What are the 8 things that make the Alden “990” a timeless classic?


What are the 8 things that make the Alden "990" a timeless classic?

The Alden “990” is the best-selling and most enduring Alden shoe of all time. It is a plain toe with outside wings that allows you to fully enjoy the beauty of the highest quality cordovan, and it is known that many people choose this model as their first Alden, not to mention core fans. In this issue, we will introduce the charm of Alden’s flagship model, the 990!

Alden, the king of American shoe brand that combines comfort and luxury.”

Alden is a shoe brand founded in 1884 in Middleborough, Massachusetts, USA. In 1892, the company moved its factory to North Abington, Massachusetts, and expanded its production line. 1931 saw the retirement of the founder, and the management rights passed to the Tarlow family. In the 1950s, the company expanded into the field of orthopedic shoes for medical use. The company is also famous for producing original wood patterns unparalleled among leather shoe manufacturers, resulting in the round-toe Bally last in the early 1950s and the modified last in 1963, which was based on orthopedic shoes.

Alden developed into an internationally known brand after producing loafers for Brooks Brothers and Pierre Fournier, a charismatic Parisian buyer, took a liking to the V-tip in a modified last. The brand was first officially sold to Japan in 1980, and quickly gained popularity. The United States is the country that invented the Goodyear welt method, but today leather shoe manufacturing is mainly done in England and Italy. Alden, however, has completed the world’s best leather shoes by tailoring a pair of shoes through approximately 200 work processes.

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Alden’s shoemaking is the pursuit of comfort and high quality. Alden develops lasts that fit various foot shapes, including modified lasts, and uses the finest cordovan as the upper material. Alden’s shoes are made with leather that is carefully inspected every morning without fail, and are even referred to as “the king of American shoes.

What is the famous shoe ” 990 ” that symbolizes the popularity of Alden?

The 990 is Alden’s outer-blade plain toe. It is known as a timeless classic that boasts the number one popularity among the many models manufactured by Alden. The upper is made of cordovan, which is the rump of a horse, and is characterized by its hardness, unique texture, and beautiful luster not found in cowhide. One of the reasons for its popularity is that the more you wear them, the more exquisite they become, and since they are plain-toes with no decoration, you can enjoy the change in texture and unevenness in color as they age. The sole is made by the all-around Goodyear method, which is synonymous with American shoes, and the overhang of the sole is uniquely bold. The thicker thread used in the stitching gives the plain toe a rugged presence despite its lack of ornamentation.

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The round-toe Barry last, which is representative of Alden, is used in the production of these shoes, and they can be worn with any style, regardless of coordination. The rounded silhouette that embodies the American traditional style and the wide foot width make it easy to match with Japanese feet. Another feature of the 990 is the dark burgundy color that many people may imagine when they hear the name Alden cordovan shoes. The unique color and ruggedness, which are different from British and Italian leather shoes, continue to attract shoe enthusiasts.

The charm of Alden’s “990” (1) “The diamond that every man wants! The upper is made of Horween Shell Cordovan.

The 990 is a plain toe with cordovan upper. Although Alden also offers calf leather shoes, cordovan is still the quintessence of Alden. Although there are products that use cordovan, such as wallets and school bags, Alden’s cordovan is the highest quality cordovan made by the Horween Company. Horween is a long-established leather-tanning company founded in 1905 in Chicago, USA. At one time, Horween was on the verge of financial crisis, but was revived when Alden placed a large order for cordovan. Horween’s two famous leathers are “Shell Cordovan” and “Chromexcel Leather,” and shoe brands around the world now demand leather from this manufacturer. Because of the ties that saved them by reaching out to them in hard times, Alden is able to purchase Horween’s cordovan on a priority basis.

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A diamond of leather” with a luster not found in calf

Most leather shoes in the world are made from “cow” skin, but cordovan is made from “horse” skin. Horween cordovan is named “Shell Cordovan,” and “shell” refers to a small part of the rump of a farm horse. Only 12 pairs of Alden shoes can be made from a single farm horse. In addition to its rarity, the Shell Cordovan is also known as the “diamond of leather” because of its unparalleled luster.

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The charm of Alden’s 990: “It’s not just the luster! Wrinkles and color fading caused by aging are also a part of the fun.

Another appeal of cordovan is the change in texture as it ages. The leather from the buttocks of farm horses has dense fibers that give it a deep luster not found in calf leather. Cordovan not only looks good, but it is also durable, and the more it is used, the more it conforms to the foot. The leather does not stretch as easily as cowhide leather, so careful sizing is required, but it also has a shape-memory property that allows it to conform to the owner’s feet.

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Alden’s Cordovan’s heavy wrinkles deepen the flavor of the leather

The wrinkles that are characteristic of cordovan are also deeply pleasing to the eye. In the case of the 990’s plain toe, the wrinkles are even more noticeable. The characteristic of cordovan is that it wrinkles easily after a short walk, and it is so delicate that if you step on the calf even once, the wrinkle will appear and will not disappear. The first crease on the instep is like a one-time “ritual” that only the owner of the 990 is allowed to perform. Therefore, when trying on a pair of 990s in a store, one should be careful not to crease the instep. The way the wrinkles appear depends on the way the owner walks, and that is what makes the 990 unique. It is unlikely that the wrinkles will be symmetrical, and asymmetrical wrinkles will appear, but the best way to enjoy them is to grow attached to them.

