From the Mailbag: Allen Edmonds 5th Ave. $221.21 (reg. $295/$325)
Half a dozen years ago I bought a pair of ultra-cheap but still good looking black lace ups off Zappos for $60. I just recently retired them to the “wear only with jeans” pile. Four years back I bought a pair of Steve Madden moto boots for $85 and they’re now just starting to fail. And I just spent $25 to refurbish my go to black dress/hybrid boots that I picked up off Piperlime a few years ago when they were on sale for $60. They look good as new.
But for every inexpensive shoe success story, there seems to be another story that’s equally as disappointing. (We’ll get to one in a second.) Buying a pair of cheap shoes is a risk. But what is cheap, and what is expensive? Consider the following question, and give your answer in the comments section below. To you, what constitutes an “expensive” pair of shoes? Is it $90? $125? $300?
And while you think about that, read this email Eric S. sent in. Because he makes a great case for taking the plunge, and splurging on an incredible pair of shoes which happen to be on sale for an extremely fair price…
Great blog; I’ve been following it for months. I have a tip for you to consider. It’s far out of the price range of what you usually recommend, but hear me out. It’s the Allen Edmonds Fifth Avenue dress shoes, on sale for $229 down from $325 until Oct. 12. (Note: Endless has them for $221 with free two day shipping)
I just bought two pairs, black and brown, after a lifetime of never having bought any shoes over $100. I decided to do so because I realized that sub-$100 dress shoes can be … risky. In June, I bought two pairs of Aldo Hepworths for $70 each after seeing your recommendation of them. It’s been less than four months, and they’re falling apart even though I’ve been wearing them on alternating days and using shoe trees. Granted, I have to wear dress shoes every day, but I’m sure many of your readers do too. I hope I can wear the Allen Edmonds shoes for years.
I would highly recommend that people try them out in a store first before ordering online, especially if they have never owned expensive dress shoes. I usually wear a 10.5 for running shoes; I found out to my great surprise in an Allen Edmonds store that I’m actually an 8.5 EEE (that’s ultra wide). Apparently, my feet are really wide for their
size, and I’ve been buying huge shoes just to fit the width. I think Nordstrom’s carries Allen Edmond shoes, although they may not be on sale there. The sale prices apply in Allen Edmonds stores as well.
He makes a great case. And the Allen Edmonds 5th Avenue is a terrific shoe. Made in Wisconsin, built to last, and engineered to be refurbished once worn down. At well over $200 they’re certainly an investment. But one that I think a lot of guys would be willing to make for a timeless pair of dress shoes. Now, back to the original question: What constitutes an “expensive” pair of shoes? And are these Allen Edmonds worth the price? Any and all feedback is welcome in the comments section below.