Allen Edmonds vs Johnston & Murphy [Ultimate Comparison]

Allen Edmonds and Johnston & Murphy are two of the world’s best shoemakers.

But, who is better?

Which brand creates more comfortable, stylish, and durable footwear?

It can be difficult when choosing between the two, so I’ve put together this comparison.

You will learn about Allen Edmonds and Johnston & Murphy’s quality, comfort, materials, and how they compare.

Tie up your laces and enjoy!

Allen Edmonds vs Johnston & Murphy

Are Allen Edmonds Comfortable?

There are many factors that create a comfortable shoe, and Allen Edmonds nailed them all. Look at their Jefferson 2.0.

This oxford is a great example of what to expect from every pair, along with their famous Park Avenue oxford.

The leather is always a big indicator if a shoe is going to be comfortable or not. Premium calfskin leather forms to your feet, is very soft, and ages over time. Say goodbye to stiff dress shoes.

Allen Edmonds also has a patented CustomCork technology they use for insoles. It gives their shoes a custom fit, so your foot always feels great.  On top of that, the leather adds to overall breathability — meaning you sweat less.

Lastly, bench welts are always a sign of skilled craftsmanship. But not only that, it makes a dress shoe easier to walk in and more enjoyable to wear.

Like any shoe, ensure that you keep a shoe tree placed in them when not worn. This will help extend its life and keep a perfect shape, adding to long term comfort.

A few years ago, Allen Edmonds launched their comfort focused line of shoes. These are footwear that not only make any man look sharper, but keep him feeling just as good, too. Here’s an example.

The Wilbert is the perfect work or formal shoe. It’s a split-toe blucher with stylish contrasting stitching.

Patented cushion technology and a thick rubber outer sole gives bounce to every step while protecting your feet. If you’re looking for dress shoes that you can wear all day, Allen Edmonds is a perfect choice.

Allen Edmonds Quality Review

If you’re going to dish out hundreds on a dress shoe, it better be amazing.

Let’s take a look at how Allen Edmonds makes their shoes and what quality to expect.

Leathers

The design team at Allen Edmonds is constantly in search of new and higher quality leathers to use for their shoes.

You can have peace of mind knowing that they only select leathers that repel water, age like wine, breathe, and hold shape over time.

Leathers are shipped to the Allen Edmonds plaint in Port Washington, Wisconsion where skilled workers cut, sew, and fit every piece to perfection.

They have an extremely rigid quality control process of 212 steps. Yes, you read that right. 212.

There are many different kinds of leathers to choose from, including:

  • Calfskin
  • Calfskin suede
  • Tumbled calfskin
  • Italian nappa calfskin leather
  • More

You’ll have no shortage of materials or styles to choose from. Be careful not to browse their catalog for hours, I know from experience.

Construction

Many shoes from Allen Edmonds feature the famous Goodyear welt. It’s sought after for a reason. The welt adds to the overall longevity of footwear and also makes repairing them easier.

The process involves taking a strip of leather and sewing it around the upper and insole. The outsole is then attached, adding more flexibility and breathability.

Similarly, they offer hand-sewn construction that fits a piece of leather around the last, before being stitched to the plug by an artisan’s hand. Check out the Exchange Place oxford to see the end result.

Machine-stitching attaches the midsole and outsole to create the perfect fit and shape. Just like a Goodyear welt, this extends the lifetime of a shoe and makes it easily repairable.

Lastly, Allen Edmonds uses cemented construction on certain pairs of shoes that feature a rubber outsole. This process involves attaching the sole to the upper with a very strong adhesive. The process is quick, easy, and makes more affordable shoes — saving money in your pocket.

Insole

A shoe can look like a million bucks, but if it lacks comfort, who cares?

Allen Edmonds shoes feature breathable leather insoles that are easy on the feet. As we saw with the Jefferson 2.0 model, they also offer trademarked cork cushioning that forms to your foot and creates the perfect fitting.

Do you use orthopedics or custom insoles? Because you’ll be happy to hear that they sell models with the main feature of removable insoles. Granted there aren’t that many, but I’m sure that it will expand over time.

Outsoles

The main purpose of the outsole is to provide good traction, comfort, a nice-sounding strike, and in some cases to help with resolving.

