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McAllister vs. Strand / Walnut vs. Dark Chili

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    McAllister vs. Strand / Walnut vs. Dark Chili

    Short version:
    McAllister vs. Strand? Why? + Dark Chili vs. Walnut? Why?

    Long version:
    I'll be ordering my next pair of Allen Edmonds in a few days and have decided to bring some brogueing into my life. I've admired the Strand and the McAllister for quite a while and just can't manage to decide which one I prefer. They're both beautiful. For those of you with experience with one or the other (or, ideally, both!), why did you choose the one you did? Are you happy with the decision? Which would you pick now and why?

    Also, I've long thought the most appropriate color for either one is walnut. However, if I'm honest, that was mostly based on pictures, and when I've seen them in person, they've been a lot lighter, duller, and more 'yellow' than I expected. I'm not sure if that's because of the way they've been cared for, and the polish/cream that has been applied to them, or if pictures are just consistently misleading. Lately, dark chili has caught my attention, since it has a lot more of that red tone I've started to like. It seems a very versatile color, too. Of the two, which would you choose for a McAllister or Strand and why?

    Thanks in advance!

    #2
    I have owned both in walnut and have sold both. I find that walnut can be a tough color to wear unless you want to look trendy. Granted, I see a ton of guys wearing walnut shoes with navy pants every day, it just doesn’t appeal to me any more. I still have a pair of walnut loafers that I pair with light blue, light Grey, or khaki/tan. Also, AE’s walnut can differ in shade from yellow to orange. You would have to buy them from a brick and mortar to make sure that you are getting the color that you want. I would recommend the dark Chili. I have a pair of University in Dark Chili and love the color!

    As for Strand vs McAllister, I would vote Strand. No real reasoning why, I just like it better

    Comment


      #3
      Really depends on what you will be wearing them for/with, and what other shoes you already own. A darker colored Strand or McAllister is going to be a staple shoe that you can wear with just about any conceivable jacket/trouser combo in a business wardrobe. Either shoe in walnut is going to be much more "peacocky" and better suited for the more casual end of business wear (lighter suits, light and louder jacket/trouser combos). If you already own several pairs of conservative business shoes, then sure, why not branch out a little bit.

      I have a pair of walnut AE x BB Strands and I like them, especially in summer, but 9 workdays out of 10 I am in darker shoes. I certainly wouldn't get a walnut shoe as my first or even second or third pair of business shoes. They are just too loud and not versatile enough.

      As far as Strand vs McAllister - IMO the difference is negligible and you can pick whichever you prefer.
      Ben

      Comment


        #4
        I wear a lot of dark grey pants, so wearing a walnut-colored shoes is just too loud for me. I had a pair but it's gone now.

        AE's bourbon color is the lightest I have that I can still wear a lot.

        I own dark chili and yes, the color is versatile.

        McAllister vs. Strand? Flip a coin.

        Comment


          #5
          Walnut coloured shoes with blue pants is all the rage right now. So much so that I find myself actively avoiding the combination.

          By far my favourite pair of shoes that I own are a pair of McAllister in Chili. Can't say why I like them so much. Might be the colour or the brogueing , or the versatility of the shoe for how I dress.

          That said, I own several pair of Strands and like them as well. Tough choice and comes down to personal preference I'd say.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Loafer28 View Post
            I have owned both in walnut and have sold both. I find that walnut can be a tough color to wear unless you want to look trendy. Granted, I see a ton of guys wearing walnut shoes with navy pants every day, it just doesn’t appeal to me any more. I still have a pair of walnut loafers that I pair with light blue, light Grey, or khaki/tan. Also, AE’s walnut can differ in shade from yellow to orange. You would have to buy them from a brick and mortar to make sure that you are getting the color that you want. I would recommend the dark Chili. I have a pair of University in Dark Chili and love the color!

            As for Strand vs McAllister, I would vote Strand. No real reasoning why, I just like it better
            Thanks, that's helpful! Sadly, I don't currently live anywhere near a brick and mortar AE store, but I'll be moving close to one soon. Life will be better then haha.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by LesserBlackDog View Post
              Really depends on what you will be wearing them for/with, and what other shoes you already own. A darker colored Strand or McAllister is going to be a staple shoe that you can wear with just about any conceivable jacket/trouser combo in a business wardrobe. Either shoe in walnut is going to be much more "peacocky" and better suited for the more casual end of business wear (lighter suits, light and louder jacket/trouser combos). If you already own several pairs of conservative business shoes, then sure, why not branch out a little bit.

              I have a pair of walnut AE x BB Strands and I like them, especially in summer, but 9 workdays out of 10 I am in darker shoes. I certainly wouldn't get a walnut shoe as my first or even second or third pair of business shoes. They are just too loud and not versatile enough.

              As far as Strand vs McAllister - IMO the difference is negligible and you can pick whichever you prefer.
              I'm getting them pretty much just for enjoyment. I am set for both business and casual shoes and am just getting this particular shoe, because I've admired both the Strand and McAllister for a while. All that to say, the specific use case (business/pleasure) doesn't actually matter that much. Thanks for the feedback! It also seems that most people find the Strand and McAllister close enough that there's no wrong answer there, so it's good to have an extra opinion saying the same.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by 3piece View Post
                I wear a lot of dark grey pants, so wearing a walnut-colored shoes is just too loud for me. I had a pair but it's gone now.

