alden of new england

Look at this. It’s worthless — ten dollars from a vendor in the street. But I take it, I bury it in the sand for a thousand years, it becomes priceless. Like the Ark.

With great irony the quote above does not FIT the caliber and quality these boots represent. The Alden 405, or  the "Indy Boot" as it's colloquially called is manufactured by Middleborough, Massachusetts company Alden of New England. They've produced this style for roughly 80 years and it came to a national spotlight after it was made the preferred footwear choice of Harrison Ford for his time during the Indiana Jones film series. 

These are true heirloom pieces. For a number of years I've always counted myself as a distant fan wanting a pair of my own. The only thing holding me back for so long was the price. These are indeed a $500 plus pair of shoes. However as I got older, I came to understand the value of investment. Alden makes their shoes to last a very long time. If you put forth the effort to take care of them, oil them and get them resoled either at the Alden factory or a good local cobbler, you can't fathom the time you can have these. When I invest in something like this, my first inclination is not money I just dropped but I think of the wonderful thought of passing these on to my kids one day. A person can only be so lucky in a world of full of disposable things.

When it came time for Leah and I to wed two years ago I did not hesitate to buy a pair! This was the shoe I wanted to wear at my wedding. No what if's or doubts this was it! The pair I own above is a modified 403 model made for J Crew using Horween brown leather and a stained Goodyear welt. Oddly enough the day prior to my wedding, I thought I would not receive these boots in time. I had no idea where they were after they shipped. On the day of my wedding, I got a notice that they had arrived in San Diego but were not out for delivery until the next day. I called UPS and requested a pick up. Two hours prior to my wedding we haul assed down to their Chula Vista depot! I got them laced up, headed to Coronado and said my bride and I said our "I Do's"!

Interested in a pair yourself? Or another model from Alden's collection? Let me just mention Alden's footwear all vary in sizing due to their use of a variety of combination lasts. My Indy 403s are manufactured using Alden's Trubalance Last which is known as their largest and widest last. I size down half a size from my Brannock measure and it fits very well length wise. The only issue I tend to have is where my arch rests and the heel area. Since I have high arches I tend to have some heel slippage that require me to use a thin insole for a better fit. Had I sized down a full size I might not the heel slip I currently experience. After I completely wear out the heel I intend on having it lasted by a southern California cobbler known for his spectacular work in rebuilds and hand lasting.  

If you plan on making an investment in a product from Alden, I recommend trying on a pair from a local seller, a retailer with a solid return policy or ask around on the couple of online style forums that have a strong Alden community. It make take some time but I promise you will find the perfect fit. After that work on keeping that pair of shoes around well into retirement. It's worth it. 

If you have any further questions or need some recommendations, please don't hesitate to ask!