***The official Alden thread *** - Page 2914
Styleforum Top Picks
I'm hoping my baccalaureate education in all things Alden can continue. This time, I'm attempting to stave off my preoccupation about yesterday's whiskey shell LHS purchase by contemplating the purchase of a pair of chukkas. I haven't owned chukkas, but get the sense they would complement my collection, which leans more toward short- and longwing bluchers, a couple of bals, an indy boot, a shell #8 cap toe boot, some chelsea boots and a partridge in a pear tree. I have a few questions and am hoping various folks might be able to shed some light on my chukka ignorance. I'll start with general questions and try to get more specific:
First of all, what are the general indications for the wearing of a chukka boot? I recall seeing a recent post in which a dapper gentleman paired ravello chukkas nicely with a navy (IIRC) suit. He might be much cooler than I, so not sure if this is a less common example of chukka usage. I'm assuming jeans, cords and chinos are a go. Sportcoat or blazer ok? No socks? Shorts? Or would the latter be J.Crew-trying-too-hard...? Another way I'm thinking about this question in light of the recent attempt at the LHS: is there too much overlap between the LHS and chukka domains?
Next question: if chukka, then which type of chukka (yes, I know, it could be like Pokemon: gotta catch 'em all) if only restricted to one. My initial leaning is to go suede to provide a nice counterbalance to a lineup of mostly regular calf, CXL, and shell 8. I have recently bought, but have not yet found occasion to wear the J Crew LWB in snuff suede (which I am proud to report I got at a 25% discount on) due to east coast ugly weather as of late. Given the JCrew suede LWB, is a suede chukka competing for the same weather days or is it different enough formality-wise to justify getting another suede shoe?
If suede, then which one? Dark brown, medium brown or snuff? I was thinking medium, but am open to being dissuaded based on your experiences...
If not suede, do you guys ever find the shells too formal for a chukka? Why not just go with a shell blucher or bal-type shoe? Similarly, how do you guys wear your calfskin chukkas?
Another way I'm thinking about this is by addressing the issue of which last to buy. My scan of the various retailers basically revealed that there are barries, leydons and a plaza (via JGilbert IIRC). I like my barrie-lasted LWBs, but I know I tend to rely on tying the laces tighter toward the back of the shoe to prevent my ankle slipping out of my 8.5Ds. Can anyone confirm that one wouldn't have as much of this luxury in a barrie-lasted chukka given you only have two pairs of eyelets instead of 5? Does anyone suggest the Leydons because of the sleekness factor? Or do you say Leydon because you like the flex welt? Btw, how are you guys sizing the Leydon? If I'm a 9D Grant and and 8.5 Barrie, am I staying TTS for Leydon? Changing widths?
Lined or unlined? Lastly, does anyone own a commando-soled chukka? The UnionMade shell 8 chukkas seemed interesting with the commandos, but I wasn't sure if it was too tough-looking a shoe to wear with lighter fabrics in the summer (e.g., a linen suit, lightweight summer chinos, etc).
Sorry for the long post. You guys have created a monster...
I'm hoping you guys can help me keep things simple. Having bought a bunch of these shoes recently, I'd like to get a kit set up to start maintaining these shoes properly from the get-go. Yes, I've done my reading on Uncle's method and have tried to wade through all gazillion pages of the official shoe care thread. I've spent a couple hours on the Hanger Project, but I'm now in system overload and trying to make sure I get the right starter kit:
Here's some of what I have or I'm planning to buy. Please let me know what I should add or subtract:
- Alden leather defender - when exactly do you use this? Some guys say pretreat all shoes with it. Other guys spritz just before going out on a cloudy day. Can I just use a spray "waterproofer" from a regular store?
-Saphir Renovateur. A sure thing. Question is: how many units should I buy (esp knowing my wife is going to hit me up to maintain her Frye boots as well).
- Alden shoe paste - do I need all 3 (i.e., tan, brown and black)? I have brown CXL indys and LWBs, a couple color 8s and hopefully, a whiskey shell LHS.
- is the boot paste I've seen on some sites necessary or at all different from the shoe paste?
- cordovan polish - some say yes, Mac seems to remind us to keep it simple and use paste wax sparingly. My instinct says just default to the Mac method...The shoe care thread guys sometimes say otherwise when it comes to shell
- Saphir polishes - do I need cream AND wax? or just one? (there's a line in Coming to America that McDowell says to Eddie Murphy's character as he condescendingly supervises the Prince of Zamunda's mopping of the floor- "don't use the bucket, it'll just confuse you...")
- renomat leather cleaner - will i need this if I start off taking care of the shoes properly and don't gunk them up with random stuff like the kiwi saddle soap I bought tons of from the grocery store last year before you guys got me on the right path
-suede products - all the reading I did just confused me on this one. Do I get a spray and the gommadin rubber eraser thingy?
-Or am I just better off leaving all this crap to a cobbler, if I can ever find one I would trust with my little darlings...
Thanks, as always, for your help and ideas!!