Actually they increase the price every February. Been like that ever since I started with them in 2004.
Not defending the increase, but it is nice to buy something of increasing lasting value. While m computers keep dropping, my Cordovan chukkas from 2000 ($380) kee increasing! If it keeps Alden in business I am for it.
I think they need to re-evaluate their stance. Their core customer is not really the rich ass dudes who can afford anything.
If you're spending more than $100 on a pair of shoes then you're far closer to "rich dude..." than you think. They are well worth it but they are definitely a luxury good. Don't compare them to a Corolla, compare them to the Toyota Avalon. It's easy to lose perspective on a forum such as this but to 90% of people if you're spending $400+ (like I just did!) you've priced yourself into "rich dude...." territory. Especially if you do it more than once!
I have a pair in 10D I've only worn a few times (the weather has been terrible). I'd be willing to sell to purchase another pair of shoes (been lusting after a pair of ravello boots recently). They are beautiful!
a 5% price increase really isn't a huge deal. alden employees alone might get paid get 3-4% more every year. I'm sure Horween has to pay their guys more, increasing materials cost, etc given the current situation where retailers can pre-charge 100% of a shoes cost for delivery in 8 months, they could probably increase a lot more than 5% and be fine. at least for certain models of course, who knows where demand will be for alden in 2 or 3 years