Alden

Alden sits rather nondescript on Madison Avenue. Inside, you will discover a tight space fully stocked with men’s shoes and accessories.

Alden was founded in 1884 by Charles H. Alden in Middleborough, Massachusetts.  Production continues today in Middleborough, though Alden’s flagship store is in New York. There, Alden supplies their largest stock of shoes.

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You will probably be greeted by Moises Acevado, who has been working at Alden for fifteen years!

Moises Acevado showed me around the store front, which was quite tiny (for a sense of scale, imagine three large steps across the room).

The store boasts a plethora of shoes and accessories. Alden has produced a total of 160 styles of shoes (which includes color varieties). Of these, 30-35 boot styles exist–the rest are dress shoes. Many shoes share the same style, but are rendered in different leather. Their leather is sourced from Horween Tannery in Chicago.

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Casual boots; the stitching on the apron of the shoes are hand-sewn

Alden’s three most popular shoes are their:

  1. Full-brogue wingtips
  2. Plain-toe blucher (in shell cordovan)
  3. Long-wing blucher (in shell cordovan)
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Plain-toe blucher

The reason why their bluchers are the best-selling, according to Curtis (the manager), is because the blucher can function as both a business and casual shoe.

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Curtis Bosch, current manager and also a fifteen-year Alden veteran

It is pleasing to see Alden doing well. It is an American company and has remained such. Moises jokes that the store doesn’t need him at all, because the shoes practically “sell themselves.” In general, Alden is too bulky for my taste, but I accept that people have their preferences.

10% of Alden customers are European, 30% are Asian, and 40-50% are local New Yorkers. Japanese clientele with keen interest in Alden are surging their sales.

Although 20% of transactions are online, Curtis recommends that customers visit and get fitted in store. Alden sizes run slightly bigger, so men usually have to size down.

Alden was the last shoe store I visited in New York. I must say, it was enjoyable meeting their jovial, passionate workers.

Alden’s website: https://aldenmadison.com/

 

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