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    Allen Edmond dress shoes

    Pre-COVID, I used to travel for work to prospect/customer meetings a decent amount, but haven't gone anywhere for work since Feb 2020. I'm assuming, I'll be back to traveling later this year, so I've started to think about getting a few new items since I haven't really bought anything in since late 2019. What have I bought has been a couple of Jetsetter blazers from Bonobos that I don't really like (topic for another thread).
    I've been using the same walnut colored plain toe Cole Haan shoes for as long as I can remember. It's got to be at around 8 years. They have held up pretty well as I take good care of them, don't wear them while traveling (really only while I'm actually at meetings), and the rare occasions that I wear them at home (maybe a business casual settings and church), I take them off when I'm done too. A few years ago, they were starting to look a little worse for wear, but some shoe polish did magic.

    Regardless, I know that I should look to upgrade. I randomly checked out Allen Edmonds site, and they are currently having what looks to be a decent sale. I don't look at their site much at all, so somebody who does, tell me if the current sale is good or not.

    Assuming it is, I'd like to replace my Cole Haans. So a few questions - I generally like the look of plain toe dress shoes, and AE has this one which basically looks like my Cole Haans -https://www.allenedmonds.com/shoes-boots/mens-shoes/oxfords-derbys/carlyle-plain-toe-oxford/SF8830.html?dwvar_SF8830_color=8832. But what's the opinion on plain toe versus cap toe? They have this cap toe one -https://www.allenedmonds.com/shoes-boots/mens-shoes/oxfords-derbys/park-avenue-cap-toe-oxford/SF270.html?dwvar_SF270_color=5956. Is one more 'timeless' than the other? They both seem pretty classic to me, but the plan would be to keep these for a long time, so I want to go the correct route.

    IF the cap toe is the way to go, what's the thought on this rubber sole option? It's the same as my previous cap toe link but with a rubber sole -https://www.allenedmonds.com/shoes-boots/mens-shoes/oxfords-derbys/park-avenue-cap-toe-oxford-with-dainite-rubber-sole/SF5617.html?dwvar_SF5617_color=5620. Any reason why you would/would not get the rubber sole vs leather sole one? I need to seem them in person, but the profile looks to be the same. I say that because in theory, I could see the rubber sole option sitting higher, accidentally creating a less tailored look (veering into that overweight from business lunches traveling sales guy look. He know AE's are nice but needs that extra comfort of the thick rubber soles).

    Lastly - what about color? I like the walnut color (I think my Cole Haan's are 'british tan' which looks to be the same as walnut). It seems to be a good enough sale where if you really needed to buy two pairs, now is the time. Walnut probably covers the brown spectrum; although, 'coffee' is nice. What do people think of black shoes? I probably haven't worn black shoes in at least 15 years, up to age 24. They give the 'waiter' impression to me. I don't wear black slacks and the grey slacks that I have go with my british tan shoes. But again, am I being stupid by not having black shoes as an option? Thoughts?


    #2
    Hi Pesape, I'm in the same boat. I have a selection of dress shoes and boots, but not that tier of shoe quality. I bought a lightly used pair of AE Cliftons recently and I'm enjoying them. I would prefer a rubber sole myself, I had a pair of Florsheims with a rubber sole, I felt great wearing them in the rain. The rubber sole is subtle, and the V tread looks even more subtle. It's more causal, but you can still wear it with a suit, and I work in a school, not a banking firm, so it doesn't look out of place with a suit.
    More detail can look more casual on these shoes, so the plain toe could be more formal.
    I like their walnut color, I think that color goes with everything except a charcoal suit. People really like the Dark Chili color, the red hue is subtle. That and the Coffee color would also go with everything.
    Black shoes go GREAT with a charcoal or grey suit. Black shoes with a navy suit looks sharp to me, but most people would prefer a dark brown. I have a pair of black leather dress shoes that I only wear with my tuxedo (band director) so they're a cheap pair. I have a pair of black chelsea boots that I wear a lot more often. Grey suit, black jeans, lots of colors of chinos. When they fall apart, I'm going to invest in a goodyear-welted pair.

    Comment


      #3
      I think the stock answer is that if you only have one pair of dress shoes, they should be black because its the most versatile. But, like you, I much prefer brown leather. It patinas better and adds some subtle pizzazz to an outfit that black just can't. If you don't like wearing black shoes (and don't need any for a tux), it doesn't make sense to me to buy them. I like @andrewrg's idea of having a pair of black Cheslea boots to cover any black shoe needs. That, or maybe a black or gray suede could do the trick too. But really, a walnut pair and a coffee or chili pair should cover all your bases.

      Personally, I don't see any difference between plain toe and cap toe. I guess plain toes are marginally more formal, but both are perfectly acceptable with suits. But you should be free, sartorially-speaking - to get whichever you like better. I have a tendency to put creases inside the toecaps of shoes, which drives me nuts. Maybe it shouldn't, but it does. For that reason, I generally prefer plain toes. Then the creases can be wherever and it doesn't bug me.

      In all the years of walking around this earth and looking at other people's shoes, I don't think I've ever noticed if they if leather soles or rubber soles. Its just not something that is readily apparent. To me, anyway. So I would recommend going with whichever sole you like and meets your needs best. Its kind of like underwear - you'll notice the difference, but no one else should.

      Comment


        #4
        I'm not a big fan of plain toe shoes--BUT--the Carlyle is a great-looking shoe. Also, I think they are considered to be very versatile.

        Also, I love the walnut color, but I have a feeling that at some point they will go the way of yellow ties with french blue shirts (remember that trend?)

        So, if you're only going for one shoe for the next 10 years, in my opinion, you should consider a darker color. Many people would say black, but I think you can go with a darker brown just so long as you don't plan on wearing black trousers.

        As to the rubber sole, it is subtle--if you like, get it.
        WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

        Comment


          #5
          A plain toe oxford like the Carlyle is considered to be one the most formal style of dress shoes. A step down in formality would be a cap toe oxford like the Park Avenue. If you're wearing them primarily in business causal settings or church I think the Park Ave would be the best fit. Also the lighter the color the less formal the shoe.

          I may be in the minority but really don't like AEs walnut color. I have a pair in walnut and don't find the color versatile. They're very load and its difficult to pair with darker colors. Side note, I have a pair of JCrew longwings in British tan that I love. British tan leans more brown while AEs walnut is more orange. I think a mid to dark brown like coffee or dark chili are more versatile color options.

          I wouldn't get a pair in black unless you need them or think you'll actually wear them. And it sounds like you won't wear them. I have a pair of black Park Aves that I only wear to job interviews and funeral. I sold a pair a black AE short wings a few years back because I never wore them. I had to have them. Thought I'd wear them all the time and they just sat in my closet as I opted for brown shoes 99.9% of the time. If I had to get a pair of black shoes for a funeral or something I would save the money and get something more affordable. Your Cole Haans lasted 8 years with proper care. The same pair in black would probably last a lifetime with limited wear.

          Rubber soles provide more traction and are better if you're doing a lot of walking outdoor but leather is a lot more durable then it gets credit for. Leather really isn't only good for stepping in puddles or on slick surfaces. But if you spend most of you're time in and out of a car, and on carpeted office floors, leather should be fine. Also those Danite rubber soles are pretty stiff and stay pretty stiff. Leather is stiff at first but softens up and breaks in nice over time. That said, you shouldn't notice any difference in profile between leather soles or the rubber Danite soles. My preferred sole is a leather sole with a rubber V tread which is an option on the Park Aves for an extra $40. Best of both worlds.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Geo View Post
            A plain toe oxford like the Carlyle is considered to be one the most formal style of dress shoes. A step down in formality would be a cap toe oxford like the Park Avenue. If you're wearing them primarily in business causal settings or church I think the Park Ave would be the best fit. Also the lighter the color the less formal the shoe.

            I may be in the minority but really don't like AEs walnut color. I have a pair in walnut and don't find the color versatile. They're very load and its difficult to pair with darker colors. Side note, I have a pair of JCrew longwings in British tan that I love. British tan leans more brown while AEs walnut is more orange. I think a mid to dark brown like coffee or dark chili are more versatile color options.

            I wouldn't get a pair in black unless you need them or think you'll actually wear them. And it sounds like you won't wear them. I have a pair of black Park Aves that I only wear to job interviews and funeral. I sold a pair a black AE short wings a few years back because I never wore them. I had to have them. Thought I'd wear them all the time and they just sat in my closet as I opted for brown shoes 99.9% of the time. If I had to get a pair of black shoes for a funeral or something I would save the money and get something more affordable. Your Cole Haans lasted 8 years with proper care. The same pair in black would probably last a lifetime with limited wear.

            Rubber soles provide more traction and are better if you're doing a lot of walking outdoor but leather is a lot more durable then it gets credit for. Leather really isn't only good for stepping in puddles or on slick surfaces. But if you spend most of you're time in and out of a car, and on carpeted office floors, leather should be fine. Also those Danite rubber soles are pretty stiff and stay pretty stiff. Leather is stiff at first but softens up and breaks in nice over time. That said, you shouldn't notice any difference in profile between leather soles or the rubber Danite soles. My preferred sole is a leather sole with a rubber V tread which is an option on the Park Aves for an extra $40. Best of both worlds.
            Good info, especially on the V tread. I didn't even see that, but I agree on that being the best of both worlds. I'll have to check out my local store to see the colors in person. I too like my British tan Cole Haans but don’t want something that skews orange.
            Last edited by Pesape; April 24, 2021, 12:22 AM.

            Comment


              #7
              Over the past 10 years I have probably bought and sold close to 50 pairs of AE’s (I know, I have a problem). My collection of shoes are more narrowed down now but here is a few things I have learned:

              Dainite is stiffer than leather soles. I am in sales and can be on my feet all day and the Dainite makes my feet hurt after a long day. I only have one pair left with Dainite but I really like the style so I keep them.

