***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. aldenwear

    aldenwear Senior member

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    No uncle here. (Actually, I do not understand the reference for this "uncle" "nephew" business - I guess I came in on the story in the middle, but that is another, and not so important, topic). I am responding -- forgive me if it is inappropriate and, of course, feel free to disregard -- because I am a longtime owner of Alden shoes on a number of different lasts and recently had a similar experience with Alden slip-ons that you may find helpful.

    I am a big fan of NST's and own a number of such Alden models. I have bought some NST loafers from Alden in NYC that are on the Grant last. I wear 7.5E in true-to-size Alden lasts of which Grant (and, for me, Aberdeen) is one. So I asked for these shoes in that size.

    I am not so proud to say they know me at Alden NYC. Because these shoes were slip-ons with a high vamp (a design characteristic that the Alden full strap and tassel loafers on the Aberdeen last share), I was encouraged to size down 1/2 size and get 7E to avoid heel slip. The sales associates are incredibly helpful and knowledgeable and I took the advice.

    This did not work for me. The ball of my foot hit the 7E too far forward in the shoe -- too much towards the toebox. My forefoot was also too far forward in the shoe, thus the widest part of my foot was beyond the widest part of the shoe and was a bit squeezed. Neither of these was a terribly big deal, and the shoes were imminently wearable. These were noticeable, however, and I would have preferred not to experience them, so I exchanged for my typical size to see what would happen. Much better for me: the shoes are looser on my feet in the 7.5E. But the shoes are well on my feet, my heel lifts ever so slightly, but not out of the shoe, they are comfortable, I think they look great, and I am very pleased.

    I take the moral of this story to be that fit can be individual and, in many instances, is driven by preference rather than ineluctable rules. For example, I suspect the initial recommendation I received about the NST loafers was based upon a lot of experience where many wearers prefer snugness and certainty that the shoe is not moving on their feet and would not like the looseness that I prefer.

    As to Aberdeen last shoes, they fit me no appreciably differently than Alden shoes made on other other true-to-size lasts and I wear the same size in all of them. Apparently, some people size differently on Aberdeen than other lasts.

    Our feet are all different, and we experience the sensations of our feet differently -- some are more sensitive than others; some just have clubs down there and rags would not feel much different to them than baby's-butt-soft-French calf.

    Nothing beats try on. It should not take long to figure out your sizing. If you are not near a store, I have found that almost all Alden retailers are very easy to work with on finding the right size. Best of luck and have fun.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
  2. TactileOne

    TactileOne Senior member

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    Frustrating, in order cover the variation in lasts my searchs on Ebay includes 10.5 and 11. Everytime there's a great pair of shoes that pops up it's in the wrong size. #8 NST .5 size too small, Whiskey LWB .5 size too big, brown suede Indys a .5 size too big, Ravello Captoes .5 size too small. Drat!
     
  3. sazon

    sazon Senior member

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    I have (or have had) some Barrie boots where my right foot does indeed feel a little tight across the top. I thought it maybe due to my orthotic inserts, but it seems others have had this problem. The left foot feels fine. I didn't want to go up a size or width b/c I feared that this would make the left foot too big (esp. in the heel). Oddly, some Barrie boots that I have don't give me this issue.

    Looking at one of my Barrie boots that does have the tightness, it seems to be a problem of volume. Seems a LWB gives much more volume for that part of the foot than a boot.

    The tightness hasn't been bad enough where I want to sell the boot. I've just been wearing thinner socks and asking myself, when my grandfather was in the foxholes in WWII ducking enemy fire, did he whine about his $700 boots being too tight?
     
  4. amftx

    amftx Well-Known Member

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    I thought the snuff suede PTB had an antique edge trim, not natural?

    Natural would work initially, but with nicks and wear and tear I'd want something with color. If I remember correctly there are 4 levels of antique finish, none of which are natural although the lightest may be close.
     
