Three photographs of my recently purchased (at a steal) Allen Edmonds 'Schautal' oxfords in tan suede.
Besides thrift/charity shops, it pays to frequent sites like Etsy or Ebay when a man builds a classic wardrobe. A week ago, I happened onto these Allen Edmonds 'Schautal' brogues (that's 'wingtips' to those of us on the North American side of the pond) in my size on Ebay and at a mere fraction of the suggested retail price. Apparently, these were a display model in a shoe or department store somewhere, and as far as I could tell from the photographs were never even tried on by a potential buyer.
Here is what I learned about the shoe via Ask Andy About Clothes:
Just got the scoop from Brenda at AE and she was very helpful.
She said she has been with AE for over 20 years and she has never heard of the Schautal. She had to do some digging on her computer to find it and you won't find it on the AE web site.
The Schautal is made only for the Nordstrom Rack and it was introduced in October 2012. It is not a factory second nor is it made in an inferior manner.
It is definitely made in USA from first quality materials. Essentially it is a suede leather MacNeil, double oak sole, etc. on a 97 last (same as #7).
On these she said the final number in the style "5603" does not mean the specific last anymore. She said there are too many lasts now so AE went to double digit numbers to specify the last.
A very nice shoe!
Just the kind of insight I needed. So, a few clicks later, and these babies were on their way to my front door. Well, they arrived yesterday, and had I not woken up with a nasty cold and fever this morning, I would have worn them to campus today along with some charcoal gray flannel pants, a Harris Tweed jacket, a blue-white striped ocbd shirt, and a dark red Italian hand-printed wool challis necktie with tiny gray and orange paisleys. Isn't that always the way?
Two things occur to me about these shoes though. Strictly speaking, this shoe type was originally meant for heavy use in rural environs, and the broguing (Sp?) was intended to aid water drainage and drying out. Obviously, suede shoes are a move away from that. Clearly not what you wear to tramp around boggy moors shooting quail and pheasant, outrun American werewolves, or to pursue the evil and cunning Professor Moriarty.
Second, I'll change the lacing to a less formal style before wearing these since brogues/wingtips are somewhat more casual shoes than, say, plain black captoe oxfords on which this particular method of lacing is more appropriate. But I suppose that is splitting hairs to lots of people. Only other men's dress shoe nerds will notice.
In any case, I cannot wait to wear these and break them in. Of course, rain is predicted for the rest of this week in our neck of the woods, so that will have to wait until next Monday, at the earliest. Sigh.