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***The official Alden thread *** Share enthusiasm, reviews, sizing, advice, and photos. - Page 4004  

post #60046 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by NAMOR View Post

Alden is ran ass backwards and their operations are as old as shoe making is a profession. All this about not wanting to grow and sacrifice quality argument is horseshit. They can't even make a decent shoe as it is. their UK counterparts- C&J, Trickers, and even AS benchgrade - make a much better built shoe in similar styles. C&J would mark their shoes as defective if their workers began producing Alden 1st quality work. It's that bad. Alden as business hasn't done anything to justify charging $700 for shoes.

The problem is that demand has risen to such a high level, and their customers so focused on these "rare" shells, for example, that they have turned a blind eye to the fact that other better quality shoemakers are making shell for the same price in any color cordovan in just months. Carmina pumps out ANY color shell (horween) in just months. Every three months you could have a new rare shell.

If Alden was made in china no one here would give them the light of day.

Alden is great but all this noisy drama and waiting for an imperfect $700-$750 shoe, has me feeling like I'm in high school again

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston S. View Post

lurker[1].gif

I agree with your points.

I don't...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by katch View Post

 

I have both the C&J Ralph Lauren Lindrick and Marlow Penny. I believe they are a better quality shoe. Aside from the LIndrick the Marlow family can be had for less than the Alden counterparts.

Have at it...  not sure that it's that easy to find the penny, ptb, the chukka, etc... for less than Alden prices.  Probably just as hard to locate.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

 

I also think Carmina's finish is of a higher grade for a similar price point

Enjoy your ruby shell cap toe bals for $850

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaunw View Post
 
Yea, I have the C&J for RL Marlow PTB. It's definitely a superior shoe to Alden and has quickly become my favorite (and most comfortable) shell cordovan shoe......sorry Alden:D
Great shoes/boots and certainly superior in construction and finish (maybe not the shell itself), but I do not agree with your comfort assessment.  In any case you are paying more for that superior construction.  Enjoy all of your RL dark brown shell.  I'll enjoy my color 8.

 

@NAMOR-

I certainly understand frustration with availability and lengthy waiting periods that don't make much sense (i.e. 3 years for tan suede LWBs form LS and no end in sight).  I personally have never had an issue with quality control, but I may be the exception rather than the rule.  I suppose that if you compare QC with EG, Carmina, C&J, etc...  Alden will fall behind, but I can not agree that they are of the same or similar price points.  If you have such a problem with Alden and you want to change their practices, buy something else and enjoy them.  Otherwise, enjoy what you have and get over the fact that with Alden you can not have what you want, when you want it all the time.  I mean no disrespect, you are a well-respected member of this thread and I am among many here that appreciate you and your contributions.  But you are correct, it is as if you are a high schooler.

 

I hope y'all enjoy your collection of Aldens and the weekend...

post #60047 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReppTiePrepster View Post


I hope y'all enjoy your collection of Aldens and the weekend...

I certainly will -- there should be a pair of Cigar LWBs awaiting me at home.
post #60048 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcibiades View Post


Carmina doesn't appear to offer a lot of its lasts in wide sizes (even via single shoe preorder), so I can't really use them like I have wanted for their sleeker styles. For example I can't order a cordovan double monk strap in a wide size. In contrast, I can get a wide size in Plaza, Aberdeen, Hampton etc pretty easily. They do offer wide sizes on some of their less sleek styles, but for those types of shoes I prefer the look of Alden.

Allen Edmonds could be a good choice over Alden, but shoe for shoe, I think Alden makes a better cordovan product (their calfskin can be equal depending on model, plus their service is excellent). Plus, Alden and AE models just look different even int eh same styles.

 

I'm on the same boat.  I wear C width and it has been hard to get the exact style in the last that fits outside of Alden and AE.  Carmina does offer nice make-ups but not necessarily for my fit. 

