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***The official Alden thread *** - Page 2415

post #36211 of 98840
Quote:
Originally Posted by imolazhp_ci View Post

you're absolutely correct.
though i'm not speaking expressly about cordovan. i would never own a cordovan dress shoe. i think the shine is tacky/cheap looking in a formal setting. IMO, calf looks far more elegant on a proper black balmoral.
there are also far better constructed shoes than alden, i own 5 pairs of alden's, 2 john lobb's, 1 church's, and two crockett's. far and away, they are all constructed more precisely and to a higher standard than alden. of my 5 alden's... 3 have had factory damage. one a tear in the brogueing, loose threads, gaps in the heel tap, etc. i don't love them any less, for the stuff they are good at, they are the best... custom make ups, boots, etc.
on the flip, no boot looks as good as a sleek cordovan boot. cordovan looks fantastic on a penny (LHS) or nearly any loafer for that matter.

I too like the English makers.

And, since you mentioned JL above, as but one example of a non-Alden shoe, I own a double monk dark brown calf John Lobb that is perhaps the finest double monk shoe I have ever seen. Moving on.

This (bold) makes it hard to take you seriously. It really does. I have calf and shell shoes for formal settings. I easily prefer shell, but I have no problem if another prefers calf. If you prefer calf, fine - but to then say shell looks tacky/cheap makes you lose credibility, and appear almost silly.

I have all the brands you speak of, though my total comes in around seven-fold of yours.
post #36212 of 98840
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarthur View Post

9jdnpw.jpg
black tassels
argyles otc

Welcome back Uncle. Nice combination as usual.
post #36213 of 98840
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcibiades View Post

I think the majority on this thread say that is that if you wan a calfskin dress shoe, there are at least comparable options (and likely better options) than Alden, but if you want a cordovan "dress shoe" (its uncertain if you want to call them "formal" or not), then Alden is basically at the top in style and variety (quality may be behind the RL Marlows). The desirability of cordovan shoes is debatable, but many (including me) like them a lot.
EDIT - And as I and others have mentioned many times, sleekness is not necessarily a virtue, it is a style choice (I have both sleek and chunkier styles of shoes)

I love my Aldens, but Vass' shell cordovan shoes can be quite comparable to, if not better than, Aldens. They tend to be more sleek as well. Take a look through the Vass thread.

 

Vass saddle shell semi-brogue & ravello plain captoe:

 

 

Vass antique cognac shell semi-brogue:

 

 

 

Vass whiskey shell punch captoe:

 

post #36214 of 98840
all this talk of "sleek" shoes: do you guys that wear sleek shoes have super narrow feet or something? or do you just have a ton of extra (pointy) room at the end of the shoe, past your toes?
post #36215 of 98840
I never even thought of kudu or chamois longwings. Sadly Leffot's chamois preorder seems to be sold out in my size. Does anybody have any other options or stores that sell these shoes?
post #36216 of 98840
Quote:
Originally Posted by johanm View Post

Agree with this post. The British makers have far better lasting, detailing, and quality control than Alden. None offer the range of cordovan boots of Alden however.
FWIW I feel that cordovan boots only look "sleek" when the leather is new/shiny and the wavy creasing throws off the look for worn pairs. Also I would note that C&J has some cordovan loafer models that are more elegantly lasted and constructed (e.g. no 360 degree welt) than Aldens.

This (bold), as it relates to calf, has been true in my experience (assuming we are talking about JL, EG, C&J, ...). And I have been heard to say more than once that I have had QC issues with Alden (shell or calf).
post #36217 of 98840
For the die hard fans: Alden Bike seats.
post #36218 of 98840
Quote:
Originally Posted by violethour1951 View Post

I love my Aldens, but Vass' shell cordovan shoes can be quite comparable to, if not better than, Aldens. They tend to be more sleek as well. Take a look through the Vass thread.

