What are Factory Seconds? A Guide to the The Cheapest way to Get Red Wings and Allen Edmonds (+more)
A Guide to Factory Seconds and Thrift Stores - the best way to save money and get seriously high quality shoes at an affordable price!
Heritage brands not only tell the story of America, but the individual story of the wearer. But what about continuing the story someone else has started?
If you have spent any time at all scrolling through any men’s fashion Instagram feeds, you probably have come to idolize two men’s footwear GIANTS: Allen Edmonds and Red Wing Heritage. Both are American icons, making most of their high-end products in the USA under strict quality control and fair wages in addition to being makers of stylish, quality items.
Getting shoes that look great, have a timeless style, and will last forever is undoubtedly a luxury many cannot afford. $300+ for boots? $400+ for dress shoes? That gets pretty expensive pretty quickly, especially for the average guy.
But have no fear the Mensch is here!
And with three options on where to get AE and RW for $100 or under!
1. Factory Seconds (my video) : Factory Seconds are, in short, high-end shoes that have slight cosmetic damage such as a scuff or discoloration that are prevented from being sold as new. The fact companies offer factory seconds attests to their strict quality control measures and reinforces their place as a brand committed to customer satisfaction. Places you can find Factory Seconds:
Nordstrom Rack : I have seen tons of Red Wings here and even found overseas models such as the Blacksmith in Hawthorne Rough-out and the Beckman in Klondike leather. Shoes will be at least half off of the original price but will have varying blemishes. Also, always try to shop during clear the rack, when clearance items are an extra 25% off. I found those Blacksmiths for $75 after the discount! I also got these Blacksmith in Copper Rough and Tough leather for $115!
Sierra Trading Post: Carries factory seconds Red Wing along with Chippewa, Blundstone, and other heritage brands like Carhartt and Filson!
Burlington Coat Factory: I actually saw recently tons of Johnston and Murphy made in Italy dress shoes, for $50 and they looked to be in great shape!
AE website - Allen Edmonds actually sells their own factory seconds on their website. I do not have experience buying from here, but i know that the shoes will be final sale and are still going to cost you around $200.
2. eBay or Grailed: Auction Sites!
Dabondo1 is a seller on eBay who i have bought from on multiple occasions who sells slightly used or factory seconds Allen Edmonds. He has HUNDREDS of shoes up at a time. i bought these awesome Acheson loafers that were in perfect shape after he accepted my offer for $77. Definitely make sure the shoes are in decent shape because the shoe trees are VERY deceiving sometimes. Also know your size before you run into trouble!
Thrift Stores- I found these awesome AE Patriot loafers for $12 at my local store! They have tons of life left in them and fit perfectly. (Except for a slight squeak!)
Vintage Shops- I also ran into these Red Wing Moc Toes 875 but sadly they were not my size. They were $40 at Beacon’s closet in Williamsburg, Brooklyn!
Jacobsthrift- One of my friends on Instagram who is constantly posting deals he gets on everything menswear heritage brands! Give him a look for some inspiration!
I don’t want to undervalue the feeling of getting a new pair of shoes too though! I still promote buying and supporting the manufacturer directly if you can afford to. It is important for developing a relationship with a brand where they can see how devoted you are as a customer and may actually take suggestions from you, and may even offer perks for your service as a customer by treating you nicer (perhaps going above the return policy limit is if you have an issue).
Heritage brands will stand the test of time and tell your story as you wear them. There is something beautiful about continuing a story someone else started as well. Especially if its easier on your wallet! Go find some deals Mensches and share your find with me on Instagram!