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***The official Alden thread *** Share enthusiasm, reviews, sizing, advice, and photos. - Page 5809  

post #87121 of 122416
Originally Posted by mdubs View Post

Buddy, I am with you. Both companies make great shoes. Each have their place.

Did you want any pics of Alden's Cap toe boots? Are you looking for a pair with broguing or a plain cap toe?

Mdubs, if it's no too much trouble that would be great. I'm open to considering different styles. Frankly, I've been limited in terms of finding an appealing Alden makeup that is available in my size.

Absent finding anything particularly appealing in stock somewhere I may just go through my original plans of ordering the Wolverine 744's for casual wear and then adding to that over time by looking out for preorder opportunities for new makeups since I think I have a balanced group of boots in my closet already.
post #87122 of 122416
Dubs has a fully functioning library to choose from...does anyone know if anyone besides LS does a smooth tobacco indy?
post #87123 of 122416
Originally Posted by mdubs View Post

Buddy, just out of curiosity, have you tried an Alden boot on yet?

Only Indy boots. My two local Alden dealers will order cordovans but don't keep have much stock in their regular inventory.
post #87124 of 122416
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

But this wingtip is highly preferred smile.gif
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Real beauties Rydanfan!
post #87125 of 122416
Perf Tip Boot (Cigar Jumper)

Better pics soon-ish.

Straight Tip Boot (4060HC)

post #87126 of 122416
Originally Posted by thebeebs View Post

I'm a bit "fearful" that a black shiny boot on commando may make me look like a guerilla rebel, punk rocker, or disenchanted emo teen.


If looking like a guerrilla rebel, punk rocker, and/or disenchanted emo teen is wrong, I don't wanna be right.


post #87127 of 122416
Originally Posted by thebeebs View Post

The Dalton boot looks like hell.  Undersized wingtip, as if they didn't cut enough material to stitch to the vamp. All shaft and no head. Now let's get back to Aldens.

I have no objection to AE generally, and I do have a few AE models, shell and calf. That said, the Dalton has never appealed to me. IMO, the undersized wingtip throws the boot off balance aesthetically. Further, to my eye, the toe box lacks sufficient height for that style of a boot. To each their own.
post #87128 of 122416
Originally Posted by mdubs View Post

Originally Posted by Roguls View Post

Allen Edmonds has a thread. I have owned some, worn some, and have one pair left that I'd like to sell. They are nowhere near as nice as Aldens. They offer a good value for a properly goodyear welted leather soled shoe made in the US. But if you can afford better, your feet deserve better. And their shell offerings, unless you get them as seconds or somehow on sale, are simply not a great deal when the same can be had from Alden or Carmina, whose lasts and craftsmanship are far superior. Mac and the other juggernauts of this thread do not own AE for a reason - wearing them is a day not wearing Alden.

Roguls, I agree with you by and large. I still really like the Strand. I wish Alden would make more of the Plaza Semi-Brogues, Alden is an interesting company, as they have some amazing gems that they just don't ever produce...
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)


The Strand is AE's best looking shoe, IMO.
post #87129 of 122416
Originally Posted by halfnhalfnhalf View Post

Originally Posted by thebeebs View Post

I'm a bit "fearful" that a black shiny boot on commando may make me look like a guerilla rebel, punk rocker, or disenchanted emo teen.

If looking like a guerrilla rebel, punk rocker, and/or disenchanted emo teen is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

Where is that boot from?
post #87130 of 122416

It's been awhile since this has been posted. I have updated the post somewhat.


Compiled by @borderline and @Bakes11771 using the combined wisdom of "The Official Alden Thread" on Styleforum and other web sources.

Before Buying
What are the different lasts and how do they fit relative to one another?

Source: @REguy, Reference:


Anecdotal Sizing Information (Click to show)

From @NewYorkRanger

I find the Modified last (for my foot) is wider than the Barrie. 9D Modified fits me great, while 9D in Barrie is a snug fit, the E width for me in Barrie is too wide. I find the Trubalance last to be a little bit bigger overall last to the Barrie, whereas the Modified has a more tapered mid foot under the arch, opening up to a wider forefoot.


