Rancourt & Co. and Allen Edmonds are two of the leading handmade upscale shoe manufacturers in the US. Being high-quality shoe providers, it’s hard to choose one as both companies have excellent quality and material. However, Allen Edmonds provides a more relaxed and comfortable fit.
Rancourt Vs Allen Edmonds
Allen Edmonds and Rancourt have been rivals in the industry for both being high-quality shoe providers. They have a similar quality, materials, and craftsmanship for their shoes. However, if you look at the features more deeply there are some fine differences between the two brands.
Both Rancourt and Allen Edmonds shoes are well known for their excellent craftsmanship. The two brands have unique craftsmanship with signature styles.
Rancourt and Co. use simple tools and experience as they go about their business. Some of their shoemakers even boast hand sewing experience of almost four decades. They are also contracted to make shoes for brands like Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, Eastland, and more.
On the other hand, Allen Edmonds has been combining technology with their techniques over the years. They have a 212-steps manufacturing process that they have been following since the early days. US presidents like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton have worn this American-made brand on their inaugurations.
Even though both companies manufacture their products in the US, both import some materials from overseas. Each of their shoes is custom-made using the best quality materials.
Rancourt uses a variety of leathers like Chromexcel, Shell Cordovan, Suede, and Calfskin. They get most of their materials from Horween Leather. They are also associated with some of the best tanneries around Europe.
Like Rancourt, Allen Edmonds is also associated with Horween Leather. They generally depend overseas for some of their materials like Calfskin. In these cases, you may notice a “Made in the USA of imported materials” addendum on the insole of your Allen Edmonds pair.
As both companies are upscale luxury shoe manufacturers, they both operate in the 300$ price range. However, the price varies depending on the materials used. Also, if you are looking for a cheaper option, you can go for a used pair of shoes. They are easy to find and depending on the condition a pair can cost from 50$ to 100$.
Rancourt boots have a wider price range. You can get a pair made of Suede or Chromexcel for as low as 250$. Although costlier, averaging above 350$ a pair, Calfskins are worth the price. The Shell Cordovan-made pair costs as much as 750$. But you can get a great pair of Rancourt boots for an average of 400$.
Allen Edmonds has a larger collection of shoes so you are looking at a wider spectrum. The AE loafers and slip-on can cost you as low as 140$. On the other hand, you can get a decent AE sneaker for around 275$. The best sellers stand at around 400$ and the highest is a whooping 750$ Shell Cordovan-made pair.
Both companies have a large collection of shoes. Rancourt is most well-known for its Moccasins. In recent years, they have started making Moccasins for women as well.
Similarly, Allen Edmonds is no less as well. They have about 78 stores in different places. AE has a wide range of casual shoes as well as Sneakers and Loafers. The Park Avenue oxford has gained a lot of popularity among their other models.
However, if you don’t like the designs they already have, both companies make custom shoes. You can customize pretty much everything according to your preference.
Comfort and Flexibility
As for comfort and flexibility, none of the brands compromise in this area. Both the manufacturers use high-quality materials which ensures comfort and great flexibility.
Some users have pointed out that Rancourt may not have sock-liners that extend to the full length of the insole. You can sometimes feel the sock-liner if you’re wearing thin socks. But they have great hand sewing skills that make their shoes remarkably comfortable and flexible.
In contrast, Allen Edmonds prioritizes the lasts. Lasts are foot-shaped forms used as the foundation for shoemaking. This makes the shoes comfortable to wear. AE also makes relaxed fit shoes for those who prefer more room in their shoes.
Although the brands are different, Rancourt sizes are very similar to Allen Edmonds sizes. So, your Allen Edmonds size should be your Rancourt size. If you don’t know any of the shoe sizes then you can measure your shoe size at home.
In recent times, there have been some issues on the Rancourt website about the sizing guide. Reportedly .5 size down is often seen in regards to Rancourt sizing.
Breaking in is highly related to the comfort of these shoes. Even though both companies make custom handmade shoes, depending on the leather, the shoes might need to break in. The leathers these manufacturers use reshape according to the users. So, they are very comfortable after the break-in process.
However, the breaking-in process may take longer for some than the others. Calfskin may keep breaking in even after 15 years. This is true for both brands. Also, Allen Edmonds tends to take longer for breaking-in compared to Rancourt.
If you want your shoes to last a lifetime, you have to take care of them regularly. Both Rancourt and AE make luxury shoes and they need maintenance. Keeping the shoes dry and giving them a polish from time to time should make your shoes last longer.
With careful use, AE shoes can last up to 10 years or more.
Allen Edmonds Park Avenue: Is It Worth The Price
Allen Edmonds Park Avenue is the classic American oxford. The manufacturers use European calfskin on the upper of these pairs. Besides, there is a full-length leather insole on top of a cork midsole and an England-made Dainite sole attached to the bottom. Now, these shoes can seem a little bit on the pricier side.
A pair of AE Park Avenues cost about 395$. On sales that price drops to 299$ or 249$. However, the materials used in these shoes are enough to justify this price. Combined with the unique craftsmanship of AE, these shoes provide comfort and durability that can challenge any other shoe out there.
Overall, being the classic American oxford, Allen Edmonds Park Avenues are most certainly worth the price.
Shoe Recrafting: Allen Edmond and Rancourt
Now you can also recraft your shoes per request. Allen Edmonds has different offers of recrafting. They start from 50$ and go as high as 155$ for a full premium recrafting service. While comparatively, Rancourt has a cheaper recrafting service. You can get a resole at 60$ and a full premium recraft at just 135$.
Allen Edmonds Comfort Technology Dress shoes
Allen Edmonds is known for merging technology with tradition. Their comfort technology dress shoes are a great example of this. They have brought materials from athletic shoes to classic styles with this pair.
The shoes are lighter with more breathable and shock-absorbing materials. Besides, there’s more room for air to travel so they leave a fresh feeling even after a long day of use. And it makes for a regular use shoe that can be used for both casual and formal occasions. These shoes are available for 295$.
Rancourt Ranger MoC
Rancourt Ranger MoC is great as a year-round shoe. These shoes are made using camp-moc sole with flint kudu suede, making them incredibly soft. So, these are great to wear barefoot on a warm day. Besides, the fiber structure of wild kudu makes the leather strong and durable.
As for the price, the classic Ranger MoC can be found at 250$ on the Rancourt website.
How to Take care of a pair of Rancourt
Rancourt shoes are generally easy to care for. They are made of leather. Venetian shoe cream and saddle soap are good products for cleaning and moisturizing the leather. Also, try to keep your shoes as clean and dry as possible. For a fine glow, wipe your shoes with a damp cloth and dry them at room temp.
After that, apply a coat of polish or shoe cream with a soft polishing cloth. Let it dry. Finally, remove the excess polish using a horsehair brush until you get your desired shine. It is better to rotate your shoes and not wear them every day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I figure out my size if I have not worn their shoes before?
Ans: You can use the sizing guide on the respective websites.
They say, “Good shoes take you to good places”. And you can never deny the appeal of a pair of great shoes. Both Rancourt and AE are reliable for providing the best for their customers. But, it’s your call so choose whichever suits you best.