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Alden modified last

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
What do you guys think of the Alden modified last? See the link below for photos. Some of them look really blobby. They make the Barrie look downright sleek. The toe box is really bulbous. They look like a serious orthopedic shoe. How do they look in person? Any comments from people with the modified last would be appreciated. Thanks.

Here are the photos:

Some of them look like something from Lil Abner.
post #2 of 39
I own a modified last plain toe boot in #8. Yes, bulbous, but not enormous--nowhere near what engineer boots or doc marten's would be--less bulbous than timberlands. Also very comfortable and kind of cool in the boot. Not sure about this in a shoe--have seen some v-tips that just look odd.
post #3 of 39
it's not so much that they are more bulbous, it's that the last is angled to follow the natural contours of the fit. that angle makes designs that are normally more linear or "tubular" look odd IMHO. Sort of like the difference between vintage Florsheim Imperial Longwings and AE Macneils
post #4 of 39
I own 4 pairs on the Modified Last, so I feel somewhat equipped to comment on this.

First off, the good news: these are the most comfortable shoes I own (by a significant margin). I have very high arches and very wide toes and these fit me superbly.

Certain styles can look decent in this shoe. As the above poster said, boots can look pretty good (especially in black). I own a pair of longwings that look pretty sleek as well. I also own a v-tip in a lighter brown that is blobby and strange. My rule of thumb seems to be that if there is something significant going on in the toe, it'll look good (like an Indy boot or a wingtip) but if it is a plain shoe it'll likely be no beauty.
post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 
That's good info. I was thinking about a pair of cap toes in the modified last. It's hard to tell without seeing them in person.
post #6 of 39
I have two pair of shell boots on the Modified, extremely comfortable.

They look less blobby, if that's the word, than the Barrie, because the modified hugs the arch and instep. The taper from arch to ball is pronounced in the Modified while the Barrie is more or less the same width throughout. It is, to me, a great last, not for a dress shoe but for a Saturday walk-the-dogs boot - perfect.

P.S. just looked at the photos. The cap toe does indeed make the last look odd. It might be the one style to avoid.
post #7 of 39
I have two pairs of modified last shoes, a light brown longwing, and a plain #8 shell bloucher. It's not my favorite shape, but they are not exactly blobby. They are very comfortable, but they are not my go to shoes, not even my go to Aldens.
post #8 of 39
I have the captoe and moc toe boots from Anatomica, both on the modified last in #8 SC. I really like them and they don't look nearly as bad as the boots shown on Moulded's website.

Pics here, although they are not great.
post #9 of 39
modified last
Attachment 21243
Attachment 21244
Attachment 21245

They are the very comfortable boots.
post #10 of 39
I own 8 pairs of Alden modified last shoes. I have what my shoemaker calls a "sickle" shaped foot that requires a non-standard last, and very few manufactures make a last which accommodates this shape. Luckily for me, Alden does, and this is called the "modified last" as you mention. Vass of Budapest offers a similar RTW last called the "banana last" (though all of Vass' lasts are essentially RTW, but I digress). The quality/finishing on the modified last shoes is not as high as Alden's regular stuff though (stitching is not as neat, only half-lined sole, etc). However, on some of the cordovan shoes I've purchased, the quality is as good as Alden's mainline stuff. I know the styling isn't so sexy, but if they're comfortable for you, go for it. I purchased all of mine through Moulded Shoe, and they are excellent people to work with. But, photographers they are not. So the shoes are definitely better looking in person than on the website. As an aside, the Japanese are ape-shit over the modified last, and they command a significantly higher price in JP. You can see some of the porn at: for the cordovan shoes, and for some seasonal shoes. A shoemaker I use tells me that the Japanese often have "sickle" shaped feet which is why they are so popular in JP.
post #11 of 39
to be fair, all Alden shoes sell for a huge markup in Japan--as do all imported things. Japan is an export-oriented economy with high import tariffs, hence the high price for American and British shoes. I think the key here is your foot. I find the sickle-shaped last with the high arches very supportive and on the edge of comfort--any higher and I couldn't manage it with my regular feet. If you have very flat feet, you may not be able to wear these comfortably--and if you have sickle-shaped feet, or very high arches, you may only be able to wear this last in Alden.
post #12 of 39
I'd probably call them tomm. but how much would these shoes cost??
post #13 of 39
Never had this shoes before, looks like they are well made are they comfortable though?
post #14 of 39
contrary to the above poster I do find my modified boots more blobby than my Barrie longwings because there seems to be more volume in the toe box. Or perphaps the broguing on the toes makes the Barrie longwings look less bulbous. But it's not a bad bulbous--just not in any way a sleek shoe like the PLaza last or the Aberdeen.
post #15 of 39
Originally Posted by sl33p3rs View Post
Never had this shoes before, looks like they are well made are they comfortable though?

They will almost certainly be the most comfortable shoes you own.
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