Allen Edmonds has been crafting high-quality, American-made men’s shoes for nearly a century.
One of the biggest benefits to buying shoes at this quality level is the ability to get them recrafted when they’re starting to look a bit worse for wear.
Allen Edmonds offers shoe recrafting services, and they have tremendous value.
This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about the shoe recrafting process and the specific services offered by Allen Edmonds including:
- Recrafting Services
- Standard Recraft
- Upgrade Options
- Simple Tune-ups
- Prestige Recraft Review
- Before & After
- Is It Worth It?
- Recraft FAQ’s
If you’re ready to get started with recrafting your shoes right away you can go directly to AllenEdmonds.com to begin the process.
Generally speaking, an Allen Edmonds recraft is essentially a rework of the shoe from the ground up. They utilize a 38-step process that will have your old shoes looking like new but with the comfort of a pair you’ve owned for years.
Note: You can visit our our Allen Edmonds brand review where we have all of our reviews of Allen Edmonds shoes and shoe services.
Why Get Shoes Recrafted?
We’re always talking about how shoe purchases should be considered investments as opposed to simple transactions. One component of this logic is longevity. If you’re going to spend good money on shoes, you want them to last a very, very long time.
With that said, if you’ve bought high-quality shoes that you love aesthetically, recrafting them after they’re looking worn out is the best way to increase the shoe’s longevity. Think of it as a maintenance cost, much as you have to pay to have your car tuned up every 3,000 miles.
Finally, you should get your shoes recrafted because there’s no fun in having tired, worn out shoes. On the flip side of that coin, there’s no thrill like having your favorite shoes look new once again, ready for many more years of wear.
Below: After the recraft (left) and before (right)
Different Services Offered
This is Allen Edmonds’ most popular option, which isn’t surprising: it’s a top-to-bottom recraft of an entire shoe using Allen Edmonds parts. For $125, you get:
- New Outsoles
- New Heels
- New Cork Inlay
- New Welting
- New Laces
- Refinished & Hand Polished Uppers
Insoles do not get replaced, as doing so would compromise the “custom” fit that the shoes have acquired as they broke in during wear.
Recraft Upgrades & Sole Conversions
There are various upgrades to the Standard Package that Allen Edmonds offers. They are:
- Prestige Upgrade: For an additional $30, you get everything from the Standard Package, plus a new pair of cedar shoe trees, flannel shoe bags, and a tube of premium polish.
- Golf Sole Upgrade: An additional $35 gets you the Standard recraft plus eleven Champs Helix Soft Spikes in addition to an oil-infused outsole. This enhances flexibility and gives you great protection from the elements when you’re on the course.
- Sole Conversions: If you’re so inclined, you can spend an extra $20 to have your sole converted to something different than the original one during the recraft process. They have eight sole options, including black and red Dainite rubber soles.
Of course, shoes won’t always need to be fully recrafted, but rather just need a little bit of love to breathe some new life back into them. Allen Edmonds offers three separate options for simple tune-ups:
- New Heels: Worn out heels are unsightly and can be uncomfortable too. For $50, you can get yours replaced with original Allen Edmonds heels. Note that certain models aren’t eligible for this service; contact Allen Edmonds if you have questions around this.
- Refinishing: For $50, Allen Edmonds will restore the finish of your shoes’ uppers, making them look nearly brand new.
- New Heels & Refinishing: You can combine the above two services for a total of $90, which is a $10 savings if you do the math.
Review Of Prestige Upgrade Shoe Recrafting By Allen Edmonds
Paul Anthony, Bespoke Unit’s Founder & Creative Director, recently went through the recraft process with Allen Edmonds. A 14EEE, Paul has been a fan of Allen Edmonds for a long time as they make beautiful, well-constructed shoes in his size. His black double monkstraps that he’d been wearing for years were beginning to look tired, so he took the plunge and decided to send them in to be recrafted, opting for the Prestige Upgrade.
The entire process was painless, and the results were fantastic. Our full review is below.
Turnaround Time For Allen Edmonds Recraft
Expectations were managed perfectly. We were told approximately four weeks for a recraft, and nearly four weeks to the day after we received Allen Edmonds’ confirmation of receipt, the shoes came back.
Even high-quality shoes like these that have been very well cared for are subject to wear and tear. First, we can see that the upper is deeply wrinkled:
Another very common area of wear is the heel. Most folks have a tendency to supinate as opposed to pronate (distribute their weight on the outside of their heels rather than the inside), and this case was no exception. Note how the heels have worn down on the outside and now have a slant to them:
They had been worn so much that the sole was even separating from the welt!
Years of wear had begun to wear a hole in the sole as well:
The toes of dress shoes scrape concrete with every step you take, so naturally this was worn down too:
The insole had a normal amount of wear but wouldn’t be changed anyway:
We were extremely pleased with the results of the recraft. As we did with the before shots, we’ll let the visuals mostly speak for themselves.
