• Allen Edmonds Long Wingtip

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    It's a chilly November night in the Empire City and I'm walking into a hotel bar in midtown...Lex bar, I think. The heads of Allen Edmonds have set up shop on the pool table—an impressive spread of their 2012 spring collection of chukkas, brogues, and loafers in new color ways, burnished leathers, and refined silhouettes. I take a couple BBQ sliders in hand. They're good. I don't recall eating lunch—or breakfast for that matter—so they're better than good. They're on the verge of great.

    Allen Edmonds Williams Long Wingtip (brown burnished calf, $445)

    Allen Edmonds call themselves The Great American Shoe Company. Perhaps that is fitting for the 90 year old shoe manufacturer out of Belgium, Wisconsin that was, until 1978, run solely by family. Elbert W. Allen built the company on his innovative manufacturing techniques that relied on Goodyear welting to make fashionable and durable shoes that were nail-less and shankless (meaning they had no uncomfortable metal bar under the instep).  Before you've taken your first step, Allen Edmonds has already taken 212 in each handcrafted pair. That, along with strong and steady leadership, set the precedent for long term success despite the hard times of the Great Depression, the rationing years of World War II, and the mounting pressures of foreign competition in the 1960s and '70s.

    Mark McNeill, Allen Edmonds' head designer, is walking me through his latest designs. We stop at The Independence Collection, a new line of higher-end shoes priced at $445. I finger the reworked long wingtip (named after Declaration of Independence signer William Williams)* for a solid five minutes before McNeill's discourse snaps back into my consciousness just in time to learn about wheeling, a sole detail that has been reintroduced for the first time in 30 years. Supple yet durable, the brown burnished leather is the finest Allen Edmonds can get their hands on. In fact, over 70% of the skins are rejected for The Independence Collection. As I polish off my last BBQ slider, I realize these longwings aren't just good, they're on the verge of great.

    *courtesy of Allen Edmonds

    Dec 14, 2011 | Permalink (15) Total Comments

    Christian Louboutin left a comment on 3/30/2012 at 1:17 AM:

    Thanks for sharing these useful information! Hope that you will continue doing nice article like this.
    Thank you very much.I like this site.

    Mike left a comment on 12/23/2011 at 11:13 PM:

    If you have not worn a pair of AE’s I think you will switch from Alden to AE.  AE is like butter.

    emjkmj left a comment on 12/22/2011 at 3:32 PM:

    I don’t know if it’s a Ford vs. Chevy thing, but I find there is two camps in the American made shoe world.  The Allen Edmonds camp and the Alden camp.  Since I have been wearing Alden shoes for church since middle school, I find myself in the latter.

    Morty62 left a comment on 12/22/2011 at 11:28 AM:

    I bought a pair of brown AE wingtips earlier this year and absolutely love them. They look very elegant, fit to perfection and the detailing is very subtle.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 12/22/2011 at 11:07 AM:

    @LG—There is no such thing as a free lunch.

    LG left a comment on 12/22/2011 at 11:04 AM:

    Are you getting free stuff for these endorsements? If so, it would be ethical to bring that to everyone’s attention…

    Cheap adidas shoes left a comment on 12/22/2011 at 3:23 AM:

    Do the Adidas Angry Birds Shoes needs patience, and there is really a Adidas Mickey Mouse Shoes in the heart

    AEV left a comment on 12/21/2011 at 7:07 PM:

    Nice shoes - no doubt.

    Shoedog left a comment on 12/20/2011 at 4:30 PM:

    Wisco Kid… Allen Edmonds doesn’t make any shoes in MN.  Their factory is in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

    Ron left a comment on 12/20/2011 at 12:29 PM:

    Great shoes , we used to call longwings Royal Brogues back in the early 70’s , a timeless design .

    They should bring back the Cornell or another split toe monk !

    Mike left a comment on 12/20/2011 at 12:15 AM:

    I remember my first purchase of Allen Edmonds lace ups.  When the sales man tighten and tied the laces, it was a beautiful thing!  What quality and comfort!  The long wing is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship!  I intend to grab a pair!

    Wisco Kid left a comment on 12/19/2011 at 10:37 PM:

    As a Wisconsinite, I respect and wear Allen Edmonds.  Though they are generally now made in MN, they are still 100% USA - which explains the quality.  A little tip for those looking to not pay full price - check out the factory stores!

    MGM left a comment on 12/19/2011 at 8:11 PM:

    Yea, I love me some Allen Edmonds shoes.  In fact, I just love shoes generally.  That is the one item I will never get tired of perusing when I walk into men’s department stores.  Blazers, shirts, ties, etc. etc.—I have seen them all.  Nothing really to look forward to (it is just a matter of collecting everything I have seen).  But with shoes, the thrill (for me) never dies when I walk into a store to see all the lovely variations of various style of shoes.  And Allen Edmonds is certainly one of the best companies out there doing it.

    DNubbins left a comment on 12/19/2011 at 4:25 PM:

    Glad to see Allen Edmonds get in the game. Alden has stolen their thunder recently. I’ve been wearing their shoes for years.  I hope other blogs catch on.  I agree with Richard: their resoling program is excellent.

    Richard Ross left a comment on 12/19/2011 at 2:42 PM:

    Allen Edmonds is such an outstanding company. I have been wearing them for years but it is due to my father’s long term relationship with the company. I have several pairs of my father’s shoes that are over fifteen years old. Still kickin’. Their resoling program is top notch.