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Shoes that look better with age...

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aaah. thanks damnlam.

i'm going to check with the guys at askandy and styleforum now.

i bet i could get my shoes stretched by my local shoe repair guy.

*EDIT* i asked around on a couple other forums and looks like i have nothing to worry about. over time, even shell cordovans stretch, just takes longer than calfskin. phew! for a second i was trying to calculate what i could get on ebay for a barely used pair of alden cordos...

Glad to hear it, I didn't mean to freak you out, sorry about that. There have been a couple of guys on the trad forum who had to end up sizing up with Alden cordovan loafers after they didn't stretch enough. It was an expenive lesson for them and one of the reasons I don't own any yet. I feel that I need to be able to try on a range of sizes before I buy and I haven't had access to the shoes.

Still insanely jealous about your boots.

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luckily, my shoes don't need to stretch out lengthwise, but just need to get a little looser widthwise.

hey familyman or ddml, quick question. is dark burgundy synonymous with the horween #8 color? i just want to make sure what kind of color i got... i see an "8" marked in the inside of the shoe, but i also see a "3"....

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#8 = dark burgundy

i can't account for your "3"

this is something from Alden-of-Carmel, it won't help you, but it may help others with reptilian brains:

The key to fitting Alden shoes is the knowledge that Alden uses several 'lasts'. The last is the form, in the shape of a foot, which the leather is stretched over to make the shoe. Lasts are made in different shapes. Some have broad, round toe areas, (toe box) and some lasts have more narrow and pointed toe boxes.

Because of the different last shapes, the Alden lasts fit differently, and vary in size, compared to the standard U.S. shoe sizes.

The most popular Alden lasts, and their relative sizes compared to usual U.S. shoe sizes are:

Plaza last - slightly longer than regular U.S. size

Aberdeen last - slightly longer than regular U.S. size

Hampton last - slightly longer than regular U.S. size

Van last - 1/4 to 1/2 size larger than regular U.S. size

Barrie last - about 1/2 size larger than regular U.S. size

Trubalance last - about 1/2 size larger than regular U.S. size

Truline last - about 1/2 size larger than regular U.S. size

Modified last - at least 1/2 size larger than regular U.S. size

Each Alden shoe is marked inside with its model number and size.

The model number is usually a three or four digit number such as 986, or 9901, etc...

The size is always written as the length of the shoe, and under that, the width of the shoe, such as:

9 10 1/2

or

C/E B/D

In these examples, 9 and 10 1/2 are the length, and C/E and B/D are the width.

In U.S. shoe sizing, the widths are: A & B = Narrow, C & D = Medium, E, EE & EEE =Wide.

Inside each Alden shoe, the width of the shoes are written as:

A/C, B/D, C/E, etc.....

The width is written as a 'fraction', and the bottom of that 'fraction', (the denominator) is the width of the shoe.

Example: C/E = E width, or B/D = D width

When you place your order, we will help you to determine your correct size, if you do not already know your size in the shoe you have ordered.

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#8 is the classic burgundy that is so linked to the leather that we now refer to burdundy shoes as 'cordovan' colored. From the shoes I've seen I think it's the best.

DDML, thanks for the sizing info, I still think I'd need to try on a pair before buying $500+ shoes. I'm weak like that. Gives me something to think about as I cruise e-bay for them though.

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Adam Knott of A-of-C is very helpful . their return policy allows for sizing issues, i don't believe they will charge you for shipping for exchanges. in any case, if you know your sizing for a particular last, you should be good to go, though i've read that cordovan versions of the same shoe tend to run a bit smaller even if built on the same last.

i'm really liking the cigar colored shell cordo chukkas at A of C.

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I went a size down from what I normally wear with my Indys. I typically wear an 8.5 in normal sneaker, 8 in chuck taylors, 9 D in cowboy boots and I went with an 8D. I probably could have gotten away with a 7.5D, including stretching and all.

This is my first day in them and I have already gotten a few compliments. Loving the comfort factor also. The boots are a little heavy with the neoprene insole.

