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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2008
I have had these shoes in Black for 8 years now and am on the 3rd set of soles. They have gone back to factory every time for refurbishment and they are STILL the best looking shoes I own. I have tried many brands over the years and have 3 sets of Allen Edmonds and do not ever plan to buy another brand of dress shoe unless something changes. As for the price, you can pay less but you get less, and if you have them refurbished, over the long run you will fel they are worth EVERY penny.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2012
The AE Park Ave is the perfect entry shoe for those looking to step up (get it?) their wardrobe. The burnished brown is probably the most versatile color that can be worn with any suit that's not black and also dressed down with denim. Make sure to purchase these from an authorized retailer like Amazon - don't go poking around Nord rack for these where you're likely to run into sub-par/second-quality shoes. AE's have a pretty sizeable following, so you'll also be able to find answers to almost any question with a quick search. A few notes:

Sizing: As with almost any dress shoes these will run about 1/2 a size large (ie if you wear 10.5 in Nike running shoes, you're probably a 10 in these). I can't stress enough the importance of doing the proper research and figuring out your exact size, including width. If you have to, go to the local shoe store and get measured (surprisingly...most guys don't actually know their true shoe size). Don't be tempted to compensate for width by sizing up. For example, if size 10E is out of stock, don't be tempted to order a 10.5D. You might be able to get away with this other makers, but it'll make a big difference to nail the sizing with these. They will be the most comfortable dress shoes you own. As the description says, the cork footbed will conform to your foot in a few weeks, and it'll feel like this shoe was made for your feet.

Durability: I'm a huge fan of brown dress shoes because they tend to develop beautiful patinas over time and simply age better than black shoes do. The Park Aves are no different here - you can find endless pictures on the internet of how well AE's age. The soles are welted so that when you do wear through them in a few years (and you will be wearing these a lot, trust me) you can get them recrafted by AE for $100 or so (you can also take it to the local cobbler). Basically these shoes will lost you a long, long time.

Care: these actually hold up really well without much babying, but if you're going to drop $300+ on shoes, you might as well take care of them. At the very least use cedar shoe trees (the kind with adjustable width) and brush/polish once a month or so. The AE website has sales on shoe care products pretty often that ship free.

Value: Not everyone can afford custom made John Lobbs or C&J's (personally I don't see the reason for spending that much on shoes anyway). My only gripe is that prices have creeped up year after year, but that's expected with sourcing and labor costs increasing. If you're waffling between AE's and say, a pair of $175 Johnston & Murphys or even $100-150 shoes from Macy's, do yourself a favor and go with the AE's. Sure, you could buy 2 or 3 pairs for the price of one pair of Park Aves, but the AE's will not only last much longer, but they will look better over time and be more comfortable.

Overall, an excellent way to quite literally transform your wardrobe. After all, if Park Aves are good enough for the President of the United States, they're surely good enough for you!
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
I've always worn better than average shoes. When you wear size 13, you need good shoes. Anyway, one day I went berserk and bought a pair of
Allen Edmonds Men's Park Avenue Cap Toe Oxfords. They were comfortable from minute #1 and I haven't regretted the purchase for even a second. When I switched to my old good shoes for a week -- WOW what a difference. The Allen Edmonds shoes were much better. I now own two pairs and they are both great. I alternate them each day and use shoe trees at night -- both practices are highly recommended. One other note: Allen Edmonds shoe polish is excellent. I was using the brand you get at the grocery store and what a noticeable difference it makes to use the Allen Edmonds Premium Shoe Polish. Not sure why, but it is much better stuff. Bottom line: If you need excellent black dress shoes that are comfortable enough to wear for long days including long treks through airports, I highly recommend these. As for the price ... How much do you spend for tires on your car? My last set cost $500. I decided that I am worth $300 for awesome shoes.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 28, 2013
[---Quick Summation on Quality in General---]

Leather is noticeably soft without the plastic feel of the usual sub 200$ departmental dress shoes (Boston, Johnston and Murphy etc.). The leather sole is stiff and rigid and they are meant to conform to your foot over time so there may or may not be a break-in period however, you will have to let them get acquainted with your foot.

These can be shined which hold superior gloss versus many of the other less expensive brands. Moreover, you buy these shoes to stay with you a long time as they can be re-crafted (new sole, and tightens the leather a bit) for a little above 100$ which will turn them into a somewhat new pair of Allen Edmonds shoe that is already somewhat molded with your foot.

Quality: 9/10

-------------------------------------------------------------

[---Issues---]

It took me (2) returns: 1 from Amazon and 1 directly from Allen Edmonds to force my hand in putting 2 stars for an Allen Edmond shoe. This being said, I will still buy their shoes for the hope that this one--flagship and iconical line--is an anomaly.

