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The Official Alden Thread for 2021 - Share Reviews, Sizing, Advice, and Photos.

Alden Northwest

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Quick update on my Color 4 plain toe boots. As you may recall, my pair was rather "unique" with a mismatched binding on the two boots. As always, Steve at Bedos came through

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Alden gives you one of the most rare colors in the Alden world, then they completely customize them so you have a one of one pair in the entire world, and here you go messing it up. tsk tsk
 

DG123

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When rare shell colored Alden's (such as Whiskey or Ravello) are available for purchase, how much higher priced are those pairs than the more common black or color 8 pairs of shoes/boots ? New from retailers is it 20% higher priced, 50%, 100% ?
 

JSO1

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When rare shell colored Alden's (such as Whiskey or Ravello) are available for purchase, how much higher priced are those pairs than the more common black or color 8 pairs of shoes/boots ? New from retailers is it 20% higher priced, 50%, 100% ?
Depends on the retailer. Ranges anywhere from $50-300 more than standard (Color 8 / Black) shell.
 

NYCTechNerd

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I must be crazy because I ordered 4 more "Seconds" from The Shoe Mart.
And, it's not like I need more brown shoes.

29336F Suede Unlined Dover
29364F CXL Unlined Dover (in 2 sizes)
T19912 Suede Chukka

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Another fruitless delivery of TSM Alden seconds; it's not them, it's me.

I am still trying to determine my "perfect' fit but more on that later*. Here are some beautiful shoes and Chukkas that did not fit so they were sent back. Unfortunately the shoes I really want (D5602 and 95080) are both out of stock in my size, are special make-up, and no immediate plans for a reorder.

The 29336F Dover/Barrie was too narrow (trying a different size) and the T19912 Chukka/Barrie was also too narrow and with too much heel slip (also in a different size that is smaller than my usual Barrie size).
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* In theory I know there is no such thing as a "perfect fit" (even with bespoke) but that has not stopped me from trying to find it. After a frustrating 18 months trying 30+ AE shoes, I found 2 sizes that sort of work for me but then I moved on to Alden. Some time on SF, lots of private help from @BAK, a wonderful experience at Moulded Shoe to try the Modified last, a trip to AoM to try on Barrie/Chukkas, and two orders from The Shoe Mart has narrowed it to a few sizes that should work well for me (from best to not as good):
  • 9E on Modified (9D too narrow and 9.5D too long, Modified is a bit longer than Barrie IME)
  • 9.5D or 9E on Barrie (depending on leather, style, and manufacturing tolerances)
  • 9.5D on Van (have not had the chance to try a 9E Van)
One of the most important epiphanies is that my entire adult life I always thought my left foot was "bigger" than my right and why I always used it to determine if shoes fit correctly. After visiting Moulded, AoM, and a sneaker store recently to get new running shoes, I was told that my left foot is actually wider but shorter than my right foot and maybe why I have always thought it was bigger. In a perfect world (which does not exist), I would have Modified or Barrie lasted shoes in a 9E for my left foot and a 9.5D for my right foot. If anyone needs the opposite, let me know and maybe we can work something out on a few pair...
 
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DG123

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Depends on the retailer. Ranges anywhere from $50-300 more than standard (Color 8 / Black) shell.
How often do Alden make-up shoes/boots in whiskey or ravello cordovan become available for pre sale ? Is it once or twice per year that a few retailers offer a make-up for pre-sale? Or is it more like once or twice every 5 years that the rare shell colors are offered for sale ? Am I correct that it's typically done as a pre-order make up or is it more likely for a retailer or two to order a run of sizes for their store and the finished inventory becomes suddenly available to consumers without much/any advance notification ?
 

JSO1

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How often do Alden make-up shoes/boots in whiskey or ravello cordovan become available for pre sale ? Is it once or twice per year that a few retailers offer a make-up for pre-sale? Or is it more like once or twice every 5 years that the rare shell colors are offered for sale ? Am I correct that it's typically done as a pre-order make up or is it more likely for a retailer or two to order a run of sizes for their store and the finished inventory becomes suddenly available to consumers without much/any advance notification ?
Depends on the retailer. Some bigger retailers get multiple allocations of whiskey and/or ravello per year, in amounts varying from 12 pair all the way up to 24 pair per allocation. Other smaller retailers might only get one allocation per year or even one every other year.

Each retailer handles the pre-sale/reservation process differently. Some operate on first-come first-served word of mouth when the order comes in, others take pre-orders (either by reaching out to their VIP/best customers first or by working off of request lists). On occasion, there will be pairs left over in inventory, but these days, the trend is to pre-fill the order (and this way they can also accommodate size requests). The larger retailers with established systems for rare shell tend not to have pairs left over, although the factory stores (Alden SF and Alden DC) do often have pairs available that are not spoken for when the order arrives.
 

stook1

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Depends on the retailer. Some bigger retailers get multiple allocations of whiskey and/or ravello per year, in amounts varying from 12 pair all the way up to 24 pair per allocation. Other smaller retailers might only get one allocation per year or even one every other year.

Each retailer handles the pre-sale/reservation process differently. Some operate on first-come first-served word of mouth when the order comes in, others take pre-orders (either by reaching out to their VIP/best customers first or by working off of request lists). On occasion, there will be pairs left over in inventory, but these days, the trend is to pre-fill the order (and this way they can also accommodate size requests). The larger retailers with established systems for rare shell tend not to have pairs left over, although the factory stores (Alden SF and Alden DC) do often have pairs available that are not spoken for when the order arrives.
I really should get on the ball with this... seems like less of an insurmountable hurdle than I'd come to believe previously. Thanks for explaining the process.
 

stook1

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FWIW.....I gave up, just stick to color 8 and black shell, it's a lot easier :)
Well that's encouraging! 🤣

Sigh, this is the main reason I don't have more Alden shoes.
 

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