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

DG123

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I guess if you believe the real focus of a company is out-of-the-box comfort than you could apply your reasoning to any of the leathers they're using? But maybe I'm not understanding completely your response, so for clarity... if you believe using CXL or Lux for workbooks is somehow cutting corners or only being used for comfort purposes, then what would you deem as an appropriate additive-free leather for boots that are clearly meant to be worn casually and take a beating?
Your question brings up an interesting subject, but I think it's one that is more appropriate for a separate thread rather than this thread about Alden.
That said , the transition in consumer demand from dress to casual footwear has caused Alden to change its product line . To your question about Alden boots I think Alden's original Indy boot ,model 405 produced using Mahogany Legacy calf work boot leather, and neocork sole, is ideal for casual wear. The 405's long time within the product line , including relatively large volume sales, is proof that it's a great product. But today's consumers and retail dealers demand-expect new products as well, and Alden does try to meet that demand buy offering newer upper patterns, upper materials, sole types etc...Sometimes the new model introductions are not as functionally sensible as the iconic 405 model, but the majority of today's consumers and retail distributors seem to favor new aesthetics more than old time sensibility.
 

honestpanda

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Goodyear welt constructions provides a tight connection between the upper and the sole. Use of a shank enhances the footwear's support structure so that there is less twisting and, or, stress to the upper material.
There are several benefits to Goodyear welt, shank construction but the above two are directly related to the footwear's ability to retain its original shape.
Isn’t the upper folded under itself though over the insole? What makes a Goodyear welt better for structure than say blakestitch, or nail down etc?
 

DG123

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Isn’t the upper folded under itself though over the insole? What makes a Goodyear welt better for structure than say blakestitch, or nail down etc?
Blake construction is mostly used for fashion shoes and does not include a shank. I don't know anything about "nail down" construction. Usually Goodyear welt construction is compared to the most common type of construction, which is cement.
 

Crizzlelovesyou

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Blake construction is mostly used for fashion shoes and does not include a shank. I don't know anything about "nail down" construction. Usually Goodyear welt construction is compared to the most common type of construction, which is cement.
Rancourt and Riderboot Co are two extremely well regarded brands that use blake effectively. I think you would be aided by doing additional research into shoe construction and material. We have some great beginner's guides stickied on the goodyearwelt subreddit that can get you started and the mod team there is actively working on updating the faqs section. If you have any questions please reach out.
 
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BAK

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Your question brings up an interesting subject, but I think it's one that is more appropriate for a separate thread rather than this thread about Alden.
That said , the transition in consumer demand from dress to casual footwear has caused Alden to change its product line . To your question about Alden boots I think Alden's original Indy boot ,model 405 produced using Mahogany Legacy calf work boot leather, and neocork sole, is ideal for casual wear. The 405's long time within the product line , including relatively large volume sales, is proof that it's a great product. But today's consumers and retail dealers demand-expect new products as well, and Alden does try to meet that demand buy offering newer upper patterns, upper materials, sole types etc...Sometimes the new model introductions are not as functionally sensible as the iconic 405 model, but the majority of today's consumers and retail distributors seem to favor new aesthetics more than old time sensibility.
I think it would be more accurate to say most consumer and retailers of Alden favor both new aesthetics and old time sensibility, and they can be had in the same pair of shoes or boots. The two aren't mutually exclusive. Also Legacy and CXL are almost the same product - very similar tannages of the same raw material, so at this point I think we're splitting hairs (or hides, depending on what weight we're talking about 🤣).
 
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BAK

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Blake construction is mostly used for fashion shoes and does not include a shank. I don't know anything about "nail down" construction. Usually Goodyear welt construction is compared to the most common type of construction, which is cement.
Blake is used for a very wide variety of footwear, not necessarily fashion - it's a simpler construction which is why it is used so widely on so many types of shoes and boots. Blake can and often does utilize a shank.
 

DG123

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Rancourt and Riderboot Co are two extremely well regarded brands that use blake effectively. I think you would be aided by doing additional research into shoe construction and material. We have some great beginner's guides stickied on the goodyearwelt subreddit that can get you started and the mod team there is actively working on updating the faqs section. If you have any questions please reach out.
Most of my career has been working within the shoe industry.
 

Crizzlelovesyou

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Most of my career has been working within the shoe industry.
Well that doesn't quite line up with several statements you have made about leather and construction. I am not sure who you worked for, nor in what capacity, but we all can benefit from a refresher every now and then even.
 

ac106

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I think what is relevant for footwear is shape retention. I believe too much stretch comes from lesser quality original leather, or too much infusion of oils/waxes/dyes, or a combination of both. You wrote that your pair of CXL 401's were "loose grain monsters" and others have written that their CXL 403 boots became a :sloppy fit" within a year or two of wearing.
I understand the majority of consumers focus on out-of-the-box comfort and are not particular about longer term conditions, so that tends to be the directive followed by today's suppliers.
its almost certainly not loose grain. CXL creases a lot and can have lots of grain break but what people constantly call loose grain almost never is.
 

audog

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I think what is relevant for footwear is shape retention. I believe too much stretch comes from lesser quality original leather, or too much infusion of oils/waxes/dyes, or a combination of both. You wrote that your pair of CXL 401's were "loose grain monsters" and others have written that their CXL 403 boots became a :sloppy fit" within a year or two of wearing.
I understand the majority of consumers focus on out-of-the-box comfort and are not particular about longer term conditions, so that tends to be the directive followed by today's suppliers.
I did, in fact say that about my 401's, I should qualify the comment was in comparison to other CXL boots. These have been worn only a. few times, they came like this from the factory. Loose grain and gouges, and guess what, I don't care they are a casual work boot style boot. After a year or two of wear, these things will be minor.
IMG_9240.JPG
 

audog

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its almost certainly not loose grain. CXL creases a lot and can have lots of grain break but what people constantly call loose grain almost never is.
Perhaps my 401's are guilty of grain break, instead of loose grain. No matter, I still like them and like all Indy boots, they fit well.
 

Hisheirness23

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🤔 Hmm... there's a lot to unpack in your response. Keeping the focus on Lux for the moment, it's a pretty additive free leather - meaning it's veg-tanned using vegetable and bark extracts, plus some dye on top to give it color (without the top coat you'd basically have Horween's Essex leather).

I guess if you believe the real focus of a company is out-of-the-box comfort than you could apply your reasoning to any of the leathers they're using? But maybe I'm not understanding completely your response, so for clarity... if you believe using CXL or Lux for workbooks is somehow cutting corners or only being used for comfort purposes, then what would you deem as an appropriate additive-free leather for boots that are clearly meant to be worn casually and take a beating?
Interesting to hear about the similarities between lux and essex. Just curious how you would treat lux? I don't wanna remove that top coat prematurely and would love for the wear of the boot to handle that. Cleaning and conditioning tips for lux is what I'm asking about. Can't wait to receive my pair from Louie! The photos on your IG make them look even more fantastic than the stock photos!
 

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