Allen Edmonds turns 101 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.
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 crud on the ground these days. That and a Dainite sole is largely un-noticeable. It’s not some big toothy, lug sole. Not at all. They look just fine with a suit. Perfect even. Available in black, coffee brown, dark chili (shown above), and walnut.
Has a bit more visual interest than the Park Avenue, with the only real difference being the perforated cap toe. $63.75 less than the Park Avenues.
Modern in their minimalism, classy in their quiet style. That’s the Carlyle. Hard not to love. Full review here. Available in black, dark chili, or walnut. Wish they made these in coffee brown and mahogany, but alas, not right now. (“alas”? Who says alas? No one says alas. Where am I, at a renaissance fair?)
#4. Strand Oxfords – $296.25 ($395)
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. Almost $100 off. Available in Walnut (shown), Mahogany (in person review here), Black, or Dark Chili.
Smooth. Real smooth. Sleek but not Elf-ish/pointy. Dead simple design. Comfortable. And now that they’re made in the Dark Chili (as shown above), along with walnut and black, a lot of us will be tempted to wear them with everything from jeans to suits. Dark Chili is a really versatile color. Moreso than many think.
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.
One of the best deals of the sale by price. Classic shape, a bit of interest with the quarter brogue/perforations at the cap toe, and a few colors to pick from.
For those that don’t want or feel the need for the rubber studded Dainite sole version.
“Wait, at this point in your top-10, aren’t you just rolling through the same shoes but with different sole options?”
Well, yeah. We’re not gonna try and sell you on $221 key lime green driving loafers. Have you seen most of AE’s new arrivals? Doesn’t seem like a particularly strong year. But what do I know? (The answer is: nothing. I know nothing.) Maybe they’ll sell tons of bit-sneakers, lug sole parks, and $200
Sketchers boat shoes, but for here and now, we’re gonna stick with the classics.
A note that unlike the rest of the picks in this top ten, these Courtside sneakers are “imported” and not “handcrafted in Port Washington Wisconsin.” And while they seem spendy, that new light gray suede looks perfect for the warmer weather ahead, and they’re also recraftable. Review of the Courtside sneaker can be found here.
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.