What went into the rankings? It’s not as straightforward as the level of discount. Allen Edmonds puts their entire lineup on sale during the Rediscover America Sale, but some shoes get only 15% off, while others get 30%. Just depends on which model. A deeper discount is obviously a strength, but overall style, desirability, versatility, etc… also come into play. Of the 154 styles, here’s one argument for the top 15 if they were to be put head to head… or foot to foot.
#1. Fifth Avenue – $239.00 ($345)
Well balanced but still has a bit of flash. Now available in the new bourbon shade. If the Strand is a Ferrari, the 5th is an Aston Martin. Perforated cap toe but skips the rest of the broguing. Triple stitch across the vamp sweeps down the side in a perfect curve. True oxford closed lacing. And now a reasonable splurge at $239 at more than $100 off. Biggest possible markdown + can’t beat style + the new bourbon option if you so choose = #1 with a bullet. Wanna save four cents? Nordstrom just put the Fifth Ave. on sale as well for $238.96. Perhaps a price-match preemptive strike?
#2. Mora 2.0 – $293.25 ($345)
Not much of a markdown here, and double monks aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they’re brand new. Or, they’re the brand new re-issue of the rounded toe Allen Edmonds double monk from the past. The Neumora had a bit of a chisel to it, which sent some screaming for the hills (others of us, not at all).
#3. Strands (in Bourbon) – $293.25 ($345)
All right, going color specific here. The discount isn’t all that great (15%) but if memory serves, this is one of if not the first time the new Bourbon shade is available with a price cut?
#4. McTavish Wingtip Oxfords – $239.00 ($295)
One of the best looking dressed up casuals out there. Same last as the Park, 5th, and Strand so the shape is timeless. But the wax-infused leather gives it a more rough look. Can a shoe have well maintained stubble? Available in a very light tan “natural”shade, a dark brown cognac, and these in wax infused black with the toasted oak sole. Same deal here as with the Fifth Aves… Nordstrom has em’ for four cents less.
#5. Kenilworth Plain Toe Derby – $250.75 ($290)
Stunningly simple. Burnished toe on the brown and walnut. Also available in the new bourbon shade. Here’s the case for the completely plain, brown shoe.
#6. Franciscan Single Monk Strap – $259.00 ($345)
The Manziel of Monk straps. Polarizing. Flashy. For sale. A real solid markdown on these. Built on the 333 last, so it does have that chisel toe. Medallion and broguing. More over here.
#7. Hanover Wholecuts – $293.25 ($345)
Yowza. But… they were just $250 during an Amazon sale. Wait… they’re still $254 through Amazon, as long as you’re looking for the Bourbon pair. For what it’s worth, they sure look like a $300 pair of shoes.
#8. Neumok - $199.00 ($275)
Most of us aren’t going to drop two hundred bucks on a pair of wildcards like the Neumok, but shoe hogs might be willing to splurge on a pair of “fun” shoes like these. Olive + tan suede shown above. A quiet casual option? They do have a distressed brown and snuff suede. Unlined construction. More on these over here.
#9. Dalton Wingtip Boot – $335.75 ($395)
It’s hard to knock the Dalton, but they’re still awfully expensive. That, and not everyone loves the idea of a leather sole on a boot. You can opt for a V Tread Tap Sole, but that’s an extra fifty bucks. At least now they’re making these in Bourbon. Review over here.
#10. Fifth Street Dress Boots – $318.75 ($375)
Pretty sure the first day you step into these and lace up the true-oxford fronts you get to say somewhere in the back of your head… “hey, I think I might have just made it… in a very small way at least”. Price is steep, even with almost $60 knocked off (= just 15% though). Not everyone likes the dress boot thing. But as far as dress boots go? These are about as sharp as it gets. Especially in black with a lighter grey flannel suit.
#11. Flatiron Derby – $293.25 ($345)
A bit of an odd duck. They put a medallion on a smooth upper… then when with open, derby-style lacing instead of the more dressed up looking oxford. Has that chisel toe due to the 333 last. Another one of those that it might pay off to wait for a while.
#12. Vernon Dress Oxfords – $293.25 ($345)
Odd duck… the sequel. Like the discontinued Fairfax, the Vernon runs on very modern details. Almost a wholecut. Very smooth. Still pretty steep at almost three hundred bucks.
#13. Park Avenue – $293.25 ($345)
Like a traditional powerhouse unfairly down in the polls after they got trucked by another power (the 5th Ave.). Price is just still too steep for many. Especially when these were down to $230 over the summer during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and the Fifth Ave. is almost sixty bucks cheaper.
#14. Promontory Boots – $297.50 ($350)
Now… hang on a second. This is like the mid-major who over achieves with two or three star recruits. And the black grain pair, with those brown laces? There’s something there. Imagine them with jeans. Perfect. But gut feeling is these might eventually end up on clearance or as a closeout style? Might pay off nicely to wait. Dainite rubber sole.
#15. Cordovan Dalton - $590.75 ($695)
The Stanford of the list. Has a reddish hue, powerful… expensive as all hell.
Which pairs would you have voted in your top 3? 5? Something from the sale not make the top 15 that would have made yours? Who’s too high or too low? Leave it all in the comments.