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Shoes that look better with age...

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It works! Nice video. I wonder if they still do any hand lasting. Seems like so much is automated. But quality is still there.

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Quick update for all those who ordered the Ultimate Indys a few months ago.

Alden says they are 5 weeks away from shipping them so hopefully I can get them to you all by Christmas.

Thanks for the patience.

yiha! :D

that just made my day, any news bout the deposit yet Tom?

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thanks HH,

found them at a second hand clothing shop in NYC.

they're stamped sz. 10, 1954 by the Belleville Shoe Manfacturing Co.

The 54 year old leather is still very soft and pliable.

Belleville! I didn't know they went back that far, but I remember being told of modern military boot contractors out there, Belleville shoes are generally the best quality for the buck.

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Not any Timberlands in here..this is the only pair I have ever bought and the quality seems good and they are aging quite nicely. Is there something about Timberland I don't know as far as quality? Also, where can those McCoys be purchased in the states?

Picture.jpg

Dont like the boots,but your kid looks like my son

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^ damn those look good. I am deciding between the Indy and something similar. Those may be a strong contender. BTW I was shopping around and saw some Alden boots on sale for $310 at shoemart (regular was $450). They had nothing in my size but it's worth checking out if you are looking for Aldens. cheers.

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d2b6_1_sbl.JPGd4b8_1_sbl.JPG

allen edmonds "kingston"

i've had these for two years and I love them, recently resoled and added a heel saver. i got them second hand so i have no idea of their true age.

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I like this color better than the black cherry and black. Very nice.

i own all three of them, and i have to say that the black cherry is the best of them with wear - even though i actually was not very fond of it in the beginning.

i was lacking a good brown one, as everybody else, but in the end it turned out to be the lowest rank in my RW GT color Top3.

black cherry is also the killer with denim!

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I saw them this morning.Redwing released this model/colour as part of their anniversary line up.This is for me the best colour in the GT range.unfortunately i bought a second pair of GTs in cherryblack to store them for later wear.i cannot justify myself to spend money on another pair.

Oh well,you cant have it all..

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i own all three of them, and i have to say that the black cherry is the best of them with wear - even though i actually was not very fond of it in the beginning.

i was lacking a good brown one, as everybody else, but in the end it turned out to be the lowest rank in my RW GT color Top3.

black cherry is also the killer with denim!

Did you get yours at cultizm?i had qualityissues with my 2 pairs ( stitching coming loose,shafts sewing inclined ).nothing against dejan,hes great to deal with and we got it sorted,but looking at the recent priceraise +shipping i would rather buy in a shop were i can try and see what i spend my money on.

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no, i bought mine at various places.

got one 9014 from them last year december, but i sold them after i had them worn in.

was too stupid to get the right size back than.

those definintly had no quality issues.

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Hey guys,

I want a good pair of brown ankle boots. Lace up or zip is preferred. I need a size 13. I want good or great quality, but I'm 14 and my budget is fairly tight. So what would you guys recommend?

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Hey guys,

I want a good pair of brown ankle boots. Lace up or zip is preferred. I need a size 13. I want good or great quality, but I'm 14 and my budget is fairly tight. So what would you guys recommend?

Not sure what your idea of a "tight budget" is, given that most people here pay upwards of $500 for a pair of boots.

I'll be throwing up my review of WWII Impressions russet brown service shoes next week, they run $150. If the quality is good on those then I can see that as a pretty good investment for you.

LL Bean also sells the Katadhin (sp?) boot, which I've heard is a good starter boot you don't have to sell your first born to finance.

Rockport makes cheap boots, and I know some people who are happy with those.

However, is there a reason why you don't want Timberlands? I know what the general thread opinion on them is, but they're cheap, durable to a certain extent, and you won't feel bad if somebody runs a baby stroller over them.

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red wing 875s are a good start, they should run you about 175 from a red wing store. great quality, comfy, don't know if you'll like the sole though.

heres a link to the LL bean chippewa katahdin http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?storeId=1&catalogId=1&langId=-1&categoryId=49464&productId=848549&qs=5686477-Bizrate

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what are they? kiwi and lexol youll be fine

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totally totally

close heel trim (like all the previous Navy high boots I have seen from Alden) would really make this boot so much more interesting.

