Originally Posted by ltb
quick sizing question - I really don't have any leather soled shoes and the only boots I wear are Clarks (in a 10 that should be a 9.5, but I put some insoles in). I wear a 43 in CPs, 10 in Chucks - am I right in saying a 9.5 is probably my best bet for Aldens? D width, definitely.
I've got to tell you - this is precisely the type of situation that has a high probability of ending poorly. Alden makes wonderful shoes (I've owned probably 50 pairs of Aldens over the years - I obviously like them) but their sizing isn't uniform.
Lack of uniformity may be attributable to the manufacturing process, to the fact that dress shoes will never fit like work boots (and remember that before the Indy boot was seen on the feet of hipsters in Williamsburg it was seen on the feet of factory workers in Williamsburg), to the various skins used for the shoes/boots but the primary reason they are different is due to the multitude of last that Alden employs - but whatever the reason I don't believe that you should buy a shoe unless you've had it (or one just like it) on your foot.
If you get to know the Alden offerings (and the various combinations of sizing options based on the lasts) you can make a more informed decision - maybe (I still make mistakes).
Sure, you can work with on-line retailers that have liberal return policies but returning shoes is frustrating for everyone - let's hope you don't crease the shell - and can lead to dissatisfied customers and retailers alike. Nobody likes to pay big bucks for a mistake.
I don't want to re-open the quality control issue but I might offer up that a shoe that doesn't fit won't wear properly either. I'm not defending Alden, I'm just saying.
My recommendation? Do your homework. Get to understand the lasts. Find a bricks and mortar retailer (go to LSBH, to Leffot, to Alden in SF or DC, to Shoemart, even to the guys on Madison Ave) - even if it means you need to get on airplane to do it (a ticket is less than the retail price). Try on lots of combinations (lasts, widths, etc). Then buy a pair - 1 pair, not 6 - and see how they work out.
Too much effort? Not for these shoes.