***The official Alden thread *** Share enthusiasm, reviews, sizing, advice, and photos.

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by jet, Nov 3, 2008.

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  1. HorseHide

    HorseHide Senior member

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    So are you saying the work would be better if it was done by some 9 year old in a third world country that was getting paid by the piece?
     
  2. Joenobody0

    Joenobody0 Senior member

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    Is that all there is besides union shops? I guess all AEs are made that way...
     
  3. WhoKnewI

    WhoKnewI Senior member

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    Discolorations in the hide and the lace hole alignment don't really bother me. However, when you do pay a premium you expect to get a premium product, and I do not think it is wrong for someone to expect that. Even though the color thing doesn't bother me, I can totally understand how it can bother someone else and whoever said they should stay away from cordovan is probably right (although you can also argue that Alden could put in a little bit more effort trying to match the hides even though it would slow down production).

    However, you have to agree that the stitching (and sometimes overall construction) on Alden shoes tends to be subpar and just plain sloppy. I had longwings where the vamp stitching came apart after 10 minutes of gentle wear on the carpet, a boot where the stitching had a snag that was 1/4 of an inch long, and another pair of boots that had an inexplicable hole in the sole (i kept them simply because I really liked them). Sure, you can send them back to the factory and I'm sure Alden is more than happy to fix them for you, but why are they even leaving the factory looking like that?
     
  4. Ahab

    Ahab Senior member

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    But that is the point. You are not paying a premium. You can go Edward Green and pay a premium and not have these "problems".
     
  5. enigma77

    enigma77 Senior member

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    True. $700 shell Aldens are inexpensive compared to $1600 shell Edward Greens.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  6. Ahab

    Ahab Senior member

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    Well if that is the shoe these people want I think it is a small price to pay. These people have pride, they have standards. They are not the type who will settle.
     
  7. WhoKnewI

    WhoKnewI Senior member

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    For most people 700 dollar shells are a premium. You're telling me that 700 doesn't warrant clean stitching?
     
  8. Bucho

    Bucho Active Member

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    First of all, thanks to all those who share their knowledge of shoes on this list. For the most part, it is very helpful to those of us interested inalden shoes and other brands. While I would tend to agree that alden shoes should be held to the highest standards, the unfortunate and, I suspect, unknowledgeable comment about union shops is just unfair and untrue. As a union lawyer, I can tell you that unionized workers care deeply about skill,quality of work and safety. If you ever visited the sweat shops in the united states let alone abroad, you would not be so quick to take pot shots.
     
  9. Ahab

    Ahab Senior member

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    If you think it is a premium then find me other manufacturers of Whiskey shell shoes so that we can make an intelligent informed opinion. Thank you.
     
  10. Ahab

    Ahab Senior member

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    What sweat shops in the US?
     
  11. NewYorkIslander

    NewYorkIslander Affiliate Vendor

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    The premium you are paying is for the rarity of the leather. Especially in rarer shell, Alden is by far the most "affordable" brand that offers it regularly. Who else does at the $700 price point?

    I'm not excusing the poor work, but when you're dealing with a small company (as Alden are) with an overwhelming demand at an affordable price, you will see this more often. And some of the grips are ridiculous (see the above picture that was taken with what seems like a microscopic lens, and even then the deformity had to be circled). Alden fixes these without issue, so what's the big deal? Its obvious they're not hurting for business, so you suggest they hire more quality control people and then having the price of all their shoes go up to around $1000? No thanks. The process is fine the way it is. I'd love for someone from Alden to stand up for their work and quality here, even though I know that they won't. Sure people pay $1600 for shoes, but thats way out of my range, and I'd much rather be able to have these shoes and send a few back for repairs, than not be able to have it at all.
     
  12. HorseHide

    HorseHide Senior member

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    Yeah, and I bet they stand up when they piss.
     
  13. zippyh

    zippyh Senior member

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    I think some of the people in this thread have never looked that closely at a pair of C&J shell. They have similar issues to Alden shell in terms of blotchiness or color variations. But C&J only seem to offer a color similar to Cigar so it's not as obvious as on Whiskey or Ravello. Plus my C&J shells seem to suffer from water spotting more than any Aldens I own.

    When it comes down to it, there are three companies that offer cordovan shoes in regular stock which are widely avaiable and are under $1000; Allen-Edmonds, Alden, and C&J. And if you want dress boots under $1000, Alden is the only game in town.

    The Alden issues with stiching is of course inexcusable.
    I have no comment on the made in India Florsehims.
     
  14. jamesbond

    jamesbond Senior member

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    NYR - I think you're dead wrong on this issue. I own 7 pairs of Alden shoes some of which have been purchased over 10 years ago. I own both cigar and ravello shell shoes and neither have had any discoloring issues or construction issues. Some of these are on their 3rd resoling and are by far my favorite shoes in the collection. Being from New England I also like to give business to a local company that still makes quality items here in the USA. None of these current quality issues had ever been present until every single hipster with a macbook pro and a fixed gear bike decided Alden was the "cool" shoe to own. It seems like Alden can't keep up with demand and is sacrificing quality for $$$, and I'm not the only long time Alden wearer saying this. I think these issues should be brought to the attention of the forum, who accounts for quite a large percentage of Alden customers. That's if any long time Alden guys still browse these forums, or maybe it's just a bunch of brand worshiping hipsters that think Alden could never do anything wrong?

    FWIW - I would have no problem at all if said line was towards the heel on one of my shoes but I really think it's inexcusable to let that pair out of the factory with a line through the entire toe box, and you wouldn't have to hire any addition personnel to notice something like that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  15. phototristan

    phototristan Senior member

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    Allen Edmonds certainly makes cordovan shoes and they are under $500. even:

    http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline/cati2_Shoes_1_40000000001_-1_______130213_subcategory?

    I believe they source their cordovan from the same place as Alden too, Horween.
     
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