Allen Edmonds Rutledge

Many of us enter this world with not insignificant physical burdens. A club foot of a particularly severe variety was the albatross around my infantile neck, and my parents, being diligent middle class souls, consulted with many a medical specialist to resolve this situation.

Within moments of my birth, a cast was affixed to my right leg in hopes of coaxing the pliable bones into some semblance of a normal position. In my early years, I wore a leg brace to bed. And a few months shy of my fifth birthday, a tendon transfer was a final nail in the club foot’s coffin.

The consequence, both of the defect itself and of the many efforts to correct it, is that my feet are different sizes: the right a 9.5D and the left an 8E. In the past, I’ve either had to settle for the larger size, lacing the left shoe a little tighter or have had to pay for two pair of shoes. Both options are less than ideal.

A trip to the Houston Allen Edmonds store a few months back offered an inspiring solution. Because Allen Edmonds is both a manufacturer and a seller of footwear, it’s able to product a made-to-order version of its shoes, with the correct size shoe for each foot–all for a modest $75 upgrade.

I had been eying the Rutledge–one of the shoes from Allen Edmonds’ Independence Collection–for some time, and I finally pulled the trigger. Along with its Independence brethren, the Rutledge is unique among Allen Edmonds’ offerings. It features the kind of narrow waist that seems more at home among high-end British and Italian shoes. The toe is elegantly chiseled. And the leather is of an exceptionally high quality.

I was originally quoted a timeframe of four to six weeks to receive the shoes. It was even hinted by the sales associate that a number of gentlemen received their shoes even earlier than that.

I was not so fortunate. My shoes took nearly nine weeks to arrive. Apparently, the first attempt failed inspection, and so they had to start again. While that was a bit frustrating, it was also somewhat reassuring to know that Allen Edmonds would not satisfy itself with shipping out a substandard pair of shoes.

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