Originally Posted by Bakes11771
Heard of Alex Shoe Repair, never used them.
B. Nelson will do a double leather if you ask him to. You'd have to discuss pricing with him. Not sure if I'd like the way a full strap would look with a thicker sole, but your call. If you allow the soles to get soaked from walking on wet pavement, the leather soles will wear much faster while they are wet and therefore softer. That could be why the wore so fast.
If you can go without the shoes for 6-10 weeks, you could send them back to Alden for refurb. Once you have had them resoled by another cobbler, Alden will no longer accept them for refurb. B. Nelson does a fine job, but only Alden has the original last to use for the recrafting. Not sure in actuality how important that is. Maybe MWS can shed some light?
I'm sure any of the 3 are capable of a resole.
There are very few cobblers I would trustfully send my shoes to, but B. Nelson makes the list of those I'm fully comfortable with.
That said, having the original last for recrafting is important under certain circumstances. If the gemming is having issues (which it probably isn't, statistically speaking), and if it needs to be repaired, the original last may be important. The reason for this is because the size of the shoe could be changed when regluing the gemming to the bottom of the insole. However, that depends upon the degree of repair needed. If only a small section needs to be reattached, it's a pretty straightforward procedure. However, if large segments have come loose, then it becomes more risky. B. Nelson fully understands this, and they won't do a shoddy repair job on something that needs the original last.
Having the original last also allows for the factory to "re-last" the shoe when they put on a new welt. When they remove the old welt, they will tighten the leather down, which will help straighten out some of the creases and stretched areas that the shoe has developed over years of wear. This isn't really safe without the original last.
Having the original last may help prevent any lumps from occurring in the insole when replacing the cork bottom filler, since the original last will fit the most tightly and help prevent over packing the bottom of the shoe. This is probably an overrated concern, but it is possible. If it does happen, generally it will flatten out to a desirable level after a few wears.
If the insole needs to be replaced, which Alden will do in extreme circumstances, the original last is mandatory.
On the flip side, one thing I like about using someone like B. Nelson, is that they will leave your original welt in place (assuming it isn't damaged or worn) and only replace the cork and outsole. This actually prolongs the life of your Goodyear-welted shoes by a large margin. A Goodyear-welted shoe can only take a handful of re-weltings before it can no longer be done and must be disposed of. That's because every re-welting punches new holes around the base of the upper when they stitch on a new welt, and eventually it will lose it's integrity just like a piece of perforated paper will tear on a dotted line. Leaving the original welt in place will mitigate this, and thus, the shoe can take more resoles because of it. Further, when B. Nelson does replace the welt, they do it by hand, and they make every effort to use the original holes in the uppers and inseam. Again, this will extend the overall life of the shoe for the same reasons. Factories don't do this. Factories automatically replace the welt using the welt stitching machine, which just "machine-guns" new holes in the upper when stitching on a new welt. Like I said, eventually you end up with too many holes and the leather will be prone to tearing. Because of all this, a shoe that is resoled at a place like B. Nelson could actually last far longer than a shoe that is consistently sent to the factory for recrafting, assuming you don't have major gemming problems (which is rare enough to not lose sleep over). But of you send them to B. Nelson, then Alden won't ever touch them again. So it's a bit of a game of Russian Roulette, or "pick your poison" if you will.