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THE OFFICIAL ALDEN THREAD FOR 2020 - SHARE REVIEWS, SIZING, ADVICE, AND PHOTOS.

JSO1

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MISCELLANEOUS

Acronyms

LWB: Longwing Blucher
SWB: Shortwing Blucher
AWB: Alt Wien Blucher
PTB: Plain Toe Blucher
LHS: Leisure Hand Sewn (A Penny Loafer)
NST: Norwegian Split Toe
CT/ST: Cap Toe/Straight Tip
PCT: Perforated Cap Toe
WTB: Wingtip Boots

AoC - Alden of Carmel
AoDC - Alden of Washington D.C.
AoM - Alden Madison (New York)
AoSF - Alden of San Francisco
TSM - The Shoe Mart

What are the numbers on the inside of my shoe?
The numbers consist of the model number, size, and the run number. More information in the spoiler.

Decoding of the Numbers Inside Aldens

The numbers visible here are 10 A/C, 6717, and 2K29 029 3.
  • The 10 A/C is the size (So these are 10C). Alden uses what is called “split” lasts, which have a size the denote the width at the widest part of the shoe and the heel.
  • The 6717 is the model number and in this case corresponds to the Cigar Shell Cordovan Leisure Hand Sewn.
  • The 2K29 029 3 is the run number and it is composed of 3 parts, the date, the order number and the pair number.
    • The 2K is the date. The 2 means that this pair was made in a year ending in 2; 2012, 2002, 1992, 1982, etc. Alden apparently felt that one digit years was sufficient fidelity. K is the month in which the shoe was completed. I believe that K would be the 11th month and therefor this pair was completed in November (of 2012).
    • The 29 029 is the order number that the vendor submitted to the factory. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to this at all.
    • The final digit(s) separated by a space is the pair number. This happens to be pair #3. This can be one or two digits depending upon where your pair fit in the run. These should match between your two shoes, otherwise you have a mismatched pair!
Why do they call it the Indy boot?
http://www.styleforum.net/t/85589/the-official-alden-thread/21750#post_5128364
http://www.theraider.net/information/indy_gear/boots.php
http://www.indygear.com/igboots.html

Did Alden invent the Tasseled Loafer?
It has been claimed that Alden invented the Tassel Loafer for Paul Lukas.
http://aldenofsandiego.com/alden-faq/history/
http://www.nytimes.com/1993/11/03/garden/the-politicization-of-tasseled-loafers.html

A video by Epaulet about the Alden factory
Epaulet presents: the Alden Shoe Company from Epaulet Shop on Vimeo.

A video by Leffot about the Alden factory and the shoe making process
Leffot Presents - The Alden Tour on YouTube.

Thank you very much!

-Mike
BTW, the production month codes do not include the letter I, so it goes A = January, B = February, C = March, D = April, E = May, F = June, G = July, H = August, J = September, K = October, L = November, M = December.

Also, the order number is not entirely "random" -- in your example above, 2K29 029 -- there can sometimes be an "X" or a "Y" in the middle there to fill that gap. The three digits at the end (029) are the batch/run number. The presence of an X or a Y before those digits usually indicates that the order has multiple batches/runs in it. I haven't seen any letters other than X or Y used to indicate which batch/run the shoe is from. Sometimes, however, Alden will simply increase the batch number by 1 rather than designating it as an X or Y batch. For example, you might see a second batch with the number 2K29 030 (if there had been one).

Finally, the model codes themselves are not random. For most stock/catalog models, and certain already-established model numbers (pre-dating 2013), the model numbers don't necessarily follow any sort of convention, although there is some consistency in the way they are assigned.

For example, with stock models or older makeups, the 975 is a long wing shoe in Color 8, while the 9794 is the same shoe in snuff suede. The 9750 is ravello with dark edges, the 97502 is ravello with dark edge and crepe sole, the 97504 is ravello with antique edge and leather sole, the 97506 is ravello with waterloc and antique, etc., while the 97505 is color 8 with antique. Similarly, the 4461 is the color 8 wingtip boot while the 44621 is the ravello version. The 4060 is the color 8 cap toe on grant while the 4070 is the color 8 cap toe on barrie, etc. -- in short, there is some consistency although the pattern and system is not quite as rigorous.

