Risking even more sacrilege and the eternal rath of the high priests of the holy Alden faith what is it specifically about the Ralph Lauren cordovan wingtip that inspires even the most avid of shell admirers? I've only seen the shoes on someone else's feet. I own some Alden LWB's so I'm wondering what differences in build quality between the two shoes are people referring to? Are they worth the extra Benjamin and change more than some Alden cigar LWB's? And, at 850 bones that's only a half step away from a "G". If a guys cool with paying close to a $1K for one pair of shoes, and he doesn't have some kind of restrictive medical condition, why not go all the way and get made to order. Just axing a question.
There is little to know difference in "build quality" between Alden and CJ. CJ finishes their shoes just slightly nicer in their bench grade (which the Darlton is). The handgrades are indeed "nicer" than Alden, though I have yet to love the aesthetic coming out of CJ. Too "sleek" for me.
I'll take cigar LWB over the Darlton all day every day.
If you love Alden but want to consider moving "on or up" from them, check out Carmina or Vass.