Buying an identical pair of shoes as backup?

Discussion in 'Andy's Fashion Forum' started by Voyager, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Voyager

    Voyager Starting Member

    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. rgrossicone

    rgrossicone Advanced Member

    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. Andy

    Andy Site Creator/Administrator Staff Member

    United States
    Palm Desert
    Admin Post
    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.
  4. M6Classic

    M6Classic Super Member

    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.

  5. laufer

    laufer Active Member with Corp. Privileges


    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. rip

    rip Advanced Member

    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.
  7. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Honors Member

    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. M6Classic

    M6Classic Super Member

    Yes, do mind those anabolic steroids and those nasty pituitary tumors!

  9. cdcro

    cdcro Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    +1 in two month's I have AE longwings to last a lifetime
  10. morgan

    morgan Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    Great Britain
    Greater London
    My God....'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.
  11. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Honors Member

    Good point. More than one man has boggled at paying for Alden only to look back and laugh while wearing EGs or Lobbs.
  12. TweedyDon

    TweedyDon Honors Member

    United States
    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.
  13. Brooksfan

    Brooksfan Super Member

    United States
    Arlington Heights
    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.
  14. WhoKnows

    WhoKnows Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    United States
    San Fransico
    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.
  15. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    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.
  16. haruki

    haruki Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    United States
    CA - California
    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 and checking out the C&Js.
  17. cdavant

    cdavant Advanced Member

    United States
    Blowing Rock
    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.
  18. eagle2250

    eagle2250 Connoisseur - Moderator

    Harmony, FL
    United States
    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 will have the best of both worlds!
  19. In the past 10-15 years my feet have changed enough that I take two sizes wider - yours might too.
  20. NewYorkBuck

    NewYorkBuck Senior Member

    United States
    Canton, PA
    I did this one time with a suit and I have regretted it. Wont do it again....

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