Allen Edmonds uses several different kinds of soles for their products. These include:

  • Single And Double Leather Soles: Single leather soles make the silhouette of a shoe appear more sleek and classy. This provides more comfort in every step and ensures that your shoes last much longer. Double leather soles lean more on the casual side or make a harder wearing shoe.
  • Leather And Butyl: A combination of leather and oil infused butyl to protect the sole from wear and to increase flexibility.
  • Independance: A specialty sole that features a hand stained, two-tone finish, and a dovetail heel for a secure grip.
  • Rendenbach: Don’t worry if you’re not German, I couldn’t pronounce this one either! Rendenbach is a legendary sole that’s been made since 1871. It’s breathable, water resistant, flexible, and the epitome of high end.
  • Dainite: A rubber outsole that’s been around since 1910. Dainite has studs that prevent dirt from building up, keeping your shoe cleaner for longer periods.
  • Vibram: You’ve probably heard of Vibram before, but did you know they are a pioneer of vulcanized rubber technology? Allen Edmonds offers Vibram soles that have awesome grip to prevent slipping, durability against any weather condition, and cushioning to keep your feet cozy.
  • Extra Lightweight: As you could guess, these are rubber outsoles designed to be extremely light and flexible. They also absorb shock very well and can be worn year-round; a great choice for work or if you’re constantly walking.
  • Combination: Sometimes you want to get best of both worlds. Their v-tread and fineline v-tap combinations keep a sleek dress shoe profile, but use a mix of rubber and leather. This offers extra grip to prevent your from slipping, but also keep the comfort and breathability from leather.

Are Allen Edmonds Handmade?

Yes, all of Allen Edmonds shoes are handmade. This ensures the highest quality footwear that you can slip your feet into.

You can even get yourself a pair of factory seconds for a cheaper price. These are shoes that have slight blemishes and defects, but are still incredible.

Remember, every shoe goes through 212 different steps. The shoemaker might make a small mistake along the way. Look at what these customers of factory seconds had to say.

The second review says it perfectly. Not all factory seconds are equal. Some pairs could arrive with unnoticeable scratches, scuffs, or marks. Others? They might have some more serious defects. You’ll never get an unwearable or very damaged shoe, but don’t be surprised if they aren’t pristine.

But, hey. Allen Edmonds puts so much craftsmanship and attention into every shoe that it’s only expected to have some hiccups during the process.

Are Allen Edmonds Made In The Usa?

Some of Allen Edmonds’s shoes are made in the USA, but they also produce footwear in Italy and the Dominican Republic. Specifically, uppers were outsourced to the Dominican due to the lack of shoemakers in America — so it was a genuine need to continue manufacturing.

And let’s be real, who doesn’t mind a shoe made in Italy? It’s the fashion capital of the world and they’re revered for their high-quality materials.

Is Allen Edmonds True To Size?

Nailing the right fit on a shoe can be tough. You don’t want it to be too small, wide, or pinching your toes. I’ve been there myself, and I bet you know the pain — literally and figuratively.

Allen Edmonds has a reputation for being true to size, meaning that if you’re a size 10, you’re a size 10. You don’t have to size up or down. They have a sizing chart that I’d recommend following to make sure that your feet are nice and snug.

If you look at the Strand cap toe oxford, you’ll see that 74% of customers agreed it fit normally.

Is Allen Edmonds Recrafting Worth It?

A convenient benefit that you’ll get from owning Allen Edmonds shoes is that they’re craftable. No more buying new shoes every time your old ones wear down.

And I don’t know about you, but I get a little bit attached to certain pairs, and recrafting means that I don’t have to depart from them.

They use a 38 step process to get your footwear looking and feeling brand new again.

Just like you would get an oil change every few thousand miles for your car, you should look at getting shoes recrafted in the same way. It’s an investment for the long term.

Allen Edmonds offers the following packages.

The Standard Package

This is the most popular option among gentlemen and will run you $125. You will get:

  • A new heel
  • A new outsole
  • New cork bed
  • New welting done
  • New laces put in
  • A refinished and polished upper

If you know the effort and skill it takes to create one of these shoes, you’ll understand that this is a great deal. They do not replace insoles since they create a custom fit and you’d just be resetting that — taking more time to break them in.

The Prestige Package

Pay an additional $30 and you’ll get the standard package plus beautiful flannel shoe bags, premium shoe polish, and new cedar wood shoe trees.

Golf Sole Package

Do you enjoy golfing and want to use your pair of Allen Edmonds on the course? Then this is for you.

They offer the standard package along with 11 Champs Helix Soft Spikes and an oil-infused outsole for an extra $35.

Sole Change

Want a different sole? Perhaps Dainite rubber or a combination? For $20, Allen Edmonds will put a new sole of your choice on the shoe during the recrafting process.

Tuneups

Sometimes you don’t need a full-blown restoration. That’s why you can get tuneups to do the following:

  1. Replace worn or broken heels. This will restore the comfort and strike of your shoes for $50.
  2. Refinishing the upper to make it look like brand new for $50.
  3. A combination of the above for a total of $90.

Are Johnston and Murphy comfortable?

Alright, now let’s talk about Johnston and Murphy. The first question that many gentlemen have about new shoes is “Are they comfortable?”