Vass saddle shell semi-brogue & ravello plain captoe:



Vass antique cognac shell semi-brogue:




Vass whiskey shell punch captoe:


I don't doubt that Vass cordovan shoes are at least comparable and likely better than Alden (I haven't tried them on, though). However, Vass retails for $1200+, right? I can get a rare-cordovan Alden balmoral shoe for $740. Edward Green also makes better cordovan shoes than Alden, but they cost more than twice as much (I see cordovan shell wingtip bluchers selling for $1,600 at Leffot and Leather Soul). It's not really fair to compare Edward Green, Vass cordovan to Alden - it's almost the same thing as comparing Kiton, Oxxford, whatever to Brooks Brothers for suits. At the current price point, the only comparable cordovan shoes I see on the market are Carmina (which is really a different aesthetic) and Crockett and Jones (which we all know and love)

Edit - we haven't mentioned leathers like suede, chromexcel, etc.
post #36219 of 98840
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcibiades View Post


I don't doubt that Vass cordovan shoes are at least comparable and likely better than Alden (I haven't tried them on, though). However, Vass retails for $1200+, right? I can get a rare-cordovan Alden balmoral shoe for $740. Edward Green also makes better cordovan shoes than Alden, but they cost more than twice as much (I see cordovan shell wingtip bluchers selling for $1,600 at Leffot and Leather Soul). It's not really fair to compare Edward Green, Vass cordovan to Alden - it's almost the same thing as comparing Kiton, Oxxford, whatever to Brooks Brothers for suits. At the current price point, the only comparable cordovan shoes I see on the market are Carmina (which is really a different aesthetic) and Crockett and Jones (which we all know and love)
Edit - we haven't mentioned leathers like suede, chromexcel, etc.

 

No, I think you can get the Vass for around the same price, it's just more of a hassle. You can get calf Vass MTO proxied for $650 I've heard. 

post #36220 of 98840
Quote:
Originally Posted by grendel View Post

No, I think you can get the Vass for around the same price, it's just more of a hassle. You can get calf Vass MTO proxied for $650 I've heard. 

Hmm. Ok - I stand corrected. I'll look into it
post #36221 of 98840
Quote:
Originally Posted by mexicutioner View Post

all this talk of "sleek" shoes: do you guys that wear sleek shoes have super narrow feet or something? or do you just have a ton of extra (pointy) room at the end of the shoe, past your toes?

It's just that the last chisels more from the widest point of the shoe to the toe, giving a sleeker appearance. I should post a comparison photo of my Rider balmoral boots with one of my Aldens for a comparison...
post #36222 of 98840
Quote:
Originally Posted by grendel View Post

No, I think you can get the Vass for around the same price, it's just more of a hassle. You can get calf Vass MTO proxied for $650 I've heard. 

Vass shell baseline is going for about €550 = ~700USD, according to a recent post... very comparable to Aldens.

post #36223 of 98840
Quote:
Originally Posted by imolazhp_ci View Post

you're absolutely correct.
though i'm not speaking expressly about cordovan. i would never own a cordovan dress shoe. i think the shine is tacky/cheap looking in a formal setting. IMO, calf looks far more elegant on a proper black balmoral.
there are also far better constructed shoes than alden, i own 5 pairs of alden's, 2 john lobb's, 1 church's, and two crockett's. far and away, they are all constructed more precisely and to a higher standard than alden. of my 5 alden's... 3 have had factory damage. one a tear in the brogueing, loose threads, gaps in the heel tap, etc. i don't love them any less, for the stuff they are good at, they are the best... custom make ups, boots, etc.
on the flip, no boot looks as good as a sleek cordovan boot. cordovan looks fantastic on a penny (LHS) or nearly any loafer for that matter.

I will not dispute that there are likely better constructed shoes than Alden but Alden falls right at about the limit for what I am willing to spend for footwear, and, more importantly, I like the chunkiness of most of the Alden lasts - it fits well with my personal style (my go-to English shoemaker is generally Tricker's, which I find often has a similar aesthetic in terms of shape).

Regarding shiny shoes looking cheap and tacky and not appropriate for a formal setting, I feel the exact opposite of you and I think tradition and conventional wisdom probably feel differently than you as well. Just look at formal opera slippers/pumps, patent leather, or formal shoes for military dress - always shiny. I'm not saying that calfskin is inappropriate or that cordovan is, just that shiny shoes are not inappropriate, tacky, or inelegant by any stretch. The degree of shininess can vary, but they should still have a definite shine to them.

That's just my 2¢
post #36224 of 98840
Alden does sleeker dress shoes just fine, IMO:

911's today

post #36225 of 98840

I mirror,or "bull", the toe-end of all my calf shoes. I feel the shine lends itself to formality as it not only represents an investment in time and care, but parallels the aforementioned orthodox formal footwear such as opera pumps and patent leather. I guess I missed the memo where this is really just turning them tacky. Shell is just that much better because the entire shoe retains some degree of shine with minimal investment.

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