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d2b6_1_sbl.JPGd4b8_1_sbl.JPG

allen edmonds "kingston"

i've had these for two years and I love them, recently resoled and added a heel saver. i got them second hand so i have no idea of their true age.

nice! they remind me of a military boot which has laces down the front but zips either side of the laces, and a webbing loop across between the zip pullers. might be a desert-type boot. I did a quick search but can;t find anything. anyone know what i'm talking about?:)

what do people think about zipped boots in general? Personally I'm not normally that keen, especially on side zips. I don;t think the aesthetic of a zip (technical. quick, clean, gets worse with age) works with the qualities of a good boot (traditional, natural, nuanced, improves). I've spoken to a bespoke shoe-maker about zips, and he said he hates putting them in, as you can;t guarantee how long they;ll last, and they're fiddly to replace. Also with zips you have to fit the shoe exactly right to the foot, whereas laces can be adjusted, and elastic has a certain amount of give in it.

having said all that, I really like Paid Vacation;s AEs- they've certainly worn in beautifully, and the placement of the zips really seems to work for me.

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So I went down to Tassels in Hong Kong today for the Alden trunk show with Nate Humble. It was nice to find out a bit more about Alden, and cool to see what they have coming up in the spring. Also I seem to have come away with much less cash and another pair of cordovan boots:D(pics tomorrow when i;ll have some natural light).

Nate seemed like a great guy- he;s mid-late 50s I'd say, and very all-american 'dad-style' in a handmade tweed jacket and gorgeously worn-in 2-year-old cigar cordovan chukkas. He's the Alden rep for the far east and half of the US (sorry can;t remember which half!). He told me loads about Alden, cordovan, and shoes in general. He even polished up my own wing-tip boots (that I was wearing when I came in) himself:). Here what I can remember:

Alden doesn;t have different manufacturing levels- it doesn;t matter whether the insides are stamped 'Alden New England', 'Foot Balance', or whatever. They're all made in the same factory to the same spec. The only quality differences are the leathers in the uppers (cordovan being the most expensive material they use). The reason that some more recent styles have been branded just 'Alden' rather than 'Alden New England' is because people outside of the US haven't heard of New England and have been thinking that it's an english brand!

Alden buy 80% of Horween's cordovan. When other brands use Horween cordovan (eg Crockett & Jones) it;s not the same. Apparently Alden get first pick, but also they do their own leather treatments in their own factory. I'm not all that clear what these treatments might be though- to be honest C&J cordovan looks pretty similar to me;)

As we already know, the reason the lighter cordovan colours are rarer (cigar, ravello, whiskey etc) is because they're lighter, and therefore show up imperfections in the hide more easily than #8 and black. I think he said only 2% of Horween's cordovan is usable for lighter colours

Cordovan is vegetable tanned, which is why the colour can fade in sunlight (eg the lovely faded #8 shoes a few pages back). This is also why it can develop a white 'bloom' in cold conditions (I've never experienced this, but it's mentioned on the Alden of Carmel site I think). If it happens you can run a hair dryer over the shoe (not too close) and the white residue will melt back into the leather. I kind of hope this happens to me so I can see what he means! It happens for the same reason that olive oil gets cloudy in low temperatures (which I have seen)

The Alden crest (a shield with 4 goats' heads) is taken from the ancient English cordwainers (shoemakers) crest. The founder, Mr Alden, apparently went to the Oxford University , England, libraries to research this.

Different races have different foot shapes! I was really surprised to hear this, but Nate told me that he can tell someone's racial background from the shape of their foot. He and I both have northern european ancestors, and sure enough we both have high insteps. Aparently the chinese have flat feet, and the japanese have very pronated (inward-curving feet). I'm only reporting what I was told, I certainly don;t want to be the source of any perceived foot-racism:D

The Modified Last I asked about this specifically, beacuse it;s been so much discussed on here (I think the guys putting together a special with Leather Soul were interested in it). It was devloped early on by Alden as an orthopaedic shape for people with a high arched instep and pronated (inward-curving) feet. When Alden first started distributing in Japan (in the 60s I think), a Japanese shop owner was shown a shoe on the modified last, and couldn;t believe how comfortable it was (see th Japanese racial foot-type above:rolleyes:). Since then it's been a huge success with the Japanese, as there is no other international prestige shoe company making a similar shape. In Nate's words "the modified last is like cocaine to them":D The reason that it;s not available outside Japan is that Alden don;t want it being incorrectly fitted and bought for style reasons, which I can understand. The only exception (as we know) is Anatomica in Paris, because the owner is a real expert in fitting, and doesn;t do web orders. Nate showed me a pair of monk strap shoes on the modified last, and they really look weird- from above they;re almost kidney-shaped they bend in so much. they also have an angled heel piece, to push the foot inwards and stop it rolling out and stop the wearer walking on the outer side of his feet. they do look kind of cool though in a weird way.

The new spring collection was nice, but there was nothing that really blew me away. They're going to do more of the Sebago-style boat shoes that Leather Soul got in a while ago, which are made in an old factory that Alden bought up just when it was about to go bust. The one shoe that stood out for me was a slightly high-top-converse style boot, with eyelets quite a long way down the toe (but not lace-to-toe), in soft brown calf.

Sorry no pictures, but I hope that was interesting:)

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