtually flawless though this may be luck of the draw and results may vary. that said, AE has a great return policy. If your on the fence and want a great, American made dress shoe that you can hand down to your son pull the trigger on AE!

  62. long story short:
    are they worth it? on sale yes. not on sale 100% no
    better shoes for the same price or a little more: Carlos Santos/Carmina.

  63. Well made shoes are always worth it. I generally buy Barkers (British), because they fit me better than Church’s. I also like R M Williams Chelsea boots.

  64. It has greatly distressed me to hear of Allen Edmonds recent Quality Control issues.

    I have a few pair that are extremely comfortable and wear very well … they still take a beautiful shine even though they are almost 30 years old.

    At this point in life, I am about to extend my wardrobe slightly and plan upon purchasing a few pair of shoes as a part of this adventure.

    The first three I plan to purchase are from Gaziano and Girling, Carmina and Hartt.

    I was considering adding another Allen Edmonds but, perhaps, may go for Alden instead …. very sad.

  65. I have 30 plus pairs of AE shoes and I would not buy a new pair today. The quality control is SO poor now that it’s not the same company anymore. Used/vintage? Absolutely, just do NOT send them to AE for re-crafting- quality control there is MUCH worse than even the factory. I generally like the GG videos but you guys did not do your due diligence in this case because it has nothing to do with leather quality and everything to do with production quality, and again, this is coming from a 40 year fan of AE who owns dozens of pairs.

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