Bally Shoes vs Allen Edmonds: Which Is Better?

The major difference between these two luxury shoemaking brands is that Bally Shoes caters to both the male and female gender, while Allen Edmonds remains exclusive to men alone.

A trip to Allen Edmonds website and the search term “Women Shoe” was put in the search box but it returned a “No result” reply.

Even when you take a look at how the brand describes itself, you will realize that it does not shy away from the fact that it caters to men and men alone.

Bally shoes are however different anyway, the brand manufactures quality and beautiful footwear for the female gender just like it does for the male gender too. This inclusiveness makes a lot of people love the Bally shoe brand.

Which is a better brand and why?

Questions like this are really difficult to answer, especially because both brands in question here are producers of quality footwear.

Having experienced both brands by owning a couple of shoes made by them, I have been able to form an opinion.

I consider Bally to be a better brand when compared to Allen Edmonds. I must, however, mention that the kind of styling used by both brands is slightly different.

Bally uses an Italian kind of styling while Allen Edmonds shoes embody more of an American aesthetic.

These two brands have never failed to produce quality shoes, and my decision to pick Bally as the better brand is solely personal and borne out of my experience with shoes made by the brands.

After years of usage, I find Bally shoes to be better for the following reasons;

Weight

A turnoff for me when wearing Allen Edmonds shoes sometimes is the weight. Many of the shoes made by this brand are chunky and can be quite heavy on the feet.

A proof of this is the Allen Edmonds Randolph Penny Loafer which weighs 16 ounces while the Bally Mac-Toe Loafer which is a look-alike of the Allen Edmonds shoe weighs lesser than 11 ounces.

The almost 40% difference in size may be insignificant to a lot of people, but not me who sometimes switches between these two shoes. I always notice the difference.

Unsurprisingly, this weight difference is not limited to the loafers alone. A lot more of the shoes made by Allen Edmonds is way heavier than those made by Bally.

Stitching

I mentioned earlier that Bally uses an Italian style for the aesthetics of its shoes and Allen Edmonds uses an American style. This is evident in the kind of stitching adopted for the soles of their shoes.

In Bally shoes, say 90% of them, you will find that they come with a Blake stitching which is the style of stitching popular in Italy.

On the other hand, Allen Edmonds employs Goodyear Welt for the stitching of its soles, which, of course, is American by origin.

This style of stitching contributes to what makes Allen Edmonds shoes to be chunky and heavy.

Bally shoes, however, adopts the Blake stitching which makes their shoes much more flexible and sleeker than Allen Edmonds.

The blake stitching used in the Bally Carles Bit Loafer is why I prefer to wear it over the Allen Edmonds SFO Slip-On Loafer.

Detailing and Finishing

In terms of paying attention to minute details and expertly applying the perfect finishing touches to a shoe, I find the Bally brand to be superior to Allen Edmonds.

This is an opinion that is corroborated by many of my folks who see me wear my Bally Stelvio Oxford shoe.

While Allen Edmonds also does a great job at finishing off their shoes, I just seem to prefer the Bally shoes.

The Bally shoe was supposed to be an alternative to the Allen Edmonds Park Avenue but now I find myself wearing it more.

Bally Shoes vs Allen Edmonds: Similarities

Bally and Allen Edmonds are two of the biggest brands making the best shoes for men, but asides from sharing this status, what other similarities do they have? Some are;

Leather

A key feature common to both Bally and Allen Edmonds is the usage of top-quality full-grain leather.

While both of them use a wide range of leather, they share a similarity in the usage of calfskin leather.

The Allen Edmonds Tribeca Lace-Up Shoe and the Bally Lizzar 30 Oxford Shoe are a few of the shoes made by both brands using calfskin leather.

Sales Channel

Neither Bally nor Allen Edmonds has a walk-in store where customers can go to buy the products, rather both brands have put their products up on their individual websites and also on multiple e-commerce websites for their customers to find them.

Both brands are similar in that they are both leveraging the internet, in place of traditional means, to find and reach customers. So far, it has been working pretty well for both of them.

Handcrafted Shoes

Do you know that the beautiful shoes made by Allen Edmonds and Bally were actually crafted with hands? Well, that is the truth!

Both brands employ highly skilled and professional artisans who work tirelessly to deliver the beauties we all love now.

From the inception of the Allen Edmonds brand, it has been crafting footwear with hands.

According to the brand, the process of making these shoes takes 212 different steps and 48 pairs of hands.

On the flipside, Bally shoes as well have built a team of artisans that are dedicated to making the finest and most comfortable shoes.

Waterproof Shoes

Another feature common to both brands is waterproof. Both Bally and Allen Edmonds are not typical boot-making companies, but they have both dabbled into making boots at some point.

The Allen Edmonds Higgins Oxford Fashion Boot and the Bally Cubrid Snow Boot are just a few of the waterproof shoes made by both brands.

They do not look alike in style, but they also do not fail to do the primary job of keeping water from getting into your shoe or even destroying the shoe.

Insoles

In every dress shoe you buy from Allen Edmonds or Bally, you are sure to find a removable leather insole in it.

It is no news that both brands are committed to making their shoes as comfortable as can be, hence the reason for adding insoles that are well-padded and breathable.

Another similar concept is that both brands actually make and sell their own insoles. This means that just as you can buy shoes from Bally and Allen Edmonds, you can as well buy the insoles made by both brands.

Bally Shoes vs Allen Edmonds: Comparison

Just as these two brands have a lot of similarities, they also have a million and one features that set them completely apart.

Let us take a look at some of them;

Stitching

I mentioned earlier, as one of the reasons I prefer Bally shoes to Allen Edmonds, is that these two brands do not use the same kind of stitching.

Allen Edmonds shoes are known to come with Goodyear welt construction while Bally shoes seem to prefer the blake construction.

Indeed there are some Bally shoes with a Goodyear welt construction but they are few and far between when compared with those that come with the blake stitching.

Allen Edmonds, on the other hand, has all its oxford shoes made with Goodyear welt construction.

My favorite dress shoe from Bally is the Bally Wedmer Oxford shoe and it also comes with the blake stitching.

For Allen Edmonds, my favorite is the Allen Edmonds McAllister Oxford, and as you guessed, it was made with Goodyear welt construction.

Recrafting

A super move that separates Allen Edmonds from Bally, and other shoe brands, is the fact that Allen Edmonds offers a recrafting service for customers who want their worn-out shoes to be perfect again.

My brothers are a big fan of the Allen Edmonds for this sole reason, and I have to agree, it is a brilliant offer.

To briefly explain, a shoe recraft is simply the process where Allen Edmonds reworks your worn-out shoes from the ground up.

They use a 38-step process that will absolutely transform your old shoe whilst still retaining comfort.

It is a great move, but the Bally brand does not offer that.

Place of Production

In a time when many manufacturing brands have moved their production factories to China in order to reduce cost, and ultimately, increase profit.

It is newsworthy to worthy to note that these two brands have opted against that option.

Allen Edmonds factory is located at Port Washington in Wisconsin. Since the brand was established in 1922, it has never shifted its base.

All the beautifully handcrafted shoes we see of the brand are manufactured in a factory in America.

Bally, as well, has stuck to its roots and refused to change the base of production. The shoes made by the brand have their origin in Switzerland.

Right from the production of the iconic “Bally Scribe” shoes in 1951 to the crafting of the recent designs, Bally has maintained one base in Switzerland.

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