Pros: Good looking, tough, readily available, weather resistant casual PTB
Cons: Lack of available stores for personal sizing
The Alden brown CXL plain toe blucher, style #9432S, is a stock Alden offering that can be purchased at a number of retailers, including the shoemart, Alden of San Francisco and others. The brief summary of the shoe from The Shoemart is accurate and to the point:
"Unsurpassed for breathable comfort and long wear, it assumes over time the contours of your foot shape giving a truly custom quality to the fit. Beneath the insole is a layer of cork, providing additional resilience and insulation. Every Alden New England shoe carries a tempered steel shank, precisely contoured and triple ribbed for extra strength. Truly the backbone of a fine welt shoe or boot, the shank provides the proper support and shape required to give comfort throughout the day. Great all day comfort and useful in wet weather conditions."
Minimal shoe care is required and consists of a wipe down with a damp cloth and brushing. Period conditioning can be done with Venetian shoe cream, Saphir Renovateur or Bick 4. The Bick 4 was used on my shoes and left no residue nor did it darken the leather. CXL will wrinkle with use and develop a nice patina. Its rubber sole and resistance to wet weather makes it an excellent choice for those who live in damper areas. The shoe is built on the Barrie last and this traditionally runs one half size large. So if you wear an 11, drop down to a 10.5. Alden traditionally offers the shoe in C, D and E width, but some retailers, like The Shoe Mart, will carry the shoe up to EEE. The shoe has a mini lug rubber sole on a Goodyear welt, which can be recrafted. The CXL leather, mini lug sole and reverse stitch welt places the 9432S in the casual category that looks great with jeans, chinos and khaki. In wet weather I would not hesitate to wear them with slacks. The shoe also comes in black under style number 9435S and a Tobacco oiled Nubuck 9431S.