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The new AE Park Avenue and Strand sneakers

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    The new AE Park Avenue and Strand sneakers

    Can we discuss? I feel like these, and hybrids like this, are a bit misunderstood. They aren't for wearing with a suit, or with anything but a very casual sport coat. They'd look terrible with a suit. But, with a more dressed up casual look, or with business casual (no fancy sport coat though; would have to be a very casual sport coat if one is worn), I think they look great.

    I say this as I wear a pair -- they're a pair of AE hybrids, purchased years ago on clearance. They're a long-wing tan upper on a sneaker-ish bottom. Super comfortable, and they look good. I'm wearing them with a navy crew neck sweater and light blue/grey oxford cloth pants (also something this site was pushing for a while) for a put together work from home look.

    As to the two in question, I love the way the Park Avenue hybrids look. Once those hit clearance (and let's be real; we all know they will). I'm getting a pair in Chili. I'm not so hot on the Strand hybrids.

    Am I the only crazy one who likes these shoes, if worn properly?

    #2
    Couldn't agree more. To me, hybrid shoes are like the shoe version of the chino/cotton sport coat. Neither is meant to be formal, but it's an easy and good looking way to elevate an otherwise casual outfit.

    I have really grown to like these and other hybrid shoes the past few years, and I believe they will only grow in popularity especially as workplaces become more and more casual. Considering the number of brands that are making them now it's pretty obvious there is a large customer base.

    I feel like the people who are in the "hybrid shoes are a monstrosity" camp are misinterpreting their purpose. These type of shoes are not meant to be worn with a suit or in any type of formal leaning setting. You wouldn't assume someone is buying a pair of AE Fifth Ave's to wear with jeans and a t-shirt, so why would you assume someone is buying hybrid shoes to wear with a suit and tie? Their purpose is to occupy the space between too casual and too formal, and they fit into that space perfectly.

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      #3
      I'm going to wait until they're about 70 bucks and buy a pair of Tennis Strands to wear with cords, and a pair of Park Avenue Sneakers to wear when I'm working in the yard.

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        #4
        Originally posted by abh159 View Post
        Couldn't agree more. To me, hybrid shoes are like the shoe version of the chino/cotton sport coat. Neither is meant to be formal, but it's an easy and good looking way to elevate an otherwise casual outfit.

        I have really grown to like these and other hybrid shoes the past few years, and I believe they will only grow in popularity especially as workplaces become more and more casual. Considering the number of brands that are making them now it's pretty obvious there is a large customer base.

        I feel like the people who are in the "hybrid shoes are a monstrosity" camp are misinterpreting their purpose. These type of shoes are not meant to be worn with a suit or in any type of formal leaning setting. You wouldn't assume someone is buying a pair of AE Fifth Ave's to wear with jeans and a t-shirt, so why would you assume someone is buying hybrid shoes to wear with a suit and tie? Their purpose is to occupy the space between too casual and too formal, and they fit into that space perfectly.
        Amen.

        I think there's also the issue that, unfortunately, the hybrid shoes are often worn by poorly dressed gentleman in the wrong scenarios. Yeah, they're going to look bad with baggy pleated chinos pooling at your ankles with a baggy polo -- but so will ANY shoe. There's no rescuing that mess other than by tossing out the shirt and chinos and starting over.

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          #5
          I'm in agreement with the main page on this one. I don't think there's a scenario where an informal dress shoe or minimal sneaker wouldn't be a better option. Blutchers, loafers, chukkas, desert boots, trench boots, chelseas and minimal sneakers would all look better at various levels between casual and too formal. There's just something incongruous about the calf leather oxford upper with a sneaker sole. Just my opinion though. You guys do you.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Geo View Post
            I'm in agreement with the main page on this one. I don't think there's a scenario where an informal dress shoe or minimal sneaker wouldn't be a better option. Blutchers, loafers, chukkas, desert boots, trench boots, chelseas and minimal sneakers would all look better at various levels between casual and too formal. There's just something incongruous about the calf leather oxford upper with a sneaker sole. Just my opinion though. You guys do you.
            Completely agree. There is no reason why anyone would want these over a normal dress shoe, boots or sneakers.

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              #7
              I'm saving this thread for ten years from now when some menswear publication is reviewing bad trends from the 2020's and we're all sharing a good laugh that people actually wore these.

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                #8
                For me, I was more a fan of the Oak Street https://www.allenedmonds.com/shoes/m...rd/SF4302.html

                or for a different casual look, a brand I saw pop up (no affiliation) is Molont https://molont.com/product/monk-stra...on-azure-blue/

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                  #9
                  I feel like it is the new sneakers with suits look. I just cant take someone seriously in them. I realize that sounds prestigious.

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                    #10
                    A lot of companies are coming out with "he/she" products. I could easily see Chelsea Manning or the Wachowskis wearing these to a deposition or business meeting.

                    I love the high-low tailored-wear with sneakers look, but for my tastes AE is just neither here nor there. The white sole is too casual for the dress-shoe top, and the Strand detailing too busy for what is usually a minimalist shape. Makes you wonder what exactly is before you... much like a girl with an Adam's apple!

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by sky7i View Post
                      The white sole is too casual for the dress-shoe top, and the Strand detailing too busy for what is usually a minimalist shape. Makes you wonder what exactly is before you... much like a girl with an Adam's apple!
                      I agree with this. I think the Park Avenues are almost there. A color matched sole in gum/black would have been better, and I think that a derby upper would have been a better choice (which means they would need a different name.)

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                        #12
                        I don't like the way they look. But that's just my personal taste.

                        That said--if they had brown or black soles, maybe not so bad.
                        Last edited by mebejoseph; September 16, 2020, 05:11 PM.
                        WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

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                          #13
                          The big problems are the bright white sole and the closed Oxford lacing. I just don't think those two things go well together, especially not when the third element (calfskin leather) is also formal. Two formal elements with one very casual one strikes me as a problem. Better to have two casual elements (open lacing and white sole) and only one formal (calfskin leather) [or closed lacing but with a white sole and suede].

                          It doesn't surprise me that a long-wing style could work here. I've often had a look at Velasca's casual shoe offerings, although I haven't purchased a pair, partly because of concerns about fit. I like their open lace "sneakers" a lot, but the closed lace "tennis shoes" can, to my mind, only work with suede, not with smooth leather.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by sky7i View Post
                            A lot of companies are coming out with "he/she" products. I could easily see Chelsea Manning or the Wachowskis wearing these to a deposition or business meeting.

                            I love the high-low tailored-wear with sneakers look, but for my tastes AE is just neither here nor there. The white sole is too casual for the dress-shoe top, and the Strand detailing too busy for what is usually a minimalist shape. Makes you wonder what exactly is before you... much like a girl with an Adam's apple!
                            Could we leave the blatant transphobic comments at home, or rather in a garbage can, please?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I'm w/ Joe on this one. Can't stand the looks of these weird combos. And I'll even be the first to admit that at one point years ago I owned a pair of Cole Haan's w/ a dark brown suede wingtip blucher upper and orange sneaker/rubber sole.
                              For some reason the formality of oxford uppers in these new AE sneakers are just really not sitting well for me personally.

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