For retailer makeups beginning in 2013, however, it gets far more interesting. Alden uses a convention which goes as follows:

[A][1][2][34][BC]

A = letter indicating the region (choices below)
  • A = Asia (essentially all of Asia except Japan) [not to be confused with Alden for Brooks Brothers shoes, which begin with an A as well, but do not follow this numbering system]
  • D = USA
  • G = Canada
  • M = Europe
  • N = Japan
1 = number indicating the last digit of the year the makeup was originally created/ordered
  • For example, a makeup submitted by a USA retailer in 2018 would begin with "D8", but if a retailer ordered the same makeup that had been previously made (even if by another retailer) it would get the same number as that prior makeup.
  • For example, the D5511, which is a Color 8 LWB on antique edges, had originally been created in 2015, but has been ordered by multiple retailers since. Similarly, the M6405 (unlined front color 8 dover blucher) was created in 2016 but has been ordered by several retailers (including USA retailers) since. Re-orders of makeups receive the same, original style number, of course.
2 = number indicating the broad category into which the style falls (choices below)
  • 1 = tassel moccasin
  • 2 = all other slip-on loafers (including LHS)
  • 3 = all bal oxfords
  • 4 = bluchers (plain toe)
  • 5 = bluchers (straight tip, wingtip)
  • 6 = bluchers (algonquin, mocc toe, NST)
  • 7 = boots (chukka)
  • 8 = boots (plain toe, straight tip, wingtip)
  • 9 = boots (mocc toe, NST)
  • 0 = misc [have never seen a makeup with this so not sure what it actually is used for]
34 = two-digit number indicating which sequential number that makeup is that year, within the region and category of numbers 1 and 2
  • For example, a makeup submitted by a USA retailer which is the 4th plain toe boot makeup to be submitted in 2018 (by a USA retailer) would begin with "D8804"
BC = one or two letters denoting details of the shoe (examples/choices below, the most common of which are bolded), if necessary [if anyone has better info on the unknowns, let me know] [also, some of these were used prior to the institution of the makeup numbering system, and do not appear to have been used since, particularly the unknown ones]
  • A = unknown [not used since prior to 2013]
  • B = unknown [not used since prior to 2013]
  • C = commando sole
  • D = Dainite sole [yep, Alden has used Dainite before, but extremely rarely]
  • E = exposed eyelets, used on some "monkey" sneakers but also for some shoes with exposed eyelets [not used since prior to 2013]
  • F = flex welt
  • H = speed hooks
  • M = unknown, in particular seems to be used for makeups for Eduard Meier in Munich, possibly for other European retailers as well, possibly to denote European makeups prior to the use of the newer numbering system (which may explain why M is used to denote Europe in the newer numbering system) [not used since prior to 2013]
  • R = rubber sole (thin) [not used since prior to 2013]
  • S = lug sole
  • U = unlined
  • X = unknown, used on some orthopedic-line shoes in the past, as well as on a recent order where the shoes were mis-dyed with a different dye
  • Y = extended welt (welt is trimmed to be wider than typical)
Hope this is helpful/interesting.
 
Last edited:

oskrusa

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Hi guys,
I have a question for the folks on this thread that have the black shell NSTs on Barrie with silver hardware from Yenni.

The makeup on her website is this one:
HB0038_alt2.jpg


Website

Is the thread on the apron off-white? Or just black but it looks lighter due to the light reflection?

Thanks in advance.
 

JSO1

Distinguished Member
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
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Reaction score
8,197
Hi guys,
I have a question for the folks on this thread that have the black shell NSTs on Barrie with silver hardware from Yenni.

The makeup on her website is this one:

Website

Is the thread on the apron off-white? Or just black but it looks lighter due to the light reflection?

Thanks in advance.
That's the boot I designed with her. The thread is supposed to be black, but it typically fades to white after some brushing/cleaning, etc., and isn't quite as black as the shoes themselves, as they are white threads that have been dyed black after handsewing, I believe.
 

audog

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
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Messages
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BTW, the production month codes do not include the letter I, so it goes A = January, B = February, C = March, D = April, E = May, F = June, G = July, H = August, J = September, K = October, L = November, M = December.

Also, the order number is not entirely "random" -- in your example above, 2K29 029 -- there can sometimes be an "X" or a "Y" in the middle there to fill that gap. The three digits at the end (029) are the batch/run number. The presence of an X or a Y before those digits usually indicates that the order has multiple batches/runs in it. I haven't seen any letters other than X or Y used to indicate which batch/run the shoe is from. Sometimes, however, Alden will simply increase the batch number by 1 rather than designating it as an X or Y batch. For example, you might see a second batch with the number 2K29 030 (if there had been one).

