Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Review: Alden x JCrew 403 Indy Boots

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Review: Alden x JCrew 403 Indy Boots

    {Warning: Large Pics!!}

    [Edit: the title should be 405, not 403. sorry, I don't know how to change it]

    PART I:

    Background: I just received my Alden 405 boots from JCrew yesterday. I have been wanting these for a long time, but I was just waiting for one of the 25% off sales that would work with these. This is my only pair of casual boots (I have a hiking boot and a dress boot). I previously considered the Wolverine 1000 mile or the Red Wing Beckman, but these Aldens look more distinctive and refined.

    Although they are called Indy boots, the Alden work boot existed long before the movies appeared. Alden has a long history of handcrafted boots and shoes, made in America. The model that is closer to the Indiana Jones movie version is the Alden 405, which is lighter in color and more reddish. These 405 boots made for JCrew are closer in color to the regular Alden 403 work boot. They have a darker brown color and the stitching pattern on the back/side is slightly different in pattern. I prefer this color.

    Construction: The upper is made of Chromexcel leather from Horween. It is impregnated with oils during processing and feels slightly more waxy/oily than regular calf leather. Also, there is a pull-up effect, where the leather appears more shiny in areas of more tension. It has a stacked leather sole and the bottom made from a mixture of neoprene and cork. Inside the bottom of the boot is also a cork layer and a steel shank. The interior is lined with glove leather. It has a Goodyear construction, meaning the upper is sewn to the welt (a piece of leather going around the boot), which in then sewn to the sole. This allows for resoling when the sole gets worn out. It has dark brown eyelets, and matching speed hooks.

    Fit: These are made on the Trubalance last, which is one of the largest shapes made by Alden. It has extra width and room in the toes to allow for more comfort. It is usually advisable to size down by a half size from your usual shoes, which I did. They fit very well for me. I usually wear a size 8.5D, but these boots are size 8D.

    Unboxing: It arrived in the usual large green Alden box, inside were the 2 boots in plastic bag, the Alden cloth shoe bag, and tissue paper. I also found an extra pair of laces in one boot.





    They had a light layer of dust right out of the bags, which I thought was strange. I brushed them lightly with a horsehair brush.






    Next, I will lace them up and get some more pictures...
    Last edited by LCDR; November 8, 2013, 02:15 PM.

    #2
    PART II:

    Laced up and brushed off:



    I noticed some minor scuffing and leather imperfections right out of the box. I think this is normal. I can tell that these boots will probably scuff up easily.





    I am a little worried about this loose thread and it getting further unraveled. Is this normal? Should I clip it off or just leave it alone?



    Next, I will get some pictures on my feet, and wrap it up...

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for all the detail. Great stuff. Im curious what people think regarding that strand as well.
      My cocktail videos >

      Comment


        #4
        Part III:

        On my feet:



        I rolled up my cuffs to get a better view of the boots:



        It has a fairly sleek profile:



        Random view:



        Leather care: The main thing is to brush them regularly with a horsehair brush, and always keep cedar shoe trees in them when not being worn. Currently the leather does not look dry at all, so I will not condition it yet. As far as leather care products go, Nick Hoween (from Horween Leather) said in an article that the last step of making the leather was coating it with neatsfoot oil. He recommended regular maintenance with neatsfoot oil, but he also recommended Venetian shoe cream elsewhere. I think I will go for neatsfoot oil in the future.

        Conclusion:
        Pros: I am very happy with the leather quality and color; shape, and construction of the boots. They fit very well and are very comfortable right out of the box. I don't think it will need any breaking in time. Versatility: I plan to wear this with chinos and casual jackets. Total price was $374.25 + tax.

        Undecided: I like the stacked leather soles, but I am not sure about the neocork outsole. It should give some decent traction, but I don't think it looks as good as a double leather outsole or the rubber commando sole.

        Cons: I am not crazy about the color of the stitching on top (white). I know this is what makes this model stand out, but I prefer matching stitching color throughout. I might decide to try staining it with brown shoe polish in the future.
        It looks so good right now, I am reluctant to expose it to the elements!!

        Overall rating: 9.5 out of 10

        Thanks for looking. I hope this review helps some one, or at least was interesting to read.

        Comment


          #5
          I had a few imperfections as well but figure they're going to get scuffed up so didn't pay them much attention. I didn't notice any loose strands on mine. I might have to go check them a bit more thoroughly now that you have me worried about it.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Vicious49 View Post
            I had a few imperfections as well but figure they're going to get scuffed up so didn't pay them much attention.
            This is the right attitude. You don't want to be the guy rubbing up on his shoes whispering "my preciousssssssss"

            Comment


              #7
              I checked mine pretty thoroughly when they arrived and I didn't see any loose threads or other imperfections. I don't think I would have sweated it if I had, though. If they were mine, I'd clip that loose bit off, I think. One thing that I'm super excited about with these is just how damned comfortable they are from the get-go. I've never encountered a decent pair of shoes that didn't require some break in time, but these don't at all. So, yay for that.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by frost View Post
                This is the right attitude. You don't want to be the guy rubbing up on his shoes whispering "my preciousssssssss"
                I'm not crazy like those Indy heads who scuff their shoes up right when they receive them because they want them to look like Indy's shoes in the movies but I will wear them around without fear and let them naturally get scuffed up.

                Originally posted by Shomas View Post
                One thing that I'm super excited about with these is just how damned comfortable they are from the get-go. I've never encountered a decent pair of shoes that didn't require some break in time, but these don't at all. So, yay for that.
                It's torture! I have them sitting right here but can't wear them. Can't wait for my foot to heal so I can finally walk around in these things.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Shomas, I totally agree about the comfort.

                  I recall reading on another post somewhere that someone else had the same problem with a loose thread in the same location as mine. One reader replied that it should be sent back (I wouldn't do that), some one else recommended melting the thread with a lighter?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    How high is the heel? Looks like a good 1.5" at least.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      1 and 3/8 inches

                      Comment


                        #12
                        is the wolverine 1k courtland the poor man Alden Indy?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jackbauer24 View Post
                          is the wolverine 1k courtland the poor man Alden Indy?
                          I don't think so. Other than the moc-toe comparison, I think they look pretty different from each other. The Alden is definitely sleeker, can be dressed up or down. I think Shomas' challenge entry this week shows a good example of it being dressed up. IMO the Courtland looks more like a work boot, the toe's much higher and boxier. I wouldn't wear my Courtlands with anything dressier than a pair of chino's, and they'd probably be a fairly casual style of chino's.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Those boots look fantastic, and I agree with the imperfections. They're going to occur when you're wearing them anyways. They also add character.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              When I first got mine, the white stitching was my main con. It gets dirty and browns a bit as I oil my boots, and I think I just got used to it, but I stopped thinking about coloring it brown a long time ago.

                              Hopefully you'll end up liking the soles. I think they are a nice balance - not too chunky but still grippy. And they last forever.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X