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Alden’s 990 becomes more attractive after wearing it rather than when it is new. Although it is a special material, it can be used for 10 to 20 years depending on how it is raised. Although basic care is the same as for regular leather shoes, it should be noted that it is sensitive to moisture and will become stained when wet. When wet, moisten the entire surface with a wet rag, and then wipe it off with a well-wiped rag. After that, dry it in a place out of the sun and take care of it as usual the next day. They are indeed delicate, but they are American shoes to begin with. It is a good way to deal with them, not to be too nervous, but to take care of them when you feel like it, paying attention only to the moisture.

Attraction of Alden “990” (3) ” You may not be able to get it sooner or later! High scarcity value” “.

The 990 plain-toe shoes are made of a single piece of high-quality cordovan leather. Because of the luxurious use of cordovan, which is even more precious, the 990 is often in short supply. In recent years, horses used for farming are no longer produced, and cordovan is extracted from a very small number of horses that are produced for meat. The value of cordovan has increased to such an extent that even in the world, only a few thousand horses are harvested per month, and in fact, the 990 and other Alden cordovan models almost completely disappeared from stores in Japan about two to three years ago. It was so difficult to find used Alden 990s on Rakuten, Amazon, and other online retailers, and it remained difficult to obtain them even from overseas. Although it is now regaining some popularity, it would not be surprising to see another shortage of cordovan given the current supply situation. In particular, there is a small possibility that models such as the 990 and chukka boots, which require a large size of cordovan, will never be available again if the timing is missed.

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Aside from the simple scarcity of the 990, it is recommended that you purchase the 990 at the earliest possible opportunity. This is because Alden shoes are items that are supposed to be used for more than 10 or 20 years. Naturally, if you buy them in your 30s, 20 years later you will be in your 50s, and if you want to have them as a lifelong partner, the earlier you meet them, the better.

Appeal of the Alden 990 (4) “The dark burgundy color that symbolizes the brand

The color of the 990’s cordovan is dark burgundy, commonly known as “number 8. This color is the symbolic color of Alden. Dyed with an aniline finish, the 990’s Burgundy wine-like upper is so beautiful that it reflects the landscape. Furthermore, the color will gradually change as it ages. The contrast that appears between the outer blades and the instep is superb.

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The charm of the Alden 990 (5): “The rugged stitching line that is typical of American shoes.

The 990 is a basic 5-eyelet derby shoe. It is made of a single piece of leather from the toe to the heel like a hole-cut shoe, and the stitched line that gives off an atmosphere typical of American shoes creates a martial appearance. While it has the masculinity to be worn hard even for casual use, it also has elegance due to the luster of the cordovan used lavishly and generously.

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Appeal of the Alden 990 (6): “The most royal of the 13 wood patterns, the Barry last, is used.

Alden offers a total of 13 different lasts, including a Japan-only last. 990 uses the “Barrie Last,” which can be said to be the most standard. The round toe and the muscular form that can be called “the American shoe” are the features. It has the roundness and volume of an external plain toe, but the length is set longer than Alden’s lasts, and it looks stylish. The reason for their popularity is that they are highly compatible not only with denim and chinos, but also with dressier fashions such as jacket pants.

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Attraction of the Alden 990 (7) “360-degree Goodyear process for improved functionality

Alden’s leather shoes are manufactured using the highly durable Goodyear welt method. The 990 uses a 360-degree Goodyear welt, with the welt extending all the way down to the calf. This design, also known as the “all-around Goodyear” method, is characterized by the fact that the cork is laid all the way down to the heel. Since metal parts such as the shank can be omitted, the shoes are lighter in weight and provide superior cushioning that belies their appearance.

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Attraction of the Alden 990 (8) “Split welt for a subtle decorative appeal

In addition to the 360-degree Goodyear design, the double sole is also typical of American shoes. The double sole, with a leather sole called a midsole sandwiched between the insole and outsole, is synonymous with sturdy leather soles. They are more durable and water-resistant than single-sole dress shoes, and can be used for light outdoor activities. Also of note is the “protective barrier” between the welt and the upper. This shape, similar to a storm welt, is called a “split welt. The welt facing the upper is also stitched to enhance the decorative effect.

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Attraction of the Alden 990 (9): “The sole of the shoe is also well finished with a rugged outsole.

The outsole of the 990 uses a leather sole, the royal roadmap for dress shoes. The Alden brand logo is engraved on the part near the heel. The “HORWEEN GENUINE SHELL CORDOVAN” stamped in the center of the shoe is also in fine script, giving it a somewhat stylish look. The all-around Goodyear stitching exposed on the outer circumference also evokes an American traditional look.

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