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Alden Blucher v. Balmoral

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm going to stop by the local Alden store today to view and possibly purchase some #8 shell cordovan shoes before the price increase that will supposedly go into effect later this month. In thinking about the purchase, I'm wondering why the forum favorite is the longwing blucher:



over the wingtip balmoral:



Is this just aesthetic/personal preference, or is there some sort of logic behind the preference (aside from the blucher = informal, bal = more formal distinction).
post #2 of 14
Balmoral feels a bit more versatile to me. They also differ in that only one of the two you show here are longwings, but you probably already know that.
post #3 of 14
For certain individuals the choice is because of the fit or feel. For me, I tend to like balmorals better simply because I have a low arch & instep, I fit in most balmorals nicely and they look perfect with the two sides closed up. Bluchers can allow more comfrot for someone with a higher instep; however, on me, the sides can get pulled very close because of my lower instep, especially on a last like the Barrie (which happens to have a high instep).
post #4 of 14
I have both. The Balmoral has a slimmer profile and will be better for wearing to the office (suits, trousers, and khakis). Because of the slim profile, I wouldn't reccomend it for wear with Jeans.

The Longwing can also be worn in a business formal setting, but would be much easier to wear with Jeans or casual pants.

So I'd actually say the Blucher is a little more versatile if you're looking for an all around workhorse shoe.
post #5 of 14
My inclination is that the longwing looks a little informal with a suit, but I tend to see broguing as kinda informal looking to begin with.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shasta View Post
I have both. The Balmoral has a slimmer profile and will be better for wearing to the office (suits, trousers, and khakis). Because of the slim profile, I wouldn't reccomend it for wear with Jeans. The Longwing can also be worn in a business formal setting, but would be much easier to wear with Jeans or casual pants. So I'd actually say the Blucher is a little more versatile if you're looking for an all around workhorse shoe.
Hm I wonder if it might come down to this for me. The shoe will primarily be an office shoe, and aesthetically, I think I like the balmoral a bit better. But I do like some of the pairings I see of the longwings and jeans/casual pants...
post #7 of 14
I love both these shoes. Which you prefer is entirely your preference. I don't think there's any meaningful difference in formality between the two. Both can easily be worn in business settings, the longwing just might have some more versatility in casual situations.

My suggestion is to go into the store, try both on, and choose whichever fits you best. These shoes, while somewhat aesthetically similar, are on two different lasts. Choose whichever is more comfortable.

For reference, the Bal is on the Tremont last, and the Blucher is on the Barrie last.
post #8 of 14
I find cordovan to be a casual material best suited for the LWB. Also, I believe Alden makes the nicest LWB as it is an American shoe. For a balmoral, you can head across the pond and and find much nicer shoes at higher expense.

For me, it would be an easy choice for the LWB (best of class).
post #9 of 14
I prefer the blucher for casual wear and the balmoral for suits.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by LanceW View Post
I find cordovan to be a casual material best suited for the LWB. Also, I believe Alden makes the nicest LWB as it is an American shoe. For a balmoral, you can head across the pond and and find much nicer shoes at higher expense.

For me, it would be an easy choice for the LWB (best of class).

+1. Shell develops big rolling creases that look fine on casual shoes but are out of place with bals, which should be sleek and smooth. Better to stick with good quality calf for bals.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgetorix View Post
+1. Shell develops big rolling creases that look fine on casual shoes but are out of place with bals, which should be sleek and smooth. Better to stick with good quality calf for bals.

Interesting point. I hadn't really thought about the creasing.
post #12 of 14
They are on different lasts. For me, the decision would be based on which fits better.
post #13 of 14
Longwings all day baby
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well I just came back from the store and SF groupthink prevailed . But seriously, I tried on both the longwing and the balmoral, and the longwing did fit better because I'm a 13.5/14, and the 13D Barrie last had a bit more room. They really were quite comfortable, in fact. I was tempted to wear them out the store, but I did not want to disrespect my AE Park Avenues .

Thanks to all for the advice. Now to keep any eye out for loose stitching...
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