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Brooks Peal & Co. v. Alden

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have a pair of Alden shoes from Brooks Brothers and (ignoring shouts to go join AskAndy) I really love them. I think the leather is outstanding, as is the comfort (I did some homemade antiquing with fire, as you'll recall). I recently took a closer look at the BB Peal shoes, and I was really impressed with the last shape. They have a nice faux beveled waist, and seem to have a nice solid welt. Pretty elegant designs as well, albeit not unique (I think there may be something to the theory that Brooks owns the old Peal lasts, meaning that AS or CJ can't make the same shoes under their own name). What I'm wondering is how the leather quality of the Peals is compared to the Alden. How does the leather wear? How does the welt hold up? Anyone know? Thanks.
post #2 of 10
I own one pair of Peals and I have owned one pair of Aldens, both in calfskin. The Aldens are dead, through no fault of their own. They were as well built as any shoe I have ever owned. The Peals (an Alfred Sargent) are also at the highest level, but I disagree that BB has any designs that are proprietory. My complaint about the Aldens (and this only applies to the non-Alden "fan" shoes) is that their designs are clunky in the extreme. They make Alfred Sargents look positively svelte by comparison, though I have to say that the Peal Alfred Sargents I have, a chukka in pebbled black calfskin with rubber soles, is one of their more elegant models.
post #3 of 10
No comparison.  I own a pr. of BB Peal suede monkstrap shoes that are about 15 yrs old and they have held their own these many years.  They have retained their regal shape and, except for a darkening of the suede over the years, the shoes otherwise look new.  Can't say the same about the Alden shoes I own, sadly.  After a year or so, they looked like they were shot to sh*t.  They just collapsed.  The leather has taken on a cheap look and feel, and they have lost their shape, despite religious use of trees and care.  The Alden shoes have taken on "rain shoe" status, or lack thereof, meaning I only wear them when it's raining and I don't want to wear my better shoes.  A pity, really, because nobody is more patriotic than I and I want to buy American products, but my experience with Alden is most disappointing. I have relegated my Aldens to rain wear, along with my bespoke English suits.  I have the most expensive rain gear you've ever seen. Grayson
post #4 of 10
Quote:
No comparison. I own a pr. of BB Peal suede monkstrap shoes that are about 15 yrs old and they have held their own these many years. They have retained their regal shape and, except for a darkening of the suede over the years, the shoes otherwise look new. Can'r say the same about the Alden shoes I own, sadly. After a year or so, they looked like they were shot to sh*t. They just collapsed. The leather has taken on a cheap look and feel, and they have lost their shape, despite religious use of trees and care. The Alden shoes have taken on "rain shoe" status, or lack thereof, meaning I only wear them when it's raining and I don't want to wear my better shoes. I wear my rain shoes with my rain suits. I have the most expensive rain gear you've ever seen. Grayson
This is hard to believe. Are they calf or cordovan?
post #5 of 10
Calf. Poor calf gave its life for these shoes. Grayson
post #6 of 10
That's too bad. At least the horses can rest peacefully knowing that their contributions to Alden are lasting a long time.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Pretty elegant designs as well, albeit not unique (I think there may be something to the theory that Brooks owns the old Peal lasts, meaning that AS or CJ can't make the same shoes under their own name).
Most of the Peal models that I've seen at Brooks Brothers recently have been made by Alfred Sargent, although there may still be some Crockett & Jones-made models around. Brooks Brothers may own the Peal name and the Peal lasts, but I'm pretty confident that they're not being used on their current Peal shoes: the shape is not at all the round-toe banana shape that is associated with Peal, and the Peal-labelled shoes aren't even all made on the same last. You'll have difficulty finding some of the Peal models elsewhere at retail under the C&J or AS labels, but that's just because of the way that the shoe business works in England: if you're willing to buy the minimum, you can spec out just about anything you want. No one else will have what you ordered unless they spec the exact same shoe.
Quote:
What I'm wondering is how the leather quality of the Peals is compared to the Alden. How does the leather wear? How does the welt hold up? Anyone know?
They're good-quality shoes. Nothing spectacular, and you can get comparable shoes from AS or C&J for less, but they are good-quality shoes.
post #8 of 10
I think we need Mr Pollock ............................
post #9 of 10
I don't currently own any suede shoes. I've been looking for a pair of desert boots, both to wear with jeans and to see how I feel about suede with dressier outfits. Streetwear is very big on Clarks Desert Boots, which retail for $95 or so (but are always on eBay for $75): I just noticed that Brooks Brothers has Peal & Co desert boots on sale for $225: I'm a little concerned about the quality of $100 shoes. Do the Peals have a more elegant last? Do you gentlemen think they are worth 3 times the price?
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared View Post
I'm a little concerned about the quality of $100 shoes. Do the Peals have a more elegant last? Do you gentlemen think they are worth 3 times the price?

Yes to both.
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