Allen Edmonds background
Allen Edmonds is an American shoe brand that opened its first factory in Wisconsin in the early 20th century. First known for the high quality shoes they manufactured, their offerings now include belts, briefcases, bags, and clothing. They manufacture shoes in sizes from 6 - 16 and widths from AAA - EEE.
Employing a 212 step manufacturing process to ensure the quality of their shoes is something that any company would be proud about. These steps range from pre-production and design ( selection of the materials, designs for the lasts, and designs of the products ) to hand finishing, polishing, and lastly, inspection. Going to such great lengths to create high quality products for their customers is a great quality to ask for from a company, and it's also indicative of that company's intent to provide high customer satisfaction.
Allen Edmonds makes a good effort to reference their high standards and craftsmanship on their site so it makes sense that they would be willing to back up their claims. In the end, it makes for a great pair of shoes that look great, feel comfortable, and have the potential to last for years or even decades.
Review of Allen Edmonds shoes
Oak Street Cap-Toe Oxfords in Navy
The great folks over at Allen Edmonds sent us a pair of shoes to review last month. After wearing them several times over this period, I can give a fair and honest assessment of how they feel and fit. I wear a size 12 shoe, albeit on the larger side of a 12 since I'm a 13 in some brands. I've never encountered any issues related to the width of my feet, and they are relatively normal in regard to shape ( as far as I know ) so I elected for a standard width shoe ( D ).
The fit is great; snug enough to provide the support I need yet also spacious enough to be comfortable and not too restricting. My toes can spread out and when I took steps the shoes weren't wiggling around or loose. Something annoying to look out for is if your heel slides up and down against the back of your shoes as you walk. This means the last of the shoe doesn't fit as it should, or you should tighten the laces up.
This model is manufactured with a Goodyear welt, which means I'll be able to send them in to Allen Edmonds later on in their life to be re-crafted, significantly extending the potential life of my shoes. Many of the models they create are manufactured with this Goodyear manufacturing process, but remember to check if the pair you're interested in has them while shopping on their site.
The last ( foot-shaped model that manufactures use as a basis to design shoes ) they use for the Oak Streets is their 65 Last, noted on their site to be their "most popular, classic fitting last." This last is good for a narrow look; it's the longest they offer. Allen Edmonds also says that it tends to fit men with high arches the best. The arches on my feet are about average and they contour well to the shoes. This last allows for enough space at the end of the shoe for my toes to lie comfortably. One issue with many narrower shoes is that they tend to squeeze your toes together to accomplish the look. And that is a trade off that my feet simply can not afford.
The insoles are made from cork which helps them to form to the shape of one's feet very closely, giving the wearer an incredibly comfortable fit. This pair is made from Chromexcel leather, manufactured by the Chicago-based Horween Leather Company. But you could also get them in Kudu leather in black or brown, or brown grain leather. Chromexcel is meant to age well, and bring out oils within the leather after some wear and tear.
Dainite rubber soles are utilized in this pair and they look and feel fantastic. They aren't meant to be super grippy, but they'll protect your shoes from water and mud far more than your average leather soles. The color of the soles is a big hit for me too. Like Chicago Cubs in the 2016 World Series big hit. They give the shoes a more casual look overall and makes them more versatile to pair with casual outfits or for a night on the town. They aren't casual enough to be out of place in a work setting however, and can easily be paired with professional ensembles.
Re-crafting Service by Allen Edmonds
Allen Edmonds offers a Re-crafting service for their Goodyear welted and hand sewn shoes to extend the life of your shoes. A Goodyear welt is a strip of material ( leather, rubber, or other material ) that runs along the perimeter of the shoe and is stitched to the outsole. The benefit is that the sole can be replaced over and over again and you don't need to get a new pair of kicks. This is great for those more unique pairs of shoes that you love, which can be much harder to replace.
Allen Edmonds Return Policy
If you happen to order a pair of shoes and don't think they fit as well as they should, then you're in luck. Allen Edmonds does offer free returns, as long as the items are unused.
Following are my favorite pairs from Allen Edmonds. I'm not sure which ones I want yet for this fall, but I'm leaning towards boots for sure.
Mora 2.0 Monk Straps
Dundee 2.0 Boots in Suede
Liverpool Chelsea Dress Boots in leather or suede
Shreveport Woven Dress Shoes
Allen Edmonds also have a great selection of stylish belts, clothing, and other accessories. Let us know your favorite Allen Edmonds designs in the comments, as well as any other similar brands that you've had great experiences with.