***The official Alden thread *** - Page 1732
(I was thinking about reposting this monthly, is it worthwhile? Someone mentioned putting it as the first post, but most people aren't going to start at post #1 in a thread that has this many responses...comments welcome)
Compiled by borderline using the combined wisdom of "The Official Alden Thread" on Styleforum and other web sources.
What are the different lasts and how do they fit relative to one another?
*See below for more sizing information
What do the different cordovan colors look like?
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
Why do they call it the Indy boot?
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
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
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
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: http://www.styleforum.net/t/85589/the-official-alden-thread/18000#post_4958968
I want new shoelaces for my Indy Boots. What are my options?
1) Alden will mail you a pair if you ask. http://www.aldenshoe.com/
2) The Alden Madison store will sell you waxed laces for ~$6. http://aldenmadisonny.com/
3) Red Wing model 9011 will work, request them here http://www.redwingheritage.com/laces/
LWB: Longwing blucher
SWB: Shortwing blucher
PTB: Plain toe blucher
LHS: Leisure hand sewn (a loafer)
A video by Epaulet about the Alden factory
Cordovan: A Photo Gallery of Some of Mac's Shoes
Online Purchasing Options
Leather Soul http://www.leathersoulhawaii.com/category/brands/alden/
The Shoe Mart http://www.theshoemart.com/alden-shoes/bt-ald.html
Alden Shop http://www.aldenshop.com/
Sherman Brothers http://www.shermanbrothers.com/brand...S&BrandCode=AL
J. Crew http://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/s...enForJCrew.jsp
Ben Silver http://www.bensilver.com/Alden-American-Shoes.html
Moulded Shoe http://mouldedshoe.com/alden1.html
Renners Fine Boots & Shoes http://www.rennersbootsshoes.com/aldenshoes1.html
Sky Valet http://www.skyvalet1.com/Alden.aspx
Frans Boone Store https://www.fransboonestore.com/en/store/brands/alden.html
The Bureau http://www.thebureaubelfast.com/shop/brand/58/alden/
Alden of Carmel http://www.alden-of-carmel.com/index.cfm/shoes.htm
J. Gilbert http://www.jgilbertfootwear.com/?q=node/90
Need Supply http://needsupply.com/
Tres Bien http://www.tresbienshop.com/
Anecdotal sizing information:
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. (NewYorkRanger)
Normal size is 10.5D, I take a 10D in Barrie and 10.5E in Leydon (borderline)
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)
I wear 6.5D Barrie and the 7D Grants fits well for me (actually 6.5E also works fine). (dsmivtr)
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) (kippy).
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.(MiniW)
post it on the first page - it is very easy to simply go to the first page of this thread, than to sort through 1700+ pages for this info
Always willing to a help a fellow SF'er out. Jordan is top notch & it's too bad WP went out of business. Great pickup & be sure to post up pics when they arrive.
He cant, the OP (Jet) would need to edit the first post (and hopefully the title of the thread) with the great FAQ that Borderline put together.
I wonder if it would be good for the FAQ to include a link to this page from the Agatine Eyelet: Obsessed With Alden that discusses the performance of various Alden soles in the rain: http://theagatineeyelet.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/rain/.
Blackbird has very limited selection at this point, and honestly I don't even know if they'll be carrying any more Aldens. Last time i was in the store I asked if they'd be getting any new styles the SA said "uuhhhh...yeah?" and then I noticed they aren't listed on alden of carmel's site anymore (i know the AoC guy used to help them design, like he does with J. Gilbert). hopefully this isn't the case because they have some nice makeups.
did anyone else go to the j gilbert "event" on saturday? i dropped in and met the alden rep, super nice. he did tell me they put the restoration service on hold because they can't keep up.
fyi j. gilbert is also now carrying some stock aldens... #8 ptb, lwb, chukka, lhs, and a couple more
Was there as well. Miserable morning, cold and wet. Nate was the opposite, warm and very patient. Answered all my questions. Class act. Unfortunately the store had a small inventory, esp in my size. Much on order, however. Alden has some interesting relationships and it's nice to do business with a family company that does it the old fashioned way. Quality product, quality people.