Free Wheeling: Allen Edmonds’ Independence Collection

Allen Edmonds has just unveiled a new collection of higher-end shoes priced at $445. Dubbed the Independence Collection, with models named for signers of the Declaration of Independence, the shoes feature a sole detail called wheeling (pictured above) that had remained locked in the archives, unused, for the past 30 years.

Pictured below is an updated longwing called the Williams (seen here in dark brown) that’s a fine alternative to Tradsville favorite the MacNeil, which comes in walnut and burgundy but not chocolate brown.

And here is a video that explains the wheeling detail along with other details about the collection. — CC

17 Comments on "Free Wheeling: Allen Edmonds’ Independence Collection"

  1. I almost like most of those, but they tend to suffer from the same inelegant styling as most of the AE line. I do think that longwing is an improvement on the McNeil but other than that, meh.

  2. Michael Mattis | November 19, 2011 at 11:41 am |

    Tea Party wingtips?

  3. I realize that a rush to negative judgment is the default reaction in the online menswear world, but you might want to wait until you’ve seen the shoes in person before you form an opinion.

  4. Criticizing AE for being too chunky or American would be like criticizing Gaziano and Girling for being too sleek or European. It’s what they do.

  5. +1 with Christian and Zach.

    Especially w/ guys like AE we own them the respect to check them out live. Really all we have for shoes in American Trad is AE and Alden, and I respect that AE at least has sales and promos, that has allowed me, a student, to obtain two pairs of quality, professional, made in the USA footwear without breaking the bank. I am so thrilled with how much more AE is returning to classics the past two years, and this collection and the awesome “wheeling” shows that. Great job AE!

  6. NaturalShoulder | November 20, 2011 at 7:36 pm |

    The Independence line looks very promising. I am eager to check out at Allen-Edmonds.

  7. Which part of that design is the “wheeling?”

  8. matthew langley | November 21, 2011 at 7:54 am |

    Wheeling is not exclusive to AE – in fact a few shoe companies have never stopped doing it. It’s hardly a feature, and barely worth noting in a line of shoes that deserve better dialog about what they are. Instead we talk about wheeling.

    I’d be curious to know why these are more expensive. Better leather? more finish? It can’t really be the wheeling…

  9. matthew langley | November 21, 2011 at 7:56 am |

    please ignore my last post.

  10. REALLY NICE SHOES! But at $ 445, WOW! I’ve worn exclusively some version of the dress Rockports since they came out in the 80’s for both business dress and casual. Not exactly the look of the CEO, but walking shoe comfort is the key. I doubt whether the AE’s would be anywhere near as comfortable. Plus, when on sale, under $100 is infinitely more comforting when schlepping around snowy and slushy winter city streets. The road and sidewalk salt will destroy any leather, let alone fine, fine leather like AE.

    Years ago, when I wore Florsheim ( 1970’s and 80’s) dress shoes with leather soles, those soles would have holes in them in no time, winter or summer. No matter how often you polished them, the leather scuffed and cut. If I was a young fellow, I’d probably buy a pair of AE’s, but the value is more intrinsic than anything. Like a Rolex or Mont Blanc fountain pen. Not really worth the money. Cheers!

  11. Michael Mattis | November 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm |

    No complaint with the shoes, Chenners. I just thought the naming curious. Reminds me of GAP’s “[So-and-so] wore khakis” campaign: “Thomas Jefferson wore Allen Edmonds’ longtips….”

  12. I’d say Matthew brings a good point, if wheeling is not the deciding factor of the price, then what is it? Better leather? Does it suggest the shoes made before Independence collection are not so selective on the choice of leather?

  13. You guys who want to know what justifies the higher price point might want to watch the video I took the trouble to embed.

  14. I remember going to AE tent sale with my father when I was young – it was like a club. Everyone knew everybody else. No man would dare let the year pass without stopping by. My father couldn’t look at shoes for longer than three seconds without greeting someone he knew, “Hey Bob,” “Good to see you again Jim,” “Well, Joe – you’re here too!”

    In case you’re wondering, the tent sale happens every year north of Milwaukee near the AE factory.

    Go Packers. Go Badgers.


  16. We used to call them welts in the military and were on many of my old model combat boots.

  17. I just picked up a pair of Williams factory seconds! Looking forward to wearing them.

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