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Alden Recrafting - A Recent Experience

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by A.K.A., Aug 15, 2010.

  1. A.K.A.

    A.K.A. Senior Member

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    Location:
    South Cackalacky
    Before: First two photos from left to right. After: ($145, incl. new cedar shoe trees).

    Relatively happy with the experience. The sole edge dressing on one shoe (where the stiches are in the welt) was a bit sloppy and had ragged edges. Easily removed with a razor blade and then edge dressing applied. Still I would have preferred to have them done as well as the shoeshine guys at the airport.

    The work from Alden is superior to the $125 I paid 6 six months previously to Bennie's in Atlanta.

    Pics of the recrafted shoes are from the unboxing and will buff up to a higher shine.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     


  2. TCN

    TCN Distinguished Member

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    Before: First two photos from left to right. After: ($145, incl. new cedar shoe trees).

    Relatively happy with the experience. The sole edge dressing on one shoe (where the stiches are in the welt) was a bit sloppy and had ragged edges. Easily removed with a razor blade and then edge dressing applied. Still I would have preferred to have them done as well as the shoeshine guys at the airport.

    The work from Alden is superior to the $125 I paid 6 six months previously to Bennie's in Atlanta.

    Pics of the recrafted shoes are from the unboxing and will buff up to a higher shine.


    AKA, that was about my take on Alden's recrafting, "good, but not great." A bit sloppy on the polish and edge dressing part of the program. I wish there was a box to check that said "I don't need your shoe-trees or bags, just treat my shoes with about 10% more care and we'll call it a wash". ;-)
     


  3. A.K.A.

    A.K.A. Senior Member

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    TCN, I was happy to get new shoe bags and trees. I travel a lot and those bags come in handy. Since Alden charges more for a recraft than does AE, then the added value is fair exchange for poor finish work.

    The soles and heels were far superior to any other independent cobbler's work. I like the brass nails in the heel and the dove-tail rubber block in the heel. After looking shoerepairman.com, even they don't offer the same level of soles and heels.

    I feel as if Alden's overall quality has slipped, even on new shoes. Not sure what brand to move up to next.
     


  4. hatguy

    hatguy Senior Member

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    I feel as if Alden's overall quality has slipped, even on new shoes. Not sure what brand to move up to next.


    cj benchgrade?
     


  5. geoffmartin17

    geoffmartin17 Distinguished Member

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    FWIW i purchased my first pair of aldens the other week from JGILBERT and i was less than impressed, particularly at the price point. One day i'll get some pictures up; clearly there are QC issues going on there - some color splats on parts of the shoe. The leather is less than spectacular as well.

    I would just keep an eye out for C+J Benchgrade or Handgrade to pop up on this forum. Compared to my C+J weymouths, the aldens are completely, completely outclassed.
     


  6. rajesh06

    rajesh06 Senior Member

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    I disagree - I just pucked up a pair of Alden captoes (my 6th - though 2 are from the Cap Cod selection).

    Also the owner of 2 C&J (1 benchgrade; 1 re badged RL)

    IMO: Alden > C&J
     


  7. turkoftheplains

    turkoftheplains Senior Member

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    Nothing like reviving a 5 year-old thread.

    I just got my recrafted Aldens back (suede plaintoe blucher with a flex welt on the Barrie last.)

    These shoes were well-worn and well-loved pre-recraft and it showed. The soles both had deep holes (not through to the insole, though) and the backs of the heels were worn to a nub.

    They resoled and re-heeled the shoes and cleaned up the sole edges; they also put a new lining over the heel of the insole. Shoes came with bags and standard trees. Overall, the work was pretty good and I'm glad these shoes are wearable again, though suede weather will be ending soon.

    One thing that disappointed me was the replacement of the previous butter-soft oiled leather sole with a much stiffer replacement. The shoes used to wear like moccasins--and did so right out of the box-- and now they wear more or less like regular alden bluchers. I'm sure they'll break in and I'm happy to have them back, but I really wish they had used the original stock oiled soles for the recraft.

    Overall, I'd give the recrafting process a B (including 2015 millennial grade inflation.)

    Original soles (courtesy of @Epaulet, not my shoes): [​IMG]

    My recrafted shoes:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     


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