Here’s how they pair up to Allen Edmonds.

Just like their competitor, J&M offers extreme comfort technology shoe models to keep your feet cozy all day. Currently they offer:

  • The Trampoline® Cushion System
  • The Signature® Comfort System
  • The Optima® Cushion System
  • The XC4® Comfort System

These use materials like memory foam, contouring footbeds, and shock absorbing outsoles. Together they prevent sore feet, irritating issues like bunions, and keep you functional.

However, standard models like the Conard cap toe oxford have leather lining, a cushion footbed, and more to make you feel amazing all day.

Have you ever been at the office or doing something else and you can’t help but focus on how uncomfortable your foot feels? Say goodbye to that.

Just like Allen Edmonds, you’ll also find comfortable materials like calfskin leather and sheepskin. Wide, narrow, medium, and many other styles are available to get the perfect fit, as well.

Padded collars, soft lining, similar features are also staples among J&M shoes.

Honestly, based on what they offer and customer reviews online, neither of these two brands is better in terms of comfort. They are completely equal.

Johnston And Murphy Quality Review

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the quality of Johnston & Murphy shoes to see how they compare to Allen Edmonds.

Leathers

Calfskin leather is the most common leather I’ve found researching Johnston & Murphy. It is recognized as the highest quality, most durable, and most supple material you can get for dress shoes.

They also sell oiled leather that creates a burnished appearance. Nubuck is used for some of their sneakers primarily, but there is also full-grain available.

One material that really jumped from the page is Italian wool. Look how they added it to this dress boot for extra flare. You’ll stand out among any guy with something like this.

Going through J&M’s catalog, there’s no shortage of unique leathers and materials to choose from.

This is another tie between them and Allen Edmonds.

Construction

Just like AE, Johnston & Murphy features the Goodyear welt on almost every shoe. This greatly increases its lifespan and durability.

They also sell footwear with a Bondwelt, also called Bonwelt, which is a style of cemented construction. The process involves taking a strip of leather and attaching it to the outer edge of the sole.

Allen Edmonds offers more styles of construction and has a more detailed crafting process.

Are Johnston And Murphy True To Size?

According to many user reports online, J&M does appear to be true to size. Check out this Reddit thread for example.

Are Johnston And Murphy Handmade?

Many models from Johnston and Murphy are handmade. But, they do have many shoes that are produced at a higher scale, thus don’t receive as much individual attention.

When shopping for J&M shoes, carefully inspect the description and insole to ensure you are getting a handmade product.

Allen Edmonds on the other hand features exclusively handmade dress shoes with an incredible 212 step quality control process. AE wins again.

Are Johnston And Murphy Made In The Usa?

Not all shoes from J&M are made within the United States — it depends on the individual collection.

They feature shoes that are made in Italy and China, as well. You’ll want to pay close attention to these details when purchasing from them if you’re set on getting shoes from America.

Allen Edmonds is no different, though. While they do produce shoes within a home territory, some have been produced in Italy and the Dominican Republic. It’s a tie.

Are Johnston And Murphy Resoleable?

Yes, Johnston and Murphy shoes can be refurbished. When your footwear begins to show signs of wear, you can send them back to get the following packages:

Basic Service

For $90, they will remove the soles, heels, and comfort technology to place them on the original lasts.

Premium Service

If you spend $25 more, for a total of $115, J&M will completely restore your shoe back to its beginning state. This includes refinishing the upper, handsewn components, buckles, ornaments, and other details.

Refinishing

Need to add some life back to your dress shoes? No problem. For $30, you can get your shoes restored with a three-step process to get them looking brand new.

Overall, it looks like they offer a convenient service, but Allen Edmonds offers a far more detailed restoration service.

Are Johnston And Murphy Goodyear Welted?

Yes, most shoes from Johnston and Murphy are Goodyear welted. The sleek and sexy Melton Oxford is an example of a shoe they sell that is Goodyear welted.

Johnston & Murphy Vs Allen Edmonds Pricing

Price is a huge factor when buying shoes. You need to spend a little extra for quality, but it saves you from continually buying new shoes in the long term.

Between these two brands, J&M wins in terms of pricing. They are often in the $150-200 range, which is less than half of what you’d spend for Allen Edmonds.

Although, you can get yourself a pair of factory seconds from AE for closer to J&M’s prices. Granted, they will have some minor scuffs and marks, but it’s a consideration.

Conclusion

Comparing the construction methods, materials, quality, and more, it’s safe to say that Allen Edmonds comes out on top.

They have better handcraftsmanship, more materials to choose from, and a variety of construction methods. Sure, they’re a bit more pricy, but it’s well worth it.

That’s not to say that Johnston & Murphy aren’t great shoes. If you want to spend a bit less and want a classic dress shoe, they are still a solid option.

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