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Alden Modified Last: If You Wear, or are Interested, Please Read

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Roguls, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. Roguls

    Roguls Well-Known Member

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    I love Aldens, specifically their dress boots. I have owned boots and shoes on the Barrie, Plaza, Trubalance, Hampton and Aberdeen last. I always thought they were fairly comfortable. Then I visited Moulded Shoe, LLC in NYC and tried on the Modified Last. My definition of what is comfortable has changed dramatically. The Modified Last is simply sublime in its fit - apparently I have "strange feet" and this special last fits perfectly. And it has a strangely cool look about it (some call this orthopedic, but I disagree after seeing them in person). I know I am not alone. To make a long story short, I then set out to find who sells Modified Last shoes (really, dress boots) in shell cordovan. To my chagrin, I found a terrible irony: Alden does not allow U.S. retailers to order special makeups in shell cordovan. Moulded Shoe has an awesome #8 captoe boot, but only because it was "grandfathered in" (they've been selling Aldens since the 40's). Basically, I found that only the Japanese and French market (to my knowledge from my limited research) are privy to shell cordovan Modified Last shoes. I'm writing this to see if there is interest in Shell Cordovan makeups in the Modified Last right here in the U.S., the home country of The Alden Shoe Company. I'd like to start a list below of those who would like to see Alden lift the unofficial ban on retailers to order special makeups in Shell Cordovan. If there is sufficient interest, I will be drafting a letter to Alden with an attached petition. Moulded Shoe has agreed to back us - the owners have stated they, too, are exceedingly frustrated with their inability to order special makeups in Shell. Perhaps, at very least, we can work with them to get at least one boot made. To understand what this means, in dollars, I will be purchasing a pair of shell from an awesome Alden Modified Last retailer, Anatomica. The price will be near $1200 for the pair. That means a $500 + premium (basically I'm forfeiting a pair of calf...). If you don't know what the Modified Last is, here are some pictures to whet your appetite. They are from Anatomica and Moulded Shoe. If you google search, you'll find more. But these show the possibilities. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Roguls

    Roguls Well-Known Member

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    1. Roguls
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    Keep them coming. I will be cross-posting at Superfuture and Ask Andy. Anywhere else I should post?
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  3. dcg

    dcg Well-Known Member

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    As a long-time member of the modified last fan club, I lend my support to your petition and leave you with this:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. well-kept

    well-kept Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    I own two pair of Alden boots in shell on the Modified. I can back you up. The combination of the intrinsic comfort of the last with the added ankle support is a great combination.
     
  5. alexSF

    alexSF Well-Known Member

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  6. Roguls

    Roguls Well-Known Member

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  7. tarnow

    tarnow Member

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    +1 on Modified Shells

    Moulded Shoe 'owns' the Alden US modified market and thus, selection and pricing is very limited and pricey (minimum $450 per style).

    I own 5 pairs of Modified Aldens; 2 x 5921 (snuff and black suede, rubber sole), 2 x #591 (discontinued nubuck black and brown, rubber sole), and 1 x #542 (brown calf, leather sole); all in either 3E or 4E.

    I'm awaiting a special markup (ordered thru Moulded in December) for a chocolate suede long wing, metal eyelids, with rubber sole. The cost is ridiculous (for a suede shoe) but unfortunately, there is no other available option for purchasing this style shoe.

    Again, sign me up...

    TA
    Massachusetts (home of the Alden mother ship)
     
  8. Orgetorix

    Orgetorix Well-Known Member

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    To my chagrin, I found a terrible irony: Alden does not allow U.S. retailers to order special makeups in shell cordovan. Moulded Shoe has an awesome #8 captoe boot, but only because it was "grandfathered in" (they've been selling Aldens since the 40's).

    Basically, I found that only the Japanese and French market (to my knowledge from my limited research) are privy to shell cordovan Modified Last shoes.


    Does anyone know why Alden does this? What's their reasoning?
     
  9. dcg

    dcg Well-Known Member

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    ^The prices they sell for overseas are insane, and from what I've heard they are very popular (at least in Japan). I think they don't want to undercut their sellers in those markets.
     
  10. UrbanComposition

    UrbanComposition Well-Known Member

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    I have the shell captoes in the modified last. Wear 'em all day. Crazy comfy.
     
  11. Joenobody0

    Joenobody0 Well-Known Member

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    I'd love to be able to buy Modified last shells in the US. Put me on the list as an interested owner of 10+ shell Aldens.
     
  12. Roguls

    Roguls Well-Known Member

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    I have the shell captoes in the modified last. Wear 'em all day. Crazy comfy.

    May I add you to the list?
     
  13. mtc2000

    mtc2000 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, yes, yes!

    I understand the "ban" has a lot to do with protecting the Japan distributors.
    Japan has very high import tariffs on leather shoes, something like 30%. Having specific models for Japan would effectively prevent an influx of "direct imports". In Japan, the Modified last has been the mainstream. Sometimes, you do find some Chukka boots, PTB, LW in the Barrie last. And they just introduced the 403 to the Japanese market not too long ago. So I don't subscribe to the argument that the Modified last fits the average Japanese foot better as the only reason. I think it has more to do with marketing and protection of regional sales.

    Oh, I think they are starting to do the same "exclusive model" thing with Hong Kong, in the Truflare last.

    BTW, in Modified last, I have 7 pairs of boots and 6 pairs of shoes from Moulded.
    Another 6 pairs, all in Cordovan from Japan.
     
  14. Aquaphor

    Aquaphor Well-Known Member

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  15. philosophe

    philosophe Well-Known Member

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    I'm also a modified last fan. I just ordered some calf boots and am holding out for some suede monks. I mention it to Raphael at Moulded Shoe periodically. Other interested parties, please let him know.
     
  16. AlanC

    AlanC Well-Known Member

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    Heart of America
    I'd love to try a pair of modified last boots. How does the last fit/sizing run compared to other lasts?

    I see from the description of the last that it addresses foot pronation, which would undoubtedly be helpful to me.
     
  17. dcg

    dcg Well-Known Member

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    ^About a half size large, roomy in the toe, snug in the heel, with a lot of arch support.
     
  18. southbound35

    southbound35 Well-Known Member

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    ^About a half size large, roomy in the toe, snug in the heel, with a lot of arch support.

    This sounds ideal. Need to look into this last.
     
  19. Renton

    Renton Well-Known Member

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    If I can figure out my sizing, I'd be pretty interested.
     
  20. well-kept

    well-kept Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    ^About a half size large, roomy in the toe, snug in the heel, with a lot of arch support.

    Exactly. It hugs the instep, far more than other any Alden last, with plenty of wiggle room in the toe, quite a rare combination.
     

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