The Aldens. Much better leather, combination heel than AE. But, unless you are pining of cordovan leather, you could probably get a comparable quality shoe (with similar appearance) for a much lower price at an outlet, Ebay, Bluefly, etc. Based on your previous posts, it seems like $450 for a pair of shoes would really be a huge investment for you, Tom (as it would be for me, so please don't take offense to my statement). IMO, you really have to be (1) desparate for shoes, or (2) really rich to justify a 100% retail buy of $450 shoes, considering the deals out there. If you are set on the Aldens though -- they are cool -- you might want to check what Brooks Brothers has in their Alden stock. Very likely you could get the same shoe from Brooks Brothers, for a substantial discount -- and here's how: (1) Wait two more months or so for the friends and family sale (I think it will be in Sept. or so) AND (2) go on Ebay and find Brooks Brothers gift cards, which you can get for an average of 75 - 80% of face value. My sense is that this would drive down the price of Alden cordovans from BB to about $250. Good luck.