Background Leather outsoles have gone through a bit of a wild ride. The true OG of footwear, leather soles were pretty much the only option
When Brooks Brothers ended their contracts with Alden, Crockett & Jones, and Alfred Sargent, there was a bit of an uproar. Including from your author. For many men in the United States who prefer to not shop for shoes online, Brooks was the only place to get these brands. Their Golden Fleece Captoes, and others in the line, had the unenviable task of trying to replace these giants of the shoe industry on the Mahogany shelves of Brooks Brothers stores.
The Alden Leisure Hand Sewn, or LHS for short, has a bit of a cult following, particularly in the “trad” or “ivy” community. It’s considered the end goal or grail for a lot of people. However, even among the range of $500+ loafers in the LHS line, one in particular stands out to the navy blazer wearing crowd – the unlined shell cordovan model.
Perhaps fittingly, while the lined shell model is available at almost every Alden retailer, the unlined version has traditionally been exclusively offered at another brand associated with the navy blazer, Brooks Brothers. In fact, the shoe wasn’t even branded as an Alden, instead featuring the Brooks Brothers logo throughout and coming in a different box without any hint of the Massachusetts-based shoe company.