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

Vincent George

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Sooo over on the AE thread, they are lambasting Alden for "slathering shellac" on shell to make it shiny. Quotes from the thread'
(akin to that nasty thick layer of shallac that Alden like to slather on to make the shoes look "better")
(They look good, with a modest amount of shine, certainly not the plasticky look of Alden.)

The problem is really simple, Alden simply makes a better product, and I have over 75 pair of AE, spanning the time period from 1990 to 2019, with a decline in QC during that entire time period.
I don't really care if Alden puts a coating on their shoes/boots, the product is superior. My rant is over.
Haha I held my tongue, but I'm glad you said something...

I did, however, make a trunk-show purchase because I want something in green. If blues and greens went away, I couldn't see choosing AE shell makeups over Alden--that is, of course, unless fair MacNeils ever pop out of the vault again...
 

audog

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Haha I held my tongue, but I'm glad you said something...

I did, however, make a trunk-show purchase because I want something in green. If blues and greens went away, I couldn't see choosing AE shell makeups over Alden--that is, of course, unless fair MacNeils ever pop out of the vault again...
Oh, not all AE are bad, and I'm sure the shell are actually quite good, and not covered in shellac.
 

scurvyfreedman

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Just pre-ordered a pair of the AOC-119 Color 8 U-Tip bluchers...does anyone have any specific recommendations for cobblers to install a rubber topy to protect the leather sole or possibly switch to Dainite when they wear through? One of my primary concerns is keeping the antique welt color (I love the contrast between that and dark color 8)

View attachment 1464697
I'm not as anti-rubber as others for bluchers. But, I do detest dainite. I have them on a pair of suede NST Alfred Sargents. They are so slippery on anything wet: wood, marble, tile, you might as well be on skates. If you want something to handle snow and ice, you need commando or lug. Maybe the ridgeway sole (which I haven't tried) - not a product Alden uses.

If you don't drench your leather soles, they will last pretty long. Have no fear. If you know your wear pattern and they are still new, you can add sunken metal taps at the front. They have to be flush, in the toe, and not nail on taps to be worthwhile. Some cobblers call them lulu taps. I have them on a pair of EGs and they are very effective in preventing early wear on the toe. I plan to put them on my dress shoes in the future when I need a resole. With a closed channel I think they are big help. With an open channel like on Alden's shoes, I worry less about ruining the soles.
 

classicalthunde

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I'm not as anti-rubber as others for bluchers. But, I do detest dainite. I have them on a pair of suede NST Alfred Sargents. They are so slippery on anything wet: wood, marble, tile, you might as well be on skates. If you want something to handle snow and ice, you need commando or lug. Maybe the ridgeway sole (which I haven't tried) - not a product Alden uses.

If you don't drench your leather soles, they will last pretty long. Have no fear. If you know your wear pattern and they are still new, you can add sunken metal taps at the front. They have to be flush, in the toe, and not nail on taps to be worthwhile. Some cobblers call them lulu taps. I have them on a pair of EGs and they are very effective in preventing early wear on the toe. I plan to put them on my dress shoes in the future when I need a resole. With a closed channel I think they are big help. With an open channel like on Alden's shoes, I worry less about ruining the soles.
I wear through all of my leather soles in about a year give or take, right at the balls of my feet. My calfskin LWBs lasted about 8 months in a 3-shoe work week rotation (so no more than 2x per week), this will be shoe #4 so it may lst a bit longer, esp if I’m particular about not using them in the rain as suggested...But I will inevitably need to do a lot of walking across a college campus with a variety of surfaces (cobblestone, gravel, cement, etc)...do toe taps help with that sort of wear pattern?

Basically, I’m trying to find a) the best way to prolong the lives of the original soles, And b) a rubber sole to move to when the originals go, to keep costs down. These are meant to be semi-casual shoes (from sport coat and trousers to cords and jeans). Ideally I’d like to find something low profile that doesn’t change the entire nature of the shoe unlike a commando or lug sole

I have dainite on my AEs and don’t mind it so much...and it’s lasted 3x as long as any leather sole I’ve ha and are still going strong...but I’m open to other suggestions
 

Thrift Couture

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I wear through all of my leather soles in about a year give or take, right at the balls of my feet. My calfskin LWBs lasted about 8 months in a 3-shoe work week rotation (so no more than 2x per week)...I do a lot of walking across a college campus with a variety of surfaces (cobblestone, gravel, cement, etc)...do toe taps help with that sort of wear pattern?

Basically, I’m trying to find a) the best way to prolong the lives of the original soles, And b) a rubber sole to move to when the originals go, to keep costs down. These are meant to be semi-casual shoes (from sport coat and trousers to cords and jeans). Ideally I’d like to find something low profile that doesn’t change the entire nature of the shoe unlike a commando or lug sole

I have dainite on my AEs and don’t mind it so much...and it’s lasted 3x as long as any leather sole I’ve ha and are still going strong...but I’m open to other suggestions
I would say if Dainite gives you the longevity you're looking for, use it for your resoles. As long as its comfortable, and you have no issues with the soles being slippery on hard surfaces it seems like a win. Reach out to a good cobbler. I'm no expert by any means, but this gentleman is. Give him a try.

