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AE Walnut Fifth Avenue and BR Bourbon Hyde Oxford - which to keep (or both)?

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    AE Walnut Fifth Avenue and BR Bourbon Hyde Oxford - which to keep (or both)?

    Hi folks, would appreciate your feedback on this. I'm looking for a light-brown pair of oxfords, so I recently purchased the AE Walnut Fifth Avenues and the bourbon Hyde oxfords from Banana Republic to compare. Obviously these are in two completely different tiers, so the price is a factor (AE's were $270 and BR's were $70). When I saw both in person, my first impression was that the leather color and balmoral style were so similar that it would be too much to keep both.

    Hyde oxford forefront

    AE 5th avenue in forefront

    So with that in mind, which style/color would you prefer, given that one is about a quarter of the cost of the other? Or would you keep both because the styles or the color are different enough? I am not concerned with durability or craftsmanship in this comparison, as I own one pair of AE's (over a year old) and three pairs of BR dress shoes (each over 3 years old), and all are equally comfortable and durable. Therefore, while I appreciate the quality of Allen Edmonds, my experience is that sub-$150 shoes provide plenty of value. Thanks.


    The AE zealots will descend on this post like rabid barbarians....

    If, as you put it, "I am not concerned with durability or craftsmanship in this comparison" then I think the answer is clear, a $200 savings is very significant and could be used elsewhere for something that you are interested in investing in the durability and craftmanship.

    Both are very handsome looking shoes, great choices.

    "Waste no time arguing what a good man should be. Be one." – Marcus Aurelius



      I personally like the AE.



        Cap toe all the way.

        The other one is too vanilla.



          The AE-fan in me wants to jump to conclusions, but that's not what you're here for.

          If you have a chance, could you grab a photo of the colors(preferably in natural light, like the second photo, but with the light facing the shoes)? The first photo makes them look pretty spot on as far as color, but the second is a different story.

          I do like the tight throat on the BR's though, I'm sure it looks completely different on foot than off though.



            The cap toe is so much nicer IMHO that it's not even a contest for me.



              I don't really like the Fifth Avenue in Walnut, but I dislike the Banana Republic shoe. The leather looks awful and the design is not to my taste.



                The Fifth Avenue is nicer looking, but for me, if aesthetics is the only criteria, it's not so much nicer that it's worth the extra $200 over the Hyde.



                  I like the look of the Hyde better. The shape, to me, is a little sleeker than the Fifth Ave. The cap on the Fifth Ave looks too stubby. If it were longer like the AE Clifton, it would be my pick.



                    While I would love a pair of AEs, I actually ordered those same BR Hydes recently on a similar deal. I've had great luck with fit and durability for three different pairs of BR shoes, so there was little hesitation for me. If you pay 40% off or more with their email coupons, the BR shoes are great bang for buck.



                      How do you feel about returning both, and then getting a second-hand pair of 5th Aves on ebay? Then you get the nicer product, as well as significant savings. Best of both worlds?



                        Thanks for the feedback, all. A lot of the opinions voiced are identical to what I'm struggling with. Anybody think that the two pairs are different enough to keep both in the shoe rotation?

                        @Mike_W - the first photo is more representative of the shoe colors in real life. They really are almost identical in the shade of light brown.

                        @tarmac - How do you like the Hydes so far? Comfortable? Any complaints?

                        @DanOlympia - Great suggestion, as that would indeed be the best of both worlds! However, I've been searching eBay for the last 3-4 months daily and I have never seen a used pair of AE 5th avenues in walnut (size 9.5D) for less than $200.



                          I prefer whichever is the captoe, but both are fine



                            I think those shoes are too close to have both in the rotation unless you have a large closet and own more shoes than your wife/girlfriend. If you feel that the quality is close enough then I see no reason to send the extra cash on the AEs.



                              I just ordered them last night. I realized I shipped them to my parents' address accidentally too, so it may be a while before I snag 'em. Darnit! Once broken in, I've been happy with my 3 other pairs of BR shoes. Really excited for the oxfords.