Monday, June 11, 2012
Dress Smarter: Allen Edmonds - Walnut Strand
Why is it called the Strand? Because if you were stranded on a desert island and had to wear only one pair of dress shoes for the rest of your life, this would be it. Dollar-for-dollar, no other American shoemaker beats Allen Edmonds in quality, and the walnut-color Strand is on its way to joining the Park Avenue as AE's iconic dress shoe.
What's so good about the Strand? Beautiful, top-quality calf (doesn't crease much, takes a gorgeous shine), Goodyear welted, made in the USA, a durable leather sole, and - best of all - it will last you decades because for $100 AE will recraft it to look like new. Plus the Walnut color goes with almost any suit (except solid black).
full $335 retail price. AE's outlets sometimes sell second-quality Strands for $199, and Nordstrom and Amazon usually have new Strands around $200 once a year.
But the best place to score a new pair is at MilExchange.com, where military service members can always buy new Strands direct from AE at $200 a pop (in any color and size) - see screen shot below. Of course, most people aren't in the military and you can't even view the site without a login, so ring up your Army/Navy buddy and have him buy you one. The best thing of all? MilExchange is always running online coupons of at least 10% off - and for February 29 this year, 29% off - meaning that you can get your new Strands for as little as $142 a pair, an amazing value. The Strand runs long and narrow, so a 12E was perfect for my normally 13D feet.