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Alden restoration vs. JR Rendenbach resole

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by JohnnyCrockett, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. JohnnyCrockett

    JohnnyCrockett Senior member

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    I have a pair of burgundy shell Aldens which need a resole and reheel. I specifically do NOT want the uppers reconditioned in any way.

    Is there any reason to send my shoes to Alden to do the resole rather than have my local cobbler (who does a good job) resole with JR Rendenbach soles?

    Assume price is the same.
     
  2. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos Senior member

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    The only conceivable reason I'd see for going with Alden is if you want to maintain the Alden logo on the bottom of your shoes. Other than that, I'd go with the JR soles. They're among the best soles money can buy, if not the best.

    You could make the (highly theoretical) argument that Aldens with all-Alden parts might fetch more at resale than Aldens with after-market parts. But again, that would only be on sales to a complete novice. Anyone who knows a thing or two about quality dress shoes -- enough to have gone through the trouble to have shoes resoled before -- is going to know JR is good stuff.

    I get all my shoes resoled in JR when the time comes, and I have never looked back since. The soles look great and last much longer than stock soles.
     
  3. Sterling Gillette

    Sterling Gillette Senior member

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    (...)Anyone who knows a thing or two about quality dress shoes(...) I get all my shoes resoled in JR (...)
    [​IMG] Have Alden resole them. JR price is 90% marketing, 10% better quality. Plus, your local cobbler will repair on a last which doesn't fit your shoes.
     
  4. JohnnyCrockett

    JohnnyCrockett Senior member

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    True prices: local cobbler $110 and 1 week. Alden $135 and 5 weeks.

    Still think Alden is a better option?
     
  5. distinctive

    distinctive Senior member

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    That's a ridiculous price for a resole. Alden will re-cork and re-last so absolutely go with Alden. It takes less than 5 weeks (that's just their safe estimate period). They also give you free trees
     
  6. JohnnyCrockett

    JohnnyCrockett Senior member

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    Let's be clear -- local cobblers recork also..that is part of the resole when the cork is eaten away.

    The trees aren't free, and I'd love Alden to NOT give me trees in exchange for faster service or a reduced price (or both).

    So the question comes down to whether there is anything better about the craftsmanship from Alden than a local cobbler that offsets the fact that the local cobbler will use JR and Alden will use whatever it uses?
     
  7. Sterling Gillette

    Sterling Gillette Senior member

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    I think I did not make my point clear enough.

    1. JR soles are not the über-sole SF groupthink might lead you to believe.
    2. Nothing beats a lasted repair.
     
  8. JohnnyCrockett

    JohnnyCrockett Senior member

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  9. well-kept

    well-kept Senior member

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    2. Nothing beats a lasted repair.

    Except that his burgundy shells will probably come back from Alden painted nearly black, no matter how clearly he indicates his desire that they remain untouched. For this reason I do not let them repair mine.
     
  10. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Shoes can be re-heeled locally but should always be re-soled on the last where they were made IMO.
     
  11. distinctive

    distinctive Senior member

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    Let's be clear -- local cobblers recork also..that is part of the resole when the cork is eaten away.

    The trees aren't free, and I'd love Alden to NOT give me trees in exchange for faster service or a reduced price (or both).

    So the question comes down to whether there is anything better about the craftsmanship from Alden than a local cobbler that offsets the fact that the local cobbler will use JR and Alden will use whatever it uses?



    No one will do a better job than the original manufacturer.

    The trees are free...for $135. They will give you a discount if you don't want them...very minimal though.

    I've never met a cobbler that replaced the cork but at $110 or whatever, he definitely should.

    Re-last is key here
     
  12. Style Pontifex

    Style Pontifex Senior member

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    Just out of curiosity, in which market are you paying $110 for a resoling? Is that the norm?
     
  13. Sterling Gillette

    Sterling Gillette Senior member

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    Just out of curiosity, in which market are you paying $110 for a resoling? Is that the norm?

    No.
     
  14. ohm

    ohm Senior member

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    No one will do a better job than the original manufacturer.

    The trees are free...for $135. They will give you a discount if you don't want them...very minimal though.

    I've never met a cobbler that replaced the cork but at $110 or whatever, he definitely should.

    Re-last is key here


    For what it's worth, B. Nelson say they replace the cork.
     
  15. Fishball

    Fishball Senior member

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    I think recork is not the norm, they just do it when they are needed.
    Actually, most of the time you don't need recork.
    If you just need replace the out sole, "on the last" is not required, actually no need at all.

    Put it on the last, and "re-last" is totally difference thing. Put it on the last is just like put in a shoe tree, not much difference. If you don't do "relasting", It doesn't make any "improvement" on your shoe. If you are doing "rewelting", then put it on the last may help.
     
  16. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Someone please chime in with more facts. Why is it advantageous to have resoling done on the original last? Is doing it on the original last even necessary? What do people mean here by re-lasting?

    On a different note, does Alden replace worn out uppers lining and inner sole lining when used shoes are sent back for resoling?
     
  17. Nick V.

    Nick V. Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  18. JohnnyCrockett

    JohnnyCrockett Senior member

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    It would seem to me that if there is no rewelting happening, there is zero advantage to using the "exact" original last vs. one which is the right size with a skilled local cobbler. The recorking and resoling don't change the shape of the shoe, and the welt is already attached. Am I missing something?
     
  19. Clayslayer

    Clayslayer New Member

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    I vote for the local cobbler. There's a hype floating around on the internet that local cobblers are little more than drooling mouth breathers who will destroy any footwear that goes through their door. The hype is wrong. My local guy has rebuilt, repaired, and recrafted gobs of crap for me ranging from "non-rebuildable" army boots, Corcorans, Allen Edmonds, and even ridiculous leather "projects" that have no place in a cobblers shop. He's awesome. Damned near all of them are. They don't stay in business for decades on end by being idiots.

    My Allen Edmonds McAllister's were absolutely worn out, heels falling off, hole in the sole, etc. They were full soled with JR soles and Vibram heels. Cork was replaced. After they came back from his shop I can say beyond shadow of a doubt that they were better than new. Right at $100 total. The fit and comfort were absolutely unchanged. He said he can likely do these shoes 3 or 4 more times. I doubt I'll live long enough for that to happen. I have two other pair of Allen Edmond's shoes. You better believe Chad is going to rebuild them when the time comes.
     

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