Finally, the model codes themselves are not random. For most stock/catalog models, and certain already-established model numbers (pre-dating 2013), the model numbers don't necessarily follow any sort of convention, although there is some consistency in the way they are assigned.

For example, with stock models or older makeups, the 975 is a long wing shoe in Color 8, while the 9794 is the same shoe in snuff suede. The 9750 is ravello with dark edges, the 97502 is ravello with dark edge and crepe sole, the 97504 is ravello with antique edge and leather sole, the 97506 is ravello with waterloc and antique, etc., while the 97505 is color 8 with antique. Similarly, the 4461 is the color 8 wingtip boot while the 44621 is the ravello version. The 4060 is the color 8 cap toe on grant while the 4070 is the color 8 cap toe on barrie, etc. -- in short, there is some consistency although the pattern and system is not quite as rigorous.

For retailer makeups beginning in 2013, however, it gets far more interesting. Alden uses a convention which goes as follows:

[A][1][2][34][BC]

A = letter indicating the region (choices below)
  • A = Asia (essentially all of Asia except Japan) [not to be confused with Alden for Brooks Brothers shoes, which begin with an A as well, but do not follow this numbering system]
  • D = USA
  • G = Canada
  • M = Europe
  • N = Japan
1 = number indicating the last digit of the year the order was placed
  • For example, a makeup submitted by a USA retailer in 2018 would begin with "D8"
2 = number indicating the broad category into which the style falls (choices below)
  • 1 = tassel moccasin
  • 2 = all other slip-on loafers (including LHS)
  • 3 = all bal oxfords
  • 4 = bluchers (plain toe)
  • 5 = bluchers (straight tip, wingtip)
  • 6 = bluchers (algonquin, mocc toe, NST)
  • 7 = boots (chukka)
  • 8 = boots (plain toe, straight tip, wingtip)
  • 9 = boots (mocc toe, NST)
  • 0 = misc [have never seen a makeup with this so not sure what it actually is used for]
34 = two-digit number indicating which sequential number that makeup is that year, within the region and category of numbers 1 and 2
  • For example, a makeup submitted by a USA retailer which is the 4th plain toe boot makeup to be submitted in 2018 (by a USA retailer) would begin with "D8804"
BC = one or two letters denoting details of the shoe (examples/choices below, the most common of which are bolded), if necessary [if anyone has better info on the unknowns, let me know] [also, some of these were used prior to the institution of the makeup numbering system, and do not appear to have been used since, particularly the unknown ones]
  • A = unknown [not used since prior to 2013]
  • B = unknown [not used since prior to 2013]
  • C = commando sole
  • D = Dainite sole
  • E = exposed eyelets, used on some "monkey" sneakers but also for some shoes with exposed eyelets [not used since prior to 2013]
  • F = flex welt
  • H = speed hooks
  • M = unknown, in particular seems to be used for makeups for Eduard Meier in Munich, possibly for other European retailers as well, possibly to denote European makeups prior to the use of the newer numbering system (which may explain why M is used to denote Europe in the newer numbering system) [not used since prior to 2013]
  • R = rubber sole (thin) [not used since prior to 2013]
  • S = lug sole
  • U = unlined
  • X = unknown, used on some orthopedic-line shoes [not used since prior to 2013]
  • Y = wide sole/welt trim
Hope this is helpful/interesting.
Glad it's not confusing or anything.:confused:
 

oskrusa

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Messages
505
Reaction score
2,616
That's the boot I designed with her. The thread is supposed to be black, but it typically fades to white after some brushing/cleaning, etc., and isn't quite as black as the shoes themselves, as they are white threads that have been dyed black after handsewing, I believe.
Thanks, Jeff, for the prompt reply and a great design.

I just received my pair after a 13-month wait. They are simply stunning:

20191230_153405.jpg


20191230_153513.jpg


20191230_153612.jpg
 
Last edited:

mdubs

The Mayor of Aldensville
Joined
Apr 5, 2013
Messages
9,076
Reaction score
13,661
BTW, the production month codes do not include the letter I, so it goes A = January, B = February, C = March, D = April, E = May, F = June, G = July, H = August, J = September, K = October, L = November, M = December.

