In a recent blog entry, I rated Alden shoes No. 4 in my top five American shoemakers, largely on the basis of availability. That does not diminish this shoemaker's commitment to quality, which has been established since 1884.
Chances are I'll have to order Aldens in a narrower width than what is readily available in select menswear stores. I did happen to pick up a C width (Aberdeen last) at Houston Shoe Hospital on Westheimer & Chimney Rock, the only one in my size.
Since I'm on my feet a lot while working, I usually gravitate toward rubber-soled shoes over those with leather soles, though leather soles are more breathable. I was in an old-school mood, so I got this pair of Aldens, a calfskin Norwegian blucher that happened to be on sale. Turns out these shoes are quite comfortable during a walk through a mall.
Before purchasing my shoes, I had considered Alden's All-Weather Walker, which is on a Barrie last. I wasn't totally comfortable with the fit, which had discouraged my interest in this brand.
Now that I'm "soled" on the Aberdeen last (which is also the same last used for the shell cordovan tassel loafers that Alden makes for Brooks Brothers), my confidence is restored. I have seen other men wear Aldens, admired their durability.
Now it's my turn.