                AE's bourbon color is the lightest I have that I can still wear a lot.

                I own dark chili and yes, the color is versatile.

                McAllister vs. Strand? Flip a coin.
                That makes sense. I probably wear a bit more blue (navy slacks or denim) than grey, which is part of what made walnut appealing. Thanks for the feedback! I may literally end up flipping a coin

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by DocDave View Post
                  Walnut coloured shoes with blue pants is all the rage right now. So much so that I find myself actively avoiding the combination.

                  By far my favourite pair of shoes that I own are a pair of McAllister in Chili. Can't say why I like them so much. Might be the colour or the brogueing , or the versatility of the shoe for how I dress.

                  That said, I own several pair of Strands and like them as well. Tough choice and comes down to personal preference I'd say.
                  Thanks! This is helpful. Do you find that the Chili color is still light enough to show off the brogueing/wingtips on the McAllister? I could just be wrong about this, but that's one of the concerns I've had about darker McAllisters (e.g. I don't understand the point of a black McAllister, since there just doesn't seem to be enough contrast). The flip side is that with walnut I might want to slightly darken the shoes, but I'm not a huge fan of the effect when darker polish gets stuck in the brogueing and disproportionately colors it. (At this point I feel a bit like Goldilocks shopping for shoes haha!)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I have McAllisters but not in either color you are looking for. I like them quite a bit and they are quite comfortable. I think the Strand is on the same last, so you should find the level of comfort about the same either way. I think I prefer the look of the McAllisters. Perhaps the wing tip makes it look sleeker than the cap toe?

                    As far as color, a friend of mine has the Fifth Avenue in dark chilli and it is a beautiful color in person and shows off the semi-brogue quite well. I have a couple of pairs of full brogue wing tip shoes in walnut and I agree with others that it is a much more trendy color to wear when you want to stick out a bit. If that's what you want, go with the walnut. But if you want a versatile shoe in a beautiful color that not that many people have, go with dark chilli.
                    WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I was a little surprised to learn that Strands and McAllisters were the same last, as I feel like my McAllisters fit me better for whatever reason. I'd opt for dark chili vs. walnut, despite that I own Strands in the walnut, for all the reasons above. I don't find that I wear walnut shoes much at all now, vs. darker colors (mostly browns, with some oxblood and black thrown in on occasion).

                      As for what you pair with, walnut actually goes pretty well with medium to light greys (as well as the hyper contrast navy/walnut combo). The dark chili you'd likely be able to wear with anything, except black and maybe darker charcoal colors (depending how you feel about that look).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jikaasik View Post
                        That makes sense. I probably wear a bit more blue (navy slacks or denim) than grey, which is part of what made walnut appealing. Thanks for the feedback! I may literally end up flipping a coin
                        Personally, I love my walnut strands. They were one of my first pairs of AEs, and they're still probably the ones I find myself in most often. If I was in a more traditional work environment (i.e. suits most days), they probably wouldn't get quite as much play. But I work in a business casual/smart casual office, and the main time I'm wearing a suit is usually a wedding (and in those cases it's easy to pull off the "flash" of a walnut dress shoe).

                        Don't get me wrong, I still think dark chili is also a beautiful color, I just felt like Walnut needed a little love in this thread.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by hornsup84 View Post
                          I was a little surprised to learn that Strands and McAllisters were the same last, as I feel like my McAllisters fit me better for whatever reason. I'd opt for dark chili vs. walnut, despite that I own Strands in the walnut, for all the reasons above. I don't find that I wear walnut shoes much at all now, vs. darker colors (mostly browns, with some oxblood and black thrown in on occasion).

                          As for what you pair with, walnut actually goes pretty well with medium to light greys (as well as the hyper contrast navy/walnut combo). The dark chili you'd likely be able to wear with anything, except black and maybe darker charcoal colors (depending how you feel about that look).
                          Same. My McCallisters fit me better than the Strands. Bigger/wider in the same size compared to the strands. I would also opt for dark chili over walnut.

                          I have walnut BB fifth aves only because I got them on a boxing day super clearance on the shoebank for $99 a few years ago. I had the same experience as you. I was real pumped to finally have a nice shoe in walnut.....and I probably wear them once a month lol.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jikaasik View Post
                            Thanks! This is helpful. Do you find that the Chili color is still light enough to show off the brogueing/wingtips on the McAllister? I could just be wrong about this, but that's one of the concerns I've had about darker McAllisters (e.g. I don't understand the point of a black McAllister, since there just doesn't seem to be enough contrast). The flip side is that with walnut I might want to slightly darken the shoes, but I'm not a huge fan of the effect when darker polish gets stuck in the brogueing and disproportionately colors it. (At this point I feel a bit like Goldilocks shopping for shoes haha!)
                            The brogueing stands out enough for me. Sometimes I prefer a subtle approach to footwear and I find these shoes do the trick. Someone who is in to footwear will see the shoes and comment on them (usually women). And that suits me just fine.

                            I can't comment on darkening the shoes though. The colour of the chili was/is perfect for what I wanted them for.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The AE Anniversary Sale catalog came in the mail today. McAllisters will be on sale for $250, Strands $335. So I vote McAllisters.

                              Comment

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