Today I joined the legions of Alden fan(boy)s everywhere as a pair of Alden (for J. Crew) chukkas in #8 shell arrived at my doorstep (or, more accurately, was handed to my by the UPS guy).
Huge props to the guy at the Chestnut St. J. Crew in Philadelphia, who spent easily 20 minutes on the phone with people at the Ludlow store in New York getting them to honor the discount I got online for the pair I wanted to exchange. It's entirely possible that I got the last pair of 11.5Ds in the country.
Looking closely, I can already see some subtle variations in the color of the leather where the toebox has folded while I walk. It's fucking beautiful.