Man, I am so excited to get these broken in, but they still look awesome in their pristine condition. I always think that brand new dress shoes--with their unblemished, sheer, polished soles, and immaculately flush, square and true heels, and polished, uncreased, smooth leather (which in this case is dark brown, not black)--are so cool right out of the box. That smell, the pride in getting something you have wanted for a while (and of course being able to justify it), and the knowledge that they're dead perfect for me always is crowned by getting a good, thorough look at the shoes in their fresh, tabula rasa state. I just thought it'd be cool to post some pics and document it. Just out of sheer fun. I love the soles of the shoe: hand-sewn moccasin construction, paper-white stitching, the Alden crest stamped true and crisp as it was at the factory, and the lightest, most uniform tan you could ask for, unblemished by the years of sidewalks and rain to come. And I think I love them because the crisp, still-varnished sole speaks loudly to the years of enjoyment I will have in breaking them in, making them mine, and just liking to wear them.
Alden is the greatest shoemaker on the planet, in my mind, but in all minds the greatest shoemaker in America. No one can do classics like they can, and nothing is more classic or versatile than the bit loafer. (*Actually, Alden's leisure hand-sewn moccasin, model 986 (otherwise known as "penny loafers") is maybe more classic. In my opinion, though, the bit loafer, particularly a dark one like this, beats it in versatility. [PS--blogger.com should allow footnotes; this parenthetical looks rather awkward, admittedly . . . ]) I'm glad I got them, and I look forward to wearing them.