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

audog

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I mean...do tell...
When I was about 11/12 yrs old, we went to the Winston Cigarette factory for a tour (Dad wanted to go) at the end of the tour, and it was quite impressive, they gave EVERYONE on the tour a carton of Winstons. Guide handed me, 12 yrs old, a carton and said "don't smoke them all in one day". I'll never forget it...Doubt if this would fly today.
 

Vincent George

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When I was about 11/12 yrs old, we went to the Winston Cigarette factory for a tour (Dad wanted to go) at the end of the tour, and it was quite impressive, they gave EVERYONE on the tour a carton of Winstons. Guide handed me, 12 yrs old, a carton and said "don't smoke them all in one day". I'll never forget it...Doubt if this would fly today.
Haha WOW!!

I do have a good factory tour experience, though, come to think of it...

Few years ago, we went down to Fall River to the Vanson Leather Factory. Picked a jacket off the "seconds" rack (discontinued style, so I was very happy to see one) and told the owner that I was on the fence because I wanted a model with a Vanson patch on the front. She walked me and the Mrs. upstairs, introduced us to a seamstress, had me pick out a patch--and they sewed it on in real time while the owner gave us a tour and introduced us to everyone who worked there. It was like a Mr. Roger's episode. (They did not give me cigarettes at the end, but....)
vanson crop.jpg
 
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scurvyfreedman

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The worst thing, Dad who smoked Winstons, took the entire carton from me.....I was going to sell them to people at school, make some money, but NOOOOO, Dad smoked them, plus the carton he got and my Mom got and my 6 yr old sister got.....
I think Alden boots are a better addiction. Maybe not for the wallet, but for overall health.
 

smfdoc

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I grew up and have lived most of my life not far from the store (walking distance) and was there about 2 weeks ago with my wife so she could tell me what she likes (and does not like) but we did not have time for me to try stuff on. They did not know about the BB lasts so I thought I would try here. Back to the shop soon.

Thanks again.
Dang, you are brave. My wife has no business being in an Alden store. They put prices on those pairs. I would trip her before I would let her walk in.... Just kidding.... Well, not really.
 

NYCTechNerd

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Dang, you are brave. My wife has no business being in an Alden store. They put prices on those pairs. I would trip her before I would let her walk in.... Just kidding.... Well, not really.

This was "our" trip down both 5th and Madison avenues on that day but surprisingly no purchases were made.
- Tiffany
- Ferragamo
- Dentist (semi-annual check-up)
- Carmina
- Alden

Her collection is easily over 60 pairs with mostly Ferragamo, a few Louboutin, and some Chloe for good measure. As I posted in the AE forum the other day:
- We have known each other for 29 years.
- Been a couple for 27.
- Married for 19.


She's awesome so I never worry about sharing the whole truth.
 
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barutanseijin

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How do you all keep our shoes so clean and in such good shape? I have lived in urban areas and either walked and/or taken public transportation to work most of my life and my shoes simply get beat up no matter how careful I am so what is the secret to all these pictures of shoes in pristine condition (not judgmental, really looking for the magic answer)?
Fellow lurker & New Yorker here. Here’s how i do it: I wear sneakers or Sorel boots in to work and change once i’ve arrived. I also save the best shoes for more formal occasions. I’ve kept some nice pairs going for decades that way. Some i just wear and live with the consequences. Indy boots fit in that category. Honestly, with my commute (10m by foot) i could probably just wear ‘em in when the weather is nice.

Another aspect of wear on shoes is that if we’re putting more miles in on our feet here in NYC, we’re going to wear out shoes faster than folks who drive everywhere. Also, i really don’t want to pay for the space needed to house a huge collection of shoes. I stick to the basics in black and colour 8. (Yep, that includes some King Wings) For that reason, each pair gets that much more wear. Still, wearing out Aldens faster than usual is probably still cheaper than having a car here. Saves on the DMV hassles, too.
 

M635Guy

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Hi all-

I am new to SF (long time lurker but newly registered) and this thread. I currently own the following and am looking to expand into more casual footwear:
- Alden 971 x Brooks Brothers straight tip bluchers - black calf
- Alden 972 x Brooks Brothers straight tip bluchers - walnut calf
- Alden 9695F x Brooks Brothers penny loafers (not LHS but not flex like current model) - black calf
- Alden 9697F x Brooks Brothers penny loafers (not LHS but not flex like current model) - brown suede
- AE Wilbert NST Brown calf
- AE Wilbert NST Dark Brown CXL
- Carmina 531 Derby/PTB - brown suede
- And Meermin Snuff SuperBuck NST blucher on the way....

I have gone through the first 150 pages in this thread. I did not read every post but rather skimmed ones that seemed interesting and viewed almost all of the shoe and boot pictures. I covered from January through mid-March. I plan to continue on this path until I catch up to the current era. For now, I have a few questions which I hope others would be willing to help answer:

I was surprised that it seemed boots were almost 50% of what was posted. Is that because most people wear boots as often as shoes or was it just the time period (late winter)?

What is a "King Wing"?

Does anyone have any idea what lasts my AldenxBB use (the shoes are circa 2011)? I have read they could be Aberdeen, Copley, Van, or even Snap but no fit information on the last one.

I really like lined PTBs so I am considering both a PTB Natural Chromexcel 9501 because I understand they may be gone forever very soon. Is there any truth to that or is it just a bad rumor?

I also like lined Chukkas and am considering a Chukka Boot Snuff Suede D4707 and/or Chukka Boot Brown Chromexcel 13781C from Alden Madison.

