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AE Bond Street ** NOT WORTH IT **

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    AE Bond Street ** NOT WORTH IT **

    Gents, I'm new to the forum - thought I would pass along my experience regarding AE's sale and the Bond Street model. Ordered with their heavily discounted sale, final price was around $140. based on their original price I viewed this as a good deal. HOWEVER - A&E quality (at least for this model) has taken a hit to the kneecap. Minor things I noticed right away - only one shoe dust bag and no Thank You notice from A&E. But the deal-breakers are the "leather" and inside lining. The leather is so cheap-looking as to almost look fake. The inside lining is terrible. I have found better quality from DSW than these. Size and fit seem on point with other AEs but I just could not get past the leather upper. I would not wear these if they were given to me. Sorry for harsh review - but very disappointed. If you're looking for Park Avenue quality leather then STOP, do not order. I'm glad these have free returns because back they go ...

    #2
    Quick reaction from me (the Joe guy from the main site), because I got a pair too, just today, and after reading this, I ripped mine open.

    I both agree and disagree.

    So, the leather uppers are supper smooth. Which is not what AE usually does. What they're going for here (and what will understandably disappoint many a long time AE calfskin leather fan)... is something smoother and more European. Think TBNY shoes. They've got a bit of (but not overly done) shine to them, they're super pliable, and they don't look like shoe creme would take to them well. What they remind ME of... is an attempt to take cow leather, and make it look sorta like cordovan.

    I know, blasphemy! But that's my honest take.

    I don't think it was the right move for AE to go with this style of leather. They will get enormous hate for it. Is it a cost cutting move? I have no idea.

    But I think it'll serve a lot of guys very well. When worn with a suit, I think they'd look great. Boardroom like and all that. But not dressed down. They're too smooth.

    They don't smell like gasoline. They don't look like they're about to flake. And I think with a bit of wear, they'd actually improve in looks. (I know, low bars, right?)

    It feels to me that they're going for a younger audience here. Someone who's not into dress shoes, but wants a pair of sleek, smooth looking, clean and mean dress shoes. Low maintenance. Flexible. Lightweight. And all of those things result in a "WTF is THIS?" from longer term AE customers.

    And in regards to the "no thank you notice", I mean, I dunno what to say to that. I'm in the camp that believes customers shouldn't be coddled to. They shouldn't be abused either, but thank you notes are kinda... eh. Cheesy. To me. And they cost money.

    That's what I got. I'll leave a note in the posts where I mentioned them.

    But yeah, free returns. Send 'em back if you dislike them.

    Comment


      #3
      I bought and returned the Crosby Street, and I would agree that the Bond, Crosby, Greene are shoes for guys who aren't really into dress shoes i.e. close to clueless about proper dress shoes. I feel really bad for anyone who paid $425.00 for a pair of any of these models, and I bet there were many. They do look damn good in the photos though. I would add, in fairness to AE, that for $125.00, they are a decent deal; and the Greene is sub-$100, which is a good deal. They run oddly large like something is off.
      Last edited by Evenflow; August 20, 2020, 07:31 PM.

      Comment


        #4
        ''only one shoe dust bag and no Thank You notice from A&E" - they only include one shoe dust bag... lame, i know... but they are available at $2... it is good to buy shoes off your local AE dealer would always put extra for you.
        No Thank you notice? Meh

        if you want Park Ave at a great price, check out annual sale at Nordstrom. At 236 it is a steal. I got a pair... and yes, I rather spend extra $100 and get Park Ave vs Bond. Park Ave is def much much better.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Joe View Post
          Quick reaction from me (the Joe guy from the main site), because I got a pair too, just today, and after reading this, I ripped mine open.

          I both agree and disagree.

          So, the leather uppers are supper smooth. Which is not what AE usually does. What they're going for here (and what will understandably disappoint many a long time AE calfskin leather fan)... is something smoother and more European. Think TBNY shoes. They've got a bit of (but not overly done) shine to them, they're super pliable, and they don't look like shoe creme would take to them well. What they remind ME of... is an attempt to take cow leather, and make it look sorta like cordovan.

          I know, blasphemy! But that's my honest take.

          I don't think it was the right move for AE to go with this style of leather. They will get enormous hate for it. Is it a cost cutting move? I have no idea.

          But I think it'll serve a lot of guys very well. When worn with a suit, I think they'd look great. Boardroom like and all that. But not dressed down. They're too smooth.

          They don't smell like gasoline. They don't look like they're about to flake. And I think with a bit of wear, they'd actually improve in looks. (I know, low bars, right?)

