We live in crazy times. And while shoes and boots may not be the most important thing at the moment (for once), I know I’ve found more happiness in mine than honestly pretty much ever before. It’s been nice to have something to really give a shit about, however un-world-changing it may be.
Which makes it all the more troubling to see footwear stalwarts shut down—for reasons however good and necessary—in the pandemic. Including Alden. No factory running means no makeups.
So the gang at Alden Madison and I got an idea. At the factory in Middleboro, Mass, Alden has a treasure trove of makeups that, for various reasons, were made and green-boxed, but never saw their way to the streets. Which obviously meant we had to go into Alden’s archives to unleash three never-before-seen Alden makeups, to help satiate the growing Alden hunger.
I say with (almost) no bias whatsoever: all three are absolute killers, and they’re all available now at AldenMadison.com—in limited quantities, so don’t sleep.
Let’s take a look.
Alden’s round-toe 379x military last offers a unique dosage of classy chonk to a timeless pattern on the Patton—creating the ability to go formal—while the antique edge and commando soften things up a bit in just the right dosage. A more versatile shoe than it might first appear. I love these because they feel very Japanese. Color 8 shell, commando sole (I mean, George wouldn’t have it any other way), and and antique flat welt and edge.
These are the first that caught my eye when we saw the selection from Alden. This is also the most limited style—only one of most sizes—so if you’re into it I’d recommend moving, as it might never be back.
I’ll be honest: I never personally quite “got” the 750 chukka. And then I met these. Normally you’ll see the 750 on Aberdeen or a similarly slim dress last, and leather and sole choices that create a more formal shoe overall. These, on Barrie with a commando sole, represent something wonderfully casual and, indeed, fairly rugged. A total, wonderful left turn.
Great, great shoe for travel (if we ever get to do that again), and just kicking around town/the house. So cool. You may want to go an extra half-size down from your normal Barrie size unless that one’s really snug.
Oh and the name! Curt from Alden Madison almost got detained himself after hopping a fence to trespass on a prison’s property, to get photos of these chukkas. There are few shoemen as dedicated to their craft as Curt. Luckily he evaded capture, but if we need to start a bail fund in the future, we’ll let you know.
It’s terribly, terribly hard to pick a personal favorite from these three, but I did. And it’s these. The Scotch grain is just the absolute perfect shade, and to me, perfectly cuts and subdues to just the right level the formalness of the brogueing and medallion—which in some light absolutely pops, and other light quietly slinks back into the distance.
The brass is bold, in all the right ways. The 360 antique flat welt lends class but also a big of a more muscular profile. I love ’em. I’m picking up a pair myself, and plan to wear them with basically everything.
So that’s the crew! If people like what they’re seeing here, we may be able to do this again in the future, so definitely let us know.
They’re all on sale at AldenMadison.com right now—be sure to use code “stitchdown” to get a free pair of Alden shoe trees with any purchase.