 

I think the key here is the retailer.  If you as a customer establishes a really good relationship with one, I think you'll be surprised with what can happen.  They may not have power over Alden, but they have the relationship.  

post #60049 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcibiades View Post


Is Carmina really selling cordovan in a meaningful way outside of Styleforum/Epaulet and a few select stores via MTO? I don't know the answer but I would guess no. Same for Vass, Meermin, etc. Obviously for Styleforum members that can get their needs met by these companies, it's excellent, but that's not a big number. Cordovan is still very much a niche category within a niche category (dress shoes over $400), and it's even more niche for companies outside of Alden and maybe AE.

 

Carmina does call themselves "Specialists in Genuine Shell Cordovan."  I don't think it's a niche for them.  I think they probably account for a lot of the European market in shell, and I think their presence in the US is only going to increase.  

post #60050 of 122416
^ I agree other manufactures will attempt to fill the void.My contention is that given a choice most would still choose alden, only turning to others when necessary.
post #60051 of 122416

I share many of the sentiments above regarding Alden leaving us at times feeling like they just don't care. They'll take our money and then they'll get our precious shells to us when they can.

 

That said, like an abused child, I continue to just sign up for more and can't fathom leaving the mothership. Without having even begun the Mac break in method on my beloved ravello lwbs that arrived only Tuesday, I convinced myself that my boot collection needed more variety and impulsively ordered the navy CXL greenwich boots from Leffot yesterday. As usual, customer service was great and, although I called late in the day, they managed to package my goods in time for the 5pm pickup so that the boots would arrive here by noon. :slayer:

 

I was hesitant on two levels: the crepe sole and the navy color. I'm not sure if my crummy iPhone 5 pics do justice to the boots, but they are a deep color, almost black in indoor lighting, which alleviates some of my worries that they will be too blue and therefore hard to match with the wardrobe. I know the crepe has lots of haters on this thread, but I have to say that I never realized how cushy the soles are. Right out of the box it feels like you're cozily walking on air. These are the kind of boots I could see myself wearing to drive in during a long car trip on a fall weekend. The crepe is definitely not as elegant as some of my stuff with the leather soles and not as rugged looking as the boots with commando soles, but I think the wingtip design keeps them from looking too casual and knockabout. Of course, maybe I am just needing to tell myself all this because--despite the need to financially recover from the recent house purchase--I just can't seem to keep the Alden fever at bay.

 

Now how do I sneak these in and wear them this weekend without getting the wifely eye roll? :nest:

 

 

post #60052 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by bespoken pa View Post

I have certainly not been afraid to point out Alden's shortcomings in the past. However would I fork over $850 for ravello brixtons, in a second. It kills me to think of giving so much money to a manufacturer that could care less about those who support their brand. None the less I do it anyway. I have posed this question before but how bad does it have to get before people look at other options. Assuming all were available would people consistently choose AE or Carmina over alden shell?

 

if carmina made more casual styled shoes/boots I would go in that direction. Unfortunately most of their stuff is way too formal looking for my style.

post #60053 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaunw View Post

if carmina made more casual styled shoes/boots I would go in that direction. Unfortunately most of their stuff is way too formal looking for my style.
Agreed. Although they do have a nice LWB and their PCT boot is really nice.
post #60054 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by docalden2013 View Post
 

I share many of the sentiments above regarding Alden leaving us at times feeling like they just don't care. They'll take our money and then they'll get our precious shells to us when they can.

 

That said, like an abused child, I continue to just sign up for more and can't fathom leaving the mothership. Without having even begun the Mac break in method on my beloved ravello lwbs that arrived only Tuesday, I convinced myself that my boot collection needed more variety and impulsively ordered the navy CXL greenwich boots from Leffot yesterday. As usual, customer service was great and, although I called late in the day, they managed to package my goods in time for the 5pm pickup so that the boots would arrive here by noon. :slayer:

 

I was hesitant on two levels: the crepe sole and the navy color. I'm not sure if my crummy iPhone 5 pics do justice to the boots, but they are a deep color, almost black in indoor lighting, which alleviates some of my worries that they will be too blue and therefore hard to match with the wardrobe. I know the crepe has lots of haters on this thread, but I have to say that I never realized how cushy the soles are. Right out of the box it feels like you're cozily walking on air. These are the kind of boots I could see myself wearing to drive in during a long car trip on a fall weekend. The crepe is definitely not as elegant as some of my stuff with the leather soles and not as rugged looking as the boots with commando soles, but I think the wingtip design keeps them from looking too casual and knockabout. Of course, maybe I am just needing to tell myself all this because--despite the need to financially recover from the recent house purchase--I just can't seem to keep the Alden fever at bay.

