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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Looking for a 2nd or backup pair of shoes when I want to rest my AEs (every other day), etc.

These are all under $130 (perhaps even cheaper online or ebay) or so and seem like decent deals. Do you find anything particularly good or bad about them? Anything I should know about the brand? I know they're not Alden or Lobb, but they seem decent for the money. Some have leather soles, and claim to be made in Italy?

Thanks again, guys!! ;-)

Whately



Freemont



Akron

 

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I've tried that approach -- buying a cheaper pair of shoes as a 'second pair' but I'm always disappointed in that they are not as comfortable.

I don't have any recent experience with Bostonians, but in the past found them relatively uncomfortable and clearly less expensive than AE's for a good reason.

If you fit into AE's well, my recommendation is to wait for a sale and pick up a pair you'll really enjoy owning.
 

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You might check with the AE factory store network to see if they have any seconds or discontinued styles that would fit your needs. During the recent sale I picked up two pair of AE's for a total coast of $319, which averages out to 159.50 per pair...less than $29 more than the price you are willing to pay for Bostonians!
 

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+1 for another pair of AE. In fact if you are size 10.5 in AE Asthon I may have nearly brand new shoes to sell you for $129. In any case if you know your AE sizing call shoe bank you should be able to find something there for 129. Even if it is little bit more expensive it worth buying as those shoes will last lot longer than bostonians.
 

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If you really like your AEs, they fit well, and they are comfortable, you might be best off just buying another pair. It's a sure-thing, whereas other brands/other lasts are a gamble. You might find that you save a few bucks upfront, but you don't end up wearing the shoes much because they aren't as comfortable as your AEs. I've gone through a lot of shoes that don't quite fit myself, so when I find something that fits right I tend to stick with it. Sometimes problems don't show up right away, and only after a few weeks of wear do you realize that they aren't quite as good as your other shoes. Then you just wasted your money.
 

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I have a pair of the ones at the bottom and I'd say they're a good backup pair of shoes. They've grown more comfortable the more I've worn them and are about as sturdy as you'd expect shoes in that price range to be -- I recently had new heels put on and I'm starting to wear a spot in the sole. The leather scuffs fairly easily and doesn't hold a polish as well as my other shoes, but if you polish your shoes at least weekly you'll be OK.
 

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Stylistically, those are all fine. I'm betting that they are corrected grain leather, and as such will have a crummy finish that ages poorly.

I have a ~13 year old pair of Bostonians that were in that price range (not counting inflation). They are comfortable and decently durable, but the leather is a disappointment next to AE.
 

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In 1999-2000 I bought a pair of Bostonians top of the line shoes, Crown Windsor black cap-toes and paid apx $130.
This was right before I owned a pair of Allen Edmonds.
The other better quality shoes I owned before the Bostonians were a pair of Johnston Murphy Optima burgundy cap-toes which I still own.

I had a little knowledge of what made a decent shoe but not alot.
I wanted calfskin not knowing really how to tell at that time.
The Bostonian salesman told me the Crown Windsors were calfskin.
They were comfortable with a cushioned insole but squeeked like crazy.

I was going up some carpeted stairs and took the liberty to rub my toe cap on the stair to remove a scuff. Low and behold something funky happened.
That nice shine rubbed off permanently.
What I found out was that Bostonian put a finish on their Crown Windsors simillar to lacquer. I brought the shoes back to a different store and the sales clerk looked shocked at how the finish rubbed off.
He gave me a new pair and said they were calfskin. And not knowing how to tell I believed them.

Many months later and having owned a pair of Allen Edmonds I finally new what quality calfskin shoes were.
I went to a Bostonian shoe store checking out their product and asking a different salesman about the Crown Windsors.
He said the Crown Windsors are not calf.

The pair I had were made in India. Bostonians best.

I didn't wear them that often because my Allen Edmonds wardrobe steadily started growing. So I gave the Bostonians to my dad who enjoys them.


Short story long, stick to Allen Edmonds.
 

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I own the 3rd pair (in black). $40 at the Clarks/Bostonian outlet. The leather looks somewhat cheap and 'plastic-like', which is to be expected that price range. My biggest beef with them is some 'wrinkling' that has developed where the upper meets the sole.

Upon request I will post a picture of what they look like after approximately 40 wears.

I find them very comfortable - even moreso than any of my 6 pairs of AEs. I am probably an outlier in that respect because my orthotics are not very conducive to AEs. For $40 I would buy them again. Maybe even $50.

Personally I do not care for wing-tip bluchers but all three pairs are clasically styled in my opinion. As for the execution of the style, they're not nearly as 'elegant' as AEs (which apparently aren't even generally considered to be particularly elegant among shoe afficianados).
 

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As Crownship said, I've worn out a pair (or two) of Bostonians but, after experiencing AEs' and Aldens' shoes/boots, I have not purchased any additional Bostonians...not a terrible shoe, for sure, but, they do not wear like a pair of AE's!
 

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I have worn everything from Rockport to Bostonian, Florsheim, Johnston & Murphy.My conclusion is that Allen Edmonds are now the cheapest that I will buy. In my experience, everything cheaper than Allen Edmonds, unless it is vintage, is a risk, at least in the USA.
 

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WHEN DID THEY GO OFF SHORE?

Gentlemen!

1. I have two pairs of Bostonians that I haven't really had in rotation that are both clearly still marked "Made in USA". Does anyone know when they moved their production off shore or if some lines are stil produced in the US of A?

2. These shoes (black cap toes and burgundy wing tips, if anyone is keeping score) are at least a dozen years old, but are in great shape - just never got much use. Material quality may not be quite up to AE standards, but the construction appears quite good and they look fine.

The Captain
 

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I like to look at shoe purchases this way: Cost Per Wear, or CPW. The cheapies may fill the void for a short time BUT they rarely be as nice as a more expensive pair, will not last as long and may even fall apart. That said, they are a false value in my humble opinion.

My advice is to shop online for a set of AEs or similar and forget the "deal" of the week.

p.s. I notice your name SPEEDMASTER and must say they are my favorite watches...here are mine: https://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h239/Chris_69_SS/watches/DSC_0099.jpg
 

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The second ones actually look really nice. Something you could wear on a casual Friday perhaps. I don't think you need to spend $300+ on a pair of shoes to look good, although AE's are certainly worth the price.
I've them in black and brown. The only problem I have is that I managed to buy the brown pair a 1/2 size too large and they have become a bit creased. Other than that, I like them. I've worn Clarks since I was 5 year old :aportnoy:
 
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