***The official Alden thread *** - Page 3082
For those interested in the J Crew cap toe, the personal stylist I chatted with on jcrew.com said they have no plans restock that boot.
I'm undecided about keeping a pair of ravello chukkas from the shoe mart, or returning them and picking up the #8 chukka from unionmade with antique edging. Unfortunately, I can't have both. Any opinions on which would be better for casual wear (mostly raw denim)? I'm leaning towards ravello because they may never be available again in my price range. Plus, I could always have a pair of #8 chukkas modified...
Ravello and raw denim:
I'd say keep the Ravello. #8 will be out there for you and perhaps even at a discount in some way or another if you are patient and willing to pick up the standard black welt (which is really pretty good looking on #8 IMO). Enjoy the chukkas.
Also, my 2 cents on the shell shortage. It may be six of one and half dozen of another, but I think there's really only a shortage of exotic shell when viewed from the perspective of Alden's volume needs. Makers doing smaller runs seem to have access to many colors of shell frequently enough (I'm thinking of Rancourt, Carmina, and Vass just off the top of my head... and I don't mean to equate any of these shoemakers or to suggest that one brand is a replacement for another, just that you can order shoes or boots in exotic shell colors from them fairly reliably).
What I think we are really seeing is a shortage of enough exotic shell to make it worthwhile for Alden to produce. They clearly aren't interested in making one, two, or even half a dozen shoes at a time. And they clearly must have some serious fixed costs to cover that require them to make anything in volume for it to be worth the effort.
As I said, this really is neither here nor there if what you really want is Ravello or Whiskey or Cigar shell (and when spending the kind of money we're talking about on shoes, it's best to get what you really want). On the other hand, if you want shell in different colors and you are interested in other shoemakers, then I don't think things are quite as dire as the Alden market makes them appear.
Looks like Alden SF did so as well, but they forgot to take down the Whiskey and Cigar LHS.
Read a few posts back about someone getting a pair of Aldens that seemed "tried on" due to the fact that the laces were already in the shoe.
Just curious: have your Alden's arrived with the laces completely separate? I recall that the last two pairs I received had the laces in only the first hole (both left and right).
I think you are referring to my post. The shoes were not already laced up, but you could see the subtle indentations on the tongue created by someone lacing and tying the laces. It wasn't a big deal because that's what it looks like after the first time you lace and tie. I almost always receive my new ones the way you described. The one time I did not was with my whiskey wingtip bal oxfords. The laces were separate in the box which makes sense because the effort required to lace those bals might have created creases right off the bat.
^But they don't show photos of them. You have to know to click on a given style, or do so accidentally, to see if exotic shell stock is available. I had definitely noticed that Whiskey, Cigar, and Ravello disappeared from AoC and Alden Madison sites awhile ago. Interesting to find out why.
For Alden SF, just run a search for whiskey in the keyword search box and it will pull up whiskey models that are available, but no pics. Same for cigar. Same for ravello.