Men's Clothing Forums banner
1 - 20 of 89 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,366 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Does anyone here own both the alden longwing and the AE macneil? Have these two iconic shoes been ever compared on AAAC? If you were to buy just one shoe amongst these two, which one would it be?

I have been patiently waiting to buy a pair of alden longwings (in #8 shell cordovan) and I have been cheating (so to say) by looking at other shoes - espicially C&J darltons (for ralph lauren) and the AE Macneils. I will definitely be getting the darltons someday (can't resist that color!) and I want to decide if the AE MacNeils are worth a shot too. CrownShip has posted plenty of awesome photos on this model, but it is hard to compare them with the alden longwing from say mac, because the sizes are different.

I own 3 shoes on the barrie last and I love the shape, but I am not sure how the AE macneils look. If someone owns both pairs, I'd love to see a pic of these two shoes side by side.

I'd request not to make this a AE vs Alden arguement thread ... I am more interested in the stylistic differences in external apprearance between these models than the "shank vs no shank" and similiar construction differences between AE and Alden :)

Long live longwings!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
I own both: whiskey shell longwings and pebbled macneils. Almost bought a pair of *8 macneils at the annual sale. If you like the barrie last fit and shape, you'll probably be disappointed by the macneils. Very comfortable as well, but a much different look. LIke the old Florsheim Royal Imperial pebbleds, they come to more of a point though they are quite wide through the ball of the foot. the look is well represented in many of crownships photos. My barries are much rounder, flatter (not nearly as much volume in the toe box, so strangely sleeker) and wider fendered. unlikely i will be able to take side by side photos for you but i think you should wait for your aldens. OTOH, there are those for whom the Macneil has no peer. suspect that is a fit issue. I cheated, bought the macneils first, went to the aldens and now rarely wear the macneils. nuff said
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,366 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
^ That is exactly what I wanted to hear. Thank you very much!

I am a big fan of the barrie last and the shape - I dislike shoes with pointed toes that is one of the reasons why I don't like the aberdeen last. If the AEs are distintcly pointed than the alden 975, then I will simply wait and get the alden longwings later on.

It would still be awesome to see the pics of both shoes for reference though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
780 Posts
I only own Alden 975's in #8. For me the Alden has a slightly better overall aesthetic appeal, with a more rounded toe. I think this gives it a slightly more casual look. That coupled with the fact that I have experienced better shell characteristics with Alden vs. AE, lead me to choose the Alden. That said, I have been on the lookout for a pair of black shell longwings, and Macneils would certainly fit the bill if I find a pair at the right price. It's really just a matter of preference, both are great shoes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
998 Posts
I can guarantee my shoes aren't at war on my shoe shelves.
My MacNeils and Alden long wings are living in perfect harmony.

That being said. I do have several pairs of each. If you want photos of them side by side I'll charge a small fee and send you the payment info.
All you have to do is ask.
 

·
Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Joined
·
37,088 Posts
I own both: whiskey shell longwings and pebbled macneils. Almost bought a pair of *8 macneils at the annual sale. If you like the barrie last fit and shape, you'll probably be disappointed by the macneils. Very comfortable as well, but a much different look. LIke the old Florsheim Royal Imperial pebbleds, they come to more of a point though they are quite wide through the ball of the foot. the look is well represented in many of crownships photos. My barries are much rounder, flatter (not nearly as much volume in the toe box, so strangely sleeker) and wider fendered. unlikely i will be able to take side by side photos for you but i think you should wait for your aldens. OTOH, there are those for whom the Macneil has no peer. suspect that is a fit issue. I cheated, bought the macneils first, went to the aldens and now rarely wear the macneils. nuff said
dport86's experience very closely echos mine with the AE MacNeil vs Alden's long wings, though our conclusions regarding toe box designs might be quite different. The wider (and, I think, more voluminous) toe box of the Alden's allows considerably more wiggle room for the toes and that results in the Alden's seeming somewhat more comfortable to me. With both the AE and Alden models in #8 shell, this difference in design resulted in my #8 MacNeils being passed on to my son-in-law. Although, I'm not sure how that reconciles with the three pair of calfskin MacNeils still in my shoe rotation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
437 Posts
Full disclosure: With nine pairs and counting, I am an Alden guy through and through, particularly the shells. I also own four pairs of AEs and like them a lot, but I feel they are a distinct step down in quality, workmanship, and overall coolness compared with my Aldens.

