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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello people. Long time lurker, new member. I'm trying to justify the steep price of the Alden Indy boots and would like some comments on the boots mainly on:

1. Durability. How durable is the leather/stitching and the sole? Does the leather scratch easily, do stitches loosen easily and does the sole wear down fast?

How durable is the canvas lining, lacing and shoe lace holes?

2. Price value. Does the price reflect the craftsmanship of the shoe or is it built more on hype, style and reputation (since 1800's) like other high end designer footwear?

3. Comfort. Is the shoe comfortable to wear? Easy to break in?

4. Design. Is it too "trad", "preppy" or "hipsterish" (need a boot that looks rugged enough and one that doesn't really adhere to a particular niche fashion style )? I'm looking for a versatile boot that can be worn with any casual/smart casual outfit ala Johnny Depp and his combat boots.

I have read previous threads on the Indy's and feel that if I get replies on this new thread I will be more able to justify the steep price on these lovely boots. Thank you
 

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Sartorial Sultan<br> Moderator, Trad Forum
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I've had mine for just a few weeks, and really like them a lot. I can't speak to the durability of the lining, but the shoes are very comfortable. So far I've been very impressed with how little wear the soles show. I think they'll hold up nicely.

Alden isn't 'designer footwear', it's Alden. They're solidly constructed, as solidly as any shoe you can buy. You might find the finishing to be slightly rough at times, but I don't think this is a problem at all when it comes to something like the Indy boot.l

The reason they became the 'Indy boot' in the first place is because they are the work boots that Harrison Ford already used; he simply brought them to the set with him.

The only boot that might compete with it is the RedWing Gentleman Traveler. It has a lot of fans, but I've not seen a pair personally.
 

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I own two pairs of Indy boots. They are very, very comfortable and wear nicely. The soles are durable, but the rubber on the heels wear out faster than the heels on Alden's cordovan shoes. The Indy boot represent good value if you can get them at American prices.

You could also check out the boots from White's.

Good luck.
 

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I'll second Alan's statement about sole wear - practically nonexistent. The heels (made of rubber) show normal wear.

I would say that leather is probably the better one (if not the best) you will find on a work boot, and construction is all Alden, robust, good materials.

As far as style goes, if you like it, get it.
 

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Aldens are generally very durable - I'd expect a pair of Indy boots to last 10 to 20 years easily, with occasional resoling (best done by Alden themselves). As such they are a great value. They will most likely be more comfortable for you than other similar boots, but you should try a pair yourself to see how they feel. As for style, Alden of Carmel may have other colors than the standard tan with contrast stitching (I think there was even a Shell Cordovan version made), so look at the options first to see which appeals to you most - the usual Indy boot looks more like a standard work boot, not something to wear with dressy pants and such. I have a pair and the only issue I have is that the standard sole is not as good on smooth wet surfaces as a vibram commando type sole (I would avoid wearing them on icy surfaces, especially).
 

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I've had my Indy boots for close to seven years, at this point, and am still on the original soles. The heels have been replaced twice. Responding to this thread, I pulled the boots out of the closet and just examined the duck lining very closely. While I cannot deny a bit of staining from more that six years of sweat, there is no discernible wearing away of the lining. The duck cloth has proven extremely durable. The leather has aged incredibly well, incurring multiple scratches and scuffs on a recurrent basis (these shoes have not been babied!) but, responding well to the application of leather conditioner and polish, on an as needed basis. The current patina is far more desirable than the "brick" finish the boots originally came with. Today they sport a 'beaten walnut' appearance! Alden's 405, Indy boots are worth every penny you pay for them.
 

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I just ordered a pair in #8 Shell from J Gilbert Footwear in seattle. Now thats an expensive boot!
 

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that's what I keep telling my wife, I'm not sure she buys it
You could show her a pair of lime green Christian Laboutins, which I'm sure cost about the same, and are far less versatile.

Except you might suddenly start noticing she's wearing a lot of lime green and complaining about how she needs just the right shoes for all these outfits...
 

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When I was younger my dad would make me save up twice the cost of whatever I wanted to buy before I could buy it. I assumed he was teaching me the value of saving, but after 3 months of marriage I have already realized that it was to teach me that if I wanted $350 boots it would require another $350 of Kate Spade merchandise.
 

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You could show her a pair of lime green Christian Laboutins, which I'm sure cost about the same, and are far less versatile.

Except you might suddenly start noticing she's wearing a lot of lime green and complaining about how she needs just the right shoes for all these outfits...
When I was younger my dad would make me save up twice the cost of whatever I wanted to buy before I could buy it. I assumed he was teaching me the value of saving, but after 3 months of marriage I have already realized that it was to teach me that if I wanted $350 boots it would require another $350 of Kate Spade merchandise.
I have to grease my wife with trips, clothes don't work. :icon_smile_wink:
 

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When I was younger my dad would make me save up twice the cost of whatever I wanted to buy before I could buy it. I assumed he was teaching me the value of saving, but after 3 months of marriage I have already realized that it was to teach me that if I wanted $350 boots it would require another $350 of Kate Spade merchandise.
Your father was a very wise man, very wise indeed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the replies. Ive been eyeing this boot for quite some time but wasn't able to make a final decision until now (mainly due to the neoprene sole issue). I am now awaiting a pair to arrive so everything should be good.
 

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In the Spring of 1998 I ordered a pair of these boots, based on positive reviews found on the IndyGear site. Loved'em. So I ordered another pair a month later, at my next paycheck. Then I bought a third pair a month later. I have worn these boots every work day since, rotating wear among the three pairs of course so they could recuperate, and stuffing them with shoe trees on their "off days." I paid $190 per pair (just looked up the old receipts... yes, I AM that organized). Since I tend to look at most things as "unfinished kits" that need to be customized to my own desires, these shoes all received this treatment shortly after I bought them: 1. all were dyed a deeper burgundy color, since the original pumpkin color was unacceptable - I bought a pint of shoe dye for 5 bucks and did it myself, 2. all were filled with hot water (horrors!), which was then dumped after a good 5 minute soak, and then worn until dried and molded to my own feet and ankles (an old Army trick to get comfortable boots right off the bat), and 3. all were treated to some abuse with a rough fist-sized chunk of limestone to make them look less new... I added some scratches and gouges all over the outside, which blended all together after a good polishing and gave them an amazing aged patina.

I have simply lost track of the number of compliments I've received on these boots. And they have held up remarkably well, needing only new heels every few years.

A few months ago I decided that one of the pairs was needing replacement, though. A back seam was starting to go loose, and heck, after 10 years I wanted a new pair. So with full disclosure I sold them on eBay (less than an hour after I listed them, and for $175!!!) and bought some new ones. Yikes, the price has gone up some. Still, worth every penny, especially considering their resale value.

Mr. J
 
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