Cole Haan Vs. Allen Edmonds Vs. Johnston Murphy – Who Is The Best?
Cole Haan, Allen Edmonds, Johnston & Murphy, do they ring a bell? Are these brands familiar to you? Well, these brands existed for so many decades already, so it’s possible that you answered yes to my question. But if you haven’t yet, don’t worry I’ll be sharing some facts to you.
These brands have been known for producing one of the most durable, high-quality shoes in the market, in many different styles. And today, we are going to take a look at the dress shoes from these brands and placed them side by side. We will try to get a comprehensive comparison on which one is better and which one will suit you best.
So if you want more information that will help you decide which shoes you should buy, then please keep on reading below.
Full-grain Cow Leather
Premium Calfskin Leather
Premium Calfskin Leather
Oak Leather Sole
The Companies Behind Cole Haan, Allen Edmonds and Johnston Murphy
Do you have any ideas about these companies? Well, if you haven’t yet then allow me to introduce to them.
Cole Haan began as early as 1928 by Trafton Cole and Eddie Haan with the aim to produce “good goods and nothing but good goods”. It used to be a men’s footwear label, but today it now offers a lot of amazing products, including men’s and women’s casual footwear, handbags, belts, sunglasses, outerwear, scarves, gloves, hosiery and even dresses.
Cole and Haan, with their entrepreneurial spirit and timeless vision over the decades, was successful enough to live in their mission and has transformed the brand into one of the leading US footwear brands.
Allen Edmonds, on the other hand, has been making world-renowned men’s shoes in America ever since 1922. It started when Edmonds was commissioned to provide shoes to the US Navy and US Army during World War II. Most of the recipients of these shoes became loyal to the brand for the rest of their lives.
Today, Allen Edmonds is already operating about 78 stores and in addition to their manufacturing site in United States, they are also now manufacturing in Dominican Republic and Italy.
For Jonhnston & Murphy, it traces its roots to the William J. Dudley Shoe Company which has been founded in 1850 in Newark, New Jersey by Willliam J. Dudley. Dudley is actually a European immigrant who’s a master craftsman that had been schooled in the classic tradition of English shoemaking. It specialized in high-quality, hard-wearing work shoes for men, women and even children.
When James Johnston, a Newark businessman, joined the company as Dudley’s partner, he had a vision for the company to expand product lines as well as the distribution channels. As a result, they took their work shoes’ durability and transformed it into a line of higher-fashion footwear. This has then became quickly popular, attracting another prominent Newark businessman from a distinguished family, Wiliam A. Murphy. The partnership was formed and the company became known as Johnston & Murphy.
Today, Johnston & Murphy’s Retain Operation division is now operating 160 company owned stores and is now selling products using direct mail catalogs as well as through the company’s website. The Wholesale division, on the other hand, is selling Johnston & Murphy branded shoes to more than 2,100 leading specialty and department stores. They are strong to their commitment of reinventing the classics, which is why this brand is said to be the modern tastemaker to this day.
Their Dress Shoes Compared
Now, let’s take a closer look to the most significant features of these brands and the best way to do it? Putting each shoes side by side.
We will take a look what materials were used to make the shoes or what kind of technologies they feature. Of course, we will also discuss the performance you can expect from these shoes. Will they be durable enough? Which one has the most comfortable fit? Well, take a look below.
1. Materials & Technologies
Cole Haan Lenox Hill used full-grain cow leather that is of decent quality and holds a shine relatively well. It is also supler and uniform throughout every surface of the shoe. This is because full-grain leather comes from the strongest top layer of the cowhide that produce finest form of material making this shoes incredibly strong and durable. Plus, full grain leather is more breathable than lower layer hides like ‘top grain’, ‘split grain’ and ‘corrected’.
Allen Edmonds Park Avenue, on the other hand, features premium calfskin leather sourced from the famous Horween Leather Company in Chicago, IL. Calfskin leather is another source of high-quality, attractive leather that has soft and fine feel.
Just by one touch, you will immediately know that this shoe is made of premium quality leather; it is noticeably smoother than most of the dress shoes in the market. The leather will also form into your feet over time.
And just like Allen Edmonds, Johnston & Murphy Melton has been crafted with handpicked calfskin for a premium look and feel.
So, full-grain leather or calfskin? Well, when it comes to leather grades, full-grain leather is on top of the chain. Only the highest quality footwear often features full-grain leather.
2. Traction & Support
Cole Haan Lenox Hill heels and soles are very thick and strong since it features sleek, full rubber cupsole outsole which works great especially if you do a lot of walking on outdoor surfaces such as asphalt and concrete. Rubber soles is also suitable for all seasons, whether you will be walking on a snow-covered streets or just a wet pavement, they provide better traction and minimize the chance of slipping. But just like most dress shoes, the arch support is minimal and it is not wide enough to fit an arch support in them.
