• Hi, I'm the owner and main administrator of Styleforum. If you find the forum useful and fun, please help support it by buying through the posted links on the forum. Our main, very popular sales thread, where the latest and best sales are listed, are posted HERE

    Purchases made through some of our links earn a commission for the forum and allow us to do the work of maintaining and improving it. Finally, thanks for being a part of this community. We realize that there are many choices today on the internet, and we have all of you to thank for making Styleforum the foremost destination for discussions of menswear and fashion.
  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Question about C&J Cordovan

beny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
92
Reaction score
0
C&J seems to get good press here, but there is a lot less info regarding their cordovan shoes. I'm curious how C&J cordovan stacks up against Alden cordovan. I know that the general concensus is that C&J is the higher-quality brand, but I think that Alden is known for it's cordovans whereas C&J is known for it's sleeker styles and higher quality.

Here is a pic that I pulled from AAAC forums (Alden on left, C&J on right):



http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/f...ad.php?t=65652

I'm curious why the C&J cordovan seems rather dull, whereas the Alden has a nice sheen.
 

distinctive

Distinguished Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2007
Messages
3,294
Reaction score
11
They both use Horween tanned hides. Alden finishes their cordovan differently though. Honestly, I don't find C & J to be much better quality than Alden although they do have better lasts. In terms of bang for the buck, I'd go with Alden.
 

von Rothbart

Distinguished Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2004
Messages
2,461
Reaction score
15
Someone mentioned Alden is such big customer of Horween, it has the first pick before everyone else.

I don't know if your pair are exception to the norm, but all the C&J cordovan I've seen are on par with Alden. Did you get yours as second?
 

lee_44106

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2006
Messages
8,103
Reaction score
98
I have shoes in shell cordovan by both Alden and C&J.

-leather sources are exactly the same (Horween of Chicago)
-constructions are exactly the same (almost all machine made, with the exception of some handdone parts)
-attention to details (C&J > Alden by just a little little bit)
-value wise, Alden > C&J
-shoe style offerings wise, Alden > C&J
-shoe last sleekness wise, C&J > Alden
 

JayJay

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
24,367
Reaction score
430
Originally Posted by lee_44106
I have shoes in shell cordovan by both Alden and C&J.

-leather sources are exactly the same (Horween of Chicago)
-constructions are exactly the same (almost all machine made, with the exception of some handdone parts)
-attention to details (C&J > Alden by just a little little bit)
-value wise, Alden > C&J
-shoe style offerings wise, Alden > C&J
-shoe last sleekness wise, C&J > Alden

I have both Alden and C&J shells and agree with all the points you've listed.
 

beny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
92
Reaction score
0
The shoes in the picture aren't mine, but I don't believe that they are seconds. Can anyone comment on the photo and why the C&J cordovan is so lackluster?

Also, to people have said that "bang for the buck" and "value wise" Alden is better: where are you guys finding inexpensive Aldens? Getting C&J shell cordovans from PLal comes out to around $550... most Aldens that I see online are at or above this price point.
 

lee_44106

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2006
Messages
8,103
Reaction score
98
Discounted Alden shell cordovans are extremely rare. The best you can do is through Brooks Brothers, when you can catch a good sale. All of BB's shell cordovan offerings are made by Alden.

If you can get C&J shell offerings at $550 thru PLAL, then that's great.
 

beny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
92
Reaction score
0
Originally Posted by lee_44106
Discounted Alden shell cordovans are extremely rare. The best you can do is through Brooks Brothers, when you can catch a good sale. All of BB's shell cordovan offerings are made by Alden.

If you can get C&J shell offerings at $550 thru PLAL, then that's great.


So when you previously said "-value wise, Alden > C&J", I'm assuming that this was under the assumption that C&J shells are more expensive than Alden ones. If it was the same price for both shoes, how would this change your opinion? Is Alden still a better value? I'm looking to pick up another pair of shoes and don't know whether I should go with Alden...
 

von Rothbart

Distinguished Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2004
Messages
2,461
Reaction score
15
The only known source for Alden second is Shoemart in Norwalk CT. They accept phone order, so give them a call to find out what they have in cordovan. There's an extra 10% off during their semi-annual sale.
 

johnny_flapjack

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Messages
1,695
Reaction score
3
I've got C&J shell sold as Ralph Lauren and Alden shell sold as Brooks Brothers. I got the BB/Alden the day after Christmas when they were doing their 25% + 15% sale, so they came out to about $365 or so before tax & shipping. I got the Ralpha Lauren/C&J shoes in November when they do their 40% + 15% sale, and they came out to $351 before tax & shipping.