First, it’s important to note that we only sent the shoes themselves, per Allen Edmonds’ instructions. They came back in a brand new branded box! We weren’t expecting this and were rather impressed:
The shoes arrived in brand new flannel shoe bags, and since we had opted for the Prestige upgrade, they had brand new cedar shoe trees and a tube of black shoe polish with them.
Allen Edmonds was smart enough to package the polish in a plastic bag, a genius move on their part. While it wouldn’t have been the end of the world for a bottle of black polish to open and get on a pair of black shoes while in transit, this quick fix avoids such situations and reminds us that Allen Edmonds really does a great job of taking care of their customers:
We’d like to mention that you don’t just get regular shoe trees with the Prestige upgrade: you get a pair of Allen Edmonds full toe shoe trees. These better complement Allen Edmonds’ lasts and are a great value. Very nice touch on their part.
The soles and heels turned out gorgeous:
As promised, the insole was left completely untouched. You’ll just have to take our word for it that this is a picture after the recraft was completed!
Finally, the overall look of the shoes was just fantastic. They had the new life breathed into them that they deserved, and wearing them once again will be just as exciting as their maiden voyage. Note the incredible decrease in wrinkling on the shoes’ vamp:
Final Thoughts On Allen Edmonds Recraft With Prestige Upgrade
We simply couldn’t be happier with the recraft. As a result of the work done, these beautiful shoes will have many more years of life in them, and once they start looking tired again, we’ll just send them in for another recraft!
The Prestige upgrade is an excellent idea, and there’s some hidden value in there that even Allen Edmonds doesn’t tell you about, such as:
- The price: You’re getting more than $30 of value for the $30 you pay. The cedar shoe trees retail at $26.95, and the tube of polish retails at $9. This is already over $30 combined, but that doesn’t even factor in the flannel bags you receive as part of the package. It’s really an exceptional value.
- The shoe trees themselves: You’re getting full toe cedar shoe trees, not regular ones. These fit the shoes better and thus do a better job of maintaining their longevity.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does Allen Edmonds recraft any brand of shoe?
No. They will only recraft Allen Edmonds shoes.
- Are all Allen Edmonds shoes recraftable?
Most styles are, but not all. Contact Allen Edmonds with any questions about this at [email protected]
- Are the insoles of my shoes replaced during the recraft process?
If the insoles were removable in the first place, then yes. If they weren’t, then the originals will be kept. This is actually a good thing, as it maintains the imprint of your foot and keeps the customized fit.
- Can my shoes be recrafted if there’s damage to the leather upper?
Serious damage like cuts, deep scrapes, or dog chews can’t be recrafted. You can either buy a new pair or try your luck at a local cobbler.
- I’ve already had a local cobbler work on my shoes. Can Allen Edmonds still recraft them?
Possibly. Many cobblers are unable to reconstruct shoes as they are done in Allen Edmonds’s facilities, and as such they cannot guarantee their ability to recraft shoes that a local cobbler worked on.
- How do I know if my shoes are too far gone for a recraft?
Generally, cracked or torn uppers, linings, or insoles are ineligible for a recraft. If you’re unsure, bring your shoes into an Allen Edmonds retail store or simply send them to their recrafting department for an evaluation.
- How should I prep my shoes for shipping?
Wrap them in tissue if you like, but that’s not necessary. Do not send shoe trees or flannel bags, as these will not be returned.
- What if I send my shoes to be recrafted and they can’t be recrafted?
If for whatever reason your shoes can’t be recrafted, you’ll receive a call from Allen Edmonds letting you know.
- How do I know my shoes were received?
You’ll receive an email 3-5 days after they were received confirming that they’re in the recraft production system.
- How long is the turnaround time for a recraft?
Four weeks or less for a standard recraft, 2-3 weeks for simple tune-ups. These times start when the shoes enter Allen Edmonds’ recraft system, not from the date they’re shipped or physically received by Allen Edmonds.
- Are wrinkles removed during recrafting?
As the shoes will be re-stretched on a last, some of the wrinkles will be removed. Deep wrinkles cannot be removed.
- How many times can I have my shoes recrafted?
So long as the uppers, linings, and insoles aren’t cracked or torn, the shoes can be recrafted. Allen Edmonds will generally recraft a shoe two or three times at a maximum.
- Can I change the color of my shoes?
Unfortunately, no. The color is determined during the tanning process and can’t be changed.
- What happens if my shoes are damaged during the recraft process?
Conclusion: Is Recrafting Worth It?
If you’ve bought cheap, replaceable shoes, no. If you’ve invested in a pair of Allen Edmonds shoes, a recraft is absolutely worth it.
Recraftable shoes from Allen Edmonds tend to run at $300+, and they tend to be classic models that never go out of style.
To get a nearly new pair for less than half the price makes plenty of financial sense.
If your shoes hold sentimental value (and for many of us, they do), then the added benefit of keeping them for as long as possible is priceless, really.
"Allen Edmonds shoe recrafting services were fantastic. The pair of shoes that I sent in had gone through a lot and it was quite evident so I was very impressed when they came back looking like a brand new pair of shoes!"Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★
For more information on the Allen Edmonds brand and Allen Edmonds shoe reviews see our brand review page.