Also, the order number is not entirely "random" -- in your example above, 2K29 029 -- there can sometimes be an "X" or a "Y" in the middle there to fill that gap. The three digits at the end (029) are the batch/run number. The presence of an X or a Y before those digits usually indicates that the order has multiple batches/runs in it. I haven't seen any letters other than X or Y used to indicate which batch/run the shoe is from. Sometimes, however, Alden will simply increase the batch number by 1 rather than designating it as an X or Y batch. For example, you might see a second batch with the number 2K29 030 (if there had been one).

Finally, the model codes themselves are not random. For most stock/catalog models, and certain already-established model numbers (pre-dating 2013), the model numbers don't necessarily follow any sort of convention, although there is some consistency in the way they are assigned.

For example, with stock models or older makeups, the 975 is a long wing shoe in Color 8, while the 9794 is the same shoe in snuff suede. The 9750 is ravello with dark edges, the 97502 is ravello with dark edge and crepe sole, the 97504 is ravello with antique edge and leather sole, the 97506 is ravello with waterloc and antique, etc., while the 97505 is color 8 with antique. Similarly, the 4461 is the color 8 wingtip boot while the 44621 is the ravello version. The 4060 is the color 8 cap toe on grant while the 4070 is the color 8 cap toe on barrie, etc. -- in short, there is some consistency although the pattern and system is not quite as rigorous.

For retailer makeups beginning in 2013, however, it gets far more interesting. Alden uses a convention which goes as follows:

[A][1][2][34][BC]

A = letter indicating the region (choices below)
  • A = Asia (essentially all of Asia except Japan) [not to be confused with Alden for Brooks Brothers shoes, which begin with an A as well, but do not follow this numbering system]
  • D = USA
  • G = Canada
  • M = Europe
  • N = Japan
1 = number indicating the last digit of the year the makeup was originally created/ordered
  • For example, a makeup submitted by a USA retailer in 2018 would begin with "D8", but if a retailer ordered the same makeup that had been previously made (even if by another retailer) it would get the same number as that prior makeup.
  • For example, the D5511, which is a Color 8 LWB on antique edges, had originally been created in 2015, but has been ordered by multiple retailers since. Similarly, the M6405 (unlined front color 8 dover blucher) was created in 2016 but has been ordered by several retailers (including USA retailers) since. Re-orders of makeups receive the same, original style number, of course.
2 = number indicating the broad category into which the style falls (choices below)
  • 1 = tassel moccasin
  • 2 = all other slip-on loafers (including LHS)
  • 3 = all bal oxfords
  • 4 = bluchers (plain toe)
  • 5 = bluchers (straight tip, wingtip)
  • 6 = bluchers (algonquin, mocc toe, NST)
  • 7 = boots (chukka)
  • 8 = boots (plain toe, straight tip, wingtip)
  • 9 = boots (mocc toe, NST)
  • 0 = misc [have never seen a makeup with this so not sure what it actually is used for]
34 = two-digit number indicating which sequential number that makeup is that year, within the region and category of numbers 1 and 2
  • For example, a makeup submitted by a USA retailer which is the 4th plain toe boot makeup to be submitted in 2018 (by a USA retailer) would begin with "D8804"
BC = one or two letters denoting details of the shoe (examples/choices below, the most common of which are bolded), if necessary [if anyone has better info on the unknowns, let me know] [also, some of these were used prior to the institution of the makeup numbering system, and do not appear to have been used since, particularly the unknown ones]
  • A = unknown [not used since prior to 2013]
  • B = unknown [not used since prior to 2013]
  • C = commando sole
  • D = Dainite sole [yep, Alden has used Dainite before, but extremely rarely]
  • E = exposed eyelets, used on some "monkey" sneakers but also for some shoes with exposed eyelets [not used since prior to 2013]
  • F = flex welt
  • H = speed hooks
  • M = unknown, in particular seems to be used for makeups for Eduard Meier in Munich, possibly for other European retailers as well, possibly to denote European makeups prior to the use of the newer numbering system (which may explain why M is used to denote Europe in the newer numbering system) [not used since prior to 2013]
  • R = rubber sole (thin) [not used since prior to 2013]
  • S = lug sole
  • U = unlined
  • X = unknown, used on some orthopedic-line shoes [not used since prior to 2013]
  • Y = extended welt (welt is trimmed to be wider than typical)
Hope this is helpful/interesting.
Wow that is super awesome J! Nicely done bud!

-Mike
 

mdubs

The Mayor of Aldensville
Joined
Apr 5, 2013
Messages
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Reaction score
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