Hi I’m Kirby Allison founder of The Hanger Project.
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In today’s video I’m going to betalking about one of the most popularAmerican shoe brands; Allen Edmonds.
Customers call us often saying I’m looking to buy my first pair of really nice dress shoes what should I invest in? And what I tell customers is thatyou really should be at the Allen Edmonds level or better.
At 395, these aren’t cheap shoes; they are certainly an investment.
But with Allen Edmonds you can knowthat you’re buying a shoe that is really substantiated with quality that’s well made from quality components and that if taken care of properly can easily last you a decade or more.
And in this video I’m goingto show you some of the most popular dressshoe models and talk about the constructiontechniques that really make this a shoe that is worthy of your investment and that can last decades if taken care of properly.
If you have any questions duringthis video please ask them in the comments section below.
I make a point to get back to all of those questions personally and I always love to hear whatviewers think of our videos.
Let us know, do you own AllenEdmonds? Do you enjoy wearing these? What’s your favorite shoe? Do you think that there’s adifferent shoe that someone should be investing in to start outwith? Let us know.
Allen Edmonds is one of the fewremaining Great American dress shoe companies.
Manufactured in Wisconsin, they’re still made today less than10 miles away from the originalfactory.
They use a 360 degree goodyear welt, which means that it goes all the wayaround.
And the reason that that’s importantis it allows the sole to be easily replaced without having to deconstruct the entire shoe.
So it’s certainly one of the mostimportant hallmarks of quality and certainly any shoe that is going to last more than a decade needs to be goodyear welted so thatthe sole can be replaced easily.
One of the other hallmarks ofquality you find with an Allen Edmond shoes is thatthe uppers are made from high quality open grain leather.
What that means is that the leatherhasn’t been excessively treated in order to correct for any blemishes or unsightly characteristics.
And so what you have with an open grain leather, is a leather that one looks better and then is going to last longer and look better as the shoe ages.
It’s a hallmark of durability and quality.
Allen Edmonds also applies all of their finishes by hand whichcreates a beautiful natural variation from pair to pair; so you could rest assured that yourAllen Edmonds are completely unique.
And one of the best things aboutowning a pair of Allen Edmonds and something that will keep yourshoes looking fantastic for a very long time is that they have a comprehensive re-craftingprogram.
Where for $125 you can send your shoes back toAllen Edmonds, they’ll replace the sole, replace the corking which goes underneath the sole to create kind of a soft cushion and then they re-last the shoe where they stretch theleather back over the original last, re-welt it and then strip, refinish the shoe, replace the shoe laces and replace the heels.
One of the other things that’sreally cool about AE’s crafting program is that you can replace the soles with a completely different kind.
So let’s say that your shoesoriginally had an all leather dress sole, but you wanted something that youcould wear in the rain or in the snow.
You could have that replaced duringre-crafting with a day night for as little as a $30 up-charge.
Shoe cobblers can do great work, but no shoe cobblers ever going tobe able to do the restoration work that the factory can.
So if you have the time to send your AE’s back to the factory forre-crafting, I absolutely recommend that.
Allen Edmonds has an extensivecollection of models.
But the four that you see here today are the most classic traditional dress shoes offered by Allen Edmonds.
The Park Avenue, the Fifth Avenue, the Strand and the McAllister Wingtip.
If there’s four shoes that every man needs in their wardrobe these are probably the ones to look at.
The Park Avenue is easily Allen Edmond’s most iconic traditional dress shoe.
Shown here in black, It’s the first dress shoe any man should invest in.
The reason is because it’s easilythe most versatile.
It’s that lowestcommon denominator that you can wear in almost any occasion.
You can wear it: during the day towork, for an interview, you can wear it in formal occasions after 6 o’clock.
If you have a proper high shine onthe toe, you can even wear it with a tuxedo or a morning suit.
This shoe is a shoe that is never out of place.
And so although it’s available in many finishes, if you were to have just one dressshoe the black cap-toe Oxford Park Avenue would be the one I would invest in.
One of the other design elements that’s quite unique to Allen Edmondsis that they use six eyelets in all their dress shoes and it’s really kind of the Americanway.
A lot of the European companies yousee with five eyelets.
And so the six eyelets of AllenEdmonds, they’re one of a few companies still committed to doing six eyelets, is a small subtle detail that you’re wearing Allen Edmonds.
If you’re looking for a slightly less formal shoe maybe something that’s got a little bit morecharacter.
The Allen Edmond’s Fifth Avenue is a great choice.
This is almost exactly the same as the Park Avenue, except there’s a little bit ofbroging across the toe-cap.
Now any time you add broging to a shoe the less formal it becomes.
So the more holes you put in a pair of shoes the lessformal it is.
So this is a great shoe.
Equally as appropriate during theday but isn’t something that you’dnecessarily want to wear after six o’clock to aformal dinner and you really couldn’t get away with that properly with a tuxedo.
But if you’re looking for a littlebit more visual interest you want somethingthat isn’t just plain then this is a fantastic shoe.
Even slightly more casual, is the Allen Edmonds Strand.
So this is still a cap-toe Oxford, but as you can see it’s added amedallion and even more broging detail to just create an even more formal shoe.
This is a great shoe to have in an light brown like this Walnut pictured here, because you can easily wear it on the weekends with jeans or with a more casual suit.
And finally we have the McAllisterWingtip.
