Questions about AE Randolph (shell)...

Doctor Damage

Connoisseur
5,721
Canada
Ontario
Toronto
I finally saw a pair of these in Toronto a few weeks ago and I was impressed. The AE shell cordovan seems to have a stronger brown shade than the Alden/BB shell, and the leather used for the soles appears to be better than what AE uses on their calfskin shoes.




However, I know from Patrick and from watching eBay that Randolphs in shell sometimes split or tear at the side of the strap (as in the photos below):





I know some of you guys own this shoe and hopefully you can comment on this issue. Does it happen often? Has it happened to anyone here? Any other issues with this shoe (i.e. comfort, etc.)?

Thanks!
 

babycatcher

Senior Member
643
I really hated this shoe. The soles felt like wood blocks to me, and sounded like I was wearing Dutch clogs. Also, the heels on both shoes did not present a flat surface (the rubber inserts were set unevenly) so they were very loud, and very slippery (as only one small area would make contact with the ground). I have been told that the heel issue is common for AE.

These were my first shell shoes, and they were almost my last. They were my last pair of AEs though, and that probably will never change. I have a couple of other calf AEs, but they don't get worn.
 

Cowtown

Senior Member
987
United States
Texas
Fort Worth
I cannot speak to the shell issues, but I have been very happy with my calf Randolphs. I find them quite comfortable and they have held up well so far.
 

bigCat

Honors Member
3,265
United States
New Hampshire
Hampton
I have both black and #8 Randolphs - both seconds. I am a bit surprised to see that sort of a tear. The stitching cam come undone (and it happened on my Alden LHS) - but that is an easy fix.

I am not a fan of black shell, and Randolphs take second fiddle to Alden LHS - so they do not get much use - but so far so good.

The soles and heels are different (better materials) from AE calf offerings, but some issues may arise due to smaller runs with different materials. Still, if the heel is not flat - that's a second quality shoe (at best). My seconds do not have those issues.
 

Crownship

Senior Member
998
I own 2 pairs, suede and burgundy shell cordovan.
Both are very comfortable.
I've seen a few shell Randolphs on ebay with that tear on the strap. Either the shoes were too tight and/or the previous wearer
had too high of an instep for the shoes.

The way AE sews the strap to the body of the shoe can put too much stress in that area and tear the strap if the shoe is too tight across the instep.
I can't recommend what I did when I first bought my shoes. But I "relieved" a few of the stitches that attached the strap to the body. I knew this model could tear from pictures I had seen. I don't have a high instep and my shoes aren't tight but I didn't want to take that risk that they could tear.
So my shoes don't have that "stress" issue that you've seen. I only did it on my shell loafers. The suede Randolphs are sewn differently across the strap.

All Allen Edmonds shell shoes get the better J. Rendenbach (J.R)soles and heels.
 

rebel222

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
198
I can't comment on the Randolph, but I recently picked up some AE Bradleys in Shell. I swear they are brown. No hint of red in the color. I ordered them expecting burgundy, but I was surprised to get a brown shell shoe. Decided to keep them b/c my brown shell collection is limited compared to the burgundy.
 

Carolopolis

New Member
62
I have the Randolph in brown shell, have had it for about 2 years now, and not had any tearing problems. Nor do I have issues with the fit or comfort of the shoes that some other members are reporting. A great shoe, IMO.
 

Doctor Damage

Connoisseur
5,721
Canada
Ontario
Toronto
Thanks, everyone! You've all posted really useful comments and observations. I have a high instep, so I suspect these might not work for me, but I will try them on when next in Toronto.
 

Doctor Damage

Connoisseur
5,721
Canada
Ontario
Toronto
Does anyone have any more experience with these shoes in calfskin?
Has the calf version ever split on anyone (like the shell sometimes does)?
 

At Law

Senior Member
565
United States
Nebraska
Omaha
Does anyone have any more experience with these shoes in calfskin?
Has the calf version ever split on anyone (like the shell sometimes does)?
I have the Randolphs in shell. I am wearing them today.

I bought them about a year ago and have worn them fairly frequently.

They are a little big, however, they have not split anywhere and
have held up quite well.

I still like the look of the Polo Darlton better--however, they just don't fit me.