Originally Posted by CEE88
It would be great to hear from others who own black shell cordovan shoes.
I own cap toe bluchers in black shell cordovan (happen to be wearing them today, actually - sorry, no pics at the moment). Personally, I love these shoes. They are fantastically comfortable for "dress" shoes, thanks in part to the double sole, and in part to the fact that I find bluchers far easier on my feet than balmorals. They also have great sentimental value to me, being both my first Aldens and the shoes I wore at my wedding! For me, they are exactly what I want in a black "dress" shoe.
Having said that, I wouldn't rule out calf. First, note that I have been using the word "dress" in quotes. If you want a truly dressy black shoe from Alden, you may need to buy calf; I believe that all of their black shell shoes either have broguing, or are bluchers. Second, even though my shoes are made on the Aberdeen last, no one would accuse them of being "sleek" - if you need sleek shoes and you want Alden, you probably need to look at calf. Finally, calf has its advantages over shell, including weight and breathability (which is easy to forget in the winter!).
I like my shoes. They fit my style I think, even when worn with a suit - they are surely not dressy enough for Europe, but I am an American, and they are
dressy enough on this side of the pond. They are extremely comfortable, though heavy, and they are definitely of very high quality. YMMV...