986 Color 8 Shell Cordovan

Alden Restoration • Cordovan

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alden before jserg cKenny taught me a valuable lesson.  Because something is more expensive doesn’t mean it isn’t worth more.  Better products can be cheaper to own.  Look at shoes, for instance (coming from great shoe salesman).  They hold up better and can be restored to new condition.  You get added benefits: comfort, looks, better foot health.

alden restoration new loafer 1KENNY SHERMAN stood from a position of facts delivered with passion.  Yet again, his words prove true.  After ten weeks absence, my ’09 cordovan loafers are back.  For quarter the price of new, my old shoes were restored.  Treated to skillful craftsmanship and shoemaking experience from the factory which manufactured them over a lustrum ago, they are now virtually brand new.


Taken apart, cleaned, dyed, reassembled with all worn parts replaced, then polished.  Boxed in correct retail packaging in tissue with new cloth dust bags and cedar shoe trees.  A complete “new purchase” experience.  Except these were my shoes.  Not new shoes.

You know how shoes start falling apart in a year?  Right about the time they become your favorites?  Aldens typically last me three years.  After recrafting, they come back as new shoes but their uppers are “broken into” to my feet.  Cork, outsoles, insoles, heels, all replaced, all sewn together on the original last (shoe mold).  Pre-broken-in new shoes.  What a concept!  An ultimate “body off” restoration.

Once again, a pleasure for rambling about windy concrete canyons and shady flagstone parks.  Don’t your feet deserve the best?

Alden Cordovan Loafers

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alden.986.bPlanned Obsolescence.  The manufacturer’s credo.  Just about the time a pair of shoes begin to feel perfect, they fall apart.  Without need, there is no demand.  The decision-making process to buy  will not exist.

A sales position beckoned after an injury forced me to take a break from rigorous tradesman labors.  The product formerly installed would now, through new skills taught by Sales Training Managers, be sold (by me) for others to install.  I breezed through instruction, and two weeks later hit the pavement running.  And running.  And running.  Until my dress shoes fell apart.  The old adage, “Wanna be a success, start your day with a decent breakfast and a good shine on your shoes” was not quite working, with the upper detached from the sole.  The other salesmen started calling me Flappy.

Decades of living finally produced one new thought.  Shoes start to fall apart just when they begin to feel really comfortable.  So began the decision-making process with me.  I was to become a buyer of  premium-quality shoes.  The salesmen saw me coming!

logosmallI choose Alden of New England, shoes made since 1884 in Massachusetts.  They are recraftable,  a construction that is designed to allow rebuilding. Which I’ve done once so far;  the shoes came back looking, literally, brand new.  Most importantly, Alden is an American company that stands behind their work.  When a bit of stitching came loose, I posted the shoes back to Alden with a note, and they came back repaired and shined up, no charge.

You get what you pay for.  Premium shoes feel better on your feet, and, with care, will last for decades.  Run the numbers and you’ll see, it is less expensive to buy quality.

Alden is now the only original New England shoe and bootmaker remaining of the hundreds who began so long ago. Still a family owned business, still carrying forward a tradition of quality genuine-welted shoemaking that is exceptional in every way.