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***The official Alden thread *** Share enthusiasm, reviews, sizing, advice, and photos. - Page 5591  

post #83851 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by REguy View Post

Let's get deep. How long have you guys been in the Alden game and why? It seems like there have been a number of members who have joined SF within the last couple years, discovered Alden, and have gone hog wild with purchases. Is the recent irrational exuberance for Alden due to the Interwebs saying they're cool, a return to traditional aesthetics, the thrill of the hunt for rare shell colors, hoarding mentality, etc.? Do you see yourself sticking with the brand long term, or is Alden just a passing fad in your sartorial evolution?

 



Interesting question. I'm 2 years into this phase and while I wouldn't call it a passing fad, it does feel as though my passion has subsided. My first Aldens were a pair of BB half-straps (penny loafers to non-Alden fans) from ebay. The seller had changed the soles to antique and I had never seen this before so I had to have the shoes. After numerous unsuccessful applications of shoe polish I somehow came across this site and learned a new phrase - shell cordovan. Using the Mac method, I brought my shoes back to life and have been hooked ever since. I've pretty much sold all of my Alden calfskins and even some rare shells and my collection sits at about 15. One suede and the remaining shell. Given my age and location, I simply don't interact with many people who even know what Alden's are, so status was never a part of the calculus for me. I just love the look of the shoes. And thanks to this site, I feel as though I've earned my PhD in all things shoes.

Having said that, I was surprised by how little interest I had in either the Cigar captoes from DC or the Cigar/Ravello WT from AoC. A year ago, I would have been all over both of them. I love my Aldens and will still purchase from time to time (just picked up the Dovers from Unionmade) but my enthusiasm is definitely on the wade. I still check this site twice a day, primarily for the interaction and tip, but Aldens don't excite me as much as they have in the past. And that is not a criticism, just a natural evolution.
post #83852 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacafotos View Post



Which pair did you get?

 



I grabbed the one's on commando with the antique edge. Due to arrive on Tuesday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prez View Post

Shawn, what is your size in Carmina comparing to Alden?

 



The soles are marked '8' and my guess is that is the UK size, which I thinks translate to a US 9. Who knows what my Alden size is but on Barrie I typically go between 8.5D and 9D.
post #83853 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by REguy View Post

Let's get deep. How long have you guys been in the Alden game and why? It seems like there have been a number of members who have joined SF within the last couple years, discovered Alden, and have gone hog wild with purchases. Is the recent irrational exuberance for Alden due to the Interwebs saying they're cool, a return to traditional aesthetics, the thrill of the hunt for rare shell colors, hoarding mentality, etc.? Do you see yourself sticking with the brand long term, or is Alden just a passing fad in your sartorial evolution?

I joined this forum about 1.5 years ago after discovering a pair of Whiskey shell LWB on eBay. Before that, I had just started getting really into all things made in America. I walked into an Allen Edmonds store to pick up a second pair of shoes and I discovered the real beauty of shell cordovan. A buddy of mine had mentioned it in passing, but I had no idea what it really was until after I bought those shoes that day and started researching. After that I discovered those Whiskey LWB on eBay and I had to have them. I found SF while researching Alden before my purchase. After I pulled those Whiskey LWB out of the box it was over. I never looked back. Alden were the most incredible shoe I’d owned and worn at that point. I thought those LWB would be my only pair of Alden shell and the crown jewel of my collection. I bought a CXL Dover from Epaulet next, but I had to have more shell. Eight or nine pairs later here I am. I’ve sold a few and I’ve landed on five Alden shell and one CXL with only one Alden shell left to acquire. I am into Edward Green, now, and I imagine that cycle will repeat.

