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  1. #1
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    February 23rd, 2008
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    Default Buying an identical pair of shoes as backup?

    Hi all, I need some advice...

    Though I've recently purchased a pair of Alden's 405's, I'm now considering buying a backup pair. The thing is, I won't be getting a backup pair to wear regularly, nor even infrequently, but rather to use it literally as a backup pair, for use only when my current pair wears out.

    My question is, do you suppose that if I buy a pair of 405's now, and not wear them for a few years (treating them with Pecards at least bi-annually) will they still be in 'brand-new' condition when I do come around to wearing them?

    So do you suppose that this regiment will be worth it, giving me a pair of boots in the same condition that I got them in when I decide to use them? Or will the leather decay and shrink regardless, making it better if I just had waited and bought a brand new pair when the time comes?

    Has anybody tried anything similar? Or know of what might happen? Do tell!

  2. #2
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    January 27th, 2008
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    My uncle swears by it (my mens wear mentor). he will find a pair of shoes/blazer he loves, and buys 3 or 4 of them (exactly the same). he rotates them everytime he wears them and it makes garment/shoe life last 4 times as long.

  3. #3
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    I tend to buy more than one if I like the item. But since we have two homes it's a great excuse!! :icon_smile_big:

    I'd do it, but I'd wear the shoes every once in a while. It's just good to check for mildrew, etc.
    Andy
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  4. #4
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    February 15th, 2008
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    As I write this message, I am wearing a pair of Alden cordovans that are more than thirty years old. They have been back to Alden for refurbishment about once every seven or eight years, but otherwise receive nominal care of hemi-semi-annual polishing, at least three or four days rest, and shoe trees. Over time, the shoes just look better and better.

    Are you certain that you are going to wear out your 405s? Good shoes well tended could last nearly your lifetime and improve with age. Are you certain that your tastes will not change over the course of ten or more years? Are you certain that Alden or another company will not offer something you like even more? For instance, you can now get those Indy boots in a variety of shells.

    I for one would be sure of the answers to these questions before I put an additional three hundred bucks into a "back-up" pair.

    Buzz

  5. #5
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    February 20th, 2008
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    Voyager,

    I think it is overkill unless you can get buy one get one free deal or you are madly in love with particular shoes.

  6. #6
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    July 13th, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgrossicone View Post
    My uncle swears by it (my mens wear mentor). he will find a pair of shoes/blazer he loves, and buys 3 or 4 of them (exactly the same). he rotates them everytime he wears them and it makes garment/shoe life last 4 times as long.
    If my AE Coles are an example, I get around 20 or so years of wear from a pair of shoes (with a couple of recraftings); I can't imagine having the same style of shoe around me for 60-80 years.
    Train your eye in color, shape and balance, then train your brain to trust your eye.

  7. #7
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    A couple of thoughts:

    Some folks report that their feet change size dramatically with time. What fits today might not fit 30 years from now.

    You mentioned that you recently bought the Aldens. Did you, by chance, just happen to become interested in good shoes? If so, you -- like so many of us -- might find it an addictive hobby, and ultimately end up with more shoes than you could ever wear out. It happens more quickly than you might think.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post
    A couple of thoughts:

    Some folks report that their feet change size dramatically with time. What fits today might not fit 30 years from now.
    Yes, do mind those anabolic steroids and those nasty pituitary tumors!

    Buzz

  9. #9
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    January 23rd, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post
    A couple of thoughts:

    Some folks report that their feet change size dramatically with time. What fits today might not fit 30 years from now.

    You mentioned that you recently bought the Aldens. Did you, by chance, just happen to become interested in good shoes? If so, you -- like so many of us -- might find it an addictive hobby, and ultimately end up with more shoes than you could ever wear out. It happens more quickly than you might think.
    +1 in two month's I have AE longwings to last a lifetime

  10. #10
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    Default My God....

    ...it's hard enough putting my spare cash into buying the best I can (or can't) afford. Don't ask me to buy two pairs of C&Js at once!

    More seriously, tastes change with age too. What I like now I might not in a few years' time.
    'Uncle Edouard said a gentleman's shoes should never carry too much shine.'

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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by morgan View Post
    ...it's hard enough putting my spare cash into buying the best I can (or can't) afford. Don't ask me to buy two pairs of C&Js at once!

    More seriously, tastes change with age too. What I like now I might not in a few years' time.
    Good point. More than one man has boggled at paying for Alden only to look back and laugh while wearing EGs or Lobbs.