I think RL has four or five styles of C&J cordovan: Full strap loafer, tassle loafer, chukka boot, wingtip blucher, plain toe blucher. Per the BB website, they've got about 8 styles of Alden shell. The RL C&J gives you a couple of shell options that C&J doesn't sell, and the brown colored shell, which is why I settled on the two pair I bought from them.

As far as quality, I think I was prepared to be more impressed with the C&J than I was. The uppers are nice, and the shine does not yet appear to be a problem (though they are fairly new) but the trim work on the heels seemed like it wasn't done too well - that might be me nit-picking, but when you're looking at shoes that cost that much, you'd (or maybe I'd) expect the finish to be better. So I guess in the end I see it as almost a toss-up on quality. Again, that's my take from a very small sample - others with more of each might disagree.

One last thought. theshoemart.com is the only place through which Alden unloads their seconds. All of their shell seconds are $350, so it might be worth calling Ed at the shoe mart and seeing what they have in your size. I've purchased one pair that way (which unfortunately didn't fit) and there really wasn't anything glaringly wrong with them.

OK, I'll stop talking now.
 

JayJay

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
24,367
Reaction score
430
Originally Posted by johnny_flapjack
I think RL has four or five styles of C&J cordovan: Full strap loafer, tassle loafer, chukka boot, wingtip blucher, plain toe blucher.


Does RL still sell the chukka boot? I'd love to get a pair but I haven't seen it on their website or in stores. If you know of a source then please let me know.
 

johnny_flapjack

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Messages
1,695
Reaction score
3
Yes, last time I saw. It's the MacCallum, I think? My local RL store does not carry many of their better shoes, but they have a catalog behind the counter that has every style of shoe that RL carries in it. I want that boot b/c it's a shell chukka in brown, which seems harder to find, and I like the shape of the toe. Last I saw, they were around $900 retail, so if you can wait until the Nov. sale and have them ordered for you, they'd be about half that - assuming the prices don't shoot up like I've heard they are on the RLPL shoes made by EG.
 

saint

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
1,854
Reaction score
164
Originally Posted by JayJay
Does RL still sell the chukka boot? I'd love to get a pair but I haven't seen it on their website or in stores. If you know of a source then please let me know.

I bought a pair about 5 months ago on sale from the Atlanta RL store (they actually didn't think they had them but when the clerk checked the stockroom they had one pair, and it was my size). At that time the Mansion was the only other store that had them, and as stated by JF above, they are now $900. They are my favorite pair of shell cordo (I have 3 prs Alden and the Darlton wingtips as well). I'd call around and see if you can find them at another RL store. Good luck.
 

PittDoc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2007
Messages
57
Reaction score
1
My C&J full-strap loafers (Polo Marlow) seem to have a harder leather on the double sole than the Aldens. They are also taking longer to break in as a result. Also, as mentioned, the brown isn't dyed as dark, the way Alden does their "cigar." Therefore, they have more variation in color, if you like that sort of thing. I may post a side by side pic.
 

JayJay

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
24,367
Reaction score
430
Originally Posted by johnny_flapjack
Yes, last time I saw. It's the MacCallum, I think? My local RL store does not carry many of their better shoes, but they have a catalog behind the counter that has every style of shoe that RL carries in it. I want that boot b/c it's a shell chukka in brown, which seems harder to find, and I like the shape of the toe. Last I saw, they were around $900 retail, so if you can wait until the Nov. sale and have them ordered for you, they'd be about half that - assuming the prices don't shoot up like I've heard they are on the RLPL shoes made by EG.
I may make a few calls. I really like the RL shells I have now and can see adding the chukka. The slimmer shape of the toe on the RL shoes is much nicer than Alden IMO and the color fits nicely with the clothing I wear.
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

What Is The Best Value Shoe Brand For Money?

  • Meermin

    Votes: 34 15.5%
  • TLB Mallorca

    Votes: 37 16.9%
  • Cheaney

    Votes: 7 3.2%
  • Carmina

    Votes: 33 15.1%
  • Crockett & Jones

    Votes: 36 16.4%
  • Other

    Votes: 72 32.9%

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
456,969
Messages
9,903,805
Members
206,470
Latest member
mejide90
Top