Alden or Allen Edmonds?

Discussion in 'The Haberdashery' started by djmike523, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. Interested in your opinion of Alden and Allen Edmonds, HEADS-UP! That is, I'm not soliciting 'I really like my ____; haven't tried the other brand, though.'

  2. professorchaos

    professorchaos Moderator Emeritus

    You really can't go wrong with either. I choose between the two based on style and price.
  3. Aldens, in my experience, have a much roomier toe box than Allen Edmondses. Which for me is a good thing.
  4. johnniegold

    johnniegold Moderator Emeritus

    AE makes shoes. Alden makes art.
  5. I own both. I think AE has the edge in quality, though Aldens are certainly no slouches. They are both great brands.
  6. ackvil

    ackvil Moderator Contributor

    My AE shoes last for years. Very comfortable and to me have a classic look.
  7. Alden
  8. I'm partial to Alden.
  9. This is kind of the response I was thinking I'd get. So far, it seems we're looking at 3 pro-Alden on quality, 2 pro-AE on quality (and 1 pro-Alden on fit, but I don't know how much that is attributable to 'striking out' and not being paired with one of the different AE lasts that would be best suited to that man's feet: ).

    Price wise, Alden is a little higher. Material wise, I wasn't too keen on AE flat-out stamping each shoe with "made in USA of finest imported leather," without actually specifying their source(s), as I immediately think they're sourcing from tanneries in India, China, et. al. Kind of the same concept as 'pieced together in USA from 100% foreign parts.' (I'm very partial to quality build of very quality material; take Horween leather for example - have a pair of shoes crafted from it and ohhh booy they're comfy but wear like iron). However, Alden, while not as forthright, advertises their materials as being sourced 'from the finest places all over the world.':huh:

    Now, that was a bit of a tangent. They're both great shoes constructed of great material, even if it is from other regions of the world because of raw cost.

    Anywho - the reason I was asking is because I absolutely need a pair of black dress shoes; the only ones I have are clearly inferior for job interview purposes, I tried but failed with a pair from the UK, and, well, I assume will be getting at least an interview in the foreseeable future.

    At the time of my initial post I was leaning toward Alden for my first of presumably a good number of quality dress shoes. After posting, the shoe-fairy tapped me; through dumb luck, I stumbled upon a pair of brand new, customer returned (but still never worn) pair of AE 'Hancock' (part of their new Independence line). Now, I THINK they're in my size (bought online) but I had to take the risk; shoes retail at $448 (plus 8.75% tax in NY), but I got them for the amazing auctioned, yet quirky price of $123.45 delivered.

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  10. Allen Edmonds.

    High quality shoes built to last a lifetime, for every season and every occasion.
  11. I have no experience with Alden, but my new (to me) AE's are fantastic shoes.
  12. They are both nice and if you are buying shell cordovan, you won't go wrong with either (but the price of that Horween, Oy Vey).

    The fit is the key; knowing what last the shoe was built on and how your foot conforms to that last. I love my AEs, but the #7 last is a finicky one for me. Love the Grayson fit and it kills me with the MacNeil.

    Buying one of Independance Collection for that price....well played, Sir
  13. If those shoes fit, djmike, that's a great deal. Best of luck!
  14. Rudy Vey

    Rudy Vey Vendor Contributor

    AE here, have many pairs of them, they are great shoes, and I believe Alden is also very good. I also have two pairs of English made shoes from Loake's, and I must honestly say that my AE's are a better quality and better made.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  15. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    I'd give them both a miss and go for the better English shoemakers ... :001_wub:
  16. I'd buy either one. I tend to slightly prefer AE's lasts (it really does make a difference) but Alden's seem to be built like dress shoes made in the 30's - they are just simply superb benchmark examples of the art of making fine mens shoes. Either would be a fine shoe, though. Since each last is slightly different, different styles from the same manufacturer can fit differently. I say opt for the shoe that is most comfortable.
  17. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus Contributor


    Find a last that works with your foot, and go with it.

    The general impression I get is that most who own both will say that Alden has the edge in quality, but of course they're both pretty good.
  18. I have both ... I second the sense that Alden has more room in the toe box. I think AE has more variation in their lasts. I have a wide foot with a high instep, and the Aldens feel a bit boxier on my feet than the particular AE last that I wear.

    I think the Aldens are better made, but in either case you get quality, durability, and excellent workmanship. I wear my AE shoes somewhat more and maybe like the AE styles a bit better; the Aldens are classic-bordering-on-stodgy.

    Alden probably has the edge in snob appeal, if that matters. It doesn't, for me, but if yours is a profession where you need to look expensive, a well-polished pair of Aldens sends the right message.

    Both brands have a rebuild service available (and you'll eventually need it). I've used AE's and it was pretty good. I'll probably use it again since my local shoe guy is having a hard time getting good quality soles any more. FWIW, AE charges about $60 less than Alden for a rebuild, if that matters.

    Bottom line: at these price points you're buying shoes that you're going to own and wear for a long time. Find the style and fit that you like best, take good care of them, and you'll be amazed how cheap they are in the long run.
  19. Alden - but frankly I prefer Crockett & Jones.
  20. Aldens

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