UPDATE: The early-bird extra 10% off for collector’s club members has expired. BUT, if you haven’t signed up yet, you might be able to still get an additional 10% off the below prices, by signing up (it’s just their email list) and waiting for a 10% off “welcome” code. That stacked last year, not sure about this year.
Allen Edmonds turns 100 years young this year. Impressive. Each year they celebrate their birthday with a big sale. It’s always a “select items” event. Meaning some items are getting bigger/better discounts than others, while some models aren’t marked down at all. Here’s one take at a top 10.
NOTE: It looks like prices are (unsurprisingly) higher this year.
The world is loud and dirty. Seemingly increasingly so. Going with a pair of timeless, quiet, handsome cap toes with a subtle rubber sole is the perfect choice for where we’re at. I personally made the switch to “studs” a while back (Weatherproof Park Aves) and I won’t be returning to smooth leather soled shoes. Too much sh*t on the ground these days. That and a Dainite sole is largely un-noticeable. It’s not some big toothy, lug sole (seriously, what the hell is going on AE). Not at all. They look just fine with a suit. Perfect even. Look, men’s fashion is loud right now. So zigging quietly, while everyone else is all “ZAG ZAG ZAG LOOK AT ME ON ZAGSTAGRAM!” can leave you looking terrific amongst the noisy hordes.
A bit more visual interest than the park avenue, w/ the only real difference being the perforated cap toe. One of the best deals of the sale by price, and it’s not close this year. Prices have gone up. No Dainite on these. Well, you can get Fifths with Dainite, but they’re almost $300 for some reason. And at that point, go with the Parks instead.
#3. Strand Oxfords – $296.25 ($395)
Mahogany, black, walnut, or dark chili. All colors up for the anniversary sale savings. The Strand is the flagship, bit-of-flash dress shoe from Allen Edmonds. They’re often excluded from other sales, but the anniversary sale (and the rediscover America sale in the fall) is usually when you get them for a bit off list price. Nice to see that’s holding true again this year.
Imported, which is a bit of a bummer, but our shoe guy Adam was highly impressed all the same. Some guys are down with the luxury sneaker “thing”. Some guys are not. Totally okay either way. Made in the Dominican Republic. Construction, details, and materials are all really impressive.
#5. Made in the USA Merino Mid-Calf – $13.87 ($18.50) or Over the Calf Dress Socks – $16.87 ($22.50)
Made in the USA, temperature regulating, sweat wicking, merino dress socks. No funky patterns here. The basics. The needed stuff.
#6.Courtside Signature Sneaker – $206.25 ($275)
#7. Randolph Slip-On Signature Suede Sneaker – $221.25 ($295)
Dangit. Hate that a couple of trendy models made this list (and I know some traditionalists are gonna HATE those Gucci-like stripes). But those are fun. Spendy, but fun. Not made in the USA. Imported.
All the visual interest of a wingtip plus the conservative toe shape and classy looks of a true oxford. Three colors to pick from. Multiple widths to choose from too. All sorts of right.
Still kicking around in the sale section. Free shipping doesn’t kick in until $100 though, so picking up some shoe care or socks might be in the cards. Another “imported” model. Handsewn, and the reviews are pretty good.
When you need black shoes, you need black shoes. Interviews. Weddings. Black-Tie. All important events. Hugely important. Chances are you don’t want to risk slipping and sliding all over the place during such a big/important occasion, so getting a pair with AE’s slim, super subtle, combination tap sole is probably a good call. The absolute bedrock foundation of a shoe collection. These’ll last you a huge chunk of your life. Pretty far down the list because a Dainite sole would work just fine here too, but some prefer the combination tap sole.
Editor’s Note: Allen Edmonds recently “updated” their site and… eegads. Doesn’t feel like an upgrade at all. Lots of models seem to have been shuffled off the web too, and while AE continues to be one of the best sources for reasonably priced USA-crafted shoes, there is a LOT of weird and “imported” stuff in the Allen Edmonds lineup at present. It might not be “AMF Bowling owns Harley” low, but it also doesn’t seem like a high point in the Caleres–owns-Allen Edmonds chapter. It’s rough sailing in much (all?) of retail right now. And the seas are still looking choppy for the economy overall.