The Alden 405 Boot

November 25, 2016

The Alden 405 boot is an unseen item of footwear from cinema history, worn by a Hollywood and screen icon in four movies by Steven Spielberg....Guessed it yet? These are the boots worn by Harrison Ford in all four Indiana Jones films. I have personally owned a pair of these since 2010, worn them almost everyday and they have never let me down.

 

Alden are a New England based shoe maker,  with stores in San Fransisco. Alden is now the only original New England shoe and bootmaker remaining of the hundreds who began in the country. Still a family owned business, still carrying forward a tradition of quality genuine-welted shoemaking.

 

 

The 405 model is in Alden's "casual" collection, but it was originally designed as a heavy duty work boot. It's not your average Timberland, faux workwear however. The boot gives off a smarter vibe and the entire boot gives off a statement of refinement. It has quality written all over it.

 

The shoes are made with leather from Horween Chromexcel, a tannery in Chicago. The leather from this tannery is world renowned for it's quality, and you can see why. It has a beautiful, deep sheen, and as I have found, it ages well when given the proper care and attention, with scuffs easily polished. It's also extremely durable, I have walked across muddy fields, run after a horse and been on building sites with these boots and they've polished up well enough for a dinner date afterwards.  

 

 

The boots are made with Alden's Trubalance last, their widest. They're made to be worn with thicker boot socks, I have wide feet and take Aldens EE width fitting and even without thick socks they are extremely comfortable . The interior is lined with glove leather, it's soft and allows thick or business socks to just slide in.  

 

The outer leather is soft "duck" leather meaning it has a very good water resistance, but the sole is a traditional oxford hard sole. It's made from neocork, which is harder than stacked leather would be. But it also provides more traction in the rain, which is useful for a go-anywhere boot like this, but do be careful in icy weather you will slide everywhere! 

 

 

 The 405 is also available with an outdoor sole

 

 

In The Movies

The 405 is famously worn by Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones films (even that fourth one). The costume designer for Raiders of the lost Ark had intended to have Indy wear Red Wing Boots, but Harrison Ford had other ideas. As a young, struggling actor Harrison Ford worked as a contractor and carpenters assistant in California, and wore Alden 405s for much of his blue collar career. So when it came time for him to become the 1930s adventurer, his choice for a vintage styled boot was simple. 

 

The 405 boot is not cheap, shipped to the UK you'll be splashing around £500. However these have been nearly my only footwear for the past 6 years and they still look new and age beautifully. So the savings on re-buying new shoes each year is considerable. Repairs are infrequent and cheap.

 

( If you live in the Yorkshire, UK area we recommend Gillygate Cobbler of York for repairs,  they are Master Cobblers and do professional resoles in-line with Alden's guidelines.)

 

In all, this is a simple, elegant, vintage and quality pair of boots that work with all your outfits and will reward you with decades of comfort, style and service. 

 

 

 

 

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