Johnapril, did the stitches BREAK or did they start to fray? Â Shoe stitching rope is pretty heavy duty stuff -- if it really broke ALL THE WAY through, that's a DEFECT. Â If it just started to fray (maybe a few broken threads), that's pretty normal for an exposed stitching shoe.
I took a look at that shoe again. It appears that three of the stitches did as you said: they frayed. It alarmed me when it happened because I had never owned a pair of shoes like this before, and I didn't know what to expect. When I saw the stray threads peeking out from underneath the shoe, I thought: 1) My arch is so screwed up that I can ruin a perfectly good pair of shoes in a wearing. 2) Alden ain't all dat. 3) This is a defect. But if you say fraying of exposed stitches is normal, OK. Still, wouldn't a shoe with a channel and concealed stitching be a better/more durable option?