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I have seen pictures of beautifully aged #8 and whiskey cordovan. Do the other colors change with age too? I am thinking specifically of cigar brown and ravello. I am guessing that black stays black, especially if polished routinely. Thanks alot for the info.

Joel
Shell obsessed? Me?
 

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I have seen pictures of beautifully aged #8 and whiskey cordovan. Do the other colors change with age too? I am thinking specifically of cigar brown and ravello. I am guessing that black stays black, especially if polished routinely. Thanks alot for the info.

Joel
Shell obsessed? Me?
From my experience both cigar and revello do change color as they age.
 

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I bought a pair of Alden ravello bluchers from the Shoe Mart about a year ago, and already I can see the change in color. The shoe has gotten darker but also much more complex...

I have some (secondhand) cigar Indys but haven't had them long enough to comment on their patina.
 

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^My cigar wingtip boots (acquired courtesy of Alden and LeatherSoul!) seem to be evolving from an original medium to dark brown hue to a medium brown w/hints of olive tones to them. This evolution seems to be occurring much more rapidly than the aging out of the patina on my AE Leeds in #8 shell. The #8 color of my ALden LHS's seems relatively unchanged at this point and they were purchased just three months after the boots.
 

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I know these don't really qualify as tradwear, but I'd be curious to see how some really exotic shell evolves, such as this navy blue stocked by Ron Rider...



Not $675 worth of curious mind you... :icon_smile_wink:
 

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I am guessing that black stays black, especially if polished routinely.
As other said before all shell colors develop a patina - I just want to add a few comments about black.

I have only one pair of black shell cordovan, but I noticed that it is getting more translucent with age (almost like the shine is on a layer above the hide - and, no, I do not use a lot of wax) - so there is some aging on black too.

BTW, my cigar shells went from a lot of "olive", to a more dark brown, with age.
 

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Ok I have a little time on my hands today so I'll post some pics...:icon_smile_big:

I agree with the comments of the "olive-ization" of Alden Cigar shell cordovan. I have two pairs that have taken on a slightly more olive hue than the original cigar, this is clear when comparing them to a third new pair I have yet to wear.

Olive - approx 1.5 yrs heavy use each :





vs. new unworn:



I also have a pic of some C&J for Polo shell boots that I posted previously, either here or at Style Forum, which shows this brown shade darkening and maybe becoming more burgundy hued? over time. From left to right: New, approx. 5 yrs, and approx 10 yrs. + very heavy use. They are of course three different pairs, and in my experience there is some initial color variation even among identical models when new, so they may "start out" from different shades.

 

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Cross post from the "Photos of Alden Color 8 shell cordovan over time" thread:

I got my boots back from Alden recrafting. I can't decide whether or not to be happy or upset about it. I asked them not to adjust the color. This was the before:


And this is the after:


They did a magnificent job recrafting them, but I did ask them not to change the color. They clearly re-dyed the shell. They're pretty close to the color that they were when I got them. I guess I can always try to leave the boots out in the sun again and try to get them back to where they were.

Oh, and another sad part about sending them back for recrafting is that they lost their nice LeatherSoul heel pad.
 

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I think vendors must treat "Don't do X" instructions as "Don't do X unless in our better judgment we decide it's necessary." I took a tie in for cleaning and asked them not to press it. Mostly they complied, but on the part where they couldn't steam out a wrinkle--they got out the iron.
 

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Same thing happened to me when I sent my original Color 8 LHS's in for recrafting. Included a letter explicitly requesting they not re-dye the leather, because I liked the color they were. Asked them to finish the heel and sole in natural, like they do on the Cigar shells. Confirmed these requests would be honored on the phone with Alden as well. A month later they came back colored dark eggplant, with stock black heel and sole edge. Oh, and also a rough-cut patch of suede someone felt the need to sew into the heel for some reason. Another letter, another call, another month. Shoes came back eggplant, black heels, no heel patch.

Oh Alden, I can't stay mad at you! Still my favorite shoes.
 

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This is universal. NOBODY understands the words "Do not touch the uppers. Don't change the color. Do not polish." Nobody.

Took a pair of well-patinated #8 chukkas to be re-heeled at the well-regarded Alden dealer where I had purchased them. "Just heels", I said. "Please don't touch the uppers. No polish, no wax, no cream, nada." And of course they came back slathered in some dark brown gunk.

Recently sent a pair of 20-year-old EGs back to them for re-soling. "Please don't touch the uppers." And lets see what happens.
 
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