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The Official Alden Thread for 2019 - Share Reviews, Sizing, Advice, and Photos.

aero25

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My Fab 5

color 4 ct x the shoe mart
View attachment 1281942
Got them early in my alden collecting days. no one wears boots in San Diego, I wasn’t sure if I was going to wear or keep boots when I first bought them. The color, depth, and luster are all unbelievable.

ravello ptb x leffot
View attachment 1281941
my favorite shade of my favorite shell color. The ptb design really showcases the hide. Love the commando - antique - Barrie combo.

mahogany indy x brick + mortar
View attachment 1281940
via the shoe mart factory seconds list. They have a small blemish on the side which can’t be seen when on. One of the best boots Alden’s made. I don’t mean the design, I mean this particular pair.

cigar tanker x madison
View attachment 1281943
Lusted after the leather soul design for years. Thrilled to have gotten the call when madison got them in. Always told myself my rotation would be complete if I ever scored cigar tankers.

color 4 sw x the shoe mart
View attachment 1281939
My favorite pair of boots. lucky to have them. I try not to wear them every day.


View attachment 1281937
You. Just dang, man. I <3 your boots. Especially those cap toes. :inlove:
 

woofmang

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Exactly the opposite, as Madhat said. I have a low instep, which isn't the best with Barrie. The below is what happens, when sized appropriately with the ball of my foot at the widest part of the shoe (C width). As much as I adore the natural chromexel PTB, I just couldn't abide how these looked.View attachment 1281996
This is exactly why I sold my Dearborns. Even though I have a high instep (Barrie fits me just about perfectly), I would get this same kind of "crinkling" in the vamp if I tried to lace the Dearborns tightly enough that they didn't feel loose.

For example, notice the crinkling in the vamp on the left boot in this shot (and these were not tied as tightly as I would've preferred, or else the crinkling would have been much more pronounced):

20190627_dearborns.jpg


These boots were in my Brannock size (9.5E) and fit well everywhere except in the toebox.

Whenever I wore these boots, I felt like they had too much "headroom" in the toebox, and I just watched a video by Joe Zapatka from TSM about the Hampton last where he points out that the toe of the Hampton is higher than other lasts, allowing for more room in the toebox (so my impression was correct).

I wondered if maybe the crinkling effect was due in part to the open lacing on these boots, but I don't get any hint of crinkling in my Leffot NSTs, which are the same size, but on the Aberdeen last rather than the hampton.

Does anybody size down a width in the Hampton because of this?
 

ELClodge

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A pretty easy top 5 selection for me. Bear with me as I venture off the Alden path a bit, but the heart of the order is pure Middleborough.

5. I’ll start with a sentimental pick - the lowly Allen Edmonds factory second Eagle County. A sub-$200 boot that has served a few lifetimes of duty already. It brought me into the game in 2014 and has served faithfully and without much fan fare. I respect their humble, hardworking demeanor.

1AE72815-D8FC-4F11-92F4-74C72A37F2C1.jpeg


4. Alden Venice Boot - Brogue Shop, black shell beauties. I still can’t pinpoint the exact reason I like this boot so much, but all of the features and design elements just work so well together. Love the medallion, brogueing, last, and how the black shell undersells the whole thing.

28C98350-DD81-41FC-8127-800EBA854F25.jpeg


3. Viberg - petrol chamois roughout service boot - Brooklyn Clothing Co. Watched these for a long time and was jonesing for a service boot on mini ripple for quite a while. Kept coming back to the petrol chamois and it filled a few different holes in the rotation.

BDF0DEB2-64DB-4C5E-AC01-8B31B7210B59.jpeg


2. Alden Choco Tanker - Leather Soul. Pined over this one for a few years as well. I’ve gushed about it a bit lately, so I’ll spare you all, but they are wonderful and the suede is buttery.

B02C444D-922E-4B55-B40D-B7E7096E39F1.jpeg


1. Alden Cigar Indy - Shoe Mart. Realistically, it will take me way too long to ever build up the kind of relationship with a retailer to afford me the opportunity for rare shell, so I felt extremely lucky and thankful to happen across these last year when TSM was still dropping these runs on to their website.

2DABA39B-A0DE-493F-9577-AD0DBFC135E4.png
 

madhat

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A pretty easy top 5 selection for me. Bear with me as I venture off the Alden path a bit, but the heart of the order is pure Middleborough.

5. I’ll start with a sentimental pick - the lowly Allen Edmonds factory second Eagle County. A sub-$200 boot that has served a few lifetimes of duty already. It brought me into the game in 2014 and has served faithfully and without much fan fare. I respect their humble, hardworking demeanor.

View attachment 1282017

4. Alden Venice Boot - Brogue Shop, black shell beauties. I still can’t pinpoint the exact reason I like this boot so much, but all of the features and design elements just work so well together. Love the medallion, brogueing, last, and how the black shell undersells the whole thing.

View attachment 1282018

3. Viberg - petrol chamois roughout service boot - Brooklyn Clothing Co. Watched these for a long time and was jonesing for a service boot on mini ripple for quite a while. Kept coming back to the petrol chamois and it filled a few different holes in the rotation.

