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Cordovan/ Alden/ Allen Edmonds

22930 Views 23 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  joeyzaza
Is cordovan worth it, and what is the real advantage? Is it durability, shine, status, or something else?

I will be purchasing either the Alden full strap slip on, or the Allen Edmonds Randolph. The shoes look almost identical and are both available in calf and cordovan. I'd like recomendations on either of these shoes, and the pros and cons (if any) on cordovan. Links to each shoe below.

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Let's not overlook another option: the AE which is available in shell cordovan. It has a longer vamp compared to the Alden LHS (and probably more room over the instep) which may be more desirable to some members. The only drawback is it can only be ordered from the AE website, but if you know your AE lasts then it's probably a safe enough bet.
I noticed a scratch that I had made on the vamp from brushing against something hard. Today wearing them I'm noticing that the mark is almost impossible to see, I'm not sure calf would recover the same way, it's almost as if they've healed.
From my experience, calf will certainly scratch more easily than shell. Depending on how deep the scratch is, an application of shoe crème to the scratch on calf, that is then buffed out, will mask it to varying degrees.
Very helpful and informative
Nice job, Crownship.

Thanks for all the help. I'm leaning toward the Alden's. I will try the full strap and the other version noted.
Thanks and you're welcome. I'm sure you'll enjoy them. Many here do.

CS, thanks for taking the time to make that well educated post, replete with excellent photos. You, mac, Tom (Leathersoul) and BC should write a "Beginners guide to shell cordovan" and get it pinned on the trad forum :)
Next to Mac I'm also a beginner.
This is a great discussion. I wear both shell and calf. I prefer the shell for the reasons noted above. They look and feel unique and substantial. While I believe you cannot go wrong with AE or Alden, I have to say I like my Aldens better. However, both are great shoes with loyal customers and I will purchase both in the future.
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