Alden Shell Cordovan Wingtip Boot

A boot for all occasions: Alden #8 Shell Cordovan Grant Wingtip Boot

January 12, 2013 by jeff

Alden Shell Cordovan Wingtip Boot

At some point, a man should invest a little money into at least one really great pair of shoes. Getting into my 30s, I felt that owning a nice pair of shoes was one of those things I had to check off my list of “man” things to have. I scoured the internet for information and pored over pictures of different styles and materials. I decided on getting a pair of boots that could be worn casually with jeans, but look just as good with a nice pair of slacks or even a suit. Along with the famous shoemakers from all over Europe, one U.S. brand stood out, Alden Shoes.

Founded in 1884, the Alden Shoe Company of New England is one of the oldest and most highly regarded shoe makers in the U.S. Aside from their well known dress shoes, they are popularly known for creating the shoe worn by Harrison Ford (as Indiana Jones) in Raiders of the Lost Ark. However, those boots weren’t exactly what I was searching for. I was interested in a pair of genuine shell cordovan boots and Alden is the most renowned for working with this unique leather.

Alden Shell Cordovan Wingtip Boot

The shell cordovan that Alden uses to make their shoes is sourced from Horween Leather Co. in Chicago – the last producer of genuine shell cordovan in North America. Horween’s shell cordovan is a very specific cut of horsehide leather that has been tanned for a full six months. It’s well known for its durability and its rich colors develop an amazing patina over time and wear starting out as a deep eggplant-like purple and wearing down to variety of handsome brown tones. Working with such an elegant leather requires skill and patience and Alden has mastered the techniques required to fully showcase its beautiful qualities.

Just a short walk away from Grand Central Terminal on Madison Ave. is the Alden Store. After getting my feet sized on a Brannock device, I came to find out that they had exactly what I was looking for – a pair of  color #8 Shell Cordovan Wingtip Boots built on the Grant last. Slipping into the glove leather linings was well… like a glove. Once I had spent a few minutes walking around the store and discussing the fit and comfort, I knew these were the ones.


  • Horween Color #8 Shell Cordovan, Grant lasted, wingtip boot, brogue detailing
  • Dovetailed heels, double oak leather soles, storm welt
  • Fully lined glove leather, vegetable tanned leather insoles, waxed cotton laces
  • Goodyear welted, tempered steel shanks, cork layer beneath insole
  • Handmade in Massachusetts, New England

Alden Shell Cordovan Wingtip Boot

I’ve had my Alden wingtip boots for nearly three years now and they’ve been a constant staple piece in my wardrobe. When I first purchased them, the #8 color started out as a dark purplish eggplant-like shade. After several wears and sun exposure, some brown tones have started to peek through. Just like raw denim, these boots have gotten better and better over time and with a little care, they’ll provide me with excellent care for years to come.

While I purchased my boots directly at the Alden store in NYC, you can find Alden shoes online. Here are a few other examples of Alden shell cordovan shoes I like: Alden Chukka, and Alden Longwing Blucher.

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2 Responses to “A boot for all occasions: Alden #8 Shell Cordovan Grant Wingtip Boot”

  1. Very nice! Love that they are so versatile for different occasions, too!

    • jeff says:

      Thanks! The color is super versatile too! The #8 Alden uses fits really well with blacks, but is also right at home among earthier brown tones as well.

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