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yeah, the indy's tend to run big. probably to account for the thicker socks you would probably wear with them.

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Does anyone here posess a pair of Whites Semi Dressed Boots. I am tossing up between a pair of Alden Chukka boots in Cigar /Cordovan or a pair of Whites Semi dressed boots. It seems the consenus so far in this forum is in favor of Alden. I have small feet size 7.5 and is afraid that the whites with its cuban hell will make it look smaller. Unfortunately I cant try any of the boots because I am from Australia.

Which ones are more versatile, which one will age better?

Thanks for any opinions.

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Tonight's feature presentation is:

Indiana Jones and his Indy boots.

Costarring:

Regular Ralf

2325RRDS_INDY_front.jpg

4814RRDS_INDY_side.jpg

and

Sugar Cane 47s

6891SugarCane_IndyFront.jpg

5046SugarCane_IndySide.jpg

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And also starring JeanShop!!!

2818JeanShop_Indyside_long.jpg

4360JeanShop_IndyFront.jpg

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Tonight's feature presentation is:

Indiana Jones and his Indy boots.

Costarring:

Regular Ralf

and

Sugar Cane 47s

Let me be the first to say holy fuck do those indys look good. I like the shell cordovans, but those are boots I'm going to have to buy.

Oh, I read earlier somewhere that you were an engineer, I'm a mech e myself.

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Here's some more with the Ralf:

8422RRDS_LongSide.jpg

2518RRDSLongFront.jpg

I guess you can see what my cat thinks of all y'all. He ain't too keen on people wearing animal hides... me included.

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Let me be the first to say holy fuck do those indys look good. I like the shell cordovans, but those are boots I'm going to have to buy.

Oh, I read earlier somewhere that you were an engineer, I'm a mech e myself.

I can't get over how nice they are. I was looking at them all day at work. I wonder if my boss saw me.

It's good to see that there are other engineering geeks out there like me. Man I couldn't stand thermodynamics and dynamics in school.

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Those Indy are nice. The Shell ones are really nice too, a bit too rich for my blood (or bank account rather) though

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GODDAMM RNRSWITCH!

it looks like you got the ones with the original color. the ones i saw had a lighter color to them. unless you darkened them somehow... gotta get those!

shit, your canes look fuckin' crazy, man. how do you do it??? my canes SUCK compared to yours.

*EDIT* i think it's time to repost your jeans to the evolution thread.

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It's good to see that there are other engineering geeks out there like me.

Fuck, now I understand. BsE in Geological Engineering here. Dammit.

Nice Indy's. I don't know how I'm ever going to save up for some good jeans if I keep getting exposed to boots like this.

The list gets longer. Dammit again.

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another engineer here, computer science--that counts right?

familyman, i would do what rnrswitch, myself and others have done and just get a pair of sugarcane 47s. a good classic repro that could eventually look like the pics above. that would be about $160 if you get them shipped from japan. add the indy's and you're good from the waist down!

rnrswitch, i still can't get over how good your canes look!

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Indy's look amazing!

I just placed an order for Miz's pair of ALden's. The model number is 4060 and it's in the #8 color. I'll post pics when I get them. Thanks for the hookup Miz.

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rnrswitch, nice looking boots!! And they look great with all your jeans, especially your canes and the jeans shop!

I have a pair of banana republic (got on sale for $16) lace up boots that look similar to the alden boots everyone is buying, of course my BR boots are nowhere near the quality of aldens. However, I like workboots to wear with my jeans, I have a nice pair of redwings I wear alot, and I would like to get some horse-hide realmccoy boots from japan. It's a really nice combination of my edo ai 40501a canes with my brown redwings, I'll try and post some pics soon....

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The real honest truth behind why I don't have a pair of jeans better than my STF's is that I have small chidren that do some truly vile things like wipe food on me and spit up on me and other things not that nice. Once we get done having kids and they get old enough to be in school or at least old enough to not throw up on me with regularity I'll get a good pair of raw jeans and do it right. I'm hoping that in the next 3 years or so the bottom will drop out on this whole premium raw denim thing and I'll be able to pick up a nice pair of selvedge for $50. Until then I can just wipe boots off and pretend it never happened.

