***The official Alden thread *** - Page 4114
If the #8 LS NST Saddle is a must own shoe for you & you didn't pay full retail, no brainier keep them. If the make-up isn't a must own & the spot will bother you, no brainier sell them. My personal approach to spots on shell #8 is that they add character as the shoe or boot ages, but that's just me.
At that price-point, there is no way I would return these, for a couple of reasons:
I couldn't even notice the spot on any of the pictures except the last one. It just doesn't seem that noticeable though I understand the desire for perfection in our beloved Alden's.
If these were mine I would consider a couple of options. Because I'm comfortable with shoe dye, I would get a $6 bottle of Feiblings cordovan dye and just dab a little on the spot. It won't likely be an exact match but it will be close enough that it won't be noticeable by anyone but you. And over time, with brushing and the occasional polishing, it will blend in just fine.
If the thought of putting dye on a pair of Alden's makes you uncomfortable, I would take them to a cobbler and have him/her do what I suggest. My guess is that the cost would be around $10.
Again, this is not a perfect solution but at $400 for a truly beautiful pair of shoes, I think this is a solution that would work out fine. The applicator that comes with the dye is a very good size to fill in this spot. If it is too big, a q-tip would also do the trick.
If you do decide to return these, and the are a 9 on Barrie, PM me before sending them back. Good luck. These are truly a great score at what you paid.
Gentlemen - thanks for the input on the "blotch" issue with my recently purchased color 8 saddle bluchers -- really helped me to not do anything rash like pack them up and ship them back this morning or, alternatively, to start wearing and creasing them so that a return would be impossible. In looking at them more closely, the blotch doesn't appear to be a flaw in the cordovan, but looks more like they applied coloration more to that area (which could also mean there's a blemish that they wanted to conceal). I'll try to get Alden's take on the situation and then proceed from there.
Alcibiades - great pick up. That red interior reminds me of the linings in a couple of my blazers -- they're so nice that they were part of the reason I got the jacket.
^^^^ The original post that I was responding to ^^^^
Go back and read his post again before you get huffy puffy. He asked about a shoe company that makes shell boots/shoes at the same or a similar price point to Alden....AE and Rancourt fit the bill. Not to mention it's easy to do MTO with AE shell. There was no mention of the quality.
He didn't ask, I was the one that asked after he made the above comment in bold. I apologize for projecting his claim upon your answer. AE does have an MTO program that's relatively easy.
Your math is also off. I got this Carmina shoe for $370 in the recent sale at Paul Stuart which is 42% lower than Alden's shell price. You might say I am not comparing apple to apple. But my question is why Alden never go on sale and restricting their retailer to discount the shoe. It seems J.crew / Alden are buying up all the shell and driving the price up. Is it legitimate for a single company to control all the shell supply? Btw the quality of the Carmina shoe is so much better.
You bought a shoe on a clearance sale that no one wants!
Just kidding my friend... Your tassels look great; a fine score. I probably would have given it a try at that price if the size were correct and it if it were in fact shell cordovan. Wear often and in great health your tassels.
On another note, I seriously doubt J Crew and Alden are buying up all of the available shell. How is it so easy then, to buy all of this shell from other producers that are so superior in quality and finish, not to mention doing an AE MTO in various shell colors?? Not sure I understand what "legitimate" means in your statement. Are you suggesting an antitrust investigation?
Carmina direct from Carmina is about $700 shipped for shell (any maybe a bit to DHL for duties) and $750 shipped or so from Skoaktie with no duties. It's $725-$785 for a shell boot these days with sales tax in some cases. So Carmina could be cheaper.
Same holds true for calf / suede models as they are about $460-500 shipped from same sources so same as Alden calf / suede prices
Personally my most recent Carmina shell has dye issues and lasting issues as well, so I'd say same level as Alden as their factory must be crazy busy.
I have Carmina shell, shoes and boots. The Carmina boots were $900. I prefer Alden going away.
My last Carmina's were returned - the difference in fit between the right and left shoe was laughable.
Sheer beauty! Wear in good health my friend/
Carmina has never really appealed to me. I agree Alden has its faults which I have vented about in the past. However when Alden gets it right, they get it right. I have yet to see shell from anyone that rivals the depth of color 8. While their construction can certainly be picked apart, their dying process is about as good as it gets IMO. Value is subjective and difficult to truly quantify. I can only say that I have no regrets about forking over my hard earned money for my alden boots calf or shell.
agreed. which is why I have five pair I think, all with varying levels of depth depending on usage.