I will probably not get all 3 at once (my wife would have a nervous breakdown as she is supposed to be the one with the shoe collection in our relationship) so which 2 would round out what I already own that are shown above? My work/personal life is moving more towards casual wear (even pre-pandemic) and less business casual (and suits).

How do you all keep our shoes so clean and in such good shape? I have lived in urban areas and either walked and/or taken public transportation to work most of my life and my shoes simply get beat up no matter how careful I am so what is the secret to all these pictures of shoes in pristine condition (not judgmental, really looking for the magic answer)?
I haven't caught fully up to the thread, but a few thoughts:

I didn't realize I was a boot guy until I stumbled on the Indy boot while looking at a pair of King Wings in the Alden Shop in San Francisco. Now I have more boots than shoes.

As I'm sure you've heard already, a "King Wing" is a shell cordovan wingtip of the legendary Color #8. The shade has varied over the years, and mainly is darker than some of the older shades, but it grows richer with wear and exposure to sun. Highly recommended. A King Wing Boot is even better ;)

Alden Chukkas are a sublime thing :) Extremely comfortable, and very versatile.

I think the answer about keeping the shoes looking good boils down to brushing. I brush my shoes for a few seconds before I wear them (with an inexpensive boars-hair brush like this or this), and more thoroughly after. Suede gets a spritz of Saphir Invulner (weird name, great product) or Tarrago Nano to help shed water/etc., though Alden suede is pretty resistant out of the box. Suede gets brushed pretty much the same as the leather, though with this. I don't actually put a lot of product on my shoes - the answer to most scuffs/etc. is rubbing with a licked finger followed by brushing. Ultimately, a lot of leathers (especially CXL) benefit from the wear and battle-scars, at least for me.

Alden is highly addictive. Welcome to the family!
 

NYCTechNerd

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Fellow lurker & New Yorker here. Here’s how i do it: I wear sneakers or Sorel boots in to work and change once i’ve arrived. I also save the best shoes for more formal occasions. I’ve kept some nice pairs going for decades that way. Some i just wear and live with the consequences. Indy boots fit in that category. Honestly, with my commute (10m by foot) i could probably just wear ‘em in when the weather is nice.

Another aspect of wear on shoes is that if we’re putting more miles in on our feet here in NYC, we’re going to wear out shoes faster than folks who drive everywhere. Also, i really don’t want to pay for the space needed to house a huge collection of shoes. I stick to the basics in black and colour 8. (Yep, that includes some King Wings) For that reason, each pair gets that much more wear. Still, wearing out Aldens faster than usual is probably still cheaper than having a car here. Saves on the DMV hassles, too.

I too have always carried my "good shoes" on bad weather days and was hoping for the magic bullet idea since I loathe galoshes but it seems even in 2020 urban commuters don't have many options. It is true as you stated, we definitely go through soles and shoes more quickly and current pairs often have the scars of well worn shoes no matter how much care and love we give them. I'm not sure people understand that we may put miles on our shoes before and after we get to work via commuting which does not even include use while at work.

I have always had 1 brown pair and1 black pair of "dress" shoes for work and often a more casual pair for weekends and casual Fridays at the office. It's true, you really learn to economize (aka do more with less) when you live in an urban area, commute by walking/biking/public-transportation, and live in an apartment. This has been my whole life so I really do not know any other way but find it interesting when I see these large collections of shoes and how nicely they are kept when one has the space to store them and can drive to work.

Don't get me started about DMV office(s) in Manhattan.

The impetus for this original thread is that I am dressing more casually at work and hopefully headed to an early retirement with some consulting in the interim years so need/want to move my small shoe "collection" to a more casual style with PTBs, Chukkas, and such.
 
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audog

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I too have always carried my "good shoes" on bad weather days and was hoping for the magic bullet idea since I loathe galoshes but it seems even in 2020 urban commuters don't have many options. It is true as you stated, we definitely go through soles and shoes more quickly and current pairs often have the scars of well worn shoes no matter how much care and love we give them.

I have always had 1 brown pair and1 black pair of "dress" shoes for work and often a more casual pair for weekends and casual Fridays at the office. It's true, you really learn to economize (aka do more with less) when you live in an urban area, commute by walking/biking/public-transportation, and live in an apartment. This has been my whole life so I really do not know any other way but find it interesting when I see these large collections of shoes and how nicely they are kept when one has the space to store them and can drive to work.

Don't get me started about DMV office(s) in Manhattan.

The impetus for this original thread is that I am dressing more casually at work and hopefully headed to an early retirement with some consulting in the interim years so need/want to move my small shoe "collection" to a more casual style with PTBs, Chukkas, and such.
When working, I used to wear beater shoes during the commute, after getting to the office I would change into one of the 4 pair I kept under the desk. All were AE at the time, but it was amazing, I would change into PA's or 5th Ave and everyone else had beat to sh*t footwear from the weather. I garnered a reputation as the guy who always had great shoes.....and all I had to do was change into footwear that wasn't worn in crappy winter weather. Amazing. If the other guys in the office had simply invested in ONE more pair of shoes, they wouldn't have had beaten up footwear. And we were in financial services, where impression is important.
 

pedromvu

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What's the consensus between the traditional Indy (Trubalance) vs Barrie Indy (not sure if all are called U-tips), I was looking at pictures and they look pretty similar, maybe the shape of the front stitching a bit more round, and a bit sleeker on the Barrie one.

Do you guys prefer one over the other in certain situations?
 

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