Four U.S. presidents wore the Allen Edmonds Park Avenue to their inaugurations. If I am ever elected president, I will, too.
The attention to detail in these American-made, hand-crafted shoes is incredible: A channel in the soles protects the stitches on the bottom of the shoe; counters in the heels ensure the backs will hold their shape. Have you ever been speed walking to a meeting and caught the heel of your shoe in your pants leg? Of course you have; everyone has. Well, you won’t in an Allen Edmonds shoe, because one of the steps in their 212-step manufacturing process is to sand down the inner corner of the heel. THAT is the kind of attention to detail in these babies.
When I first bought my Park Avenues, I’d wear them only on sunny days. I wouldn’t pump gas in them. I thought about laying a handtowel on the floor mat of my car, so as not to scuff the backs. I avoided small children and large dogs. In short, I protected them the same way I would have protected a new pair of heels.
But these aren’t heels.
This point was driven home one night in a most inglorious way a few weeks after I bought them. It was 5:30; I had just picked up child number three; there was nothing for dinner. When there’s nothing for dinner and I don’t want to stop for takeout, my fallback is eggs. Except that night, we were out.
Not to worry. One of the nice things about living in the country is the proximity of small farms and hand-lettered signs offering hen fruit for $3 a dozen. It had rained recently, but I would be careful to avoid puddles in the gravel driveway of the nearest farm. And I was. However, in my paranoia to miss the puddles, I inadvertently stepped smack into some chicken poop.
Chicken poop. On my beautiful, $475 Park Avenues. ($385 is the regular price, but I had to special order.)
I made a beeline over to some damp grass and zombie-walked through it, dragging my feet to clear off the crap. The shoes got a little wet; they got a little sandy. I got a little teary. When we got home, I wiped them off with an ever-so-slightly damp paper towel and used a soft brush on the grit around the perimeter of the shoe. I stuck their shoe trees in them and hoped for the best.
The next morning, the shoes looked great, just like they did when they came out of the box. No harm, no fowl. Pun intended.
I know over time these shoes will wear; they won’t look perfect forever. But with normal care and maintenance (e.g., shoe trees and polish), they’re just going to get better with age. Same as me.