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A Tale of Two Cordovan Derbies (AE & Alden)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Xiaogou, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. Xiaogou

    Xiaogou Distinguished Member

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    Until recently, I never owned cordovan. After seeing so many great pics here, I decided to start buying some. I first got a pair of AE Cambridge in burgundy cordovan to wear with suits. I figured that I needed derbies to wear with more casual clothing.

    Inspired by Foo's great looking shoes, I called Alden in SF and ordered a pair of long-wings in color #8. The salesman, James Smith recommended that I go down a half size. I decided to order a pair of AE MacNeil burgundy cordovan shoes as well so that I could compare them. I have always liked AE, but when they switched to that damn black sole that is so uncomfortable, I have been having a lot of doubts.

    The Alden in color #8 is actually darker than the AE shoes. Not sure if if Alden darkens theirs or if AE somehow lightens theirs.

    I wore each shoe for a day. The Alden shoe has a cushion in the heel which helps with comfort. At the end of the day, I my feet preferred the Alden shoes. The AE does have some cushioning on the side where the arch is. The Alden shoes also seemed to wear a little better.

    Anyway, here are the pics:

    AE on left, Alden on right
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    Alden on left, AE on right
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    [​IMG]

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    AE
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    [​IMG]

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    This cushion is a lifesaver...
    [​IMG]

    Alden on left, AE on right
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     


  2. JayJay

    JayJay Stylish Dinosaur

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    Nice shoes. It's great to see the side by side comparison.
     


  3. justsayno

    justsayno Distinguished Member

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    i agree abt the cushion. i have park avenues and i get worn out wearing them all day. Alden's were a pleasure.
     


  4. dsgNYC

    dsgNYC Senior Member

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    This is very cool to see the two side-by-side. It looks like the laces on the AE aren't in line with each other. Is this an optical illusion b/c of the camera angle?
     


  5. forex

    forex Distinguished Member

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    E looks wider than Alden,Alden definitely takes the cake.
     


  6. TRINI

    TRINI Distinguished Member

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    Foo did the right thing in ordering his on the Plaza last.
     


  7. JLibourel

    JLibourel Distinguished Member

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    I am mildly curious as to how the color of the insole can affect the comfort of the shoe. I have one pair of A-Es with the black insole, Strand #5 last. They seem to fit much the same as my other four pairs of A-Es on the #5 last.

    This post would have been much more informative had the OP posted an evalutation after a year or so's hard wear on both pairs.
     


  8. LaoHu

    LaoHu Senior Member

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    It's quite evident that the Alden model has trimmed the sole closer to the body of the shoe. AE looks like a flanged construction.
     


  9. KObalto

    KObalto Distinguished Member

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    I've got those AEs and love them but they are a hair large and i use tongue pads. Did you size down on them as well?
     


  10. furo

    furo Distinguished Member

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    I am mildly curious as to how the color of the insole can affect the comfort of the shoe. I have one pair of A-Es with the black insole, Strand #5 last. They seem to fit much the same as my other four pairs of A-Es on the #5 last.

    This post would have been much more informative had the OP posted an evalutation after a year or so's hard wear on both pairs.


    +1

    One day's wear cannot be a solid comparison.
     


  11. Xiaogou

    Xiaogou Distinguished Member

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    This is very cool to see the two side-by-side. It looks like the laces on the AE aren't in line with each other. Is this an optical illusion b/c of the camera angle?

    Nope. That is how it is when the shoe is tied.


    I am mildly curious as to how the color of the insole can affect the comfort of the shoe. I have one pair of A-Es with the black insole, Strand #5 last. They seem to fit much the same as my other four pairs of A-Es on the #5 last.

    This post would have been much more informative had the OP posted an evaluation after a year or so's hard wear on both pairs.


    I see your point. I have no problem writing a review in a year. That black sole is rock hard. The Alden sole "gives" much more than the AE inner sole. I feel that I have to make decisions quickly on comfort for a couple of reasons. First, I am still recovering from surgery where the Achilles attaches to the bone. Comfort is paramount for me. The second issue is that I want to make a quick decision before I end up with 10 pairs that are not comfortable. I did the same thing with my JLP shoes. Wore them for a day and made the decision to buy more.
     


  12. stant62

    stant62 Distinguished Member

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    Those 975's look good. I can't wait to get my pair later this year.
     


  13. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Distinguished Member

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    Both look great. Is it possible to take one more side-by-side shot in the sunshine for us?
     


  14. Baron

    Baron Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    Based on the lasts alone, I think the AE is more attractive. It's close enough not to be a deciding factor, but I think one can get the AE cheaper as well, right?
     


  15. Parker

    Parker Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    +1. I like the AE toe shape better.

    I didn't realize you could order the Alden longwings on a different last. (I admit I didn't read Foo's whole OneShoe thread). A narrower toe would look nicer. Is there an upcharge for this?

    I also understand about the hardness of the AE heel. I've found them a little uncomfortable for long wear. All in all both of those cordovan longwings are some nice looking kicks.
     


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