Those are some really nice looking canes in the pictures though. Someday.

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This is like the most tempting thread right now. I've been relying on a cheap pair of BR chelsea's since December. May have to look for an Alden dealer in Los Angeles...

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Indy's look amazing!

I just placed an order for Miz's pair of ALden's. The model number is 4060 and it's in the #8 color. I'll post pics when I get them. Thanks for the hookup Miz.

hey, anytime, man!

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Thanks for all the compliments folks!! After looking at the pictures I don't think the boots look all that bad with the Jean Shops. They are my main jeans right now.

Miz, just keep truckin away at those canes they will blossom soon enough. Now I wash these bad boys almost after every five or so wears. About once every 3 weeks. You have to remember that I worked construction in them for the first 3.5 to 4 months of their life. That pretty much did it. I shall post pictures soon enough in the evolution thread.

Also, I believe the darker colored Aldens are the newer version, atleast that is what it said on www.indygear.com. I like the reddish brown color to them. They shall age beautifully!

My RRDS are lookin pretty good these days too and I am contemplating washing them for the first time. You can't really tell from the lighting though.

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great thread, great boots. brilliant of Miz to put this in superdenim, it's a perfect fit.

ddml's black captoes look very classic; i think the commando sole is a great choice, especially for winter.

i love miz's boots. the color and styling is amazing. i'm especially surpised at how much i like the color because i would never have thought it would work so well. and i'll add my voice about now worrying too much about the fit. as long as they're long enough, and weren't noticeably painful when you first bought them, i'm sure you'll eventually get the width you're looking for on the one foot.

and rnr's indy's look great also, again kind of a surprise as i thought they might come off sort of old-fashioned. great pics with the jeans.

some random thoughts:

i think alden cordovans have amazingly high resale value on ebay, and are listed relatively infrequently. it's a cult shoe. i bet that quoted auction gets into big dollars in the last day. i think hoping to get a bargain that way might not be too realistic.

cordovan has great heritage and some swear by it, but plain old calf leather isn't a bad option for those who don't want to commit yet to cordovan (some even prefer it). there are a number of great english shoe makers doing classic boots. www.pediwear.co.uk and www.plal.com are great sources (especially the latter for price).

for ddml's look, allen-edmonds (a maker comparable to alden) used to do a very similar calf leather captoe boot (with commando sole) called the "Andover". these come up on ebay now and then, and generally sell at very reasonable prices (sub-$100).

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aldmcaptoebootcalfskinmm1.jpg

^click me for linky

www.theshoemart.com offers these Alden calfskin boots for $400 in black or mahogany. these are basically the calfskin version of miz's boots. i was considering these, but they didn't have my size...

oh, and rnrswitch, very nice choice! your canes blow my mind-----nice job. i actually think the jean shops look best with the indys-----something in the way the selvage line interplays with the color of the boots. your ralfs are looking pretty sick as well.

this thread is getting long.

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great stuff, everyone. thanks for the info wooster. by learning more about shell cordovan, i actually learned more about calfskin as well. it's true, many prefer calfskin in certain respects. also, by learning about alden, i learned a lot about allen edmonds and how many people actually pref AE to alden (but i don't want to turn this into a AE vs. Alden thread!). also, the two brands you mentioned had not been mentioned before.

about styling, i think these classic style boots go naturally well with classic style jeans.

ddml, those look like my boots except the toe is more pointy. must be a different last. i actually like the look of the pointy toe which is more modern. one of the complaints about alden shell cordo's is that they are too chunky, but since my look is more casual anyways, i like it.

this thread *is* getting long. didn't know shoes get as deep as denim.

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i think what you hit on might be an underlying concept of wabi (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi) in both denim and shoes. maybe that's a theme that attacts many of us on the denim front, and you were intuitive enough to make the connection. i think this is some pretty original stuff you guys are posting.

btw, liked your blog entry on the boots.

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