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Alden cordovan shoes: mine "dents"

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I love my cordovan Alden. The colour and patina are so rich and distinct from calf shoes.

There is one thing that seems to be an issue: the leather develops "dents" along the toe cap and heel counter. I have never seen this on my calf shoes that have done a lot more miles.

It is as if something hard had pressed against the toe cap and heel counter, and they left an impression on the leather.

Does anyone have similar experience?
post #2 of 16
Pics?
post #3 of 16
I could well be wrong but I've been smoothing out the dents by rubbing it with the back of your thumnail or something similar.

If I remember correctly (too lazy to use search), sometimes a deer bone is used for this purpose - to smooth out shell cordovan.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kolecho
I love my cordovan Alden. The colour and patina are so rich and distinct from calf shoes.

There is one thing that seems to be an issue: the leather develops "dents" along the toe cap and heel counter. I have never seen this on my calf shoes that have done a lot more miles.

It is as if something hard had pressed against the toe cap and heel counter, and they left an impression on the leather.

Does anyone have similar experience?

i believe those are tool marks.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
What tool marks are you referring to?
post #6 of 16
The sewing machines used for stitching leather are different to the machines used for fabric. While sewing machines for fabric have a presser foot that moves the fabric along, the leather machines have a wheel next to the needle. (Leather sticks to a presser foot.)

Sometimes these presser wheels can leave an indentation in shell cordovan leather, which is really rather soft to pressure from above. If you talk about a regular indentation (about 1/8" [3mm] wide), which runs dead-parallel to a row of top stitching; that's most likely to come from he sewing machine.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the explanation.

The identation I am referring to happened recently during use. It is not from factory.

I suspect that cordovan on these Alden shoes are thicker than calf, and has a tendency to develop indentations when pressed against hard surfaces.

I wonder if it is the case with Carmina and C&J cordovan shoes. When I handled some Carmina cordovan shoes in NYC recently, they felt lighter than my Alden. I wonder if the leather thickness is the same as Alden.

Please share your experience.
post #8 of 16
Alden cordovan leather is tough. I wear mine and if a nick, dent or scuff occurs in the course of life, just buff with your horsehair brush.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I understand cordovan is tough, but how do you get rid of a dent with a horsehair brush?
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kolecho

The identation I am referring to happened recently during use. It is not from factory.

Pics?
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
I took the shoes out just now to photograph the dents on the captoes. They have mostly disappeared, safe for one!!!!

This is so weird. Let's see if the dents disappear completely after a couple more days.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by amemovox
Alden cordovan leather is tough. I wear mine and if a nick, dent or scuff occurs in the course of life, just buff with your horsehair brush.

"Alden" cordovan leather is no tougher than "Allen-Edmonds" cordovan or "Crockett & Jones" cordovan--it all comes from Horween Tanneries.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel
"Alden" cordovan leather is no tougher than "Allen-Edmonds" cordovan or "Crockett & Jones" cordovan--it all comes from Horween Tanneries.

Oh, Jan haven't you heard? Allen Edmonds gets third choice from Horween and their cordovan isn't nearly as good as that found on Alden shoes

Sorry - I love to tweak you about AE, and I do remember many threads debunking that particular myth. That said, I don't think that the OP was meaning to single out Alden cordo as uniquely tough. Honest....

For the record, Horween cordo is used by all three makers (as Jan indicates) should be pretty uniform in quality. IIRC, there are a few Japanese cordovan tanneries as well....
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duveen
Oh, Jan haven't you heard? Allen Edmonds gets third choice from Horween and their cordovan isn't nearly as good as that found on Alden shoes

Sorry - I love to tweak you about AE, and I do remember many threads debunking that particular myth.

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kolecho
I took the shoes out just now to photograph the dents on the captoes. They have mostly disappeared, safe for one!!!!

This is so weird. Let's see if the dents disappear completely after a couple more days.

I was mortified last year after I ran over the toe of Alden shell cordovan leisure handsewns with a wheel of my desk chair while sitting in the chair. The pain in my foot was nothing compared with the horror of thinking I had ruined my beloved shoes. Thankfully, there was only a fairly deep indentation (in the shoe), which as almost disappeared in the meantime. I'm not sure why it happened, but I'm certainly glad it did!
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