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Emerging out of the small farming town of Belgium, Wisconsin, Allen Edmonds Shoes grew into one of America’s elite shoe manufacturers. Always known for handmade dress shoes that will last a wearer for a lifetime, the brand is evolving in the 21st century as its global presence expands.
According to the shoemaker’s own history, Allen Edmonds grew from 18 stores in 2006 to more than 70 in 2021. While you can find Allen Edmonds styles at more locations than ever before, you’ll also discover that this Midwestern company that made good is changing its identity. These days, you’ll find shoes within the Allen Edmonds catalog that designers of a generation ago would never have imagined.
Acknowledging changing trends in dress shoes and the ubiquitousness of the modern sneaker, Allen Edmonds is leaning into the latest footwear trends with its new shoes. Over the last couple of years, the firm released an ever-growling line of more casual men’s shoes without sacrificing build quality. That change in course invited an entirely new generation of young buyers into the Allen Edmonds top-shelf world.
What We Like About Allen Edmond’s New Shoes
What was once exclusively a very formal, even stuffy shoe brand loosened its tie a little to introduce everything from sneaker styles to a custom shoe online tool. The result is entirely new looks that invite new buyers into the fold, while more traditional customers still have ample dressier choices. Regardless of what direction you might go shopping for with these Wisconsin-bred shoes, the excellence of the materials and assemblage remains consistent. These creations are built to last and promise to stay with you throughout the evolutions of your wardrobe.
The Allen Edmonds custom shoe page offers limited options to combine materials and soles, allowing the user to create a pair he can’t necessarily find in the catalog. It’s a great way to explore the differences between topside materials and sole designs.
Best Feature: Quality Than Lasts a Lifetime
Whether you go with a more traditional pair of Allen Edmonds dress shoes or opt for the newly arriving sneaker styles, the people behind the design and creation of these shoes never cut corners or cheat on build quality. The cutting, stitching and finishing is reliable, and the resulting fit reassuring. While not feeling uncomfortably heavy, a pair of Allen Edmonds lend your step a solid, grounded feeling. You know you’ve bought and donned high-quality footwear.
If they’re designed properly and maintained, leather shoes really can last a lifetime. And Allen Edmonds designs properly.
What We Didn’t Like about Allen Edmonds Shoes
If you do decide to go with a pair of leather dress shoes off the shelf of a retail store or off an online site, you must be patient when they arrive and break them in gradually. The excellent quality of the leather and firm construction means these shoes don’t necessarily come out of box ready for a day of comfortable wear. Your feet and these kicks need to get to know each other while the leather learns to give and grab in all the right places. Your patience early in the fitting process will mean an Allen Edmonds set can live to become your favorite worn-in dress shoes.
The Verdict: A Well-Earned Reputation
Short of turning to the sort of custom shoemakers you might find in London and New York for thousands of dollars, Allen Edmonds creations represent the finest footwear an ambitious consumer can acquire. With most pairs climbing easily toward $300 per pair, this quality doesn’t come cheap. Still, if you can lay out the capital, you will walk away in a pair of shoes made well enough to stay with you for life. From leather sneakers to modern men’s boots, you don’t want to miss the latest releases from this American footwear brand.