• Alden Original Tassel Loafer

    Style | Prep Essentials  

    Men’s dress shoes boasting the gold standard of genuine Goodyear welt construction can run upwards of $800. They can certainly be worth every penny; however, the cash can be hard to cough up for those with class who may not come from important money. Sometimes it makes sense to walk a mile in another man’s shoes. It can also save you some. Tens of thousands actually. I regularly peruse eBay for pre-owned Aldens, the beloved “Made in USA” men’s dress shoe. These Alden burgundy calfskin Tassel Moccasins, while more than $400 brand new, were a mere $59 after shipping. That’s a better deal than cheap plane tickets to Europe on a discount website.

    After a thorough polish, they cleaned up considerably well. In 12-18 months they will be an ideal candidate for Alden’s restoration service. Alden’s craftsmen will repair and refinish the uppers, completely remake the oak tanned leather soles, pack them in a new Alden box and polish them off with cedar shoe trees and cloth bags ($145, free shipping). Be familiar with your size and width in a particular maker’s shoe and last before scouring the world's largest thrift store as most sales are final. You can put the hundreds you save towards your plane ticket to Europe. Spring for business class.

    Jan 12, 2011 | Permalink (24) Total Comments

    Victor Delta left a comment on 1/20/2012 at 11:55 AM:

    I couldn’t wait to get mine recrafted. Mine were almost new when I sent them back for a double oak soles. They came back looking like pair of Crockett and Jonesies. Better.

    Joey Dee left a comment on 1/31/2011 at 5:12 PM:

    Catching up on the month of January Unabashedly posts before I find myself in February. One of your most admirable traits os the fact that you are frugal, and not afraid to shop Goodwills or local charity thrift houses! Great find!

    Bernard left a comment on 1/21/2011 at 1:01 AM:

    thanks! keep up the great work! look forward to your next post.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/20/2011 at 5:32 PM:

    @Bernard—My experience with most Alden lasts is that you should order a 1/2 size down.  I typically wear a 10 but in Alden I wear a 9 1/2.

    Bernard left a comment on 1/20/2011 at 5:15 PM:

    Just looked around and there is an Alden loafer i would love to get on ebay. I have never tried on an Alden shoe and how did you determine the right size? I usually wear a 8.5-9 when it comes to loafers and oxfords. Did u size up or down? or…thanks!

    Bill Smith left a comment on 1/14/2011 at 6:50 PM:

    I am seriously warming up to this style of loafer.

    Miguel Ramalhão left a comment on 1/14/2011 at 1:25 PM:

    Thats a beautiful pair of shoes. If you’de like some new ones. Not Alden but a Portuguese brand I can send you the pics, and if you want one I can ship them to you.
    They look amazing, and are beautifully built. They resell for 300€...

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/13/2011 at 2:46 PM:

    @Jeremy—What a find!  However, I would consider myself “one-upped” had you continued to wear the shoes instead of selling them.  I look forward to restoring these time and time again.

    Jeremy left a comment on 1/13/2011 at 12:52 PM:

    I hate to “one up” you, but I found the exact model shoes and 2 other pairs of Alden Loafers IN MY SIZE at a local thrift shop for $4.99 each. I did end up selling them on ebay, although I feel like shopping venues like ETSY are better for sale/exchange of used clothing/footwear.

    Don left a comment on 1/12/2011 at 3:32 PM:

    I get shirts, jackets, ties, etc. on eBay all the time. But never used shoes. Aside from “foot issues,” leather shoes will gradually change to form-fit the owners foot. That means even the same size shoe may not fit you well.

    Thomas left a comment on 1/12/2011 at 3:06 PM:

    You got a great deal. eBay is a great place to buy gently used shoes. I just bought a beautiful allen edmonds cap toe oxford for $35.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/12/2011 at 2:59 PM:

    @Jason T—That would be something if these were indeed once yours.  I wear a B/D in Aldens so these probably weren’t your previous pair; however, I do hope you replaced the tassel loafers that you sold.

    Jason T left a comment on 1/12/2011 at 2:34 PM:

    Hey, I’m pretty sure you bought those from me! If they were a narrow fit and you got them a little while back, they were once mine to. Beautiful shoes. Love the blog. Please wear them well.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/12/2011 at 1:33 PM:

    @c.f.—I take the Woodlore tags off.

    @robdarko—I never said the shoe would be brand new on the inside.  My frugality overshadows any concern of the former owner’s foot issues.  The fuss over that is a bit overrated.  More than likely the previous owner wore them with socks.  It’s leather inside of there…not the carpet of a previous resident who owned pets and smoked.  If you have the cash on hand, by all means, buy new.  I have nothing against buying new.

    c.f. left a comment on 1/12/2011 at 1:13 PM:

    Do you take the “Woodlore” tags off of your shoe trees or did you find them somewhere without tags?

    Jeremiah left a comment on 1/12/2011 at 1:00 PM:

    Nice pull my man. I suppose great minds think alike, as I just did a post on the tan variety… http://wp.me/pXXtj-sD

    Angel left a comment on 1/12/2011 at 12:36 PM:

    Very nice, shopping ebay for shoes is something I’ve been trying to do but I have to figure my size for some of brands found on there. Its a great way to save and get top quality leather for less.

    Angels Point of View - Street Style Blog

    BJP left a comment on 1/12/2011 at 12:02 PM:

    None better than these. Let’s keep the Ebay tips on the quiet. ...you are killing my win percentage.

    Tom Bosché left a comment on 1/12/2011 at 11:48 AM:

    Young Man - Once again, you have hit the mark with this classic pair of American-made loafers. Furthermore, your advocacy for reusing and restoring quality goods is insiring to those of us who believe that preserving and maintaining one’s traditional, timeless indulgences is always preferable to the discardability inherent in the fads of modern fashion.  You are definitely on the right track here!

    robdarko left a comment on 1/12/2011 at 11:01 AM:

    I am really persnickety, F.E.C.  Will it truly be a brand new shoe on the inside?  Will it keep no memory of the former owner’s foot issues?

    A friend procured a Fair Isle sweater and my obnoxious coveting ended the minute I got two feet from the article of clothing.  It was not offensive but the sweater had a peculiar body odor.  Needless to say, I could not bring myself to try it on.

    Tito left a comment on 1/12/2011 at 10:54 AM:

    I’m digging the number 8!

    Christian Bourasseau left a comment on 1/12/2011 at 10:45 AM:

    What a beautiful pair of loafers. Classic, excellent quality. Nice picture.

    AEV left a comment on 1/12/2011 at 9:13 AM:

    Beautiful, classic loafers - especially in the burgundy and/or shell cordovan….nice pick up.

    JRS left a comment on 1/12/2011 at 8:41 AM:

    Very nice find!  The Alden restoration is worth every penny: http://redclaysoul.blogspot.com/2010/09/alden-986-restoration-part-two-results.html

    So - you’ll have essentially a new pair of Alden tassels for $204.  Well played.