I think where I come out is: - the biggest problem with AE is lack of great designs, despite them having hundreds of models. the 7 or 8 classic AE designs are great - I wish they made more Chukkas and Boots. this is really where Alden kills them. - retail price for AE is a bit silly to pay, they are frequently discounted - used AE holds it value much worse than used Alden. you can frequently find barely worn AE in classic models for < $100 which less less than half of Alden. - prices on Ebay or here on B/S are MUCH lower than Alden This is a great list of points... I would add that the AE shell cordovans seem to be made to a better standard, with JR soles and so on - and so are much more comparable to Aldens than the "normal line" of AE's. That said, I have several AE's that I enjoy wearing just as much as some of my Aldens, at least the calfskin ones - though my tip-top favorites are all Aldens or English makes.