  13. #12
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    I know just what you mean--I do this with my college, school, and club ties. And then I get a backup for the backup! :icon_smile: (Seriously. I'm so pathetic!) I also do this with my tweed jackets, for the patterns I like--or, at least, i try to, since pretty much all of my clothes are thrifted, and so I often get something "close enough".

    The one thing I don't do this with is shoes. One reason is price--I just can't afford to this, even at the second-hand level with Aldens and AEs. (And my four pairs are all from thrift stores or these fora!) But I also think, rightly or wrongly, that shoes won't do well not being worn over a period of some time.

  14. #13
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    Buy them now and alternate them and care for them and together you will attain four times the wear you would have from wearing one out and then putting the other into use. I bought some Alden calfskins that didn't fit (for years I forced myself into 12Ds when I really needed 13Ds) and kept them in the closet against the time I'd lose enough wait to make them work. Eighteen years later they looked as good as new and I was able to orchestrate a trade with an accommodating sales point and there were no ill effects. Not sure if shell would be the same but these were all black calf.

  15. #14
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    I have had the same thought. Should I get a second pair of shoes for later use. I have done this with boots that I like and they are still in the box and look fine.

  16. #15
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    I regularly rotate two pairs of chestnut C&J semi-brogues. They are great workhorses and I don't really mind the sameness of my shoes.
    Yet another starving grad student... wearing English shoes.

  17. #16
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    Let me get this straight, you have the budget to buy a second pair of great shoes, and you are not plotting how to best diversify your current footwear collection?

    You obviously have not been drinking the correct kool-aid. The proper color is navy blue.

    I'm with Morgan. Wait a bit, read some more posts, and if you still want the second 405s, go ahead.

    I the meantime, I suggest going over to plal.com and checking out the C&Js.

  18. #17
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    Smile

    I can see buying two and alternating wearing them. And while you're at it, put trees religiously into only one pair. Take pictures every few months--and in a few years we'll have an evidenced based answer as to how much difference trees really make.
    Over the last 40 years my feet have gone from 8.5B to 8.5EEE, thanks to a couple of dozen marathons and bunions. Alternating now makes a lot more sense than hoping you'll still be the same shoe size 15 years from now. It will be closer than your waist size, but you wouldn't stockpile pants today for 2020.
    Always First Class, Never full price

  19. #18
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    There is nothing inherently wrong with buying pairs of back-ups, for your favored shoe models and it can save you money. I've done this on a number of occassions with my AEs, when AE would discontinue a shoe and I could get a second pair at an extreme discount. Two pair of my AE "back-ups" (new, first quality shoes) were purchased at well under $100 this way! As to purchasing back-ups for your Alden 405s, as others have suggested, now that you have a pair in calf, consider a second pair in one of the shell cord offerings...you will have the best of both worlds!

  20. #19
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    In the past 10-15 years my feet have changed enough that I take two sizes wider - yours might too.

  21. #20
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    I did this one time with a suit and I have regretted it. Wont do it again....

  22. #21
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    I used to do this with certain items a while back but since I have been limiting my recent purchases to higher quality items I buy with the expectation that they will last many years to come and hope they wont need to be replaced anytime soon. Also as I add more pieces everything gets worn less frequently as a result. That being said, every summer I buy 3 new pairs of sperry topsiders as I like the look of pristine boat shoes and find that they look dingy after only a couple months of wear.

    MrR
    "Give me the luxuries in life and I'll gladly go without the necessities"

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by haruki View Post
    You obviously have not been drinking the correct kool-aid. The proper color is navy blue.
    That's pretty good. :icon_smile_big:

    I ruined a favourite pair of unusual shoes long before they reached a natural end of life. I was fortunate enough to find the same model still in stock. If I hadn't, I would have been disappointed... but not disappointed enough to consider purchasing in multiples in future. It's just not worth it, I think.

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post
    More than one man has boggled at paying for Alden only to look back and laugh while wearing EGs or Lobbs.
    Sounds very familiar.

  25. #24
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    If it were some special run that'll never come around again, I'd think about it. But Alden 405's? If and when you ever really wear these out, you'll be able to buy a new pair (If I know Alden, they'll still be making them)

  26. #25
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    Ken Pollock has reported having multiple pairs of many identical pairs of Church's shoes. I think he said he had something like six pairs of Diplomats.
    A dandy does not a gentleman make. -- RSS

    The spirit is willing, but the flesh is spongy and bruised. -- Zap Brannigan

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