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

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

  1. Roguls

    Roguls Senior 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]
     


  2. Roguls

    Roguls Senior member

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    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012


  3. dcg

    dcg Senior 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 Senior member

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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. Roguls

    Roguls Senior member

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  6. 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)
     


  7. Orgetorix

    Orgetorix Senior 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?
     


  8. dcg

    dcg Senior 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.
     


  9. UrbanComposition

    UrbanComposition Senior member

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


  10. Joenobody0

    Joenobody0 Senior 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.
     


  11. Roguls

    Roguls Senior 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?
     


  12. mtc2000

    mtc2000 Senior 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.
     


  13. Aquaphor

    Aquaphor Senior member

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  14. philosophe

    philosophe Senior 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.
     


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