View attachment 1282016

2. Alden Choco Tanker - Leather Soul. Pined over this one for a few years as well. I’ve gushed about it a bit lately, so I’ll spare you all, but they are wonderful and the suede is buttery.

View attachment 1282019

1. Alden Cigar Indy - Shoe Mart. Realistically, it will take me way too long to ever build up the kind of relationship with a retailer to afford me the opportunity for rare shell, so I felt extremely lucky and thankful to happen across these last year when TSM was still dropping these runs on to their website.

View attachment 1282020
That indy in great! The Venice Boot would have been if not for my medallion boots
 

chipshot

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BB #8 Tassels my gateway shoe into Alden, first shells ever.
Jet Black BB Tassels. Staple as is #8.
#8 Unlined BB LHS.
Black Unlined BB LHS
Whiskey LHS Lined
🙊 sorry .. rule breaker .. Cigar LHS Lined

Surely no one is surprised at the all loafer lineup..

Fun thread .. thanks Mike!
 

Vocans

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This is exactly why I sold my Dearborns. Even though I have a high instep (Barrie fits me just about perfectly), I would get this same kind of "crinkling" in the vamp if I tried to lace the Dearborns tightly enough that they didn't feel loose.

For example, notice the crinkling in the vamp on the left boot in this shot (and these were not tied as tightly as I would've preferred, or else the crinkling would have been much more pronounced):

View attachment 1282008

These boots were in my Brannock size (9.5E) and fit well everywhere except in the toebox.

Whenever I wore these boots, I felt like they had too much "headroom" in the toebox, and I just watched a video by Joe Zapatka from TSM about the Hampton last where he points out that the toe of the Hampton is higher than other lasts, allowing for more room in the toebox (so my impression was correct).

I wondered if maybe the crinkling effect was due in part to the open lacing on these boots, but I don't get any hint of crinkling in my Leffot NSTs, which are the same size, but on the Aberdeen last rather than the hampton.

Does anybody size down a width in the Hampton because of this?
I had a similar issue with them when I had them and I also have a high instep. My guess is that the suppleness (malleability?) of the grain leather may have been partly to blame. If your instep is high enough that it's causing the area where the tongue stitch is to be lifted, I could see that causing softer, less structured leathers to indent like that just ahead of the tongue. Just speculation on my part though and I've had lasts from other makers that were even more high instep friendly (Bonafe's 363 MOD, for example) where that never occurred.
 

mdubs

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A pretty easy top 5 selection for me. Bear with me as I venture off the Alden path a bit, but the heart of the order is pure Middleborough.

5. I’ll start with a sentimental pick - the lowly Allen Edmonds factory second Eagle County. A sub-$200 boot that has served a few lifetimes of duty already. It brought me into the game in 2014 and has served faithfully and without much fan fare. I respect their humble, hardworking demeanor.

View attachment 1282017

4. Alden Venice Boot - Brogue Shop, black shell beauties. I still can’t pinpoint the exact reason I like this boot so much, but all of the features and design elements just work so well together. Love the medallion, brogueing, last, and how the black shell undersells the whole thing.

View attachment 1282018

3. Viberg - petrol chamois roughout service boot - Brooklyn Clothing Co. Watched these for a long time and was jonesing for a service boot on mini ripple for quite a while. Kept coming back to the petrol chamois and it filled a few different holes in the rotation.

View attachment 1282016

2. Alden Choco Tanker - Leather Soul. Pined over this one for a few years as well. I’ve gushed about it a bit lately, so I’ll spare you all, but they are wonderful and the suede is buttery.

View attachment 1282019

1. Alden Cigar Indy - Shoe Mart. Realistically, it will take me way too long to ever build up the kind of relationship with a retailer to afford me the opportunity for rare shell, so I felt extremely lucky and thankful to happen across these last year when TSM was still dropping these runs on to their website.

View attachment 1282020
ELC, fantastic showing with your Fave Five. All are superb choices and you have a nice mix of materials. Agree that the MCT Boot is a thing to behold and a special model to have. Those Cigar Indy’s are superb and glad that you were able to score!


BB #8 Tassels my gateway shoe into Alden, first shells ever.
Jet Black BB Tassels. Staple as is #8.
#8 Unlined BB LHS.
Black Unlined BB LHS
Whiskey LHS Lined
🙊 sorry .. rule breaker .. Cigar LHS Lined

Surely no one is surprised at the all loafer lineup..

Fun thread .. thanks Mike!
Very nice collection of favorites. Given your climate, I am not too surprised by your selections. All are great and you had a good choice for your first Alden.
 

Thrift Couture

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Exactly the opposite, as Madhat said. I have a low instep, which isn't the best with Barrie. The below is what happens, when sized appropriately with the ball of my foot at the widest part of the shoe (C width). As much as I adore the natural chromexel PTB, I just couldn't abide how these looked.View attachment 1281996
Wow! I thought I had a low instep, but Barrie seems to fit me well. I have an issue with the facing touching on my Tricker's PTBs. Tongue pads helped a bit.
 

aero25

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Wow! I thought I had a low instep, but Barrie seems to fit me well. I have an issue with the facing touching on my Tricker's PTBs. Tongue pads helped a bit.
Tongue pads made no perceptible difference to what you saw in the photo I posted. There was still lots of space.
 

zippyh

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My Top 5
#4 Captoe Boots.because #4 is the best color.