Nobody I know outside of this forum has any clue what an Alden is. I don’t buy them for anyone else but myself. I just enjoy them. I won't sell off what I have from Alden as I really like them and they will still be my go to American shoe company.
post #83854 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by REguy View Post

Let's get deep. How long have you guys been in the Alden game and why? It seems like there have been a number of members who have joined SF within the last couple years, discovered Alden, and have gone hog wild with purchases. Is the recent irrational exuberance for Alden due to the Interwebs saying they're cool, a return to traditional aesthetics, the thrill of the hunt for rare shell colors, hoarding mentality, etc.? Do you see yourself sticking with the brand long term, or is Alden just a passing fad in your sartorial evolution?

Honestly I had been wearing Kenneth Cole for years... then I was in a men's clothing boutique a few years ago, and the owner said I should try on these AE's. He was talking down  the fashion brands, and said they just didn't compare. I bought a few pairs, but then started buying shell from AE and Carmina. That led me to Alden, where the shell seemed of a better quality (or finishing it seems now). Since I have bought Vibergs and have started to plateau out the quantity to what I feel I can realistically wear. I am sure I will always have Aldens, but my purchases are slightly fewer and farther in between.

post #83855 of 122416
^^ I started with Cole Haan. The thought, then, of spending over $100 on shoes was totally foreign to me. Ugh. I miss those days.
post #83856 of 122416
I used to wear Kenneth Cole all the time from like 2005 through 2009. I thought I was so baller when I "upgraded" from the Kenneth Cole Reaction line to Kenneth Cole New York.
post #83857 of 122416

I am a troll and actually don't own any Aldens

post #83858 of 122416
I'll answer my own question. I bought my first pair in college about 20 years ago (in my late 30s now). I remember thinking I was insane for dropping $200 on a pair of shoes, but I really liked the aesthetic, quality (which was much better then), and, much like ReppTie, I tend to buy a lot of something I like. It's been interesting to watch the brand rise in popularity over the last several years thanks to blogs/forums and the opening of stores like Leather Soul and Leffot. Back in the early days of the Internet, AoC was the pioneer and was how I originally discovered Alden (funny that Adam's website is about the same as it was back then). Everyone always heckled me (and still do) about my "old man shoes," but they've sort of become my personal fashion trademark. It just feels right to throw on a pair of chunky blobs with jeans and a button-down.

It's great to see more people discovering the brand, and I do see myself sticking with Alden. However, I've been moving away for multiple reasons:

  • The price/quality ratio is out of whack for me. I have a hard time justifying the current prices when I can buy similar shoes at a better price.
  • Part of me hates to see them going mainstream. I've liked having something unusual/hard-to-get in my wardrobe.
  • As I get older and more reflective, I find myself asking, "How many shoes does a guy need?" I currently have around 60 pairs of Aldens along with a fair number of other brands on top of that. Some are unworn in the back of the closet, and I have multiple pairs of some models I really like because I'll buy them if I catch a great deal.

    OCD hoarder...maybe, A guy who knows what he likes...yes, Shoe afficianado...definitely.
post #83859 of 122416

My best MrDV shot......cigar PTB (plaza?) from the last run from Harrison Ltd......plan to give these some love over the weekend.

 

post #83860 of 122416
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

I am a troll and actually don't own any Aldens
We know.
post #83861 of 122416

REguy,

If you buy quality, first world, type stuff it’ll last a long time for me. So it is with Aldens.  I started with AEs because they offered good US made shoes at an affordable pricepoint.  I prefer the Aldens because of the finish that, frankly, overtakes AE at all levels.

 

I think prices for Aldens are getting a little high, esp. for shell.  I’ve gone with AE and Aldens because it is easy to get fitted and return since they’re here.  However, if prices continue to go north, I’ll explore Carmina, Meermin and some other quality shoemakers that have gotten good reviews.

 

I’ve only been buying Aldens the past 2 or so years, though.  I regret not buying Aldens and AEs when I was in my 20s.  Would have loved to be wearing some of these 10-15 year old shoes and seeing that patina.

 

Oh, I’m going with the King 975s today.

