B+M Alden Shoes care and Fit Guide.
In the Fact guides below you will find useful information about
sizing ("lasts") Care instructions and more.
If you have any questions not covered in the below guides don't hesitate to contact us anytime.
There are many benefits to Alden shoes from their quality materials and eye catching style to their Inherent comfort and longevity (re-craft ability). Whether making a fashion statement or discerning of well-crafted goods it is obvious form the start that Alden uses the highest quality leathers (such as; chromexcel, cordovan and suede) available in unique colors and finishes along with a variety of well-fitting lasts and old world craftsmanship. These quality materials combined with skilled craftsmanship teamed with Alden’s traditional aesthetic combines to create a high quality stylish shoe in a handsome and gentlemanly way all at a competitive price point.
Brick+Mortar offers exclusive styles developed with Alden shoes unique to our shop. This means we have an intimate knowledge of the product and pride ourselves on the highest quality customer service. We are more then happy to speak with you about Alden shoes anytime, suggest styles to compliment your wardrobe, share information about shoe care and set shopping appointments.
Brick+Mortar also offers Alden shoe care products, please ontact us for more information.
The key to fitting Alden shoes is the knowledge that Alden uses different "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 lasts have broad, round toe areas (toe box), and some lasts have more narrow and pointed toe boxes.
Because of the different last shapes, the various Alden shoe models fit differently, and vary in size. Some models fit approximately 1/2 size larger than others.
The most popular Alden lasts, and their relative sizes compared to usual U.S. shoe sizes are:
Leydon last - fits approximately like a standard US size
Plaza last - slightly longer than regular U.S. size
Aberdeen last - slightly longer than regular U.S. size
Van last - 1/4 to 1/2 size larger than regular U.S. size
Copley- fits approximately like a standard US size
Grant- slightly larger than your normal US size
Barrie last - about 1/2 size larger than regular U.S. size (U.S. size 10 = Barrie last size 9 1/2)
Trubalance last - about 1/2 size larger than regular U.S. size (U.S. size 10 = Trubalance size 9 1/2)
Modified last - at least 1/2 size larger than regular U.S. size (U.S. size 10 = Modified last size 9 1/2)
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
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
Material samples and sizing available at our Seattle location.
Cordovan leather is a unique material, which is tanned by the old-fashioned method of vegetable tannage, as opposed to the modern method of 'chrome' tannage. This means that cordovan leather already contains within it a large amount of oil/wax, and thus the polishing requirements of this leather are different from calfskin.
The most common mistake men make in caring for their cordovan shoes is using too much polish, and polishing the shoes too often. The excess polish creates a layer of build-up which has three negative effects: 1) it covers the natural beauty of the leather, 2) it creates a grainy texture in the creases of the shoes, 3) and the build-up of polish scuffs easily and attracts dust.
To avoid these effects, use only the thinnest film of polish when polishing your cordovan shoes. Just a very small amount, spread very thin over the shoe, is all that is needed to restore the color and luster to your cordovan shoes. You should not have to polish your cordovan shoes frequently, and often all that is needed is to brush and cloth them in order to remove scuffs and restore the shine.
After the polish is applied, let it dry. Once the polish is dry, we often wipe the excess polish off with a paper towel before brushing the shoes with our horsehair brush. Lastly, the remaining film of polish may be wiped away with a soft buffing cloth.
For shell cordovan shoes, Alden recommends using paste wax polish, and not shoe cream.
Here are the "don't s" of shell cordovan care:
1. Do not use 'neutral' polish
2. Do not clean cordovan shoes using saddle soap
3. Do not attempt to clean cordovan shoes using petroleum distillates or cleaning fluids
4. Do not use any spray shines or aerosol type waterproofs
5. Do not attempt to dry wet shell cordovan shoes with heat or a heater. Wipe them dry, and allow them to dry naturally
6. Do not attempt to polish shell cordovan shoes while wet
For cleaning shell cordovan shoes, Alden recommends using only a damp soft cloth.
Contact with water can sometimes cause cordovan leather to form small raised areas called 'welts'. (tiny bumps) This is normal, and the welts will recede once the shoes are allowed to dry. Wipe the shoes dry as soon as convenient, and allow to dry naturally.
Often on new shell cordovan shoes, a white, waxy substance will form. This is also normal; the residue from the tanning of the leather. To remove the white wax, simply wipe off with a paper towel. To remove the wax in difficult areas, such as between stitches, use a toothbrush.
Following these simple care instructions should prolong the beauty of your cordovan shoes, and help you to avoid the consequences of some common care misconceptions.
(care tips courtesy of 'Alden of Carmel')
Brick+Mortar carries a variety of Alden shoe care products
We will gladly exchange or issue store credit within 7 days for in-store purchase/ 14 days for mail orders. Store credits do not expire. No refunds. Shoes must be in the same condition with no signs of try-on. Pre-orders are considered final sale.
1210 4th ave Seattle WA, 98101
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