          It feels to me that they're going for a younger audience here. Someone who's not into dress shoes, but wants a pair of sleek, smooth looking, clean and mean dress shoes. Low maintenance. Flexible. Lightweight. And all of those things result in a "WTF is THIS?" from longer term AE customers.

          And in regards to the "no thank you notice", I mean, I dunno what to say to that. I'm in the camp that believes customers shouldn't be coddled to. They shouldn't be abused either, but thank you notes are kinda... eh. Cheesy. To me. And they cost money.

          That's what I got. I'll leave a note in the posts where I mentioned them.

          But yeah, free returns. Send 'em back if you dislike them.
          I'm no expert on shoe leather, but it was always my impression that those "super smooth" TBNY-style shoes are thinner, cheaper quality leather that gets an ample amount of burnishing/finishing applied to them, in order for them to look higher quality out of the box. It's also my understanding that a high degree of this finishing is going to contribute to those creases that resemble spider-like cracks in the leather. I see these a lot on Cole Haan shoes after a couple of wears, which tend to be super, super burnished and polished out of the box.

          My source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6nrdQbc1z0 (note--I'm not this guy. In fact, I generally find this guy to be creepy. But it's a good video).

          As much as AE has a loyal customer base, I have also heard that they have struggled to gain new customers because a large portion of their potential new customer base finds their shoes feel awfully stiff and dreadful out of the box. That's likely because most new AE customers are buying their first "expensive" shoe ever, and they're not used to the thicker, higher quality leather used in AEs (while so many fast fashion shoes feel broken in immediately...but then fall apart after a few dozen wears). So strategically, this might have also been a response to criticism they've received over the years.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Joe View Post
            So, the leather uppers are supper smooth. Which is not what AE usually does. What they're going for here (and what will understandably disappoint many a long time AE calfskin leather fan)... is something smoother and more European. Think TBNY shoes.
            You put your finger on what I don't like about TBNY (and some other) shoes, but couldn't articulate. The super smooth leather makes the leather seem like plastic.

            WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by dc_slicker View Post
              ''only one shoe dust bag and no Thank You notice from A&E" - they only include one shoe dust bag... lame, i know... but they are available at $2... it is good to buy shoes off your local AE dealer would always put extra for you.
              No Thank you notice? Meh

              if you want Park Ave at a great price, check out annual sale at Nordstrom. At 236 it is a steal. I got a pair... and yes, I rather spend extra $100 and get Park Ave vs Bond. Park Ave is def much much better.
              I paid full price for my Park Avenues, my first pair of AE shoes (I was in dire need at the time) and they are wonderful.

              Since then, I can't say the same for all my other AE shoes. Some are great--I got two pairs from the Independence Collection on clearance and I love them. Also, some others.

              And some of the other shoes seem cheap and plasticy (I'm looking at you, Daytona)

              So, OP--I'm not surprised you're disappointed. I wouldn't be surprised if you loved them, either.

              AE shoes seem like a hit and miss proposition. I will probably never buy another pair (I have at least 10 and a few more dozen other dress shoes) , but I will always be fond of AE shoes, because when they are good, they are GREAT (thank you Park Ave, McNeil, Jefferson, Bartlett, Stirling, Stuttgart, etc.) .

              WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

              Comment


                #8
                FYI. The Black Calf Skin version is the one with the most traditional leather. The mahogany reminds me of a super smooth pair of square toe Kenneth Cole shoes (GASP)I had in the 90s. It's almost a matte patent leather. The brown and walnut have some weird texture. They had a black that was in this smooth leather but discontinued that to replace it with the current calf skin. My guess is the Bond Street is getting discontinued like the Bartlett and Jefferson 2.0.

                I tried them on in the store and like the shape. While I own a few shoes in the 5 (65) last and the 201 last, I don't like the Park or Fifth Ave. The lack of broguing and shorter cap make these more plain cap toe shoes seem stubby. The bond was an attempt to change that. I actually like the shape of the shoe it seemed more elegant.

                If you recall, AE had the Exchange Place cap toe a while back. That was also supposed to be the more modern cap toe to address the complaint that the Park Ave was too boring. It was on the 1943 last, the same one as the popular Cornwallis. Anyway a big complaint of that shoe was the shoe would crease above the cap toe line. The Bond Street did not do that. While I liked the shape, I didn't like the lack of goose or swan neck detailing. However, if I needed a black cap toe for $140 you can't beat the Bond Street.

                Comment

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