My current shoe closet has many pairs of Allen Edmonds shoes e.g. Strand, Lasalle, Neumora. With experience in 1st quality and 2nd quality, nothing has been less than expected from a 'superior line' when examining the quality of the shoe (with the exception of subjective observations). The Park Avenue, the staple of Allen Edmonds shoes, has been the pariah where these were supposed to be the foundation.

1st pair:

As noted by many people over the internet, with the Park Avenues seemingly being the only 'violater', there is 'bowing' i.e. Top-Line bulge at the mouth of the shoe. Explained more, the part surrounding your ankle has too much 'excess' of leather i.e. seemingly not made proportionally so that the sides bulge from excess material. The latter allows much creasing on the sides so that it looks like your ankle is a...chicken ankle (think of pants that are too big 'creasing' at the waist when a belt is cinched).

My first pair from Amazon had this problem along with unsightly 'creasing' at the mouth from excess leather. Needless to say, it was not a good looking shoe. In general, I can make compromises with other, less expensive, pairs of shoes however, when I make the conscious choice to purchase Quality shoes I expect nothing less than perfection (at least enough perfection by eyeing it). When you choose to spend more for a luxury car or watch, you may be overspending however one thing will not be a question: the quality is above average and it will work as intended; nothing more.

From the latter problems I returned them based on the bowing.

2nd pair:

The first shoe looked as it should and there was minimal bowing, see Normal. The next shoe (right pair) had a flopping right side on the mouth (top-line bulge...again). This was confirmed when I put my foot inside. It was so bad I could stick 2-3 fingers, one on top of the other, inside the 'space' made by the too big leather. It looked very, very bad.

*It should be noted that I can be so adament about the lack of 'tightness' around the mouth because of my experience with previous Allen Edmonds shoes...and dress shoes in general (from various manufacturers). The sizing is not the issue.*

Knowing Amazon does not allow returns after the 1st (rightfully so as they, at that point, figure it is an issue with the product in general), I contacted customer service and explained the situation. They thus investigated their current stock for the problem.

Meanwhile I contact Allen Edmonds directly where I was met with the much documented good customer service where I was told to send them back even though I purchased them from an online retailer with the explanation of the problem.

3rd Pair:

Receiving them fairly quickly after I sent them, everything on the shoe looked good...finally...until I examined a little more in detail. As I am not necessarily a 'finicky' or judging person (not too harshly) where I would forgive scrapes, scratches, creases (before I wear them), or smudges, the next problem is unacceptable for a the type of shoe manufacturer Allen Edmonds represents.

*Crooked Toe Cap*

As I said previously that everything on the 3rd pair looked fine (top line bulge was non existent and tight), there was a new problem--the Toe Cap. Where it is supposed to be straight across--180 degrees--the shoe, it was more like 165. Instead of a plane, it was a slope. The right shoe was more apparent than the left, however they would be 'straight' if I walked with my toes outward (pretty good if I was trying out a Charlie Chaplin act..though for normal use, pretty tough).

At this point, I am getting slightly impatient with constantly exchanging shoes however the problems are so that I cannot accept a subpar pair from a manufacturer that you pay for having 'pristine' quality.

These have all been 1st quality for the record. Even the seconds I purchased were obviously better 'put together' than this 'lucky' group of three.

Even with the issues, I intend to exchange them until I get a pair that is satisfactory. If this begins to be the norm rather than the exception, and other lines are affected as well, then I will start to question what direction Allen Edmonds, as a company, is wanting to go.

[---9/4/2013 Addendum---]

4th Pair:

Exchanged the 3rd pair (the exchange directly from Allen Edmonds with the Toe-Cap crooked problem) with Amazon and the new pair has none of the above noted problems. No bowing and no crooked toe cap.

Not sure what would cause these 'quality control' problems as the pairs that I received would be fairly ok as seconds even though the bowing really adjusts the look of the shoe. The cost of replacing this many times and at the risk of Allen Edmond's customer base changing their opinion somewhat of the companies' philosophy and quality would certainly not be worth having to go over a shoe for its proper production.

4th time should not be a charm in this case; not with the price and reputation that is behind this shoe.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2011
Got these shoes as a gift from my father-in-law a year ago (in brown). The first day I wore these shoes I walked over a mile continuously on asphalt and didn't have a minute of discomfort.

I've also noticed that these shoes hold their shape and look a lot better than others as they age. My father-in-law has a pair of Park Avenue's that look just as new as mine, and they're about 15 years old. My brother got a pair of Bostonian's the same year I got these and they look like they're about 10 years older than mine.

The tip from my father-in-law that has kept mine in good shape: Use the Premium Shoe Polish, not the wax shoe polish. Their premium polish is oil, not wax, based. This means that you're re-hydrating the leather and keeping it supple every time you polish it.

