Shrug, I disagree. Well, I agree about the lack of an arch, but the modified really doesn't have much of an arch either in my experience. I find the heel cup quite supportive and that it has a similar flare, with a straight inner line. Of course anyone here is going to have a very particular foot. For some of you it won't work, but I suspect that there are many people here who will fin that it does. When I compare their profile with my modified Alden's, they are very similar. I will post pictures later when I get the chance
The arch support we refer to is built into the last - it's driven by the shape of the shoe as well as the type of heel installed. The very narrow waist is meant to accommodate a person with a high arch. The best way to see this is to look at the shoe from the sole side.
While you can always add padding, etc under your arch, the ML Last design has arch support built into the shape. In additional, the Thomas heel adds to the arch support as the heel extends further forward in the shoes, under the arch.
I'm not a shoe-builder so it's tough for me to explain in technical terms. Bottom line for me is that AE has nothing like the ML in it's last and construction. This isn't a good or bad thing for AE - simple fact that Alden traditionally had an orthopedic 'footbalance' line in additional to their traditional dress shoes. We are simply a bunch of guys who want Alden to built a fancier, more styled dress shoe and / or boot on a last that they originally designed for people with problem feet...