 

M3yNQtV.jpg

post #83862 of 122416
This is my next purchase. As soon as I complete the sale of my house I'm going to celebrate by clicking the "Buy" button on these. I love my BB unlined shell LHS, so just gotta have these.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Profligate47 View Post

Snuff LHS today: THE most comfortable...
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
post #83863 of 122416

My first Aldens were the Black Unlined LHS from BB.  My dad started wearing them on my sisters recommendation, so I got a pair after looking at his for a few years.  6 months later, I got the color 8 lined version.  3 months later, the cigar version.  about 9 months later, I started buying them a lot faster.  9015 and 9016, color 8 tassel, cigar tassel, cigar cap toe, MKS Tassel.  At that point, I had about 16 pairs of nice shoes in total (2 pairs of gucci loafers, cj loafers, some driving shoes) and it became harder to justify additional purchases.  (decreasing marginal benefit)  Also, there wasn't much more that appealed to me that I didn't already have.  I guess in a way the fever had subsided.  Also, I agree with ReGuys points about the price increase making them less of a value.  Since my last Alden purchase, over a year ago, I have bought a few pairs of Carmina, but I think I'm getting to the point where I have more than enough shoes, my lifestyle and priorities are changing as a get older, and my interests are shifting.

 

I don't think I'd ever sell any of my Aldens, I never have, but I am not in the market to buy any more.  Never say never, but probably not.  For me, it was just as much about Shell Cordovan as it was about Alden.  The made in America part is cool, but wasn't as big of a draw for me as it is for others.  None of my models (Tassels, LHS, Bals) are "cool" like the stuff J crew sells (LWB, Boots, Stuff that goes with skinny jeans), so that wasn't really a draw for me either.  Like others, I am a bit of a "collector", so that was part of it.

post #83864 of 122416
Honestly, no Aldens yet, though I'm close to pulling the trigger on some Ravello Tassels, and prob some BB versions when the corporate sale comes around again. Got sized up on some #8s and they felt amazing. So really looking foward to them. It will actually be my first retail price purchase as well for shell so still getting ready for that. As well as retail price for some AE Walnut Shell I came across.

My last decent pair of shoes were some J&M loafers that were a tad over $100. Kind of strange being ok with a $600-750 pair now. However over the past year or two I've been making a conscience effort to add more US products as I replace things. Especially wardrobe, a well as just upgrading my style anyways. Now that I'm barely into my 30s I feel like I should be dressing a bit better. I've started with AE's as the accessibility and 2nds is a great way to get into US shoe game and have a mix of shell and calf. Looking to have a well rounded collection and exploring different CXL and suede options. I do tend to pull towards boots more though.

So, quality, US made shoes that will last is what draws me. Same reason why I buy US made tools.
post #83865 of 122416
Out of college, I wore shoes like Kenneth Cole and Cole Haan. After a year or two, I purchased some Ferragamo and Gucci shoes (one pair of laceups and a couple of loafers). However, the shoes I had really been looking at all that time were the Ralph Lauren cordovan Marlows. I saw them in GQ and in the Ralph Lauren stores growing up and always thought they were elegant. At some point I discovered Leffot and purchased Church's, Quoddys, and then Alden shoes. My first Alden purchases were the 975, J Crew tan PTBs, some ravello PTBs and ravello tassels.

I actually discovered Styleforum because I heard of Mafoo from some other forum.

As far as how long I will stay in the Alden game, my peak Alden buying days are probably over (that was probably last year). I will look for makeups that fill gaps and replace worn shoes, but as far as buying for variety's sake, I'm likely done. I'll probably reduce my Alden collection over time as I refine what I need. I am allocating funds to other needs in my clothing wardrobe (tailored clothing, watches, etc). Also, I think I have basically all my needs covered for both dress and casual from Alden right now. I have my dress cordovan shoes, my casual bluchers, casual boots and casual suede. All seasons and needs are covered pretty well - no real need to get more cordovan boots, for example, when I have four right now and don't wear them six months out of the year.
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Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Streetwear and Denim › ***The official Alden thread *** Share enthusiasm, reviews, sizing, advice, and photos.