With one exception: my color 8 shell MacNeil longwings, which, as it happens, I'm wearing at the moment. Hands-down my favorite AEs. Never wear them with a suit, though -- jeans and odd trousers only. The fit is extraordinary, the reddish oxblood color of the shell is perfection, and the thick double sole seems impervious to whatever elements the Northeast can dish out. Alden's LHS remains my favorite jean shoe, but the MacNeils are a close second.

I tried on both Alden's and AEs longwings in shell when I was looking for a pair, but felt the Aldens were too roomy in the toe box when sized correctly, too tight when sized 1/2 down. I also prefer the narrower profile of the MacNeil, at least on my feet and with jeans/khakis etc. I may get stoned for saying this, but I thought the Aldens looked a bit goofy on me -- to my eyes, the fuller, more rounded toe seems even moreso with all that brogue throwing down.

Both are beautiful shoes, but I prefer the AEs. Like all good shells, they get better and better and require very little maintenance to look amazing. I came late to the longwing party having dismissed the genre as an old man's shoe, but I am definitely making up for lost time -- I spend more time in my MacNeils than my other 3 prs of AEs combined.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
+1 for do what fits your fit. If your toes feel a little scrunched in the MacNeils, chances are the Aldens will feel great. If the Aldens make your toes feel like they are lost in space, the Macneils will probably fit you better. Both great shoes. I agree that today the Aldens feel slightly more solid and better finished. I've seen pictures of vintage macneils that make them look as solid as the old florsheims, which might be the toughest and strongest of all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,182 Posts
Fashion is highly subjective. That being said I don't think there's another aspect in the fashion world that's more subjective than shoes.

In this realm not only is beauty in the eye of the beholder, but also quality. (I think the Trad forum has been down this road before)

Since we're on such a highly subjective subject I'll venture another subjective view. I think a majority of the regulars here in the Trad forum are far too biased in favor of Alden shoes,...

Don't get me wrong I just purchased my 13th, 14th, and 15th pair of Aldens from "cbird." (one heck of a nice fellow with some high end tastes in shoes) And I have another pair on order from Tom Park at Leather Soul.

Since this is the war of the long wings rather than between Allen Edmonds and Alden as shoemakers I think it's a bit easier. (although still quite subjective)

I do own both the Alden 975 which I purchased at the full retail price of $572.-. My Allen Edmonds MacNeils were free as a result of them being the 12th pair of shoes I purchased in a now defunct program they offered. (although the retail price on Shoemart.com is $475.-)

Although the Aldens go for about a hundred bucks more than the Allen Edmonds I would pay a hundred bucks more for the MacNeils. I'm not saying the Allen Edmonds are as good as the Aldens, I'm saying they're better. (might as well have my subjective two cents as well as the next guy right?)

I feel the same way about my burgundy Shell AE Bradley's at $525.- verses my $605.- Alden 2210. (the Bradley has been discontinued so buy them now if you want them)

That being said overall I like Alden's styles much better than those now being offered by Allen Edmonds. I just think Allen Edmonds is going too far fashion forward for my tastes.

I know that was quite a bit more then my two cents worth.

Best wishes,
Bill Woodward
Portland, Oregon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
643 Posts
Here are some Alden's, sadly no AE's, but a few of these are a little different:



Brown Calf


Brown Suede


#8 Shell


Black shell (not worn much)


Whiskey shell from Rider Boot Co.

Somebody point me in the direction of cigar and revello please!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,182 Posts
You wear all of them very nicely.:icon_smile_wink:

I'd be interested in knowing the story behind the whiskey shells by the Rider boot company.

When did they offer them? How long have you had them? (etc.)

