Also, if I may... FUCK Alden. That piece of shit company will never get my business.
Needless to say, I've had a few negative experiences with them, lack of responses, etc. My latest, was directly with a salesman in one of their stores. Started off ok, I was looking at a pair of cordovan chukkas in #8, so we discussed the shoes a little. Then, he asked me what I usually wear and I told him I've been wearing nothing but AE for the past several years. The next 15 minutes inside the store consisted of essentially tearing apart AE, how the company isn't a true american company anymore, how their multi-model saturation is decreasing their value, and how they aren't a real shoe company anymore because they offer clothing and accessories as well. Also stated that they get low end leather compared to what Horween provided to Alden.
Needless to say, I told him to fuck off. If that is his selling point, ripping apart other companies that I support who are in a completely different price range and are not exactly equal competitors, I want nothing to do with them. Cocky fucks.
the dude may not come off right, but he does sound like he follows AE in terms of developments and offerings. That shows he does his homework and know why a certain product may or may not be better. Whether you agree with his assessment is a different story, but he does bring up points for debate. i certainly dont' appreciate the bashing as well.
i'm not sure what he meant by AE receiving low-end leather from Horween, when the owner, Nick, mentioned that all shell quality from Horween is essentially the same to all shoemakers or other makers.