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Alden 986 & 9901 vs Brooks Brothers 034H & 091H

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by nurktwin, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. nurktwin

    nurktwin Well-Known Member

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    Hello, I've read with great interest past threads on this board about the difference between Alden name brand shell cordovan shoes and the rebadged Alden counterparts sold under the Brooks Brothers nameplate. Some past threads from a few years back note that some of the Brooks Brothers versions may be unlined or "seconds" -- not quite as good as the versions sold with Alden name. What are "seconds"? Blemished or subpar in some way? A couple of all the time classic Aldens I'm interested in are the Shell Cordovan #8 penny loafer 986 and the Black Shell Blucher 9901. I've seen these rebadged models at Brooks Brothers. I believe BB model numbers may be 034H & 091H, respectively. Has anyone inspected / worn both the Aldens and Brook Brothers rebadged versions? How do the BB's compare to the Alden branded versions. Are the BB's still unlined? Are the BB's subpar in quality compared to the Alden counterparts? How much better, if any, are the Alden badged versions? Here's some pics of the Aldens: [​IMG] [​IMG] Thanks!
     
  2. rebel222

    rebel222 Well-Known Member

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    Neither are seconds. Seconds are shoes that didn't pass inspection @ Alden.

    There is no difference in quality between Alden & BB stuff.

    The BB LHS are unlined.
     
  3. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    There is no difference in quality between Alden & BB stuff.

    This. I have both and the quality is the same.
     
  4. nurktwin

    nurktwin Well-Known Member

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    If quality is the same, are construction, lasts or materials different on the Brooks Brothers?
     
  5. rebel222

    rebel222 Well-Known Member

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    There may be different lasts. Depends on the model.
     
  6. srivats

    srivats Well-Known Member

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    There may be different lasts. Depends on the model.

    There are small differences in construction, atleast on the plain toe bluchers - these are from BB's specifications to alden for these makeups.

    1. BB version comes with metal eyelets, alden version does not.
    2. No storm welt on the BB version, alden version has one.
    3. Both versions are on barrie last - but the sizing info is listed differently inside the shoes. You need get your usual size in BB version and you size down 1/2 size for alden version.
     
  7. interlockingny

    interlockingny Well-Known Member

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    There are small differences in construction, atleast on the plain toe bluchers - these are from BB's specifications to alden for these makeups.

    1. BB version comes with metal eyelets, alden version does not.
    2. No storm welt on the BB version, alden version has one.
    3. Both versions are on barrie last - but the sizing info is listed differently inside the shoes. You need get your usual size in BB version and you size down 1/2 size for alden version.


    1. +1
    2. +1
    3. +1
     
  8. dropout5

    dropout5 Well-Known Member

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    definitely no difference in quality though, as stated. i have both and love them each.
     
  9. nurktwin

    nurktwin Well-Known Member

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    There are small differences in construction, atleast on the plain toe bluchers - these are from BB's specifications to alden for these makeups.

    1. BB version comes with metal eyelets, alden version does not.
    2. No storm welt on the BB version, alden version has one.
    3. Both versions are on barrie last - but the sizing info is listed differently inside the shoes. You need get your usual size in BB version and you size down 1/2 size for alden version.


    Thanks! What is a "storm welt?"

    Do the eyelets tend to make the shoe more casual and less appropriate for business casual attire?
     
  10. nurktwin

    nurktwin Well-Known Member

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    Neither are seconds. Seconds are shoes that didn't pass inspection @ Alden.

    There is no difference in quality between Alden & BB stuff.

    The BB LHS are unlined.


    Thanks! What does LHS stand for? What are pros and cons of lined vs unlined?
     
  11. rebel222

    rebel222 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! What is a "storm welt?"

    Do the eyelets tend to make the shoe more casual and less appropriate for business casual attire?


    I would suggest doing some searches to further your research. A storm welt is a where the welt is split and attached to the upper as well as the sole. Hard to explain. It is more casual looking.

    Thanks! What does LHS stand for? What are pros and cons of lined vs unlined?

    That loafer model is the Leisure Hand Sewn (LHS). I am wearing my unlined now. They are softer. The lined model is more structured. I like the look of an unsupported loafer. Some people say they are cooler for summer months, but I can't tell the difference.
     
  12. nurktwin

    nurktwin Well-Known Member

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    There are small differences in construction, atleast on the plain toe bluchers - these are from BB's specifications to alden for these makeups.


    3. Both versions are on barrie last - but the sizing info is listed differently inside the shoes. You need get your usual size in BB version and you size down 1/2 size for alden version.


    Hi

    So if I want the Alden version and my true shoe size in other Aldens such as the 907 Bal Cafskin Captoe is 10.5 C, then I should order 9901 Cordovan Blucher in 10 C?

    Thanks!
     
  13. Joenobody0

    Joenobody0 Well-Known Member

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    Hi

    So if I want the Alden version and my true shoe size in other Aldens such as the 907 Bal Cafskin Captoe is 10.5 C, then I should order 9901 Cordovan Blucher in 10 C?

    Thanks!


    The 907 is on the Hampton last, and the 9901 is no the Barrie. As you say, I size down 1/2 size from Hampton to Barrie while keeping the width constant.

    One thing to keep in mind, though not everyone will agree, I find Cordovan shoes to fit fuller than Calfskin. The difference isn't a full width, but in my opinion it's about half a width. If you're barely a C width in your 907, you might be a B width in the 9901.

    Even though you seem to have made up your mind, I prefer the BB version to the Alden. The storm welt doesn't do it for me, and I actually like the eyelets.
     
  14. nurktwin

    nurktwin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. What about the 986 Cordovan Penny? Does it fit true to size?
     
  15. Joenobody0

    Joenobody0 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. What about the 986 Cordovan Penny? Does it fit true to size?

    You should take the same size in the 986 (Van last) as the Barrie.
     
  16. rebel222

    rebel222 Well-Known Member

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    You should take the same size in the 986 (Van last) as the Barrie.

    That's not necessarily true. Some people wear their Barrie size in the Van last, some wear their normal size.
     
  17. nurktwin

    nurktwin Well-Known Member

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    So if I'm 10.5 C on the 907 calfskin, what size do I need in the 986? Thanks!
     
  18. Joenobody0

    Joenobody0 Well-Known Member

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    That's not necessarily true. Some people wear their Barrie size in the Van last, some wear their normal size.

    That certainly seems to be the case and I probably shouldn't have spoken in absolutes. My experience says "Barrie size". Also everyone I've talked to at Alden in SF suggested taking the Barrie size as, at least, a starting point.
     
  19. Joenobody0

    Joenobody0 Well-Known Member

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    So if I'm 10.5 C on the 907 calfskin, what size do I need in the 986? Thanks!

    I'd suggest 10C in the 986 would be the correct place to start. You really can't beat trying these shoes on in person. If it's not possible order multiple pairs and keep the one that fits best.
     
  20. 89826

    89826 Well-Known Member

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    I have a lot of experience with Alden shells and BB-Alden shells. I wear a 9.5 in most shoes, but go down all the way to a 8.5 in the BB-Alden unlined LHS. Four reasons: the van last is roomy, the missing liner seems to make the interior of the shoe roomier, the unlined leather seems to give more and conform better, and the last thing I want is a loafer slipping around on my foot. But my sense is that most people go down just half a size.

    I would say the benefits of the unlined shoe are: it is cooler (good in the summer), better with no socks (the lining can and will develop holes around the toes with no socks), conforms better, and is more flexible. The benefits of the lined shoe are ?

    I just ordered a pair of whiskey shell BB-Alden unlined LHS today! Coming from New York, should be here in a week.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012

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