  5. aldenwear

    aldenwear Senior member

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    I feel your pain. As an "E" width, I cannot even buy new from many retailers. Since this rank discrimination is due to demand -- apparently, there just aren't nearly as many of us wide-footed folk (we are on the dragging edge of foot evolution) as the Normal Widers; either that or not nearly as many of us Club Feets are sophisticated enough to spend our money on Alden or other high-quality shoes (or maybe there is an earning differential -- a negative correlation between wide feet and earning power such as CEOs tend to be tall, not short and stubby) -- the scarcity of properly sized Alden shoes is exacerbated on the secondary market.

    Try to enjoy the hunt!
     
  6. mcarthur

    mcarthur Senior member

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    nephew,
    Aberdeen last works for me up going up one half size on my barrie last.. I do this both for loafers and tie shoes
     
  7. totalair1

    totalair1 Senior member

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    Wait a minute! you want to talk foot discrimination? Many of the "famous" Alden dealers talked about on this forum don't stock above size 12. Many of the pre-orders stop at size 12. So "E" width might be an issue, but size 13 and above is a crisis!!!!!

    I feel your pain!

    See Ya,
    Steve
     
  8. sevenfoldtieguy

    sevenfoldtieguy Senior member

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    Lots of talk about fit lately - which, for a newcomer, must be utterly maddening. :D

    Nothing beats try-on, and there is no doubt that individual preference plays a part, as do other variables (e.g., insoles, thickness of sock).

    Moreover, a person can try on the exact same model in the exact same size and may like how one pair fits and not the other ....

    I consider myself TTS US9.5D (and UK8.5E). I wear a thin insole (not ortho) in all my dress shoes (always have, always will; I like how it feels). I don't even know the brand of the insole because it is so old and just keeps on ticking. But I do not wear an insole in any of my loafers, as I find the fit to be better if I don't. So, with all of that said, my sizing usually shakes out as follows:

    9C - Van (slip-on)
    9D - barrie, tremont, trubalance, plaza (shoes)
    9.5B - aberdeen (slip-on)**
    9.5C - M-58 (like barrie), M-75 (like Plaza)
    9.5D - aberdeen (lace), plaza (boots), grant, hampton, snap, leydon

    ** If I get a 9.5D in an aberdeen slip-on, my foot damn near comes out of the shoe with every stride given the amount of heep slippage. Even the C width has too much heel slippage for my liking.


    But even the above is not without certain exceptions, as I have M-75 and aberdeen models in 10C, I have hampton and aberdeen models in 9D, I have a snap model in 9.5C, and a Barrie model in 9.5B.
     
  9. sevenfoldtieguy

    sevenfoldtieguy Senior member

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    inadvertent double post
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
  10. blue collar

    blue collar Senior member

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    Well put. A good read for people who are trying to dial in their Alden lasts
     
  11. blue collar

    blue collar Senior member

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    JEBUS! Talk about throwing a wrench in the gears when it comes to "The Alden Last Rules". God speed new-comers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
  12. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I was addressing his question about the natural cxl PTB above, he is specifically asking about natural edge dressing.
     
  13. sevenfoldtieguy

    sevenfoldtieguy Senior member

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    Are you saying I did not add clarity to the situation? :D

    I have been reluctant to share my sizing/last experience on the forum for fear many would punch their computer monitors or throw down in disgust their tablets/cell phones. :brick:
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
  14. mcarthur

    mcarthur Senior member

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    nephew,
    your post was very helpful
    everyone should be aware that there are the general rules in regard to the various alden lasts and the numerous exceptions to the general rules because our feet are not perfect. trial and error will get to the correct fit
     
  15. bespoken pa

    bespoken pa Senior member

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    Additionally uncle, one man's tight is another man's snug etc. Also there is the length of toes etc an 8d may fit two people with the same foot length differently. I think we discuss fit as a general guide vs established rules.
     
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