prunenoveggie

New Member
46
San Francisco Bay Area
United States
California
Sebastopol
I recently made an impulse buy on eBay and received my reward today! It's a pair of Alden 911 Medallion cap-toes. The pictures showed some scuffs and a reddish-brown stain by the toe, but when I took them out of the box, I noticed some places on the side of the soles where it appears the layers are coming apart. Is this a serious problem, an indication that it needs a re-sole, or nothing to worry about?





As can be seen in the images directly above and below, there are also some reddish-brown stains. Is there anything to do about these other than cleaning and re-polishing? Do you think that will be enough to take care of these marks, or at least minimize them?



Lastly, we have a few scuffs on one of the toes. I don't think these will be much of a problem, but I figured I'd post one more picture and see if I get any feedback.



Thank you everyone for all your help, and for being so kind and welcoming to an excited newcomer to the world of decent shoes!
 

smmrfld

Super Member
1,691
United States
California
Pleasanton
Those need a refurb by Alden. The soles are shot and the scuffs will likely still be visible even after treatment. If you can return them, do so, since there’s no guarantee the stains will come out. Plus, they were on somebody else’s feet for quite a while, which is reason alone to pass on them. Save your money and buy new when you’re able.
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
14,564
United States
Illinois
Chicago
I generally have a rule against used clothing, in particular shoes. I gave up a lucrative career in professional bowling because I refused to wear shoes worn by others at the bowling alley!

If you’re stuck with them, at least send them to Alden for recrafting.

If you can send them back, then do so ASAP before the window closes. Good luck.
 

prunenoveggie

New Member
46
San Francisco Bay Area
United States
California
Sebastopol
I generally have a rule against used clothing, in particular shoes. I gave up a lucrative career in professional bowling because I refused to wear shoes worn by others at the bowling alley!
Couldn't you have bought your own pair of bowling shoes? My grandma was actually a semi-professional bowler, and I believe she had her own pair.

Let me be clear that I was aware of these marks/stains and scuffs before purchase (the one by the toe cap was clearly shown in the pictures and mentioned in the description). If I had these recrafted, the price would still be significantly less than a new pair of Aldens (which would be well out of my price range, unfortunately). The only thing not shown in pictures was the sides of the soles. Also, I am not completely opposed to used shoes (and certainly not other clothing, as my wardrobe would be almost non-existent without them).

So the splitting on the soles is a sign that these need a re-sole? I mainly want to make sure it does not indicate some other structural problem with the shoe that can not be fixed with a normal re-crafting.

The seller does not accept returns, but if the splitting soles indicates a serious issue that would not be readily apparent from the eBay photos, I would be well within my rights to return them. In short, I don't want to try to return them unless I feel they are legitimately "Not as described" based on the pictures.

When I purchased these, I figured they might need to be recrafted soon, so I'm not too worried about the cost. However, I do have the option of exchanging (rather than returning) my Brooks Brothers/Allen Edmonds Walnut Strands that arrived unacceptably defective. The price would be about the same as I paid for these Aldens + the price of a recrafting. The Strands would be new, but I was a bit put off by the condition the BB shoes arrived in (you can see the pictures in the last post on another thread I started about those shoes). Besides, I want something in my rotation other than AE :)

Thanks for all the input. I learn a lot here!
 

89826

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
231
United States
California
Santa Monica
Differing opinion here. Based on the width of the soles (viewed from the side), there is life left. Compare the width at the forefoot to the width right next to the heel, where no wear takes place. There isn't much difference.

Some saddle soap (other leather soap) might help with the stains.

I agree completely that recrafting is a great idea when buying used shoes.
 

smmrfld

Super Member
1,691
United States
California
Pleasanton
Differing opinion here. Based on the width of the soles (viewed from the side), there is life left. Compare the width at the forefoot to the width right next to the heel, where no wear takes place. There isn't much difference.
It’s not the wear...it's that those shoes were not maintained well and the soles are delaminating. Who knows what else was (or was not) done to them...in addition to the yuck factor in wearing used shoes that were not well cared-for (unless extreme financial circumstances preclude buying new). If there were any flaws not noted in the original listing (such as the soles that are obviously falling apart), try to return them.
 

challer

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
347
United States
Virginia
Alexandria
There is nothing visibly wrong with those shoes except they need a resoling and new cork bed to remove the effect of the previous owner. Send to NickV and all will be well.
 

Jgarner197

Senior Member
653
Post Falls, Idaho
United States
Idaho
Post Falls
There is nothing visibly wrong with those shoes except they need a resoling and new cork bed to remove the effect of the previous owner. Send to NickV and all will be well.
^^
....and a hearty +1 on the suggestion for sending the shoes to NickV for recrafting. Alden can take an unreasonably long time in getting them back to you! ;)
+2

I don’t have any issue whatsoever with buying used clothing or shoes. I tend to be as picky as possible and generally buy items with very low mileage and wear. I recently purchased a pair of used Alden’s myself that I knew needed new heels and just decided to send to Nick and get the full meal deal.
 

prunenoveggie

New Member
46
San Francisco Bay Area
United States
California
Sebastopol
It’s not the wear...it's that those shoes were not maintained well and the soles are delaminating.
Is "sole delamination" the proper term for this problem (the sole layers starting to split), or does the term refer to something else? Does this indicate any other (specific) problems with shoe, or would you just be worried in general because it seems the previous owner didn't care for them?

There is nothing visibly wrong with those shoes except they need a resoling and new cork bed to remove the effect of the previous owner. Send to NickV and all will be well.
So in your estimation, this is just normal wear that will be fixed with a re-sole? Do you think I could get some wear out of them before sending them off, or are they in desperate need of some care?

When I purchased them, I was actually planning on sending them to Nick V. at some point. I have never used his services in the past, but he certainly sounds amazing. I'm guessing Nick can do anything Alden can do except maybe replace the welt, right?

Thanks for all your help!
 
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