Originally Posted by Dbc0919 Does Alden us JR soles? Heard it mentioned a couple of times but haven't found any support elsewhere.
Also, Jos A. Bank shoe trees are $8.50 with free shipping right now. I know these have been mentioned by other forum members in the past but the thread search function is maddening and I can't located any comments. What is the verdict on these in both quality and cost?
Cedar shoe racks are $11.90 as well.
Originally Posted by sevenfoldtieguy According to BNelson, the answer is yes for Alden's shell models.
It would be interesting to reach out to Alden specifically and ask this question. I know that some contend that they do use JR soles, but as Dbc0919 said, it's nearly impossible to find sources confirming this.
I have long believed that they don't use JR soles. Not only because of the lacking evidence from research and hands-on, and personal experience, but also due to a fact about JR that many may not be aware of. JR doesn't sell soles without the JR emblem emblazoned on them. DW Frommer (world class bespoke shoe and boot maker and SF member for those who don't know him) doesn't use JR because he doesn't want his shoes to have another company's logo on them. I don't see what the big deal is on that, since it's only the sole and it wears off anyway, but that's how he feels regardless. That said, Alden shoes don't have JR emblems on their soles, shell or calf. Every other manufacturer that uses them clearly have the emblem on the sole. Also, their soles are decidedly different in color and texture than any JR soles I've seen. Finally, in the Epaulet tour video of the Alden Factory, they show soles being soaked in a tanning solution that is shown by Mr. Tarlow at time 07:03: http://vimeo.com/6997219. Obviously those may not be the soles they use on shell shoes, but I haven't seen any visual difference between shell and calf soles on Alden shoes personally.
Just food for thought.