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In a typical year I attend two or three black tie events and it seems foolish for me to continue to rent a tuxedo each time. Currently my quest for the appropriate tuxedo and accessories is to find appropriate shoes for black tie events. I have narrowed my choices down to the Alden 9373 & the Allen-Edmonds Copley

https://www.aldenshoe.com/cat_plaza_9373.htm



The shoe mart has the Alden 9373 for $379 and the Allen-Edmonds Copley for $263.25. Given the frequency of wear I expect these shoes to last many years (if not the rest of my life), so I am not opposed to spending extra to get the best pair of shoes. I had never heard of Alden until joining the forum, but have since purchased a pair of Indy Boots that I love. The Indy Boots purchase has made me eager to purchase some more Aldens. Does anyone have any opinion on what pair I should purchase?

Also if anyone knows of a better deal on either of these shoes, please let me know.
 

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Alden has a breast to breast welt, vs. 360 on AE.

That makes for a smaller heel. And that's a plus for a formal shoe.

Is it worth the price difference? That's up to you.

Shoemart has 10% sales in January.
 

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They're both very nice. I'm partial to Aldens.

As far as the squarish toe; I suppose it depends on how it fits. I wouldn't want a show that sticks out too far beyond the actual end of my foot; too easy to scuff it on something.
 

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Thanks for the responses!

Okay I am going to admit my ignorance here, can anyone explain what the difference between a breast welt vs 360 welt.
^ I'm curious about this as well.

I vote for the AE on this one. The square-ish toe that others have mentioned makes the Alden a touch less elegant to me. I know that Alden are generally regarded as being a slightly sturdier shoe by forumites, and that is an asset for work-a-day shoes, but AE are also tremendously well made and will certainly last forever given the light wear that a formal shoe will receive.
 

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Thanks for the responses!

Okay I am going to admit my ignorance here, can anyone explain what the difference between a breast welt vs 360 welt.
IIRC,

a 360 welt means the welt goes completely around the shoe.

a breast to breast welt goes from the start of the heel around the toe to the start of the other heel, but does not continue around the back of the heel. The heel is pegged or nailed.

360 welts result in a heel that is wider, breast to breast allows for a narrow heel.
 

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I seriously considered both of these shoes when I assembled my black tie rig last winter. I rejected both -- and ultimately deferred the decision, making do with some black derbies :eek: I already owned. Fortunately I was not required to walk across a stage nor dance upon a table in my wildly inappropriate footwear.

For me, a formal shoe should be as simple as possible (without deviating from a historically correct style -- wholecuts would be wrong). Each of these shoes is needlessly busy. The AE has the strip of grosgrain (?) trim at the side seams. The Alden has the semicircular tab at the front of the throat -- a feature that bothers me far more than is reasonable, wherever it appears -- and the serrated tongue edge -- which is fine for brogues but seems wildly out of place on a plain oxford. A further strike against it is that I do not like the Plaza last's toe in plain leather. (I have seen wingtips and suede shoes on the Plaza that I liked.)

This is all very subjective but these are my thoughts. I find Brooks Brothers' English made patent oxford less offensive than either of these, yet not particularly exciting. Maybe pumps are the answer for me.

I've no doubt that these two are both decent shoes, and if you don't share my peculiar concerns, you might be very satisfied with either.
 

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IIRC,

a 360 welt means the welt goes completely around the shoe.

a breast to breast welt goes from the start of the heel around the toe to the start of the other heel, but does not continue around the back of the heel. The heel is pegged or nailed.

360 welts result in a heel that is wider, breast to breast allows for a narrow heel.
Exactly.

I would just like to add that both approaches produce equally durable and repairable shoe - the difference is purely aesthetic, and 360 welt may be a bit cheaper to produce.
 

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I would forgo both referenced options and put a mirror shine on my AE Park Aves, as foot gear for my formal rigs. In fact that's what I've done, and I get a lot more use out of the shoes! Of course, I do formal, perhaps a half dozen times per year. ;)
 

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I have to admit that since I only wear my dinner jacket a couple of times a year, that I didn't invest in either shoe and wear my old Army Corframs......:eek:
I am about the same, so I wear my black Park Aves (sure, not QUITE patent leather but nice with a tux) or, and these are brilliant substitutes, a pair of black whole cute Westgates. Though I always wanted to buy patent leather AEs I just couldn't favor to drop $250-$300 for a pair of shoes I will wear about twice a year.

The substitutes all work well. I don;t think AE makes a smooth whole cut anymore, which is unfortunate.
 
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