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).

Where to buy it?  Whatever you do, don't pay the 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, 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.

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