Patriot Games: Allen Edmonds’ Loafer Shuffle


You may have heard rumors that Allen Edmonds is discontinuing one of its penny loafers, and last night the company confirmed that indeed the Patriot model is being retired. Via email, a company spokesperson offered this very simple explanation: “The Patriot isn’t selling as well as some of our other pennies, so we’re going to drop it.”

Do not fear the end is near, but the spokesperson went on to say that the company wanted to focus on more contemporary takes on the penny loafer, such as the Ascher, Lake Forest and Randolph models.

However, the Cavanaugh model remains as AE’s traditional penny loafer option. While the Patriot comes in a $385 calf version as well as $650 shell cordovan option (pictured above), the $275 Cavanaugh is available in calf only.





I asked AE to spell out the differences in the shoes, and here’s what they sent:

  • Currently available in Black Custom Calf, Brown Burnished Calf, Walnut Burnished Calf, Oxblood Calf, Navy Suede and Stone Suede
  • Leather sole men’s slip-on loafer dress shoes
  • Moc-toe pinch penny loafers
  • Lined premium calfskin leather or suede leather upper
  • Single oak leather sole with regular heel
  • Handsewn construction (learn about our 212 steps of Craftsmanship)
  • Manufactured on the Handsewn 114 Last (learn all about lasts)
    • Semi-round toe handsewn last with a slightly shorter vamp; fuller across the ball of the foot. 
    • These styles are also built on this last:
      • Lowry Hill
      • Maxfield
      • Nashua
      • Stowe
      • Walden
      • Woodstock
  • This shoe is eligible for our full Recrafting service (learn about Allen Edmonds legendary shoe Recrafting)
  • Proudly made in the USA at our Port Washington, Wisconsin factory
  • Currently available in Black Custom Calf, Brown Burnished Calf, Burgundy Calf, as well as Black, Brown or Burgundy Shell Cordovan.
  • Leather sole men’s slip-on loafer dress shoes
  • Moc-toe penny loafer with hand stitch vamp
  • Lined premium calfskin leather upper
  • Single leather sole with regular heel
  • 360 degree Goodyear welted construction (learn about our 212 steps of Craftsmanship)
  • Manufactured on the welted 606 Last (learn all about lasts)
    • This is built on the 606 last, which has a broad, flat toe providing a roomier forepart. The instep transition and cone rise is farther back than a typical Allen Edmonds last.
    • These styles are also built on this last:
      • The Asher 
      • Hyde Street
  • This shoe is eligible for our full Recrafting service (learn about Allen Edmonds legendary shoe Recrafting)
  • Proudly made in the USA at our Port Washington, Wisconsin factory

Note the last part. While for years the penny loafer’s originator has been manufacturing offshore (save for recent special editions), Allen Edmonds makes everthing right here in America. The Patriot model may be retiring, but shoemaking patriotism is alive and well. — CC

22 Comments on "Patriot Games: Allen Edmonds’ Loafer Shuffle"

  1. AE doesn’t make all of their shoes in the US, the secondary lines have been outsourced to the Dominican.

  2. Still a vast majority (all the main line models) are made here though, which is a great thing at the price point.

  3. “spokesperson went on to say that the company wanted to focus on more contemporary takes on the penny loafer, such as the Ascher, Lake Forest and Randolph models…” Yuk!

    Seems to me A-E must not have had much success with Ivy-friendly styles so is moving in other directions.

    I’m not normally a fan of beef roll penny loafers, but a few years back I scored a pair of Allen Edmonds beef roll loafer (can’t remember what it was called) that is derived from their Nashua Tassel (and Kiltie!) loafer but with a traditional penny vamp in place of the tassel/kiltie. Yes, it has a non-classic rubber sole but IMO it is a great U.S.-made, true moccasin casual loafer that is better than anything A-E currently offers. Very comfortable as well.

  4. Charlottesville | September 2, 2015 at 4:17 pm |

    I bought a pair of Patriots within the past few months, and have found them to be very well made and comfortable after a short break-in period, as has been the case with my other A-E shoes. No surprises there. However, I had to go up a half size from all of my other shoes, including A-E lace-ups and Brooks and other loafers. If the close-out brings a significant price drop on the shell cordovans, I hope to pick up a pair, which should see me through for the rest of my days. If not, hopefully Alden will continue making its traditional model in the USA.

  5. Bags' Groove | September 2, 2015 at 5:14 pm |

    @ Mazama
    I cannot see how the Randolph is more “contemporary take” than the Patriot, their “best fitting penny loafer ever”. The only obvious difference I can see is the shape of the hand stitching on the vamp, with the Randolph’s slimmer and more elegant. But perhaps that’s what “contemporary” means in AE speak. Seems a shame to be doing away with either of these “classics”, which are still the best looking of all pennies in this old loafer’s humble opinion…..though in brown suede, of course. So they need to be Alden or C & J or AS, to name but a few worthy suede “classics”.

