Pros: Great quality cordovan and construction that will last for years
Cons: Runs 1/2 size large due to Barrie last
This cordovan plain toe blucher (PTB) is a high quality classic design by Alden. It is available in both #8 (style 990 seen in this review) and black (style 9901.) The double oak sole is sturdy and will last for years. The Barrie last normally runs 1/2 size large, so if you are an 11 D you would need to order a 10.5 D. The sole is natural leather for the 990 and dyed black for the 9901. They are comfortable and roomy in both the vamp and toe box for those who with a high instep. Alden normally builds this shoe in C, D and E widths, but some dealers such as the Shoe Mart, order runs in EEE widths. I purchased the #8 and was impressed with the ability for the cordovan to held a shine and to deal with scratches with a brush and no polish. Ordering a horse hair brush is a must to maintain this or other cordovan shoes properly.
Allen Edmonds also offers a cordovan PTB in the Leeds. The Leeds is smaller in the toe box and tighter across the vamp than the Alden 990. The Alden also several additional touches in craftmanship such as wheeling on the welt. The Leeds usually runs approximately $50 less in price and is available in more sizes. I have checked both shoes and preferred the Alden.