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Alden vs. Viberg

ModernLounger

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Please excuse me if this has been covered in any direct comparisons before. I have done some broad searches and only found snippets of comments comparing these two fantastic shoe/boot makers. First off, I have limited experience with high end fashion but plenty of experience with high end outdoor gear, brands like Arcteryx, Scarpa, Patagonia and Crumpler. When I recently stumbled upon the Alden 405 Indy boots in a Value Village I fell head over heels (yep, intended). Afterwards I wanted to read some detailed comparisons with Viberg as I have been fascinated with that brand for a few decades as I live on the West Coast of Canada. They were right at the top of dream hikers when I was a young guy but since I am no longer wrecking everything I own I figured some of their fashion footwear might suit me. I now own both brands having aquired some Viberg x Cabourn chukkas and hoped others might also be into a head to head!


First off my Aldens are reverse oiled chamois in tobacco and they are only a few months old since when I found them they were in tip top, like new condition. I have been putting them through the wringer (delicately) in our toughest winter in 30 years. I have worn them in snow, rain and slush. The leather is taking it all very well, i brush them off and put trees in them whenever they arent on my feet. The way that they formed to my foot after only a few wears was incredible. They are breaking in wonderfully and the crepe sole was comfortable from the get go. The contruction on these boots is tough yet refined. They make me want to make them last forever, they make me a better boot owner, what more could you ask? The glove lining is intimate with my foot, they do, fit like a glove.



Viberg copper task roughout, 110 last with a Vibram 2060 sole. I have had them for only a few days but they are a whole different animal entirely. Now I realize they are drastically different in style a but I believe they can be fairly compared since neither is formal, agreed? The Vibergs are wayyyyy more robust, the leather is stiff and thick. They are unlined and that is fine, the hide is so thick a lining just aint necessary. These shoes are begging to be treated badly, they are like a brand new Volvo 240, entirely too tough. Like a saddle is this tough. They do not automatically fit my feet, I'll need to cinch them tight and wear them for many long summer walks to break these in. As this is the case I expect them to have an even great payoff than the Alden boots will, as well as a longer life. I can't say for sure that they will outlast the Aldens since leather can crack and blow out with something this stiff but if they survive the break in then its almost for sure. The way they sound when you hit them together is like a hollow, low, "clok". Just heavy and built with no expense spared, built to stand up to nature. This is why they cost more than the Aldens methinks. They could charge less but then you might not believe what you are seeing if you get me. Weird. Anyways, once again, these are two different beast from either end of North America, one is a refined, time tested classic with loads of quality. The other is a brute, wild and tough that will take some taming to call them mine. If I thought one was better I would say so but I believe this would be more about personal taste. I won't put either above the other but rather they both need to be experienced, just like cars or wine or anything really.
 

bumstead27

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Sorry to revive this thread from the dead. But just wanted to weigh in.
I do not have any experience with the Alden's or Viberg's fashion line (though I have been eyeing up their derby and service boot) but I do however have experience with their work boots. I have a pair of Viberg boots I wear for forest fire and let me tell you I put them through hell and back and they take it like a champ. They definitely will not last me a lifetime, no boot would be capable of it but they are so well built that they have already outlasted any other boot I've worn (previous record 1 1/2 seasons. About 7 months of wear) these boots are finished season 2 and headed into 3 and they are holding up tremendously.

And like I said when these boots give out it won't be Vibergs fault. I just put them through a lot and the work conditions make proper care impossible.

Once those Vibergs you have break in, they will be your favourite boot. You won't be disappointed.
 

STEVENZHU

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Are those the Alden x J Gilbert indy boots? I just bought a pair from Ebay, looking forward to getting them! How does the crepe sole wear? I've heard bad things about the soles.
 

ModernLounger

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Are those the Alden x J Gilbert indy boots? I just bought a pair from Ebay, looking forward to getting them! How does the crepe sole wear? I've heard bad things about the soles.
Hi, quite a late reply, by this time you definitely have your own opionion of the sole. I am still using the original crepe sole and while the little leather toe patch on the underside wore back within the first month or two they are still there. The natural rubber is really fantastic when it comes to rainy Vancouver mossy steps and ledges. I have yet to lose grip on any surface. They even hold on to ice like a broom ball shoe!
 

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