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

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zippyh

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Ending the year in ultimate Indys. Brown cxl over commando.
PCM7-SemQiuzIV51ijAeBg.jpg
 

scurvyfreedman

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I'm not a big collector. I have a bunch of Alden boots. I wouldn't say I cover the rainbow, but I do cover the three colors of shell I like the best. It was more of a challenge to get the cigar - the color I like best - but I had to get on a list to get the whiskey too and when I came up, I had forgotten that I was on the list for them. I didn't mind the wait, obviously.

I have sold pair of color #8 Indys and a pair of cigar oxfords too, because they weren't getting the wear necessary to justify the shelf space.

As someone who's not out there chasing shoes or collecting every version of every color, I'm not too concerned about rarity or what market decisions Alden makes. I have hit my happy place. I think I'll eventually get a pair of reverse tobacco chamois boots in one makeup or another, but I don't feel desire for new boots anymore. It's actually a great place to be.

These were my Alden boot collection at the beginning of 2021. I have since parted with the color #8 Indys.

IMG_2572.jpeg


And, I've added these whiskey cap toes.
IMG_6421.jpeg

That's four pairs of Alden boots. It's a nice collection for a guy who likes to wear each of his boots in a regular rotation. I also have a pair of Alfred Sargent snuff suede chukkas and Alfred Sargent walnut color pebble grain full brogue boots. They are my beaters. It's still a lot of casual boots, even though it's not a lot for members of this forum.
 

Darkishhaddock

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Whoa… quite a discussion and great examples with Rolex. I can only add that the artificial/selective suppression of inventory and limited releases is 100x worse when it comes to hypebeast and sneaker culture and yet it is such a global phenomenon. And these goods actually fall apart in a couple of years.
 

whipcord

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Whoa… quite a discussion and great examples with Rolex. I can only add that the artificial/selective suppression of inventory and limited releases is 100x worse when it comes to hypebeast and sneaker culture and yet it is such a global phenomenon. And these goods actually fall apart in a couple of years.

3 years ago my nephew was showing me how he would wait for Supreme drops then flip the items for insane pricing. He showed me a bunch of stuff in his closet and it was all cheap Chinese crap. Yet people just wanted the name, so they would pay sometimes 5x+ markup. I asked him who was paying those prices and he said it was a lot of people from Asia.
 

OldTown

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3 years ago my nephew was showing me how he would wait for Supreme drops then flip the items for insane pricing. He showed me a bunch of stuff in his closet and it was all cheap Chinese crap. Yet people just wanted the name, so they would pay sometimes 5x+ markup. I asked him who was paying those prices and he said it was a lot of people from Asia.
This is how I feel about the people who spend hundreds of dollars on Nike shoes.
 

idonotmatch

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My two cents:

The challenge with "rare" shell from Alden is centered around distribution. There's a handful of ways to purchase these shoes and the lack of consistency / transparency can be frustrating for those who are new to the brand. When you zoom in, there seem to be a finite amount of ways to run across these shoes and none of them are perfect. I'm not sure any of this is unique to Alden or boots to be frank, but it's interesting to think about.

1. Long-term relationship; high-spend with a specific retailer. Similar to the Rolex or Porsche distribution models these days. The challenge is - for those who only buy a pair of Aldens each year - this isn't necessarily obtainable
2. Get on a list and wait until your name gets called. The lists aren't always accessible and may pop-up through word-of-mouth only. Again, tough for those new to the brand. This seems to have been exacerbated by subsets of social groups (FB / IG / Discords) that are creating an effect where the same folks tend to end up getting access to this information
3. Re-sell market. Self-explanatory.
4. The misc. bucket - get lucky and find them online. Walk into an Alden store and stumble across your size. etc. It happens - I've done it. Probably some of my favorite purchases.

The difference between Aldens and your hype sneakers is that with the latter - there's at least a level of transparency of releases / where items are offered. Granted - when you factor in backdoors / bots / etc., not sure transparency of information solves for anything (PS, if you've gotten this far and have line of sight to one, you know who to reach out to ?).

With all that being said - I've enjoyed the relationships that I've made when it comes to the brand. That's what has given me the opportunities to build out my closet. For those who are new to the brand, don't want to pay above retail, and don't want to be part of the community - I feel your pain; my search for a GT3 has experienced that exact list of challenges.
 
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whipcord

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I'm on pins and needles here because I'm thinking of ordering a pair of Alden's from Brogue. Anybody familiar with that retailer? Really concerned on sizing, and what the return/exchange process might be like if they don't fit. ?
 

JayDotz

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I'm on pins and needles here because I'm thinking of ordering a pair of Alden's from Brogue. Anybody familiar with that retailer? Really concerned on sizing, and what the return/exchange process might be like if they don't fit. ?

Where do you live? Maybe you can find a local retailer and go get fitted in person.
 

audog

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I'm not a big collector. I have a bunch of Alden boots. I wouldn't say I cover the rainbow, but I do cover the three colors of shell I like the best. It was more of a challenge to get the cigar - the color I like best - but I had to get on a list to get the whiskey too and when I came up, I had forgotten that I was on the list for them. I didn't mind the wait, obviously.