From @borderline:
Normal size is 10.5D, I take a 10D in Barrie and 10.5E in Leydon

From @Pastor:

I wear a 9 D in the Barrie and i've also tried a 9E in the Barrie. I won some of each and wear them both. The 9D is a little snug and the 9E is a little loose. I have a pair of 9.5 D leydon lasted LWB and they fit great. I went with a 9.5D on the grant.
9.5 E in the Dalton and most all AE's
9D in the truebalance (almost perfect fit)
9.5 D in grant ( perfect fit)
9.5 D in leydon (perfect fit)


From @dsmivtr:
I wear 6.5D Barrie and the 7D Grants fits well for me (actually 6.5E also works fine).


From @kippy:
If you size down 1/2 for barrie (say 10E to 9.5E), don't try to size down 1 and go wider (to 9EE)


From @MiniW:

the best way to determine fit and comfort is to ensure that the ball of your foot is at the widest part of the shoes. some people may have short toes and some people may have longer toes but using that area as a reference point has always worked well for me. Also there is just a feel when you put on a pair of shoes if it feels slightly too large or slightly too tight. If you think it fits you well and is not causing any pain or slipping off when you lace them, then they are likely the right size.


From @mdubs:

I am a 10.5C True to Size (TTS). I wear the following sizes on the following lasts:

-10D on Van

-10.5B on Barrie and Trubalance

-10.5C on Grant, Leydon, Plaza, and Tremont (and AE 5-last for those with AE experience)

-11B on Hampton and Aberdeen


What do the different cordovan colors look like?

@zippy Color Comparison:
@makewayhomer Color Comparison:

Color Variation Sample:

I feel like I'm buying too many Aldens, what can I do?
1) Give up, there is no hope.
2) Stop reading this thread

Are Alden shoes worth the price?
At the end of the day, the main benefits to Alden shoes are
1) High quality Horween leathers (Chromexcel, cordovan, and I assume suede) in unique colors
2) Willingness to work with retailers (many of whom work with customers) to develop special styles
3) Variety of well-fitting lasts
4) Recraft-ability (not necessarily by Alden, but by a variety of cobblers)
5) Decent price point compared to shoemakers that work with similar materials
6) Traditional aesthetic (high quality and stylish in a "handsome," "gentlemanly" way)
7) Alden shoes are pretty comfortable, can be very eye catching (cordovan, suede, etc tend to get tons of compliments) and overall enhance one's look.
The obvious downsides are
1) Poor quality control, particularly as they ramp production
2) Low / inconsistent availability

After Buying
How should I break in my shoes?
Use “Mac’s Break-in Procedure”:
Shoes should be worn only on carpeting on three different days for a minimum of one hour in order to ascertain that the fit is proper.

What is the "pen trick"?
You put a pen where your foot joints are and then crease the shoe. This way the crease is set exactly where your joint bends and the crease is nice and even. People report varying levels of success with this, and it is generally thought to be more important for the PTB.

Will my cordovan shoes stretch?
The consensus is that cordovan stretches very little, if at all.


Care and Cleaning

How should I clean my cordovan shoes or boots?

Use the “Mac Method”:
1) Clean shoes with damp cloth

2) Brush vigorously with a horsehair brush

3) Buff with smooth cloth

4) Use wax after a minimum of fifteen wearings

Some other cleaning advice from Alden of Carmel
1. Do not use 'neutral' polish
2. Do not clean cordovan shoes using saddle soap
3. Do not attempt to clean cordovan shoes using petroleum distillates or cleaning fluids
4. Do not use any spray shines or aerosol type waterproofs
5. Do not attempt to dry wet shell cordovan shoes with heat or a heater. Wipe them dry, and allow them to dry naturally
6. Do not attempt to polish shell cordovan shoes while wet

Some cordovan cleaning advice from the Shoe Care thread

Some cleaning advice from user MarioImpemba

My shoes are dry and/or discolored in the creases. How can I fix this?
Alden SF recommends using a small amount of cream in the creases. This can moisturize the area and also bring up some of the natural color in the leather. Most people use either Saphir Renovateur or Venetian Shoe Cream.

