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Step up from Alden - where to go?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by caledoniasoul2, May 19, 2005.

  1. caledoniasoul2

    caledoniasoul2 Well-Known Member

    May 1, 2005
    Super traditional long time wearer of Alden shoes id now like to upgrade to something with a bit more style-yet still within business realm.

    Can anyone suggest a next step.

    Grenson Masterpiece

    Would also appreicate general info on the fit of these brands and where to source them from in the States. Im an average fit-closer to narrow in the back, no arch and square front foot with longer second toe.

    How do these shoes fit ? are there varied lasts within the manufactuer's line?
    PS i kinda consider AE a lateral move from the aldens
  2. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Senior member

    Jan 29, 2003
    You might also want to investigate JM Weston and John Lobb Paris. The demi-chasse (Weston) and classics collection for Lobb are both great. I would pick a particular style, then try on different models from the various companies and find a last that works best, and only then consider making a purchase.

    BTW, how do you manage to wear Aldens? I have a narrow ankle and Alden has never worked for me. Green fits like a glove, but I can't afford more than a pair (or two).
  3. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

    Aug 7, 2004
    My $.02: I don't think Sargents or CJ Benchgrade are any step up from Alden, maybe even a step down. CJ Handgrades, maybe. Cleverly & Grenson Masterpiece, no experience. Ditto Vass, although I am inclined to believe it is definitely a step up. Green, definitely yes.
  4. kabert

    kabert Senior member

    Feb 23, 2004
    That's a pretty broad question.... As for where to source them, where are you located?

    As for fit, all except Vass come in varied widths, so unless your feet are very narrow, very wide or very long, you should be able to fit shoes from any of those makers. Vass RTW shoes fit different widths by fitting different lasts. Vass isn't available in the US right now anyhow, other than some leftover shoes at Sky Valet in Washington, DC and occasionally on EBay.
  5. caledoniasoul2

    caledoniasoul2 Well-Known Member

    May 1, 2005
    thanks for the replies. To narrow it down a bit. Before a few months ago I had not bought a new pair of dress shoes for close to 5-6 years. Prior to that only aldens

    I picked up a pair of dress lace ups and they dont fit as well as my older pairs -seems my feet have changed a bit. Since i dont neccessaryily need the aldens for fit -i thought id try something different. However i have tried some other brands in the past with miserable results, cole hann, and "cable & co." for example

    Im in nyc- and i dislike barneys so cant in good faith trust thier shoe dept. So suggestions about where to try on the other makers would be appreciated. I dont know who carries green here ....
  6. Kai

    Kai Senior member

    Aug 16, 2003
    I would suggest Vass.

    Go to Budapest. Get measured. Order a single pair. When you confirm that the fit is correct, order 4 more pairs.

    Vass are the best value for money there is. They are equivalent in quality to bespoke John Lobb St. James at a fraction of the price.

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