Welcome to Alden Shoes of Carmel
Alden of Carmel
An Independent Shoe Store Selling Only Alden Shoes Since 1994
In 1994 we opened the shop which has grown to become Alden of Carmel.
The mission Alden of Carmel serves is simple: to sell only high quality shoes which provide the experience of craftsmanship expected by the intelligent customer.
Alden shoes are important to us. We care about the Alden Shoe Company of Middleboro, Massachusettes, and believe that only Alden in the United States still makes shoes at the high level of craftsmanship valued by gentlemen around the world.
That is why we decided to become the first shop in the world opened to sell only Alden shoes.
Since those early days, we have had many occasions to talk with the people at Alden, and to re-affirm the commitment we both have to Alden shoes, and to what makes them special. As years pass, Alden strives to maintain quality standards, while other companies sacrifice product quality to reap short term profit and growth.
As the great tie maker Robert Talbott once said: 'With each new year we put something in the way of a plus into our tie, while others are taking something out in order to reach a lower price bracket and increase profits. We think our policy is the better policy and today,........we feel that nobody is making a better tie in America....'
It is this philosophy applied to shoemaking that has made Alden the best American shoemaker.
The rich quality of craftsmanship one experiences when first taking a pair of Alden shoes out of its box is due to the character of the people who make Alden shoes. They have continued for years to practice their craft, resisting the pressure to eliminate difficult or time consuming processes, and resisting the temptation to use less expensive or lower quality materials. Thus, the pair of Alden shoes which leaves the box, and goes onto your feet, preserves to some degree, the tradition and culture of earlier generations.
In addition to the intrinsic quality of Alden shoes, there are three practical and apparent qualities:
1) Visually, Alden shoes are balanced and classically proportioned.
The Alden name stands for a belief in old world craftsmanship. Aside from the need to do business and make money, the people at Alden are thinking about the quality of the product, and small improvements are continually being made, bringing Alden shoes closer to an ideal combination of form and function.
The Alden Shoe Company of Middleborough Massachusettes has chosen Alden of Carmel as one of the independent shops through which its shoes may be sold. We are proud to be an authorized dealer of Alden shoes, and one of the very few Alden dealers specializing in Alden shoes alone.
The Alden of Carmel Story
2014 marks the twenty-year anniversary of Alden of Carmel.
A lot has changed since Alden of Carmel first opened its doors. In 1994, the Alden business was a dress shoe business. Most Alden shoes were made for wearing with suits, and most Alden shoes, especially in the US, could be found in the Alden company catalog. There were very few casual shoes made by Alden back then, and only a hand full of “make-up” shoes –styles made exclusively for the individual retailer—were produced for the US market.
In 1994, there were no Alden-only shops. The large-volume Alden sellers in New York and San Francisco sold other shoe brands alongside Alden; brands such as E.T. Wright, Sebago, and New Balance. In 1994 Alden shoes could not be found on the Internet, and outside of the major cities, very few men even knew about Alden.
The Alden business that the young Alden Fan sees today is a vastly different business than it was in the early 1990’s, and Alden of Carmel played an important role in this transition and evolution.
-Alden of Carmel was the first store in the world conceived as a single-brand, Alden-only shop.
-Alden of Carmel, along with the San Francisco Alden Shop, was one of the first two stores to offer Alden shoes online (1995/96).
-In 1996, Alden of Carmel introduced the “Alden Fan” line of make-up shoes. This was the first Alden make-up program conceived in the US and introduced to the US market online. The original Alden Fan concept—an entire line of Alden make-up shoes presented online—was the blueprint for the Alden make-up programs that have been developed by other Alden retailers worldwide.
-In 1997, Alden of Carmel introduced model AF11, a commando-sole chukka boot. Alden of Carmel played an important role in the development of the commando sole, and Alden of Carmel has become known worldwide for its line of commando-sole, Alden Fan make-ups. Today, almost every Alden Fan make-up shoe is a commando sole shoe. Through the design and development of Alden make-up shoes featuring the commando sole, Alden of Carmel was an early catalyst in Alden’s evolution from a business-suit dress-shoe company, to the company we know today.
-In 1998/99 Alden of Carmel introduced the elegant Plaza last to the US market with its line of Plaza last, commando-sole shoes. Pictures of these beautiful Plaza last Alden Fan shoes can still be seen on the Alden of Carmel website at the “Alden of Carmel Story” link.
-In April 2001, the Alden of Carmel website went “make-up only.” Since that time, Alden of Carmel has focused almost exclusively on the Alden make-up business, and with the exception of a few Alden classic models such as 986 and 9901, has sold only Alden Fan make-up shoes.
The mission of Alden of Carmel has been the same since 1994: To sell shoes which provide the experience of craftsmanship that only high quality products can provide.
The Alden name stands for a belief in old world craftsmanship. The people at Alden continually think about the quality of the shoes they make, and small improvements are continually being made, gradually moving Alden shoes closer to an ideal combination of form and function.
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