Alden fan shoe question

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by clarinetplayer, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. clarinetplayer

    clarinetplayer Senior member

    Likes Received:
    Mar 12, 2002
    I am intrigued by the Alden of Carmel Fan Shoe AF1--the Whiskey Mahogany Shell Cordovan Saddle Blucher.

    The color, "whiskey". Is it similar, say, to the Allen Edmonds "chili"?

    If anyone owns a pair, it would interesting to hear what you think of them. And with what colors you wear them. Many thanks for any responses.

  2. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Likes Received:
    Mar 23, 2002
    London, UK
    I've got two pairs of whiskey shell cordovan shoes (but not the saddle bluchers in question): "Leisure handsawn moccasin" and a longwing "Special reserve" blucher.

    The first pair I bought maybe six years ago in Germany, the other one from Adam in Carmel about two month ago. Having just looked at the web site again, I think they come over as too red/orange in the photographs. The new shoes were initially a quite pale light tan, but they have already mellowed and darkened considerably. The old shoes have the magnificent color of antique burnished gold. But the color is not as orange as AE "chilli" or what they call here in London "London tan". I presume the "mahogany" shell cordovan (which I have never seen in the flesh) might be closer to "chilli".

    What can you wear tan shoes with? I believe with everything and (apart from myself) millions of Italians can't be wrong. One proviso, light shoes with dark clothing stick out like the proverbial sore thumb and will draw attention to themselves. (Of course, bi-color shoes like the saddle shoes in question will be even more attention grabbing.

  3. Kai

    Kai Senior member

    Likes Received:
    Aug 16, 2003
    I have the AF1 shoes. They are my absolute favorite shoes that I own. The "whiskey" color is a medium tan. The mahogany is a bit darker and has a bit more red in it. They are works of art, right down to the beautifully grained stacked leather heels. As to what colors I wear them with: Tan, off-white, light olive, camel. taupe, khaki. They mostly get worn in the Summer time, but I occasionally wear them in the winter too. I get compliments whenever I wear them. A couple of observations about Alden's whiskey shell cordovan: It is beautiful leather, with a wonderful luster and depth. However, getting the tanning process for shell cordovan exactly identical is difficult with the lighter colors. Therefore, you may have some slight variations in color on the shoes, and between shoes of the same pair. I own the AF1 shoes, and also the whiskey long wing Bluchers (AF21.) On the long wing Bluchers, there was a somewhat noticable color difference to the leather initially. I used a darker polish on them, and polished them more than normal for shell cordovan leather. As a result, they have darkened quite a bit over the years and the color of the leather is now much more uniform. They are now somewhere between their original whiskey color and the Alden mahogany color. Not a bad thing, and they look very beautiful and have a rich patina. On the AF1 saddle oxfords, the colors on the shoes matched almost perfectly, so I have used only minimal polish, and they have stayed quite light in color. They have also aged very nicely and have a depth of color and shine that you can only get from shell cordovan. If you get a pair of whiskey shell cordovan shoes, be sure to pick up a belt. Ben Silver ( has a beautiful dark tan shell cordovan belt for about 1/2 of what you would pay for an Alden shell cordovan belt. Kai

  4. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

    Likes Received:
    Mar 2, 2002
    San Antonio
    Got a chance to meet Adam a couple of weeks ago when I was in Carmel. He's a great guy, and those AF1s are great shoes. I'm looking forward to purchasing a pair when my size arrives later this fall.

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by