 

classicalthunde

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I would say if Dainite gives you the longevity you're looking for, use it for your resoles. As long as its comfortable, and you have no issues with the soles being slippery on hard surfaces it seems like a win. Reach out to a good cobbler. I'm no expert by any means, but this gentleman is. Give him a try.

thanks! Yes Ah One, B Nelson, and Potter and Sons are on my short list. These will be my most expensive shoes, my first pair of shell shoes, and ones I’ve been listing after for a while...don’t wanna screw them up lol
 

Thrift Couture

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thanks! Yes Ah One, B Nelson, and Potter and Sons are on my short list. These will be my most expensive shoes, my first pair of shell shoes, and ones I’ve been listing after for a while...don’t wanna screw them up lol
You're welcome! Try not to overthink it. At the end of the day, shoes are made to be worn and enjoyed. Wear in good health!
 

scurvyfreedman

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I wear through all of my leather soles in about a year give or take, right at the balls of my feet. My calfskin LWBs lasted about 8 months in a 3-shoe work week rotation (so no more than 2x per week), this will be shoe #4 so it may lst a bit longer, esp if I’m particular about not using them in the rain as suggested...But I will inevitably need to do a lot of walking across a college campus with a variety of surfaces (cobblestone, gravel, cement, etc)...do toe taps help with that sort of wear pattern?

Basically, I’m trying to find a) the best way to prolong the lives of the original soles, And b) a rubber sole to move to when the originals go, to keep costs down. These are meant to be semi-casual shoes (from sport coat and trousers to cords and jeans). Ideally I’d like to find something low profile that doesn’t change the entire nature of the shoe unlike a commando or lug sole

I have dainite on my AEs and don’t mind it so much...and it’s lasted 3x as long as any leather sole I’ve ha and are still going strong...but I’m open to other suggestions
Sounds like your wear pattern to eat the ball of the foot is different than what adding the metal taps will help with. If you're good with dainite, then you should do it at the first resole. Ah One is who Alden DC recommends when they don't think a factory recrafting is needed. Aram does a great job. He is local for me, so it's easy.
 

shahtirthak

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These just arrived. Presenting my Alden #3, Indy #3 - FD-401 in 13D from TSM.
I think what made them F2 is covered behind the additional layer of leather on the inside of the heel, a deep scratch on the right boot tongue, and some wheeling marks along the mocc stitch which are more pronounced than my other 2 Indys. All negligible and perfectly acceptable issues for F2s.
Then TSM has listed the 403's in the seconds update from a couple of days ago and I am trying to resist...

Alden Indy 401 007.jpg

Alden Indy 401 008.jpg
Alden Indy 401 009.jpg
Alden Indy 401 013.jpg
Alden Indy 401 014.jpg
Alden Indy 401 015.jpg
 

BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes

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Hello Ladies and Gents. I've been a longtime owner of Alden footwear and lurking without saying anything for far too long...BUT

These will be my most expensive shoes, my first pair of shell shoes, and ones I’ve been listing after for a while...don’t wanna screw them up lol
I can say @classicalthunde brought me out of the shadows because the Indys were my most expensive shoe/boot purchase. Granted he's shooting higher than I did with the shells, but I know that feeling when you just want everything to turn out perfectly.

I remember when I wore those Indys for the first time I was walking on eggshells. Any little water puddle would cause me to veer off 20 feet if necessary.

As @Thrift Couture mentioned though, you just have to bear down and enjoy your shoes by doing what they were made to do.. wearing the heck out of them.
 
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shahtirthak

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...and it's a perfect fit!
20200925_135254.jpg
20200925_135338.jpg
 

BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes

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I wear through all of my leather soles in about a year give or take, right at the balls of my feet. My calfskin LWBs lasted about 8 months in a 3-shoe work week rotation (so no more than 2x per week), this will be shoe #4 so it may lst a bit longer, esp if I’m particular about not using them in the rain as suggested...But I will inevitably need to do a lot of walking across a college campus with a variety of surfaces (cobblestone, gravel, cement, etc)...do toe taps help with that sort of wear pattern?

Basically, I’m trying to find a) the best way to prolong the lives of the original soles, And b) a rubber sole to move to when the originals go, to keep costs down. These are meant to be semi-casual shoes (from sport coat and trousers to cords and jeans). Ideally I’d like to find something low profile that doesn’t change the entire nature of the shoe unlike a commando or lug sole

I have dainite on my AEs and don’t mind it so much...and it’s lasted 3x as long as any leather sole I’ve ha and are still going strong...but I’m open to other suggestions
Not sure how much topys cost to put on in Philly, but I find them to be extremely useful on rainy surfaces. Of course, you will have to replace them every so often, but you would still maintain the original sole.

Dainite is good, but heaven help you if theres a smooth surface (in my case certain areas of the train station and my office building) that are wet. Never experienced any negative issues with a vibram topy. Additionally, you'd keep a similar profile.

This is the idea
20200925_021848.jpg
 
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Buffon.bj

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Bought these moc toe bluchers from Trunk Clothiers - excellent value, on sale for 460€. These are on the new Orleans last and a full rubber sole. Unfortunately, these did not fit my foot. A 10.5D in the Barrie is an excellent fit, but I went with US11D on these since they were advertised to be a bit more narrow than the Barrie. Unfortunately, even in 11, they are much more narrow and even slightly shorter than he 10.5 Barries. Reminded me a lot of the Leydon last in D fitting, which also did not fit my foot.

Other than the fit, the shoes are fabulous. The low profile coupled with the moc toe is a great combination of sleek and casual – much better looking than the Indy shoes, for example. Really a perfect look for a casual sports coat fit in my opinion.
 

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