Alden’s Brett Klein is one of the true mensches of the footwear world. A huge part of his job is to help retailers—and humble shoe podcasters who devise Stitchup boots—dream up and refine the incredible makeups that define Peak Alden for so many of us.

He’s also one of the shell cordovan-fading kings of this world, having put in the time (in the sun) to beautifully alter his color 8 shell boots, and documenting the whole thing along the way with the instagram hashtag #thefadedboot.

Faded Color 8 Alden Shell Cordovan Boots

This week, @tichoblancoshoes and I talk to Brett about how to get those exceptional fades—and if fading black shell cordovan works—as well as some of the archive gems he’s seen in the Alden factory, and how he’s seen the American shoemaking industry sadly ravaged by private equity and other forces. And of course what he’s got in his own closet, and the Alden boot he’d keep if he could only choose one forever.

Oh and one more big one: IS RARE SHELL CORDOVAN ACTUALLY RARE OR NOT??? Brett’s got all the answers.

Give it a listen below!


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This episode was sponsored by Grant Stone, one of the best overall values in fine footwear you can find anywhere. Check them out!

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