Thanks for the images.

Bill Woodward
Portland, Oregon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
998 Posts
Alden and Allen Edmonds Long Wingtip Comparison

I posted alot of pictures so you can see the differences at a variety of angles.

Like it's already been said the Barrie last is big.
My 13ee Aldens on the Barrie last are bigger than my 13eee MacNeils on the #7 last.
For example the Aldens fit more like mittens because of the extra room in the toe. But it's not
sloppy loose.
The MacNeils fit is more like a glove. They're not tight but they hug your feet.
My toes don't have near the wiggle room of the Aldens. In my case it's not uncomfortable. The heels
on the Alden and AEs fit similar. Plenty of room.
The MacNeil and Leeds have what's called Arch Support built into the shoes.
I haven't seen that feature on any other AE models.

My Aldens are heavier shoes by 4-6 oz per shoe. Yes I weighed them. I had to know.
4-6 oz. isn't really that much for me. But that's nearly the weight of one of my house slippers. All
of the Aldens were heavier than the AE MacNeils.
The heaviest were the Alden mahogany shell cordovan.
One Alden mahogany shell shoe weighed 1lb 15oz.
Alden black pebble grain, 1lb 14oz.
Alden brown calf, 1lb 13oz.
MacNeil chili pebble grain, 1lb 11oz extra wide
MacNeil #8 shell, 1lb 11oz wide
The lightest were the MacNeil black shell cordovan 1lb 9oz. extra wide.

Sole widths of the MacNeil chili calf are the same as the Aldens just over 5".
They're also 10+ years older than the black shell MacNeils which have a slightly narrower sole. Of
course that doesn't effect the feel of the shoes and is barely noticeable.

The black shell MacNeils are the newest shoes with the black insoles used in the current AEs.
They have the thinnest double oak soles of the bunch. The other shoes have nearly the same sole thickness.
I don't know if that's the new standard for the MacNeils but the soles are considerably thinner than
the older MacNeils. I took photos of that.
It could be to cut costs or decrease the time you need new soles and return them for a refurb job.

I use both models with the same clothing. I'll usually wear my MacNeils with pants with smaller leg openings. The Aldens look bigger so they can handle wide legged
pants with wide leg openings without ever looking lost.
Now my feet are big and I'm big & tall so none of my gunboats get lost in my pants with wide openings.

That extra room and weight of Aldens gives me the impression I can kick over a semi truck without
stubbing my big toe. Because they feel nearly as roomy as some boots.
Neither model is elegant and I like that. They're like a big luxury sedan vs a sleek sports car.
These are American gunboats, nothing dainty about them.

I can't argue one company against the other. Both are of the highest quality. I wear both models
often and have no complaints.
I don't have any issues with my feet that cause me pain or needs for a specific type of shoe. So I
can't say from experience what shoe is best for a particular foot type.
I like them all and wouldn't trade one brand for the other.
My favorite is the mahogany shell Aldens because they're the rarest.
If my mahogany shells were Allen Edmonds then those would be my favorites.
Regardless of favorites they all get worn.
I like my vintage Florsheim Imperials too.

I hope that helps. Enjoy.

My artillery.



It's a little difficult to see from a photo but the toe box lays flatter on the Allen Edmonds.


Alden on left AE on right.
The Alden tongue edge has pinking, MacNeils have a clean cut.


Shell differences



Not much difference in the length of the shoes.




The lighter color of the chili calf MacNeils makes them look narrower than the shell MacNeils.
They're the same. I did notice that the toe box on the shell MacNeils extends furthur back into the shoes. I don't know if that's on all newer MacNeils or shell models only.


Noticeable difference in the lasts.





Older vs New MacNeil
Big difference in sole thickness.
The older AEs sole is built to go furthur.


Lots of pictures I know, but one or two wouldn't do the shoes justice.

Photos of Florsheims will be extra.

Vintage Florsheim Imperials and MacNeils


The Florsheim toe box is a little bigger than AEs but nothing compared to Aldens.

A bill will be sent.
 
1 - 20 of 89 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top