UPDATE: Allen Edmonds has just put these things on sale for a whopping $100 off. Not bad at all. Sale runs through 9/5/16. Many thanks to Mike S. for the tip. Also, AE has since updated their shots to show the brown laces that come with the dark brown boot.
Watch out Red Wing and Wolverine 1,000 Mile. Allen Edmonds is throwing its hat into the great looking, high quality, heritage boot game. And while these “Higgins Mill” boots might produce one or two quibbles, most will see them as a huge improvement over AE’s more recent attempts to capture a bit of this market share (the blocky Sturgis and sorta funky Eagle Country boots, for example).
Great shape. Not some enormous, bulbous work boot.
If the designers were going for simplicity and versatility, they nailed it. Much sleeker than a standard work boot, but still enough room in the toe box for thick socks. The kind of boot you could wear with beat up chinos and an old favorite sweater, or dressed up denim, an OCBD, and a casual sportcoat. The soles are grippy Dainite rubber, with subtle studs that don’t jut out too far. That keeps from mucking up the shape.
Goodyear welted, Dainite sole with subtle studs for grip.
Uppers are one of three shades of Horween’s Chromexcel leather, and good gracious the hues and slight changes in different light are something. No extra stitching or perforations here. Just a lot of good looking leather. The one design flourish, if you can even call it that, is a super soft, suede tongue. Subtle.
Fit seems true as well. A 10.5D fit my normally 10.5D feet terrific right out of the box. No slipping about or pinching in any places. Break in time should be minimal and a breeze.
Horween’s brown chromexcel leather. Also available in black, and a leaning tan “natural.”
There are two, minor complaints though. First… there’s no sign of the contrasting laces, as shown on the Allen Edmonds website. These shipped with a pair of dark brown laces. Not a big deal. We’re talking laces here. But if you were initially attracted, in part, to the contrast between the deep brown of the leather and those tan laces, you might be wondering what’s up upon arrival.
And second, as good as the leather’s color looks, this particular pair showed up with a couple of noticeable dings and dents to the uppers. Don’t get me wrong. Glass smooth, totally uniform leather (that’s not Cordovan) is suspicious. And look, they’re boots. Even great looking, pretty pricey, heritage style boots should get put through their paces by the wearer. But it was just a bit strange to pull them out of the box and see (and feel) a few dents. That hasn’t happened to me with previous Horween leather shoe purchases. Some would live with it, some would send them back for an exchange or return.
Some imperfections at the toe and back right heel area.
But overall? They’re a win for Allen Edmonds. And a big win. That distinct lack of “clunk” through the toe, the devotion to a plain Jane look, and the use of Horween’s CXL should sway a lot of guys to whip out the wallet. Keep an eye out for a sale and/or seconds and you could get a high quality, hugely versatile, American Made boot with a desirable sole, for much less than, say, an Alden Indy.