I bought them second hand from on here. factory seconds from the beginning, slated for a French store (Bellerose I believe)
some extra creasing on the insides led to the factory second branding..
that being said, when I received them, they looked great. (finish wise). the left shoe just always had a hazy appearance, so I tried renovatuer, then renomat, then said F it and went straight to nail polish. took a TON of product off, but surprisingly, did little to no effect to the toe cap (nail polish remover was equally applied across the entire front of the shoe). Part of me wonders if I kept hitting the the vamp with polish remover if I'd eventually end up like the right shoe (nothing done to it whatsoever since I acquired them). I imagine I'm well past the alden applied finish at this point, so if there's any saving, it would be by them. :fingers crossed:
at this point, if alden says there is nothing they can do ( in regards to reapplying finish, then no biggie) I paid $250 IIRC, and mainly did it as a litmus to see if my foot would work with the modified last.
now knowing that I can do the ML, I have no problem ordering in the future first quality pairs (understanding of course that Moulded Shoe is stricken from ML shell
sorry for the long winded response.. will update when these *hopefully* come back from alden restored.