Saturday, September 29, 2007

Today's Shoes

Alden two-eyelet chukka boot in dark brown calf with an extended split reverse welt and a commando sole (AF32 model, Barrie last). Alden's stock lineup doesn't ever change much and is notable for how conservative and boring it is. What really helps them is that they allow retailers to specify their own special make-ups, choosing pattern, last, leather, sole, and finishing. The only catch is that those retailers have to order a minimum number of shoes in each specification (I'm not sure what it is, but probably 6 or 12 pairs). This allows Alden to feed their admirers with new styles without taking a whole lot of risk. Alden of Carmel, which specified these boots, almost exclusively sells special make-ups, which they call Alden Fan shoes. I purchased these about six years ago, and they remain in good shape. The Barrie last is not the shapliest of lasts, and Alden's chukka boot pattern isn't exactly the sleekest -- there are three rows of stitching attaching the quarters to the vamp, for example. That's okay; these are still attractive boots, and Alden's dark brown calfskin is very clear and lustrous. Every time I wear them, I wonder why I don't do so more often.

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