Alden Shoes and why we spent more money on the Husband’s shoes than anything else in our combined wardrobes

When we went to San Francisco, we had one goal* in terms of sight-seeing: we wanted to visit The Alden Shop of San Francisco.

A little background.

A couple years ago, the Husband bought a pair of $80 shoes from Aldo. Whenever he buys shoes, he gets frustrated with the prices when, just looking on the other side of the store, there are a dozen lower-priced options for me. When these shoes only lasted 8 months, he was even more frustrated.

Then, somehow, he learned that if he spent significantly more on a pair of shoes, he’d be able to keep them for years. Like, 10 years, 20 years, kind of thing, with a few re-solings. He did some research, identified some good quality companies making good quality shoes, priced out how much he would have to spend, then broke down and bought a $22 pair of shoes.

How often can men find $22 shoes?

We know they would only be a temporary fix to the issue of his shoe situation, so when his research lead him to a shoe store in San Francisco that sold shoes in the mid-range of the type he was looking for, we penciled a stop into our itinerary.  

We spent around an hour in the small store. In that hour, the store made about 5 sales; each person or group that stepped through the door walked out with an Alden bag, having spent about 15 minutes in deliberations. It was an amazing demonstration of the different styles of consumers, the Husband being the contrast, as he tried on a few different styles and fits – made different by the ‘last’ the shoe was made with – and pondered over the decision.

Perhaps, for us, dropping $500 on a pair of shoe means more than their general clientele.

We left, the husband pleased with his purchase, happy that he’ll never have to search through selections of shoes that would fall apart in under a year; me, content that I’ll never have to endure through his cheap shoe shopping frustration again.

Are these shoes worth the money? I guess we’ll find out.

* We also visited Alcatraz and got ice cream in Haight-Ashbury. But when I say this was the primary goal, it actually really was.

0 thoughts on “Alden Shoes and why we spent more money on the Husband’s shoes than anything else in our combined wardrobes

  1. 1. SO jealous you saw Alcatraz. I've been watching the hocus pocus show that takes place there and when it was cancelled, I almost cried. Gah. Now I want to see Alcatraz, too.
    2. Good shoes are so important. I have never dropped that much, but I prefer quality brands. Ill fitting shoes forever wrecked my grandma's feet. So many people have ugly foot problems from cheap or poorly fit shoes. That won't be me! I told the Hubs by some Clarks Unstructured, which were pricey but have lasted forever – such good quality and uber comfy, too. When we went to a Clarks outlet in the States and found a similar pair to his favorites, he deliberated, but for $80 I made him get them – they were less than half retail. Sometimes it really pays to splurge for quality, especially because, with shoes, it's a health thing too. So good for your Hubby!! Hope they work out 🙂

  2. Alcatraz was fun! A little too crowded for me… but definitely worth it.

    I have very few good shoes. I buy the cheapest ones I can find so I can buy more of them. Probably not good for me feet at all, I know! But the Husband doesn't work that way, partially because he just can't find shoes cheap enough to make buying new ones every two months worth it.

    So, far, they are working out! He loves 'em. Takes about 3 times as long putting his shoes on and taking them off… but I think it's all been worth it. 🙂

  3. I just bought alden shoes two weeks ago, and it is awesome. first, it is really comfortable, second all of alden shoes has nice style. A bad thing is, alden shoes are expansive… 🙁 (the cost of most of alden shoes are higher than $450 without tax.) but its okay, cause as i said above, it is awesome.

  4. Just two words of advice… shoes like this CAN last for 20 years, but only if treated properly. First, get cedar shoe trees and keep them in the shoes whenever they are not being worn (I suspect the shop probably insisted you buy them, but if not, make sure you get them). They absorb moisture that would otherwise prematurely ruin the leather. Second, ideally, shoes like this should be worn at most every other day (i.e. no two days in a row). It's for the same reason: moisture from sweaty feet needs time to leave the leather (assuming a shoe tree is present). Wearing one pair of shoes everyday prevents this from happening, meaning that the moisture stays. If your husband needs a second pair, Allen Edmonds would be a good place to look. Their shoes are frequently on sale (running b/w $200 and $250 at those times) – they are also of very good quality and will last a decade or two. I just mention this because buying a second $500 pair of Aldens may seem excessive.

  5. Yup! We've got the cedar shoe trees! He does wear them four days a week, so I guess he's breaking the rule there, but I think we'll be content if they only last him 10 years – I don't think he'll be much interested in buying a second pair of fancy shoes, even if they do 'only' cost $200. Thanks for the tips! 3.5 months later, he still loves the shoes.

  6. Yup! We've got the cedar shoe trees! He does wear them four days a week, so I guess he's breaking the rule there, but I think we'll be content if they only last him 10 years – I don't think he'll be much interested in buying a second pair of fancy shoes, even if they do 'only' cost $200. Thanks for the tips! 3.5 months later, he still loves the shoes.

  7. Just two words of advice… shoes like this CAN last for 20 years, but only if treated properly. First, get cedar shoe trees and keep them in the shoes whenever they are not being worn (I suspect the shop probably insisted you buy them, but if not, make sure you get them). They absorb moisture that would otherwise prematurely ruin the leather. Second, ideally, shoes like this should be worn at most every other day (i.e. no two days in a row). It's for the same reason: moisture from sweaty feet needs time to leave the leather (assuming a shoe tree is present). Wearing one pair of shoes everyday prevents this from happening, meaning that the moisture stays. If your husband needs a second pair, Allen Edmonds would be a good place to look. Their shoes are frequently on sale (running b/w $200 and $250 at those times) – they are also of very good quality and will last a decade or two. I just mention this because buying a second $500 pair of Aldens may seem excessive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *