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Thread: McAllister vs. Strand / Walnut vs. Dark Chili

  1. #11
    Super Moderator hornsup84's Avatar
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    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).

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    Varsity Member Deke's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

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    Quote 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.

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    Super Moderator DocDave's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

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

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD View Post
    The AE Anniversary Sale catalog came in the mail today. McAllisters will be on sale for $250, Strands $335. So I vote McAllisters.
    Yeah, that's a great price. And if you sign up as a collector, you'd get another 15% off, I think. All you need is a new email address. A pair of McAllisters for $213? A bargain. Jeezzz --- I want another pair. But I have tooooo many shoes already.
    WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

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    Super Moderator DocDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mebejoseph View Post
    But I have tooooo many shoes already.
    Said no one ever

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    If you already have a pair of brown shoes, I would seriously consider looking at the McAllisters in oxblood. There is almost no situation in which you can't swap dark brown and darker maroon. Oxblood always looks nice to me and seems to help you stand out in the sea of brown shoes while still being conservative vs a walnut/tan shoe.

    Related, I just got these in https://taftclothing.com/collections...oot-in-oxblood and I love them

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    I'm going to go against the grain here and say:

    Strand > McAllister. I think that there is a bit too much brogue detail on a McAllister. The Strand shows off the leather better. Of course, this isn't reason enough to pay an extra $85, so if you're buying them right now, go with McAllister.
    Walnut > chili. Walnut is just so much prettier. And it's a gateway to wearing more light colors. In my view, walnut is the best color with light grey, light blue, some shades of olive or green, as well as working very well with mid-grey, mid-blue, and possibly navy (although that's pretty bold). I also agree with @alexd3 that oxblood - which I think the only AE color that's even close to being as pretty as walnut - is a better bet than chili. My oxblood McGregors are one of my favorite pairs of shoes and I have many.

    For what it's worth, I have two Strands (walnut + brown/snuff suede) and two McAllisters (brown + merlot, neither of which is available anymore, so I can't vote for either of them. If brown were around, I might well vote for it. It's not as pretty as walnut or oxblood, but it's still a great color because it's got so much depth to it).

    I should say that chili isn't my favorite shade, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

    One thing you should definitely be aware of is that online photos often make chili look much redder than it usually is in person. In photos it normally looks at least halfway between coffee (standard mid-brown) and oxblood (purplish shade of dark red - but unlike merlot, oxblood is more red than it is purple) and so basically a brownish-red (e.g. the base color is red but the underlying hues are brownish). In person, it is usually more of a medium reddish-brown (e.g. the base color is brown but the underlying hues are red). I'd say it's much more similar to coffee than it is to oxblood. Indeed, in some of the photos of the anniversary sale catalog that came today, I struggled to tell coffee and chili apart. Chili is also a bit darker, though. They are both medium-browns, but coffee is neutral while chili is reddish, and coffee is a true medium, where chili is on the darker side of medium brown.

  10. #20
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    Thanks everyone! This is great feedback. Now I want both walnut and dark chili! At least I've decided on McAllisters rather than Strands... leaning dark chili, but we'll see!

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