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***The official Alden thread *** Share enthusiasm, reviews, sizing, advice, and photos. - Page 4760  

post #71386 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by budapest12 View Post
 

Comments today have been pretty interesting -- definitely an explosion of activity after a pretty long lull (IMO).  I happen to agree with the person who commented that the stripped tankers actually looked pretty good.  That said, I would never buy a product to go out of my way to significantly alter it (not on my own, at least).  For starters, I lack the skills necessary, but for the money you are spending, I'd think you'd just go get something closer to what you want.  I also agree that Alden's shell is - to me - the attraction to the brand, with the calf, CXL and suede models being nice, but costing too much in my view (every time I've come close to popping $550 on one of these, I've always realized that for $650 - $700, there is something in shell I want much more - and the difference at that point makes me want to just spend the extra on the shell).

 

But obviously we all have our own preferences.  I like my C&J and my Carminas.  Yes, the shell is drier, but I haven't found it too difficult to add some moisture.  As much as I like my Alden shell and the glazed finish, I don't need every pair of shell I buy to have that glazing.  I think there is something to be said for a more "natural" look and the thought of this stuff eventually wearing away and leaving discoloration is not all that appealing to me, but I guess that's the way it goes.  Anyway, I realize I'm not adding much here but wanted to chime in.  Good stuff all around -- I can see why some love their Aldens (as I do) and why others are frustrated and find them to be overrated.

I like the shell the other makers produce. I enjoy building my own patina on top of it, as opposed to the Alden finish. That being said, Alden's shell finishing is magnificent and the only reason I would ever buy from them, given the shortcomings in other areas. Now if only they made less stuff on the Barrie and Trubalance lasts.

post #71387 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by totalair1 View Post

Fellow SF members-I've got a problem I need advice on.  I've got a pair Alden Whiskey shell Short Wings with a dark area developing in the crease of each shoe, the left shoe is worse than the right.  I've never used any polish on these shoes, I have Saphir Renovateur after the dark area started developing.  I bought these shoes new, and from the beginning they first developed a light hazy area in the crease that appeared normal and I simply tried to polish out with horsehair brush.  But as I brushed the creased area started to have a little gummy like material peel away.  I kept brushing and the material continued to peel away kinda like glue or touch up finish.  Its hard to explain.  Anyway it started getting darker and I stopped.

My question is this something you think was in the finish from the factory?  This area stated looking different as soon as the creases started developing, darker and kinda dirty and hazy.  In retrospect i think these areas were touched up at the factory and I simply brushed away the touch up.  It bothers me to look down and see the dark areas so I want to do something to fix it.  Should I risk sending back to Alden?  Any suggestions on how to get the dark area to lighten up?  The more I brush the darker area seems to spread.

Thanks!

See Ya,
Steve





I think it is the oils that are packed into the shell during the tanning process. They are naturally seeping out on the vamp because that's where they crease and get squeezed when you walk. The oils are naturally darkening the shell. I agree with he comment above and would call that patina. The opposite often happens on the vamp creases with color 8, i.e., the creases get lighter. Don't worry about. They look great.
post #71388 of 122416
New to the board. Purchased my first pair PTB #8 in early December. Was getting ready to pull the trigger on the whiskey PTB and after the comments, decided to pull back. May go with the chukka #8 with commando sole and will wait for cigar or #8 LWB from Leffot made-up when available. Enjoying the posts and pictures.
post #71389 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by tifosi View Post

That is a good question. I guess they could claim mis-use. Just playing devil's advocate. But boots like that should be able to handle repeated ties! Honestly, thanks to this forum, I have seen this before and for that reason I try not to yank on my speedhooks. Besides...I loathe speedhooks, but sometimes you just don't have a choice.

Exactly. This is why I hate speedhooks and always look for makeups without them. They're very good at bending and breaking... so no thanks!
post #71390 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyc wid it View Post

I'll take C&J, Carmina, A&S, etc. anytime instead, especially since I detest moc toes and NST (although other brands make these too). Price point changes, increased availability of other brands, poor QC, ridiculous wait times etc. are all reasons that make Alden less appealing.

People are obviously free to do what they like with their money, but they should also be honest with themselves. There's nothing wrong with admitting that the attachment to Alden is largely "emotional". It's also a disservice to tell new buyers that flaws are "normal" (in general, not necessarily only referring to this particular whiskey conversation).

Alden makes better shoes than Carmina and C/J imo. More character, better lasts, heavier aesthetic. The Carmina lasts are feminine in my opinion. I've had shoes from all brands.