 

Now how do I sneak these in and wear them this weekend without getting the wifely eye roll? :nest:

 

 

 

 

+1 for the crepe.  I thought I would always be a leather sole kinda guy, and never would have thought I would go for the crepe sole, but I really like the feel.  Puts a little bounce in my step, and is very comfortable.  Probably not formal enough for most work environs, but I am believer.

post #60055 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by brp2 View Post


I certainly will -- there should be a pair of Cigar LWBs awaiting me at home.

Congrats my friend!  Enjoy...

post #60056 of 122416

Quote:

Originally Posted by shaunw View Post
Yea, I have the C&J for RL Marlow PTB. It's definitely a superior shoe to Alden and has quickly become my favorite (and most comfortable) shell cordovan shoe......sorry Alden:D
Great shoes/boots and certainly superior in construction and finish (maybe not the shell itself), but I do not agree with your comfort assessment. In any case you are paying more for that superior construction. Enjoy all of your RL dark brown shell. I'll enjoy my color 8.

 

I think my foot shape has a lot to do with the comfort level of C&J for me. The marlow is kind of narrower in the waist like modified last but not so wide of the toe. Oh I like my color 8 too now.......color 8 and cigar are my favs

post #60057 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReppTiePrepster View Post

Congrats my friend!  Enjoy...

And next week I should have a pair of Ravello chukkas waiting. I can't say I'm sure what everyone is complaining about -- both are coming from retailers from whom I've never purchased before.
post #60058 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReppTiePrepster View Post


I don't...

Have at it...  not sure that it's that easy to find the penny, ptb, the chukka, etc... for less than Alden prices.  Probably just as hard to locate.

Enjoy your ruby shell cap toe bals for $850


@NAMOR-
I certainly understand frustration with availability and lengthy waiting periods that don't make much sense (i.e. 3 years for tan suede LWBs form LS and no end in sight).  I personally have never had an issue with quality control, but I may be the exception rather than the rule.  I suppose that if you compare QC with EG, Carmina, C&J, etc...  Alden will fall behind, but I can not agree that they are of the same or similar price points.  If you have such a problem with Alden and you want to change their practices, buy something else and enjoy them.  Otherwise, enjoy what you have and get over the fact that with Alden you can not have what you want, when you want it all the time.  I mean no disrespect, you are a well-respected member of this thread and I am among many here that appreciate you and your contributions.  But you are correct, it is as if you are a high schooler.

I hope y'all enjoy your collection of Aldens and the weekend...

Naturally we are both going to butt heads, dad.

And here is your $850 ruby shell. Just restocked (took a whopping 10 weeks). And if you ask nicely, the granddaughter of the founder, will even throw in an extra pair of laces

http://www.carmina.telemaco.es/articulo.asp?idarticulo=4334252
post #60059 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by brp2 View Post

And next week I should have a pair of Ravello chukkas waiting. I can't say I'm sure what everyone is complaining about -- both are coming from retailers from whom I've never purchased before.

The only retailer I haven't really cracked is J Gilbert (mainly because I haven't been been interested in very many of their styles, and the ones I may be interested in I find out about really late, so my size is already spoken for). For all other retailers, it seems to just take a call.
post #60060 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcibiades View Post

The only retailer I haven't really cracked is J Gilbert (mainly because I haven't been been interested in very many of their styles, and the ones I may be interested in I find out about really late, so my size is already spoken for). For all other retailers, it seems to just take a call.

Agreed. Alden DC is incredible on the phone. Adam at AoC is incredibly responsive via email, letting me know earlier this week -- when I saw everyone getting their Ravello LWBs from DC -- that he had both Ravello and Cigar LWBs in my size. And, of course, Shig at LS is great to deal with over email too.
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