Rockports VS Allen Edmonds...

Discussion in 'The Haberdashery' started by retrolike, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Ok, so I need to buy new dress shoes. I prefer wingtips and I'm leaning towards Rockports (Truwalk & Almartin). I always see posts on here for Allen Edmonds so I figured I'd check them out. Are they really worth the investment? I'm able to buy 2 rockports for around $180 shipped and the best price I'm finding on an AE wingtip is around $250-$300. Where's the best place to find AE's? I need a 12 wide, I need black immediately and am wanting a pair of tan wingtips as well.
  2. Stock answer is that yes, AE's are worth it. But, that doesn't mean Rockport shoes are bad. How often will you wear these shoes?
  3. dpm802

    dpm802 Contributor

    I've never owned AE ... but my last pair of shoes that I bought happened to be Rockports, and they are the most comfortable shoe I've ever owned. These were $115 marked down to $50, so I didn't hesitate long to grab them up. I don't even need any 3rd party insoles in them, the default inner sole is matched to the shoe and gives incredible support. Something they call "Dynamic Suspension," which I think is a Rockport exclusive.

    For the prices you quote, I'd go with the Rockports. Its a no-brainer. Although finding exactly what you want with the wing-tips and so forth in your size may be a bit of a problem, for either brand.
  4. 5 days a week...I'm in outside sales so I'm on my feet alot.
  5. The fundamental difference between the two is that the AE's will have a leather sole that can be replaced whereas the Rockport is a wear and throw away shoe once the sole wears out. I would probably base my choice on comfort more than anything. The AE is a better made shoe in the classic sense and it will cost at least 2-3X the price and require some maintenance. The Rockport is more of a sport cross over designed for comfort and reasonable styling. Shoemart stocks both the brands you're interested in and some other good ones including Alden. I have found there service to be outstanding at fair prices.
  6. Would you send them to AE to get resoled or go to a local shoe repair shop?
  7. musicman1951

    musicman1951 Steward Contributor

    I have the Rockports and Johnson and Murphy Aristocraft (mine are cap toe). The Rockports are comfortable, but look quite a bit more casual and will not take a high shine. The Johnson & Murphy are also very comfortable (but not sneaker like) and look like a classy dress shoe. I get them at an outlet for around $200.
  8. professorchaos

    professorchaos Moderator Emeritus

    If you properly care for a pair of Allen Edmund, they will last you a life time. Part of that proper care is not wearing them two days in a row. So if they are going to be worn 5 days in a row you'd need at least two pairs.

    When it is time for resoling, you send them back to Allen Edmond where they are "recrafted." For a fee of course. The upper reconditioned on the original last, new sole, etc.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  9. I'd probably go with the Rockports because of cost and wear and tear. I suppose it depends on how formal you need to look as well.

    Have you check eBay? That's where I've been scoring my AE's. Sometimes you can get a great deal on some AE's that are lightly used for a fraction of the cost of new ones. And if you find yourself really liking them, you can always send them back to AE to be recrafted assuming the uppers still look good and the soles haven't been mangled by a cobbler.
  10. Just to echo what has been said here, the main difference between the AE and a shoe like the Rockports is that the AEs will be Goodyear welted(N.B. not all AEs are Goodyear welted, but the wingtips would be). The Rockports will most likely be glued. The AEs can be resoled, but the Rockports are basically disposable. I have never owned either, so I can't speak to the build quality.

    Check out this video covering some shoe basics:

    You can get AEs at Nordstrom. They come in a variety of sizes, widths, and lasts, so if possible, it would be best to try them on first.
  11. Yes, definitely, definitely try them on first. Different lasts have very different fits. The more popular last (Park Ave, Fifth Ave, etc.) is long and narrow, for example, so you have to adjust your shoe size potentially.
  12. Full disclosure: I've never owned a pair of AE, so I can't offer a comparison. But...

    I used to work in a shoe store in college, and while it's true that you generally get what you pay for when it comes to shoes, I would guess there's very little noticeable difference in quality when you get in the $100-ish+ range of reputable brands (like Rockport). Again, I haven't tried any super-expensive, hand crafted shoes, so I have no basis for comparison. But for someone who is on his feet all day, particularly outside where there is likely a lot of unpadded concrete to stand on, I'd say you'd be just fine with Rockports. Or Eccos. Or Bostonians. I had a pair of Bostonians that I wore daily for two years; probably the most comfortable pair of dress shoes I've ever owned, and they still look great. They don't have the mirror-shine finish, so if that's what you need, I'd look elsewhere. And while you can have the Allen Edmonds recrafted (for around $125), a local cobbler should be able to resole a Rockport for you. A quick search for "shoe repair" in Greenville, SC pulled up 9 results.

    Hope that helps. I'm not telling you to avoid AE (I'll probably end up with a pair some day), but just trying to give you all options.
  13. mark the shoeshine boy

    mark the shoeshine boy Moderator Emeritus

    I echo the sentiments of great comfort with Ecco Shoes...however, I have my fair share of AE shoes and the are great....half of the AE have the vibram sole. If I have to run all day on the pavement, then I will select one of these...if I know I will be just "in the office" I will wear the leather soled ones...
  14. Gruder

    Gruder Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    If you want to replace then annually or so, go with the Rockports (I speak from experience). My AEs are still going strong after twice that long, but +1 on wearing them every other day. It's honestly a matter of personal preference in your situation. Another point should you go with AE -- they use different lasts for different styles, so there's the possibility of achieving a more optimal fit, but trust me, you'l want to do some test fitting in a store top see what size/last works best for you. Good luck in your quest!
  15. Here's my two cents...In 33 years I've had two pair of AE's and over a dozen Rockports.
    Well over a dozen! For comfort I'd go Rockport. It's just a dressed up sneaker in your case.
    Go comfort. AE will last forever.....Rockport won"t.
  16. Austin

    Austin Moderator Emeritus

    You get what you pay for. AE are still made in the U.S. whereas Rockports are made in China.
  17. So are you saying go with comfort, buy Rockport? I'm am more concerned about comfort vs them lasting forever. I don't mind buying a new pair every 2 years if they are more comfortable. What are everyone's opinions about the comfort of the AE's?
  18. I have been wearing Allen Edmonds shoes for many years. I have some that are over thirty years old and have had them re-crafted by AE and they come back looking like new. I have never had a more comfortable shoe either. I have only had one pair of Rockports and they did not hold up as well as I thought they should. Like you, I am a big fan of wing tips and have several pair of their MacNeils. I think that they are the best looking wing tips on the market and are extremely comfortable. Yes they are a bit pricey but if you can find them on sale or buy seconds you can get a great value. I have purchased a few pairs of the seconds and have never found the flaw. Incidentally they have a sale going on now.


  19. Dumb question...what do you mean by trying to find a deal on seconds? You mean used on ebay?
  20. While I'm a big fan of AEs, I too have owned literally dozens of Rockport shoes over the past few years. I'm going to recommend that you go with the Rockport's for two reasons; 1) you've said you don't mind replacing them every year or so, and 2) you're going to need two pairs (no matter which way you go, you can't wear the same shoes everyday). Given this, you'll be able to get two pair for the same investment.

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