thanks. feedback from you all was very informative and helpful. much appreciated
Seems a lot of people here prefer the dover and/or the single sole versions because they do appear to be a bit sleeker. After looking at a bunch of pictures I think Im actually leaning towards the classic 990 or some version of it with antique edge trim. Strange thing about the 990 and 9901 PTB is I used to find it a bit boring and unattractive.. Now its the Alden model I am most interested in. The chunky last and the lack of sleekness is what I find most appealing about it in a strange way.
Called the Madison shop which offers the 990 in double leather sole and also on the commando but they were sold out in my Barrie size (9.5).
Can anyone think of any downsides if I can find the 990 on the commando sole compared to the traditional leather? I think the commando looks pretty cool with it and I work as a chef so I rarely need the shoes for formal occasions. Mostly wear with jeans and chinos.
This may be a dumb question to most on here but how can I tell by looking at a pair of my Aldens if they are unlined? I have a pair of black cordovan boots that are white on the inside with what looks like no extra lining but im not sure. Would seem weird for a boot to be unlined I would think
Double leather soles remain stiff, and thus need more break-in time, than commando soles. People comment about this so I offer it for your consideration. Personally, this consideration seems like a miniscule tail -- say a pimple on a nub of a tail -- wagging a gigantic dog since, in my experience, the differential in break-in time is, perhaps, one hour of wear, if that, compared to decades of shoe life with either sole.
If you live in a climate that gets snow and ice, commando has the decided advantage over double leather in that the commando sole allows you to safely walk in snow and ice whereas the double leather will cause you to slip and is flat dangerous in those conditions. If you have a wintery climate and want to wear the shoes in wintery conditions, this can be very important.
Finally, if you simply prefer the way one looks over the other, then get the one you like.
If you have white leather on the inside, that white leather is the lining -- leather on the inside of the shoe that is separate from the cordovan on the outside. Unlined cordovan is tan colored on the inside of the shoe -- the stained side of the cordovan hide is on the outside of the shoe, and the unstained side of that same piece of leather is on the inside of the shoe. The cordovan Alden uses is from a Chicago, IL tannery named Horween. Many here get a big kick out of it when they get an unlined cordovan shoe and Horween's stamp is visible -- for example, on the underside of the tongue.
With whatever sole you get, the color 8 cordovan plain toe blucher is an iconic American shoe, that, with care, will last for decades and always be in style. I hope you really enjoy them.
Many insightful comments made here.