I have sold pair of color #8 Indys and a pair of cigar oxfords too, because they weren't getting the wear necessary to justify the shelf space.

As someone who's not out there chasing shoes or collecting every version of every color, I'm not too concerned about rarity or what market decisions Alden makes. I have hit my happy place. I think I'll eventually get a pair of reverse tobacco chamois boots in one makeup or another, but I don't feel desire for new boots anymore. It's actually a great place to be.

These were my Alden boot collection at the beginning of 2021. I have since parted with the color #8 Indys.

View attachment 1728825

And, I've added these whiskey cap toes. View attachment 1728826
That's four pairs of Alden boots. It's a nice collection for a guy who likes to wear each of his boots in a regular rotation. I also have a pair of Alfred Sargent snuff suede chukkas and Alfred Sargent walnut color pebble grain full brogue boots. They are my beaters. It's still a lot of casual boots, even though it's not a lot for members of this forum.
Those cap toes are to die for.....DAMN Dude!
 

Hisheirness23

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Agree that Alden's deliberate decision to keep production limited has helped make it a profitable family business for over a century. This cannot be overstated. However, I do wonder whether Alden "rare" shell is artificially scarce. Lots of luxury brands play the artificial scarcity game. For example, right now it's hard to buy a stainless steel Rolex, and even before there was a "shortage" of ordinary stainless steel models, it's been very difficult to buy a stainless steel Daytona for the past 15-20 years. At least where Rolex is concerned, I just can't buy this. Stainless steel is plentiful. Rolexes are mostly made by machine, if there was really such a terrible shortage... the company could just purchase some more machines. Yes, that would require a capital expenditure but I'd be surprised if the CNC machines used to make Rolex watches cost more than a few million dollars -- they can afford to add some more machines to the production lines and hire some more technicians to operate them. The whole "shortage" of stainless steel Rolex watches strikes me as entirely fake, a deliberate method of ginning up demand and creating an image of desirability, since to some people scarce=desirable. See also Ferrari, diamonds, and lots of other luxury goods.

Alden is a little different. Rare shells probably aren't available in unlimited quantity, and they do have to hire -- and train, and retain -- skilled workers who make Alden shoes to Alden standards, in the New England area. I don't think they could easily double their production capacity, even if they were willing to spend the money to lease out a new factory, etc. Rolex could do that, but Alden probably can't. So it actually is possible that Alden can only make so many rare models every year. The thing is, it's not due to the scarcity of rare shell. I mean, let's be honest, Horween only makes #4 shell every few years but... I'm sure they'd make more if Alden were to order it. Alden probably DOES have limited production capacity. Right now they are probably running at or near capacity every year, and they need to make (1) regular shell; (2) limited quantities of rare shell; and (3) ordinary calf, suede, etc. models. So if were to greatly increase their production of rare shell models, to the point where you can just walk in off the street and pick up a pair of whiskey shell PTB's in 9E at your local Alden retailer... they'd probably have to limit their production of regular shell or calf and suede. That probably wouldn't be a wise business decision. So I suspect that Alden really can't make as much rare shell as we'd like them to make.
Can somewhat offer some insight on the whole stainless/Rolex argument. My father is a mechanic and even getting stainless for exhaust systems are seeing major price hikes due to the fact that stainless is getting hard to obtain by these vendors. Could be manufacturing or logistics related in which ships are sitting off the coast and are waiting in line to get unloaded. Regardless, these vendors are upping their prices since they are more scarce to them.

Rolex is a whole other headache as is most luxury goods during COVID. There has been an uptick in people looking to invest and an interest in pursuing multiple streams of income. Like sneakers (Yeezy's and Jordan's) people are buying to resell since there is a demand. This was well before COVID, mind you, whereas Rolex used to cut deals to sell watches like no tax or even flat out discounting, but now people are buying watches to flip or to invest since watch prices are going insane. And I'm not even going to get into the Grey Dealers who have been in business for years and have only grown in popularity/volume with many of these large Grey Dealers now known by me across forums/social media.

When I spoke with the director at my AD, he said that Rolex doesn't follow trends, so they're not artificially witholding manufacturing. In fact, they sold more watches this year (2021) than they ever have. In other words, they don't feel inclined to capitalize off of the popularity by adding more manufacturing just to shut it down in a few years once this fad subsides. They even stopped taking special orders as you used to be able to walk in to an AD and essentially request a specific configuration. Now, even their stainless models are no longer able to be special ordered and you are 100% at the mercy of the AD to let you know once something arrives and if you're on the list to purchase it, then you get priority. Or, they may simply put them out in the display case to encourage walk-in customers to drop by and check the store out.
 

whipcord

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So almost done with the 8 hr day at the desk.....They are paying me $30/hour to sit here. I had 4 phone calls and one person walk in....Crazy, but they want me back to do it again on next Tuesday....

That's a good gig for sitting around, reading about shoes. I'd do it. :)
 

mdubs

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2022 Thread.png


Gentlemen, the 2022 Thread has been created for those of you who have not seen that yet. Please feel free to hop on over for a continued discussion about Alden! Thanks much and Happy New Year!


-Mike
 
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