A Look Inside Alden | A Continuous Lean.

A Look Inside Alden

Oct 22nd, 2009 | Categories: Americana, Brooklyn, Factory Tour, Footwear | by Michael Williams

The Brooklyn shop Epaulet recently took a trip up to Middleborough, Mass. to visit the factory of the venerable American shoemaker Alden to finalize the details on the shop’s new special edition Brixton boot. In addition to coming back with a great looking pair of boots, Epaulet owner Mike Kuhle and filmmaker Tom Eaton put together an interesting look at the Alden operation including the video below and a nice photo gallery. American boots and a factory tour? Sounds like a perfect Thursday to me.

Epaulet_Brixton

More information about Epaulet’s new Brixton boot:

Beginning this very moment, we’ll release a steady stream of exclusive Alden styles. For our first edition, we’re thrilled to present the “Brixton” boot. Crafted in rich black calfskin, it’s that perfectly versatile dress boot that we’ve wanted for years. It has 9 round metal eyelets, intricate wingtip brogueing, and flat waxed laces. With its substantial last and traditionally rounded toe, these shoes are excellent as dress or casual pieces. The sturdy Double Leather sole is thick and substantial, and includes Alden’s signature steel shank and natural cork filling for comfort & stability.

Brixton is a district in South London that’s well known for its vibrant Afro-Caribbean community and multi-ethinc flavor. A center for Jamaican reggae and ska music, you could often find Brixton’s dancehalls packed with well dressed Mods and Rudeboys of all colors. Never ones to accept anything second rate, we think that these beautifully constructed wingtips would fit their mohair suits and sta-prest trousers to a tee.

Comments: 13

13 Comments to “A Look Inside Alden”

  1. Chris
    on Oct 22nd, 2009
    @ 10:46 AM

    Lovely boot and great story. Alden is the last remaining shoe company in New England and they remain family owned. If you are in the market for an excellent pair of shoes or boots look no further that this historic US brand. I wear a pair of Alden Indy boots regularly and can’t say enough about their superb quality and value for what you get. I will have these boots for the rest of my days.

  2. newgrass
    on Oct 22nd, 2009
    @ 11:48 AM

    This is great. I love seeing the inner workings of factories…especially a company like Alden’s. So am I understanding this correctly, that THE indy boots Harrison Ford wore in the movie were his own personal pair of 405′s from when he was a carpenter? If so, that just makes the legend of the boot that much more badass.

  3. plaidout
    on Oct 22nd, 2009
    @ 12:09 PM

    A great feature on my favorite footwear manufacturer. Thank you for sharing. Note the way Alden takes care to match grains. Also impressive, their hand-sewers did not have bandaged hands; in fact, the motion, the act of stitching was quite smooth, beautiful. It speaks to the quality of the leather, the quality of the craftsmanship. A big hand to the folks involved in this project, and to all those at Alden. Thanks for what you do.
    Were all the shoes sewn that day done with a contrast stitch?

  4. Henry
    on Oct 22nd, 2009
    @ 2:55 PM

    Those boots are truely fucking beautiful.

  5. Jordan
    on Oct 22nd, 2009
    @ 3:22 PM

    @plaidout All Alden handsewns start as a contrast stitch. It’s only in the finishing and polishing that they come to match the final color of the leather.

  6. The Sluice Box
    on Oct 23rd, 2009
    @ 12:18 AM

    Great photos that accompany the posting. The shots of the individuals are especially captivating. Enjoyed seeing where my favorite pair of shoes came from, as well as who made them.

  7. Speedy Gonzalez
    on Oct 23rd, 2009
    @ 12:56 PM

    Boooooooooring

  8. damien
    on Oct 23rd, 2009
    @ 11:52 PM

    You know something. I’ve found myself really torn between american heritage shoe makers like Alden & Allen Edmonds vs. English makers like Church’s, Grenson, Trickers etc. I think all of these brands make quality, timeless classics with attention to detail and rich traditions in shoemaking. Why would I choose one or the other really. American Vs. wherever, Style, actual brass tacks construction. Not trying to create a forum on your blog post Michael just openly sorting through my thoughts on this subject!

  9. Jack
    on Oct 24th, 2009
    @ 2:35 PM

    Great video. I’ve worn Alden’s much of my adult life (just following the advice of my father and grandfather) and always wondered what the factory looked like, how the company’s management acted, etc. You’ve confirmed my suspicion that they’re a good company, which obviously has a beloved product, and I believe they very much earned their customers’ loyalty.

  10. Thomas
    on Oct 26th, 2009
    @ 10:25 PM

    Awesome Video. I started buying Alden shoes about 25 years ago from Mark Shale in Chicago. About 16 years ago, I moved east and settled in Ridgewood, NJ. I saw in the village paper there was an Alden shoe event at MacHugh’s, a local retailer (which has since gone out of business) and a factory rep was going to be there. If I’m not mistaken, that rep was Floyd Gilmore and I purchased a couple pairs from him. Small world.

  11. Blank Label
    on Oct 28th, 2009
    @ 3:45 AM

    that’s neat. i want to make a trip out to a shoe factory some day. the process is fascinating!
    those are great wing-tip boots too =)

  12. Tom
    on Nov 8th, 2009
    @ 8:38 PM

    Epaulet always does a good job. It is a first class find.

  13. Jorge Trujillo
    on Nov 20th, 2009
    @ 11:00 AM

    Great Video. It is the job of every AMERICAN on this forum/Blog to press hard to keep AMERICAN BRANDS like ALDEN at the forefront of fashion.

    Keep up the great job bringing AMERICAN companies to light.