Alden Shoe Company
|Founder(s)||Charles H. Alden|
The Alden Shoe Company is a shoe company founded in 1884 by Charles H. Alden in Middleborough, Massachusetts. Aldens specializes in handcrafted men's leather boots and dress shoes, such as Oxfords, Blüchers, loafers, and Chukka boots.
In the 19th century, there were once hundreds of shoemakers in New England, but now Alden is one of only two factories, the other being Rancourt & Co of Maine. Alden is considered a heritage, family-owned brand. Many of the company's roughly 100 workers at its factory in Middleborough are second or third generation, and it sources its leathers mostly from small tanneries in Europe and the U.S. – its shell cordovan comes from the last such tannery in America, Horween Leather Company. Horween Leather Company supplies leather shells for footwear to the Alden Shoe Company, their largest cordovan customer, which became a customer in 1930, buying shell cordovan and other leathers.
Along with other brands of Americana, Alden has experienced something of a resurgence in 21st century men's fashion. Despite a recession in the late-2000s and the relatively high prices of their products, Alden has grown again because of a renewed interest in more traditional men's shoes and boots, which can last decades. It is this reliance on high-end shoes, especially by those interested in business attire, that has allowed the company to avoid going under despite the decline of American shoe manufacturing.
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