I’m fond of Alden because I like they way they do shell cordovan and I find all their lasts that I have tried fit me comfortably true to size.
On the other hand, over the last few years I have had to return three or four pair ordered over the internet because of obvious defects. They were all drop shipped. The last pair I bought in December were shell plain toe bluchers, one of which after wearing has been revealed to uppers subtly but definitely misaligned (the flaps and eyelets just do not line up like they should and like they do on th other shoe).
I went to the only local store that seeks Alden and tried on a pair of calf captoe balls, and the leather was quite wrinkled near the eyelets on one of the shoes.
I now have a hankering for a pair of shell medallion toe balls.
Is it wishful thinking I could order a pair from the New York Aldn store that I would not have to send back? Is there anybody who might sell them who would look at them before shipping, instead of drop shipping?