If you use a wax polish the leather will gradually dry out unless you strip the wax and recondition the leather. Dry leather not only cracks, but easily absorbs liquid, so it's much easier to get a bad stain from salty slush on the side of the road.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2012
UPDATE: I took my shoes into an Allen Edmunds store and they were very helpful. They've taken the shoes back even though I didn't buy it from them and are replacing them with a new pair that should fit me better. Also, they are getting me a pair with their new V-Tread bottoms which are rubber shoes on top of the leather to protect them from excess wear when wearing them every day (on business travel). All-in-all very happy with the customer service. Let's hope the break-in on this new pair goes smoothly!

I'm four business days into breaking in my new pair of Park Avenue's and I've gotta say it's been the most painful break in period I've ever experienced. The crease on one of the shoes digs into the top of my foot and the pain makes it hard to walk (or to think for that matter). I just flipped the shoes over and the leather soles have already started to wear considerably (after only four days) to the point where it's noticeable when looking at the shoe from the front and is has also broken the stiches that hold the leather sole onto the shoe. I may have bought the wrong shape last for my foot, but needless to say I was expecting a lot more after hearing all of the raving about this brand.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2014
Beautiful exterior, but the inner sole did not meet the sidewall of the shoe, leaving a hard inner sole edge along the length of the foot, making it feel as if I was walking on knife blades. These shoes were promptly returned. Shoddy design/construction for such an expensive shoe. I was willing to pay the price for a shoe made in the USA, but not for this pair.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2012
The Allen Edmonds Park Avenue is a classic dress shoe. It's perfect any time you have to wear a suit especially like weddings, funerals, job interviews, etc. The construction is solid with a clean, smooth calf skin upper. Don't expect the leather to soften or stretch very much (so make sure they fit correctly when you try them on). The Park Avenues fit true to size on me, but the shape of your foot may not be the same. Start with the Allen Edmonds fit guide which you can download from their website. Used correctly, the fit guide will give you a good starting point. There is no substitute for trying on a few different sizes of the shoe you want to buy, especially if it is your first pair of Allen Edmonds.

$300+ for dress shoes may seem expensive, but Allen Edmonds is a great value for the quality and style of shoe they offer. The full 360 Goodyear welt makes the shoe recraftable. For about $100 Allen Edmonds will resole and refinish the upper extending the life of your shoes. With the proper care, you can maintain them for ten years or more. Alden, the other American dress shoe, is typically more expensive at $400+ for the same style shoes. Recrafting at Alden runs about $160. So Allen Edmonds offers great quality at a more affordable price point. Shoes by John Lobb start at about $1200. Other makers like Crockett & Jones and JM Weston can only be found in New York City. Even Alden has a limited number of retailers. With Allen Edmonds, you can walk into any Nordstrom and try on a pair.

Allen Edmonds also stands behind their product. If the new shoes you receive aren't up to standard, send them back for a new pair. If you've been wearing a pair for a few weeks and find a defect, Allen Edmonds will fix it or replace it. I've never bought any product from shoes to TV sets that didn't occasionally come out as a lemon. The real question is what does the retailer or manufacturer do about it.

It took me several tries to find the right fit between Nordstrom, Amazon, and the Allen Edmonds store. I never had a hassle trying on or returning shoes that didn't fit or that didn't meet my standards for quality. But I did have to be patient. In the end, I have a great pair of dress shoes that help make me look good when I go to work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2014
The Good:
The shoes feel and look well-built.
They are very comfortable and form fitting.

The Bad:
Quality control issues.
First pair of Park Avenues I ordered had a bulge that many other reviewers have mentioned:
[...]
[...]

The Ugly:
Quality control issues x2.
Second pair of Park Avenues in exchange had excess sole underneath the left shoe. It feels awkward walking in them compared to the right shoe:
[...]
This is what it should look like:
[...] (ugly pair to the left)

I'm not sure what's going on. My Strands were perfect on the first order. I'm convinced that AE or Amazon is selling seconds as firsts.

Thinking about getting these? Don't, go IN STORE and get them instead so you can thoroughly check the shoes for flaws before purchasing them. if I'm paying $300+ for shoes, QC is the last thing that should be a problem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2014
Once broke in, these shoes are really comfortable. The shoe feels good to walk in; the quality of the materials is apparent when looking at them and while walking in them. This is my second part of Allen Edmond shoes. The other pair that I own is marked as the same size but seems to be a bit skinnier so I think the size might vary slightly in the different styles. These shoes do cost a little more but they will last a long time and you can have them resoled when they start to wear out. If you get a cedar shoetree, they will keep their shape nicely while sitting unused and smell good the next time you grab them.
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