Alden worth the price diff over AE? (can of worms)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by imageWIS, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. Dburr

    Dburr Senior member

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    I have a large number of AEs (Without going to the closet and counting I'd say at least 20) I don't ever remember paying full retail. I've owned some of them over 20 years and I've had a few recrafted. (They all came back looking brand new) I'm delighted with all of them. FWIW I have a few pair of J&Ms from the late 50s to mid 60s. They're timeless classics and I generally like them better than AE or Alden. You just can't get them anymore. Todays J&M is just crap.
     


  2. Blake686

    Blake686 Senior member

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    I find Aldens to be much more comfortable than AE's, but it may just be my feet. On another note, I find Alden lasts to be a bit chunky for my liking, so I dont really wear mine much anymore.
     


  3. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    So there seems to be a consensus of sorts about near-equivalence of quality, but the forvm (understandably) prefers the Alden brand values?
     


  4. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    Jon is back?

    the answer is no. Obvs.
     


  5. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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    I like my AE longwings better than my Alden longwings
     


  6. KPO89

    KPO89 Senior member

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    What is the difference? Like 30-50 bux? Have you looked into food stamps?

    Maybe he is just being smart...take that extra 30-50 bucks and invest it. By the time your AE's wear out you'll have enough to buy some Aldens. [​IMG]


    I don't own any Aldens(however I have dealt with them before)....but I do have AE's. My somewhat uneducated viewpoint is that Allen Edmonds focus on Quality and functionality(comfort)...whereas Aldens focus on Quality and sheer beauty. Its a bit of a choice. Are they gonna be a mantel piece shoe or daily wear?
     


  7. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    I like my AE longwings better than my Alden longwings

    I don't like the last that the AE longwings are on. But I still don't think the Aldens are worth the premium.
     


  8. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Never owned any Aldens, but I have owned lots of A-Es. I have scrutinized many Aldens on display at Brooks and elsewhere and certainly could not discern any noticeable superiority in workmanship or aesthetics (between equivalent styles) of Alden over A-E. I can remember examining a nice pair of Alden plain-toe brown bluchers at Carroll & Co. The price was $370 (can't remember if that was a sale price or not). They were appealing shoes, but I couldn't find anything that made them more appealing than my nearly identical A-E Harrisons that I had bought on closeout for $129. That about sums up my attitude. I have 42 pairs of A-Es, and I have never paid much more than $200 for any of them.

    A co-worker of mine who worked as a cobbler for a few years is actually of the opinion that in terms of construction and workmanship A-E is superior to Alden, heretical though that may be to many in the forum culture.
     


  9. romafan

    romafan Senior member

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    which is the one [​IMG] fixated on? [​IMG]
     


  10. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Senior member

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    I've got an Alden Boot in black shell cordovan and a split toe shoe (the Delray) from AE. The Alden is at the top of the food chain as far as boots I've ever owned goes. . .The AE shoe is also very nice. . .And I know I'm comparing a boot to a shoe, cordovan to calf, etc. . .but the Alden seems more substantial. . .like it would take more abuse than the AE. Also, the Alden boot was $570 while the shoe was in the low 300's. That's a huge difference in price.
     


  11. lee_44106

    lee_44106 Senior member

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    My opinion:

    -Construction wise about the same
    -In general, the 360 welt on the AE make the heel bigger and therefore less "elegant" looking
    -Leather quality about the same
    -Alden edge out AE in attention to detail

    In my sartorial journey, both AE and Alden were my starting points for quality shoes. I've moved on.
     


  12. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    I like my Alden over my AE. I'd buy AE again for a great price, but I'd pay full retail Alden without thinking twice.

    AE, to me at least, is too 'corporate'. You'll see dozens upon dozens (if not hundreds) of styles (many of which I hate), gimicky 'seven' line, major ad campains, massive factories, and on and on. Alden, on the other hand, is one factory in Mass. They're an incredibly small production compared to AE and you can't find them at every major department store and then later in the discount chains. And I simply like that (and I would pay more for it)
     


  13. lee_44106

    lee_44106 Senior member

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    I like my Alden over my AE. I'd buy AE again for a great price, but I'd pay full retail Alden without thinking twice.

    AE, to me at least, is too 'corporate'. You'll see dozens upon dozens (if not hundreds) of styles (many of which I hate), gimicky 'seven' line, major ad campains, massive factories, and on and on. Alden, on the other hand, is one factory in Mass. They're an incredibly small production compared to AE and you can't find them at every major department store and then later in the discount chains. And I simply like that (and I would pay more for it)


    This confirms my observation that the Forum gravitates toward smaller "firms/operations".

    Maybe it's the belief that smaller operations produce "better" artisanal product,
     


  14. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    There's a quality about AE's that's always made me winch and I can never quite put my finger on it. I think it's something to do with the finishing and shape that strikes me as obnoxiously bland. In fact, Aldens are much less uniform pair to pair. I'm not sure if that means Alden pays less attention to detail, but their shoes wind up looking and feeling much more like lovingly crafted objects and less like widgets pumped off an assembly line.
     


  15. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    This confirms my observation that the Forum gravitates toward smaller "firms/operations".

    Maybe it's the belief that smaller operations produce "better" artisanal product,


    I do not believe that Alden's are a better product over AE necessarily, I merely appreciate the smaller firms/operations that aren't pushing out object after object on an assembly line. I believed this well before SF.
     


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