Now there is very few morequintessentially American dress shoes than a wingtip.
Most of the sales people for IBM inthe 1960s all wore black wingtips.
Now as you can see here it’s got a tremendous amount of broging.
And so it is the least formal of all these shoes even though it’s the most closelyassociated with formal business dress.
This shoe in black is a perfect day time formal dress shoe.
But in a dark brown like this chili, or even a walnut It’s a beautiful dress shoe that iscertainly not out of place in anywell-appointed wardrobe.
Now Allen Edmonds has way more shoes than the four models that we have pictured here but these represent the core of any business dress shoe wardrobe.
You’ve got your plain cap-toeOxford, you’ve got a cap-toe with a little bit a toe-cap broging, you’ve got your less formal cap-toe Oxford with a medallion and full broging, and then you have your Wingtip.
These are fantastic shoes that will be as timeless and as classic today as they will be 20 or 30 years from now.
So if you’re really looking toinvest in something of quality I always recommend going with those timeless classic stylesthat you can be confident you’ll enjoy wearing just as much in 20 years as you do the day you buy them.
The five standard finishes that you can find at Allen Edmonds Black, Oxblood, Brown, Walnut and Dark Chili.
Each of these four models that Ijust showed you are available in any of these five finishes.
Another great benefit of buyingAllen Edmonds shoes is that they have one of the widest selection of sizes and widths of any stocked dress shoe program that I thinkexists.
So you can find everything from a B to a triple D width, from a six and a half to a size 15.
So you can walk into an AllenEdmonds store and trust that you can find a pairof dress shoes that is going to fit you well.
The other thing that I really likeabout Allen Edmonds is that they manufacture all of their shoes in a variety ofdifferent dress sole options.
You can get a full leather sole.
Right, which is the most traditional dress shoe sole.
You can get a B tread, which is what they call it where thefront half is rubber.
So if you’re someone that walking alot or often times is walking in rain or snow, the rubber soul is just going toprovide that additional protection to theshoe.
And if you really need durabilityyou can go with the day night.
Now this is a great sole for people that either live in bigcities where you’re oftentimes walking in the rain or if you live anywhere with snow.
Because it’s a fully rubber sole, you don’t have to worry about anysalt or water getting into the shoe and delegating the construction.
A question we receive often here TheHanger Project, is that I just bought a new pair of dress shoes, do I need to polish them? The short answer is that absolutely.
If you just bought a new pair ofshoes, polishing them with some Saphir Medaille d’Or cream polish and a little bit of Pate DeLuxe wax polish is really going to make those shoes look great.
The reason is is any factory made shoe does not receive any type of actual polishing at the factory itself.
So there’s no protective waxes, there’s no nourishment that a cream polish is going to providethat leather and they just don’t look as polished as a properly polished pair of shoes.
If you want to learn how toshine a new pair of shoes, take a look at How To Shine New Shoes video on our YouTube channel.
The other thing I recommend for any new pair of shoes is to buy a pairof shoe trees and to always use a shoe horn.
That when combined with regular polishing would ensure that your shoes continue to lookgreat for years.
Another question we receive often is how do I know if my shoes need to be resoled? One, you want to see whether or not holes are beginning todevelop in the dress sole itself.
If you see any type of round holes developing that definitely means it’s time to sendthem in the be resoled.
The other thing is if you’re pushingdown on the sole and it seems soft, then that means that the corkfilling on the inside of the shoe has been worn down.
Another tall tale sign that it’s time to send your shoes in forresoling.
This pair of Allen Edmonds, which was part of our $50 eBay challenge, you can see has a worn sole but doesn’t have any holes and still is quite firm to thetouch.
This shoe easily has several years ahead of it before the solesneed to be replaced.
And of course there’s always thequestion of how often should I polish my shoes? The short answer is that you shouldpolish them as often as they look like they need to be polished.
One of the first things people will notice when they meet you for thefirst time is your watch and your shoes.
And for that reason, it’s very important to not only invest in a high quality pair of dress shoes, but to take care of them with regular and proper polishing.
So a great story a friend of minerecently shared with me was how his mentor took him into his closet to show him an area on his floor that was worn down and black.
And he asked his mentee, you know do you know why my carpet looks like this? Of course he said no and he said this is where I have polished my shoes every morning for the last 40 years.
I thought it was an incredible storybecause oftentimes in this day of age you know we forget how professionals always polished their shoes as a sign of integrity.
Showing up to work having polished your shoes and having shoes that are well-made and well looked after is a sign that you take care of the details that are oftenoverlooked by other people and therefore you can be trusted.
So anyone that’s serious about theircareer, their identity or their profession, looking after your shoes is as critical to that as showing up to work wearing appropriateclothing.
So I challenge you to shine yourshoes regularly.
Either on Sunday while you’rewatching football or even during conference calls atthe office, polishing your shoesregularly will ensure that they continue tolook great and last a long time.
And if you’re shining your shoes.
tag The Hanger Project or hashtag #ShoeShineSunday and we’d love to feature you on ourInstagram page.
I’m Kirby Allison founder of The Hanger Project and here we love helping the well-dressed take care of theirwardrobes.
If you had any questions about anything we discussed in this video, feel free to ask them in thecomments section below.
I love getting back to thosequestions personally.
If you like this video give us thethumbs up and subscribe to our YouTubechannel so that you can receivenotifications whenever we release our next video.
I’m Kirby Allison thanks for joining.