  6. Thankfully I was, and always be, an Alden guy.

  7. Roy R. Platt | September 2, 2015 at 8:56 pm |

    I have a pair of Allen-Edmonds Flagstaff penny loafers, which are made in the Dominican Republic, have Vibram soles, and have pennies in them, although, adjusted for inflation, I should probably put $2.50 gold coins in them.

    I don’t see any difference between Allen-Edmonds shoes made in the USA or made in the Dominican Republic, except that the Dominican made shoes cost slightly less.

  8. The Patriot was one of only loafers available to approximate the look of the original Bass Weejun with its distinctive half-moon slit (flat side down, round side up). This leaves the Alden (and Alden-for-Brooks) LHS, some models of the Bass Weejun itself and . . . not a lot else that I’m aware of.

    To me, the shape of the “penny slot” on the Cavanaugh–although perhaps just as classic, and perhaps even more authentically “Norwegian”–is just not as attractive.

  9. Robert, I agree with you completely. It’s a shame, as the Patriot was a pretty good value compared to the Alden 984.

  10. Whenever a weird coincidence happens I always think they’re just a little too weirdly coincidental. Is somebody up there toying with us?

    Tonight I log on to Netflix tonight and what comes up as a suggestion for me but “The Patriot.” Revolutionary War tale with Mel Gibson. Never saw it. Taking a halftime break now.

    Thank you, England, for giving us the King’s English, as well as a model for many of our laws and customs, jurisprudence etc., that form the foundation of our nation. Western hemisphere countries founded by Spain have not fared as well. Thank you too for the many sartorial ingredients we have cooked with our own recipes.

    Sorry we had to kick you out long ago (long ago according to OUR timeline) and glad we’re chums now.

  11. Bags' Groove | September 3, 2015 at 3:08 am |

    Nicely said Christian. This is one Englishman who has always believed that England’s relationship with the United States is an unbreakable one. A special relationship it undoubtedly is.

  12. Pure Ivy is a hard sell, because it goes counter to the rest of fashion advertising — a loafer built on a clunky last is honest to its ready-to-wear roots.

    Most male fashion advertising holds up the English or Italian gentleman as the pinnacle of style now, and “as everybody knows”, their clothes are custom-made.

    Selling the look of the “American Egalitarian” requires more effort, because most people aren’t exposed anymore to the giddy man-on-the-moon, prosperity-for-all, better-living-through-chemistry, a-dishwasher-in-every-kitchen and a-tweed-jacket-in-every-closet modernism that infused a lot of the stuff in the pre-Ralph era; the stuff that made “off-the-rack” a point of pride, something to flaunt in the face of stuffy Europeans. (The “American Egalitarian” as depicted in Tom Wolfe’s “Mid-Atlantic Man”, basically.)

  13. Bass is good enough. I get mine at the Bass Factory Store.

  14. I have a pair of the Cavanaugh loafers. I bought them early this year and so far I really like them.

  15. I also have a pair of the Cavanaugh loafers. When I first slipped them on, they were so tight in the toe box that I almost returned them. They were fine after a couple of wears though, and are now a part of the regular rotation.

    On another note, as that rarest of creatures — an actual English-American — I too am thankful for all that the old mother country has given us, from the language to our conception of natural rights to the Book of Common Prayer. But I’m completely okay with not having the queen on our currency.

  16. Commodore Doc | September 3, 2015 at 10:40 pm |

    Am I the only one who was disappointed by the Patriots? I have a pair in Burgundy Calf and they are, by far, the least comfortable pair of AE I own. They feel as if they have no cork in the insole (they haven’t broken in at all), and I’m fairly certain the leather is not whole grain – they are not wearing well at all and have that plastic feeling of most modern dress shoes. It’s a shame, as they are the best-fitting (for me) pair of “traditional” penny loafers in AE’s catalog. I won’t be sad to see these go, at least if all of them are as poorly-made as my pair.

    I’ll be buying another pair of Alden LHS next time. Well worth the extra money, in my opinion.

  17. Browsing O’Connell’s yesterday, I noticed they no longer sell Alden shoes. They’ve switched to Allen Edmonds, and the Patriot model is still available there.

  18. Surprising the Patriot is being discontinued so fast after its much celebrated and publicized launch.

    I think there are just not that many people in the real world who care about the classic ivy details to pay that much for a loafer.

    My guess is that the typical person who is willing to pay $300 for a loafer wants something a little “different” in hopes of showing that they spent the money.

  19. Does anyone have any experience with Allen Edmond’s clothing? If the quality of its shoes is any indicator, it seems as though their clothing should be fantastic. Still, even with their more traditional offerings, I’m hesitant to swim the uncharted waters. I’m not sure if this question warrants a post – but any info would help.

  20. @JDD,

    I haven’t bought any, but I have handled them and tried them on. I’d say the quality seems above average.

  21. @EMJ

    It is all made in USA – without the domestic price tag. The jackets have (for the most part) excellent natural shoulders with reasonable lapels and lengths.

  22. I am sure they have a reasonable return policy from their website. Give it a gander.

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