Unlike Cole Haan, Allen Edmonds Park Avenue, it uses a single oak leather sole. So there’s no doubt to why it’s a bit more slippery the first time you’ll wear them, especially if you have never worn leather-soled shoes before. Though I noticed natural traction will be created on the bottom of your shoes just after few days of walking around in them.
Johnston & Murphy Melton also uses rubber for its sole. Believe me, you can run with these shoes as they were your running shoes and you can run as fast as you can.
So if you are planning to wear your dress shoes on your friend’s outdoor wedding which involves a lot of walking in a slippery grass garden, then go for Cole Haan Men’s Lenox Hill or Johnston & Murphy Melton; rubber soles provide added resistance and flexibility when compared to leather shoes so they have a much better traction. These shoes can make you dance all night without discomfort.
3. Fit & Comfort
Though Cole Haan Lenox Hill seems to be too narrow, it is actually the opposite; there will be plenty of space for your toes to breath. However, I noticed that it lacks some padding so it might lead to uncomfortable situation. Also, its old-fashioned lacing can slip easily too. Overall, they are flexible, useful, and beautiful shoes. Plus, they take a minimal time for breaking in.
Allen Edmonds Park Avenue had a great fit out of the box and I noticed that it became even more comfortable after just a few weeks of wearing them.
And to make sure that you have your right size, Allen Edmonds makes shoes in widths from AAA to EEE so you can have the perfect fit. Unlike most shoe manufacturers, like Cole Haan and Johnston & Murphy, you will not be limited to choosing between medium and wide. So if you are one of the men with wide feet, then this shoe is a blessing to you!
While Johnston & Murphy Melton features exclusive Optima® Comfort System with multi-layered cushioning that is engineered for optimal comfort, support and flexibility. There’s also leather lining with perforated for forefoot enhances breathability; keeping your feet cool and comfortable. The only downside is its break-in period as it took a little longer than I expected. I’ve worn the shoes for the first three full days and it was very uncomfortable; but it got much better over time.
Winner: Allen Edmonds Men’s Park Avenue Cap-Toe Oxford
4. Durability & Care
What’s great with Cole Haan Lenox Hill is that its heel is stacked and replaceable while its upper is entirely attached to its sole so you will never be worried of peeling the bottom away. They are durable enough to last for years under really tough conditions.
And as I already mentioned, it is made of full-grain cow leather which is incredibly strong and durable. Over time, this material will develop a glossy sheen and natural darkening process as the natural oils of the animal skin cause the surface to become glossier with age. This means this pair of shoes will not deteriorate with age, rather, it will only later on grow in beauty and character.
Then again Allen Edmonds Park Avenue is handcrafted using a Goodyear welt construction method to make sure it will be durable enough; this method is labor-intensive and is considered to be the best when it comes to shoe-construction methods. As a result, you will have a durable shoes that can be re-soled multiple times over.
With a Goodyear welt, the upper of the shoe is stitched onto the shoes’ sole. This method is often used in shoes of the highest quality, unlike shoes of lesser quality that only uses adhesives or other cheaper practices.
Johnston & Murphy Melton also features Goodyear welt construction that allows leather to mold to your foot for a truly individual fit. However I noticed that a small horizontal crease forms and I was surprised that it would crease so quickly.
Since Cole Haan Lenox Hill Cap is a classic lace-up oxford shoe, it has always been the top choice for both professional personnel and students. Most of the people love the standard black color as well as its traditional design; whether it’s for an official meeting, a graduation ceremony or just a casual party. Its traditional standard for straightforward and simple design is the mark for this shoes.
If you opt for its brown shade, you can just easily match the shoes with a belt and you’ll definitely stand out, but take note that its dark brown has some strong reddish tone to it, making it closer to a burgundy rather than a typical dark brown.
This timeless cap-toe oxford with subtle seam details Allen Edmonds Park Avenue is absolutely the epitome of classic men’s dress shoe; they will always be appropriate for work and any formal occasions.
When it comes to Johnston & Murphy Melton, you have to be careful which color of leather you go with. I find the burgundy and black options tend to be so smooth and shined up that they often look like plastic. I prefer for the lighter tan Italian Calfskin; I must say it looks pretty good since it has some depth and marbling to the leather.
So Cole Haan vs. Allen Edmonds vs. Johnston Murphy, who’s the real winner. Well, I guess you probably have an idea now base on the winners of every section. You got it right, it’s definitely Cole Haan Lenox Hill . It has the most wonderful material, great traction and support, durable enough and has the best style
- Classic lace-up oxford featuring blind eyelets and cap toe
- Stacked heel
- Cole Haan
- 7 M US
- Dark Brown
Last update on 2019-02-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
This is absolutely a pretty close competition, I hope this article will help you find the product that’s good value for your money. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop it in the comment section below and I’d get back to you as soon as I can.