I'd like to share my great experiences ordering shoes from Alfred Sargent. After asking for shell cordovan sources here and on AAAC, I emailed Chay Cooper @ AS and received an astonishingly fast reply. We emailed back & forth, & I finally decided to go for Edens, an older model single-strap monk on the 87 last, in burgundy shell to AS Exclusive standards. My real problem was the size, since I couldn't make it to any of the US trunk shows and had no experience (as it turned out) with English shoe sizes. Based on a red herring pair of 10-year-old Cheaneys bought in the US @ a Church's retail store that must've been labeled in US sizes, we decided initially to go with 10.5. Fortunately I had input from Sarah Nelson @ A Fine Pair of Shoes and soon changed the size to 9.5. I paid my deposit and waited for almost exactly 2 months til my shoes were ready.
The shell is nice and thick, & I find the burgundy much subtler and more interesting than Alden's #8. One thing that should be mentioned is that there's is a tangible seam in the insteps where the vamp material meets 1 of the 2 pieces that form the back of the shoe. The seam in noticeable for about a minute when I put the shoes on, but then I get used to it & forget all about it.
The fiddleback soles are a nice subtle touch.
The price of the shoes included shipping to the US, as well as the AS dust bags & felt cloth. I can't recommend Sargent's service highly enough & am very disappointed that I won't be able to make it for a factory tour next month when I'm in England. I've already ordered another pair: whiskey shell saddle derbies w/ a black shell apron saddle. I can't hardly wait.
Sorry for the mediocre pics.