***The official Alden thread *** - Page 2629
Alden SF included color 8 paste wax with my color 8 boots
Alden DC is the king of goodies, though. I have received an extra pair of laces with each order. In addition, I have received a plastic shoe horn, paste wax, and Leather Defender with various orders.
I posted here a couple weeks ago asking whether anyone knew a good cobbler to restore my Alden for Brooks Brothers cordovan plain toe bluchers that I got a thrift store for $4, and was asked to report back... so here goes!
I researched the Alden factory and various stores all of which offer restoration for $160 with free shipping.. but I couldn't get clear answers from most of them when I emailed them photos of what I needed done. Someone recommended B. Nelson in New York as well, which looked less expensive, but I couldn't get a response from them either. I really wanted advice on whether it was worth it, whether they would last long enough, etc. Someone recommended Cobblers Corner in Northville which is on my way to work in Detroit, so I checked them out, expecting them to decline the work or that I wouldn't feel comfortable with them.
Anyway, the cobbler was very helpful and assured me that he could do a good job and that it was worth the price over a new pair. He clearly explained what he would do (rebuild up the heels, cork beds, replace leather on the inside to repair the heel counters, resole with JR leather soles, etc.) and offered me the option of getting cheaper vibram soles, which I declined. I also requested that he not polish the uppers because I wanted the patina preserved and didn't think they would ever make good glossy dress shoes, and I didn't really want that anyway. He was happy to oblige, but also disappointed because he thought he could do a great job polishing them.
Here's how they look now:
And the gallery with more photos and the before shots lower down on the page is here: http://www.rpmfg.org/images/blucher/index.html
I'm really happy. Final price was about $140 for everything, including new laces but not new shoe trees or bags. Worth the price for me to get to talk to the person doing the work and be sure of what they're doing.
Still wondering if anyone can date them from the markings (reproduced below). Alden of SF says a year ending in 7 like 1997 or 1987, possibly older. The metal ferules on the inside are heavily worn away from the laces so I think rather old. Does anyone at least know when Alden started making shoes for Brooks Brothers?
7 ½D 7H24 029
Cheers and thanks,
I am home now with my 9E Whiskey Chukka based on your post.
I have been waiting for this boot for 2yrs!