My first pair of Aldens await me at home this evening!
I realize I jumped into this thread a few pages back about sizing and I never properly introduced myself. For that, I apologize. I joined up here years ago when I was seeking a peacoat (vintage wwii era from ebay didn't fit, BR one fit like a glove and went with that, still going strong). Then, I lurked every now and then, until recently when I ended up finding out how great Aldens are and how many people love them. After a couple of years of buying cheap shoes and having the soles wear out and/or just come unglued after a year, I just got tired of it and started researching well-made shoes that could last me a long time if treated and worn the right way (conditioned every now and then, rotated, shoe trees, etc). I wanted a shoe that was well-made, had a good pedigree and history, with durable leather that would not get wrinkle creases, and hold up for a long time.
Chromexcel would fit the bill, except I see so many examples of the clicking roulette game and I started to think that if I was spending $300 or so on a pair of shoes, might as well go all in. Therefore, it seemed to me that an Alden in cordovan would be the best fitting choice for what I wanted. As far as style goes, I have always loved cap toe boots and I wear dress casual boots year-round. I like speed hooks.
I admit that the Indy was a strong contender, but I only recently started liking moc-style stitching on boots. Sometimes the more I look at it the less I like it...sometimes the opposite. I'm inconsistent with that aesthetic. However, I've always liked cap toes, and the more I look at mid-century WWII military inspired boots and shoes the more I like them. Aldens hardly ever go on sale, too, unless they're seconds. Or unless JCrew might have something that fits the bill...and wouldn't you know it but they have exactly that. Conclusion: Alden's perforated cap toe boot in cordovan for JCrew. I opened a card and got a deal.
Thank you to everyone on this forum for all the pics, advice on sizing, care and treatment, and for being an amazingly valuable resource for all things Alden. Without this thread, I doubt I would have ended up with a pair of Aldens at home waiting for me to try on. I ordered an 8 and an 8.5 since I understand that for many the JCrew Barrie can run true to size.
OK, truth be told, they arrived when I was home on my lunch break, and I did get two minutes to peek inside each box before I scrambled back to the office. It appears that neither pair has been tried on--completely smooth vamps and unmarked soles. I just got a glance, though. Really hoping that's the case when I take a closer look this evening! Fingers crossed for an unblemished, unworn, un-returned, brand spanking new pair!!