Whiskey Indy because whiskey is the next best color.


Whiskey LHS see above


Ravello Brixtons. But on a different day I might say Ravello is the second next best color.


Cigar Brixtons. This particular pair is my favorite cigar.


Non cordovan runner up
Snuff suede Indy
 

AEShoeMan

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Love the idea of sharing the top 5 @mdubs -- it is always fun to see others collections and favorites. Love the collections that have been shared thus far. My top 5 Aldens, plus a few non-Alden that likely would make or be near the top 5 overall for me.

5. Alden x JCrew longwing
IMG_20190520_075404_855.jpg

I have a true weakness for longwings and this was my first pair of Aldens that made me fall into the rabbit hole of the Alden shoe game.

4. Ravello MCTs
IMG_20190603_080703_045.jpg

Ravello is my favorite shade for Alden rare shell. While the design of this is relatively simplistic, I really appreciate the shade of ravello on this particular pair.

3. Alden Madison Color 8 Jumpers
20191107_085206.jpg

This particular pair really turned me on to the jumper boot style. While they aren't exotic rare shell, in my opinion color 8 can be highly underrated in the quest for rare shell.

2. Alden Madison cigar wingtip boots
20190822_080258.jpg

Not only do I have a thing for longwings, but a weakness for wingtips in general. Alden kills the wingtip boot pattern, in my humble opinion.

1. TSM whiskey longwings
20190724_073844.jpg

This was one of my initial Alden grail pair (still waiting on the ravello wingtip boot unicorns) and my first foray into Alden rare shell. A total classic and cornerstone in my Alden collection.

Non-Alden that would be in my overall top 5:
+ Allen Edmonds natural shell Strands:

20190722_073159.jpg

These were my original white whale when I first got into this crazy shoe obsession and before jumping into the deep end of the Alden pool. I think AE Strands kill the medallion captoe pattern for shoes, and this pair is a special pair for me I ended up grabbing from a friend from SF.

+ C&J Marlow/Pembrokes:
20190904_115339.jpg

20190801_081321.jpg

While Alden kills the wingtip boot pattern, I think C&J kills the shortwing shoe, for my money at least. This is somewhat of a tie, as I REALLY enjoy both shades of shell on these. Kind of like your kids, just can't pick a favorite.
 
Last edited:

mdubs

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My Top 5
#4 Captoe Boots.because #4 is the best color.


Whiskey Indy because whiskey is the next best color.


Whiskey LHS see above


Ravello Brixtons. But on a different day I might say Ravello is the second next best color.


Cigar Brixtons. This particular pair is my favorite cigar.


Non cordovan runner up
Snuff suede Indy
Zippy, wow. Just wow. A totally phenomenal collection there bud! All are impeccable samples that any would be honored to have. LoL on the changing color orders! ;-)


Love the idea of sharing the top 5 @mdubs -- it is always fun to see others collections and favorites. Love the collections that have been shared thus far. My top 5 Aldens, plus a few non-Alden that likely would make or be near the top 5 overall for me.

5. Alden x JCrew longwing
View attachment 1282157
I have a true weakness for longwings and this was my first pair of Aldens that made me fall into the rabbit hole of the Alden shoe game.

4. Ravello MCTs
View attachment 1282156
Ravello is my favorite shade for Alden rare shell. While the design of this is relatively simplistic, I really appreciate the shade of ravello on this particular pair.

3. Alden Madison Color 8 Jumpers
20191107_085206.jpg

This particular pair really turned me on to the jumper boot style. While they aren't exotic rare shell, in my opinion color 8 can be highly underrated in the quest for rare shell.

2. Alden Madison cigar wingtip boots
View attachment 1282159
Not only do I have a thing for longwings, but a weakness for wingtips in general. Alden kills the wingtip boot pattern, in my humble opinion.

1. TSM whiskey longwings
20190724_073844.jpg

This was one of my initial Alden grail pair (still waiting on the ravello wingtip boot unicorns) and my first foray into Alden rare shell. A total classic and cornerstone in my Alden collection.

Non-Alden that would be in my overall top 5:
+ Allen Edmonds natural shell Strands:

20190722_073159.jpg

These were my original white whale when I first got into this crazy shoe obsession and before jumping into the deep end of the Alden pool. I think AE Strands kill the medallion captoe pattern for shoes, and this pair is a special pair for me I ended up grabbing from a friend from SF.

+ C&J Marlow/Pembrokes:
20190904_115339.jpg

20190801_081321.jpg

While Alden kills the wingtip boot pattern, I think C&J kills the shortwing shoe, for my money at least. This is somewhat of a tie, as I REALLY enjoy both shades of shell on these. Kind of like your kids, just can't pick a favorite.
A fantastic roundup of footwear all around here my friend. Nice to see a fellow boot appreciator but not die hard boot fan. Great collection that you have amassed quickly there my friend and great non Alden’s as well.

-Mike
 

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