My cordovan shoes got wet and there are tiny round marks or bubbles. What should I do?
1) Next time try the Alden Leather Defender
2) Brush them for awhile
3) Try some Renovateur
4) Try the deer bone treatment
5) Just wait, it will go away evenutally

My cordovan shoes has some white stuff on the leather. What do I do?
This is called "bloom". One method is to use a hair dryer, hold it 6" away from the shoe, and then after it cools down use a chamois cloth and buff it for awhile. It should go away.


I want new shoelaces for my Indy Boots. What are my options?
1) Alden will mail you a pair if you ask.
2) The Alden Madison store will sell you waxed laces for ~$6.
3) Red Wing model 9011 will work, request them here



Alden offers a restoration service. More information can be obtained from Alden directly.


Will Alden put a different sole on my shoes?
Alden Restoration will now only recraft your shoes using original materials. If you want to put on a different sole, your best bet may be B. Nelson.

Can I have speed hooks converted to eyelets?
B Nelson will do it for $12 per eyelet (not per pair). A standard Alden boot with 4 pairs of speed hooks would therefore run $96. The top four eyelets would be off-centered with the bottom five, which is often done to compensate for the oblong size of the speed hooks.
Here's an example:



LWB: Longwing blucher
SWB: Shortwing blucher
PTB: Plain toe blucher
LHS: Leisure hand sewn (a loafer)


Why do they call it the Indy boot?

Did Alden invent the Tasseled Loafer?

It has been claimed that Alden invented the Tassel Loafer for Paul Lukas.


A video by Epaulet about the Alden factory

Cordovan: A Photo Gallery of Some of Mac's Shoes

Online Purchasing Options


Alden San Francisco (factory store - with online presence)

Alden Washington DC (factory store - no online presence)

Alden New York (Madison Ave.)

Alden of Carmel

The Shoe Mart

Leather Soul


Sherman Brothers
J. Crew
Ben Silver
Moulded Shoe
Renners Fine Boots & Shoes
Sky Valet
Frans Boone Store
The Bureau
J. Gilbert
Need Supply

Brooks Bros.

post #87131 of 122416
Great post, Mike! icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
post #87132 of 122416
A majority of the credit goes to borderline and Bakes. I just copied their old post and updated it a bit and verified all the links worked and updated the broken ones. :-)
post #87133 of 122416
Originally Posted by Alcibiades View Post

Switched the laces out on these two pairs: thoughts?




Originally Posted by chipshot View Post

Is it difficult to remove those plastic toe guards from double leather soled shoes and boots? Once the double leather sole is flexible I think they are no longer needed. Maybe I should just take them to a cobble and give him another $5 to remove them.



Originally Posted by BeSpiffington View Post

Nice change up. Not real dramatic, but just enough.

I like both very much.  Spiff is right on the $; nothing too outlandish, but noticeably attractive.  Rock'em my friend! :slayer:

post #87134 of 122416
Originally Posted by sevenfoldtieguy View Post
Originally Posted by halfnhalfnhalf View Post

If looking like a guerrilla rebel, punk rocker, and/or disenchanted emo teen is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

Where is that boot from?

+1 half-n-half, I'm seriously considering a pair on ebay.  Alden SF has it online.  I was there this afternoon but did not see it on display.  Anyone else there today?

post #87135 of 122416

I had a very nice visit to Alden SF today.  Both gentlemen working were more than willing and eager to provide service (can't remember their names, Tom and Jim??  sorry of you are reading this!).  Finally got a chance to size Aberdeen and Hampton lasts properly.  @mdubs... I believe my sizes have been slightly off also.  Will likely go with the color 8 NST when I return home.  Afterward I visited Unionmade.  Thank you Brandon for the friendly conversation.  He told me that Alden had attempted o source shell cordovan from another source (not Horween), it didn't meet their standards.  Has anyone mentioned this recently?  I really like the Unionmade Wingtip boot (color 8/commando), unfortunately though, nothing in my size.


To complete the little excursion into the city, I had dinner at the House of Prime Rib. Never been a huge prime rib guy, but this was amazing!!  (and not nearly as expensive as I had imagined)...


Glad I was hungry...  (I don't usually take pics of food, but I had to this time!)

Much thanks to whomever recommended this spot a few weeks ago on our thread.  It's also not far from Alden SF.

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