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As part of the restoration, can Alden change the shoe size or last? In particular, can they change a 9.5D barrie-lasted shoe to a 9.5D plaza-lasted shoe? Can they change a 9.5D barrie-lasted shoe to a 9D barrie-lasted shoe? How about a half size smaller for the trubalance last? I am guessing adding or removing fudge welting is no problem? How about adding metal eyelets (to the PTB for example, ala the BB version)?
 

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You need a new shoe in your correct size. Recrafting is not about restyling a shoe.

At $125.00 recrafting removes the stitches in the welt, replaces the cork footbed, applies new soles and heels, and refinishes/polishes the leather. I believe changing a last shpae and size means more than which sole and heel is applied to the upper.

Alden's recrafting quality is not what it used to be. Bennie's Shoes in Atlanta, showed me where Alden did not remove all of the old stitching and sewed over it. Like Alden was hurrying their work. Still, unless you have access to a reliable cobbler, Alden's recrafting is a viable option.
 

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Though Alden cannot alter the original last shape during the restoration process, they can change the size (width) of the shoe upon request. This is particulary helpful is the shoe in question is shell cordovan, which can stretch a bit during initial wear.

There are archived posts on this; I have successfully had Alden "tighten up" the width on several pair of shoes when restored...generally speaking, almost a full width size.

As far as the restoration process, it never restores shows to unworn condition. I think many people have unrealistic expectations (all wrinkles removed, all lining materials replaced, etc.). The shoes have been worn... restoration never brings them back to showroom (brand new) condition, no matter what the manufacturer states.

Best to call Alden to discuss and clarify what will and won't be accomplished.

Regards,

harrycoverts
 

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As part of the restoration, can Alden change the shoe size or last? In particular, can they change a 9.5D barrie-lasted shoe to a 9.5D plaza-lasted shoe? Can they change a 9.5D barrie-lasted shoe to a 9D barrie-lasted shoe? How about a half size smaller for the trubalance last? I am guessing adding or removing fudge welting is no problem? How about adding metal eyelets (to the PTB for example, ala the BB version)?
I agree that they can tighten up but I don't think they will relast the shoe. Best thing to do is call ahead and ask your specific questions or if you want to use them, send your shoes off with specific instructions and contact info so you can discuss.

A good local cobbler can add / remove metal eyelets / hooks for you on your boots.
 

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I agree that they can tighten up but I don't think they will relast the shoe. Best thing to do is call ahead and ask your specific questions or if you want to use them, send your shoes off with specific instructions and contact info so you can discuss.

A good local cobbler can add / remove metal eyelets / hooks for you on your boots.
Mike-

When the shoes are sent in for the restoration, the repair work is done while the shoes are re-lasted...that is, the shoes are placed on the original lasts, in the same size as the shoes when they were manufactured. If you request a tighter fit, Alden uses the same last, but in a narrower size....the uppers are pegged down tighter on the last. In either case, the shoes are re-lasted.

Regards,

harrycoverts
 

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You need a new shoe in your correct size. Recrafting is not about restyling a shoe.

At $125.00 recrafting removes the stitches in the welt, replaces the cork footbed, applies new soles and heels, and refinishes/polishes the leather. I believe changing a last shpae and size means more than which sole and heel is applied to the upper.

Alden's recrafting quality is not what it used to be. Bennie's Shoes in Atlanta, showed me where Alden did not remove all of the old stitching and sewed over it. Like Alden was hurrying their work. Still, unless you have access to a reliable cobbler, Alden's recrafting is a viable option.
Well said.

This is the first time I am hearing about quality issues with alden's recrafting ... maybe the shoes you saw in Bennie's were a one-off mishap? And do they really replace the cork footbed?
 

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I had a pair of shoes recrafted by Alden about a year and a half ago. They went in with leather soles and came back with crepe, OOPS!
I was not that impressed. Maybe I am one of those "High Hopes" people. I sent a letter with the shoes requesting they be taken from a size 10 to a 9.5. I was told this could not be done. I also requested a new leather footbed be placed in the shoe. Again I was told this is not something they do.

I personally have a love/frustration thing going with Alden. I usually get my Alden shoes from Brooks Brothers. I ALWAYS have to go through 2 or 3 pair to find a pair that does not have scatches or imperfections (usually on the shell cordovan).

Bottom line: Alden's attention to detail is not what it should be for the price they charge for a pair of shoes.

I still love them. I will still buy them.
 

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Mike-

When the shoes are sent in for the restoration, the repair work is done while the shoes are re-lasted...that is, the shoes are placed on the original lasts, in the same size as the shoes when they were manufactured. If you request a tighter fit, Alden uses the same last, but in a narrower size....the uppers are pegged down tighter on the last. In either case, the shoes are re-lasted.

Regards,

harrycoverts
Thanks for that clarification Harry - The point I was trying to make and mis-stated was that Alden is reluctant to re-last a shoe to a completely different Last (barrie to plaza) or to make any dramatic changes to the sizing of a shoe. I spoke to them a few years ago about re-lasting a CDI to a Modified Last and they were unable to accommodate the request - just too dramatic a change in shape to get a good result.

Also asked them to re-last a rubber sole shoe that I found had too much depth (in modified last) to a leather sole shoe (same size) in the same last. The rubber sole shoe was made to accommodate an Alden Supplied insert and it really never fit me like my normal modified last shoes with leather sole. They've have worked out OK but I've never been 100% satisfied with them.
 

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The number one reason why Alden cannot (or will not) change sizes or widths is because the uppers are cut using a different pattern for each length and each width and therefore cannot be used on different lasts. Thus a shoe that is stocked in lengths 8-12 and widths A-EEE, for example, would need some 63 different patterns (= 9 lengths X 7 widths) to cut the leather uppers for all the sizes, i.e.:
8A, 8B, 8C, 8D, 8E, 8EE, 8EEE
8.5A, 8.5B, 8.5C, 8.5D, 8.5EE, 8.5EEE
9A, 9B, 9C, 9D, 9E, 9EE, 9EEE
...a different pattern for each, etc.

According to our members, in some cases Alden has been able to fiddle with the widths a bit, such as going from an 8.5D to an 8.5C, but those specific cases are probably only possible due to quirks of a particular last and not a general capability. Do not hope for it, in other words.

The reality is if a pair of shoes does not fit you, and stretching by a cobbler does not work, then you must buy a new pair in a different size.
 

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According to our members, in some cases Alden has been able to fiddle with the widths a bit, such as going from an 8.5D to an 8.5C, but those specific cases are probably only possible due to quirks of a particular last and not a general capability. Do not hope for it, in other words.

QUOTE]

Alden can tighten up the shoes approximately one width size...this is a general capability. The upper material (calfskin vs. shell cordovan) is also a factor. But it has to be done on the same style last on which the shoe was manufactured.

In manufacturing shell cordovan shoes, the shell upper is not pulled and pegged as tightly as calfskin onto the last. This is because shell is generally not as supple as calfskin (particulalry when new) and has a tendancy to rip if pulled too tightly. When shell cordovan shoes are worn and stretch a bit, the excess (as well as the increase in suppleness due to breaking them in) allows them to be timmed up a bit. I've had several pair of shells width-tightened (not shortened...this cannot be done) by Alden. Have never been refused or had a problem.

Bottom line...I agree that there is no substitute for buying the correct size and managing one's own expectations.

Regards,

harrycoverts
 
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