The Budapest makers are the best alternative to the Alden-favorites (boots, nsts, etc.). For straight up "business" balmorals, since I don't wear them, I'd just go AE on sale and polish them well. But Alden cordovan is better than cordovan from the makers you've listed, hands down. And the "flaws" are not "flaws," per se. They are issues involving hand-making the shoes. If I wanted "perfect" finishing, I'd have to spring for EG, high end Lobb, GG, etc. Even my Vass have slight "issues," and they are completely hand built. Completely.
post #71391 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by budapest12 View Post

Comments today have been pretty interesting -- definitely an explosion of activity after a pretty long lull (IMO).  I happen to agree with the person who commented that the stripped tankers actually looked pretty good.  That said, I would never buy a product to go out of my way to significantly alter it (not on my own, at least).  For starters, I lack the skills necessary, but for the money you are spending, I'd think you'd just go get something closer to what you want.  I also agree that Alden's shell is - to me - the attraction to the brand, with the calf, CXL and suede models being nice, but costing too much in my view (every time I've come close to popping $550 on one of these, I've always realized that for $650 - $700, there is something in shell I want much more - and the difference at that point makes me want to just spend the extra on the shell).

But obviously we all have our own preferences.  I like my C&J and my Carminas.  Yes, the shell is drier, but I haven't found it too difficult to add some moisture.  As much as I like my Alden shell and the glazed finish, I don't need every pair of shell I buy to have that glazing.  I think there is something to be said for a more "natural" look and the thought of this stuff eventually wearing away and leaving discoloration is not all that appealing to me, but I guess that's the way it goes.  Anyway, I realize I'm not adding much here but wanted to chime in.  Good stuff all around -- I can see why some love their Aldens (as I do) and why others are frustrated and find them to be overrated.

Thanks for the input.

It should be noted that the glazing wearing away and leaving discoloration is the exception not the rule.
post #71392 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by AldenKappa View Post

New to the board. Purchased my first pair PTB #8 in early December. Was getting ready to pull the trigger on the whiskey PTB and after the comments, decided to pull back. May go with the chukka #8 with commando sole and will wait for cigar or #8 LWB from Leffot made-up when available. Enjoying the posts and pictures.

Welcome to the forum. Good first choice. nod[1].gif

I would definitely recommend the cigar LWB or color 8 LWB over the whiskey PTB.
post #71393 of 122416

Keep the anti-whiskey sentiment going, more for the rest of us!

post #71394 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcibiades View Post


1) I own C&J shell and will buy more, but check out the Marlow/Darlton thread to see recent quality control issues regarding the shell
2) Carmina styling is different than Alden and their shell is much drier. Simply a different look/product. Also hard to get shoes in different widths.
3) Assume you are talking about Alfred Sargent - they make good stuff, but their cordovan seems limited

-Price point changes: C&J shell prices have increased at a good clip in recent years
-More brands are available, but many offer different stylings and aren't that comparable
-Poor QC - fine
-Wait times - fine, though I can find color 8, black and suede very easily

About the "emotion" - we all are spending more money on clothing/shoes than we should. Emotion will be part of it. That said, very few other manufacturers offer a wide variety of cordovan shoes available in my size (9.5/10 wide). In fact, basically none of them do outside of Allen Edmonds. Alden fits my needs and styling very well. They may not for you or for any other purchaser. Shoes don't have universal appeal or value.

Alden does have QC problems.  But in my experience, they do a more than adequate job of taking care of the customer.  I have taken back a 1494 to SF Alden because the right shoe was wider after a few weeks of wear.  Jim asked me to bring it back to him and inspect, but he took it back after seeing that it was defective even if it's been worn.  The real issue is that when the defect occurs in a "rare" color shell,  we know there is no replacement.  Whereas another manufacturer may offer you a discount, Alden would gladly just refund you the money.  I can only guess that it's because Alden knows the shoe would sell at full retail anyway.  So to minimize emotional distress, I just tell my self they are after all just shoes.  Something better always comes up.

post #71395 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawnc View Post

The only shell I own with the stamp are unlined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdubs View Post

Exactly. It's purely luck and depends on how they cut it. I will add that I am pretty sure every pair of Shell you get has the stamp somewhere on the shoes, it just may not be visible or might be covered up by lining... ;-)

If you get something from Ashland leather, then you will almost certainly get a stamp. From their blog and about us, they work at Horween and moonlight at Ashland. I think they have their own Horween stamp. Wonder if Alden could do that to, but I am pretty sure they don't care.

I have gotten it on my BB Unlined LHS and then on the tongue of a boot.

-Mike

My boots also have part of the stamp on the tongue. Was a pleasant surprise!
post #71396 of 122416

cxl love today

 

post #71397 of 122416
There's been some Alpine Grain talk lately.

Alpine Grain LWB's today.


post #71398 of 122416

Those are great.  Are they the JCrews?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by bkotsko View Post
 

cxl love today

 

post #71399 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by budapest12 View Post
 

Thanks,

Yes they are the J Crew ones.

post #71400 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by epc2 View Post

There's been some Alpine Grain talk lately.

Alpine Grain LWB's today.

  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Nice

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