              Walnut is hard to pair unless you know what you are doing. I see guys in the airport all the time with Walnut shoes and navy pants and it screams “look at my shoes”, not “I have a well put together outfit” IMHO. I know that was a popular look for a while, and rightfully so with how awful most men’s shoes were (and sometimes still are). If you do wear walnut, pair it with lighter colors.

              If you don’t wear suits or at least a sport coat to work, I would recommend going lower on the formality scale. Captoes just look off to me when worn with chinos and a button up. Most people won’t notice, but a few will.


              Despite all of my advice, do what makes you the most comfortable. Nothing looks good without the confidence to pull it off.

              (And if you want to tiptoe into AE, you can always check out Dabondo1 on Ebay. He sells returns and close outs for a fraction of the price. Offer a little over half and he usually accepts)

              Comment


                #8
                The most important question in regards to color, is what color pants do you wear.

                Black pants require black shoes, but you only really need black pants for black tie. Black shoes also go best with charcoal and grey pants. Of course, there are brown shoes that go well with grey pants, but it is hard to give a rule for, because both grey and brown can describe a wide range. In general, darker shoes go better with darker pants.

                Navy can go with both brown and black shoes, although it used to be the rule that only black goes with navy. Brown pants go with brown shoes etc. Here the general rule is darker pants darker shoes. One can also wear contrasting shoes, in which case shoes that are darker than the pants are more conservative and shoes that are lighter are more trending.

                Another possible consideration is the formality of the event: for black tie optional, black shoes are really necessary, dark brown would be bending the rules, walnut breaking it. For something like business casual, I think brown is more appropriate.

                I also find the color of shoes labeled simply "brown" are usually pretty dark and therefore versatile. Possibly the most versatile if you don't do black tie, often wear a suit or try and get into certain clubs.

                Comment


                  #9
                  The vamp on the Carlyle wrinkles in several places, moreso, I think, than other AEs. If I needed one all around shoe for business wear/travel, I'd get a mahogany Strand with a Dainite sole.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Evenflow View Post
                    The vamp on the Carlyle wrinkles in several places, moreso, I think, than other AEs. If I needed one all around shoe for business wear/travel, I'd get a mahogany Strand with a Dainite sole.
                    That wrinkling is a sign that on that last you need a different size or your foot shape isn't a good match for the last in the first place. The wrinkling indicates volume distribution in the last is far different from the foot. No real way around that.
                    https://www.professorhorseyhead.com

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by armedferret View Post

                      That wrinkling is a sign that on that last you need a different size or your foot shape isn't a good match for the last in the first place. The wrinkling indicates volume distribution in the last is far different from the foot. No real way around that.
                      Not necessarily. Creasing (not wrinkles) is typically more visible and prominent on plain toe boots and shoes whereas a cap-toe or a brogue can hide some of that.

                      This is one of the reasons that I avoid Alden's shell PTBs and chukkas. I just don't like how the vamp creases without any other lines to break it up. It looks like a wrinkly leather sock.

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                        #12
                        I ended up getting the Carlyles in walnut. The AE salesperson's opinion was that the Carlyles in walnut was much more versatile than the park avenue in walnut. He felt that you could dress up or dress down the carlyle much easier than the park avenue. Ex - you could wear a nice pair of jeans or lighter colored pants with the carlyle but not with the park avenue. It was the combination of the color and style as he wouldn't say that would be the case for some of the other colors in the carlyle. After he pointed that out, I did realize that aligns with the way I viewed them too.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by mcadamsandwich View Post

                          Not necessarily. Creasing (not wrinkles) is typically more visible and prominent on plain toe boots and shoes whereas a cap-toe or a brogue can hide some of that.

                          This is one of the reasons that I avoid Alden's shell PTBs and chukkas. I just don't like how the vamp creases without any other lines to break it up. It looks like a wrinkly leather sock.

                          I should have clarified; if the shoe creases/wrinkles just from putting it on, then the volume distribution of that last is a poor match for the foot it's on.

                          Vamp wrinkles/creases from wear are totes magotes a different thang.
                          https://www.professorhorseyhead.com

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Pesape View Post
                            I ended up getting the Carlyles in walnut. The AE salesperson's opinion was that the Carlyles in walnut was much more versatile than the park avenue in walnut. He felt that you could dress up or dress down the carlyle much easier than the park avenue. Ex - you could wear a nice pair of jeans or lighter colored pants with the carlyle but not with the park avenue. It was the combination of the color and style as he wouldn't say that would be the case for some of the other colors in the carlyle. After he pointed that out, I did realize that aligns with the way I viewed them too.
                            I think you made a great choice. Enjoy!
                            WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Congrats on the new kicks and way to get in on the sale. I hope you get many decades wear out of them.

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