Saddle's Back

saddle-51Sketch c/o Leesa Leva

The response to my post on Saddle Shoes was overwhelming.

A Treasury of … found two pair.


The first pair from F-Troupe has the look and feel of a souped up pair of Vans Authentics.


The second pair, from Urban Outfitters are nice. They’re too flimsy for my taste, but the minimalist approach should have wide appeal.



East Side Bride and Mi Melodia bonded over a funky pair of spectators (note, fellas: not saddle shoes) from English designer Tracy Neuls’ TN_29 collection, a great-looking shoe for the plaidy in your life!


After seeing that I wrote about Corpus, one of the brands his firm represents, Mr. Steven Rojas of Archetype Showroom sent me a photo of this navy buck which comes from a collaboration between Paris boutique Aprill 77 and London shoe company YMC. The shoe is vegan-friendly and very handsome. I would love to know what the hand-feel is like on the artificial suede.


In the comments of the last post, Trip and two gentlemen named Richard referenced Ralph Lauren. The RL Henley Saddle is simple, classic, and far and away my favorite version of the saddle. Unfortunately, I’m unable to justify spending $575.00 for what would be a knock-around shoe. Please alert me if you find these on sale.


p3170017Did I say favorite? Make that my second favorite to these beauties. Mr. Richard Coyle was kind enough to send these photos of both his pair of long-discontinued saddles from Alden. I love the simple, elegant tooling of the saddle itself. The perforations or brogueing emphasize the difference in the saddle and vamp leathers and elevate a casual shoe to a level that is downright dressy.

Richard had this to say:

I got them in the early 80s in a store in Princeton, NJ. They were a stock item in the store but they were custom ordered by the owner and they are true classics built on the same last as the dress saddles sold by Alden today. Unfortunately, we’ll probably never see them again in the white versions. The man that owned the store was a prep fanatic and he hated to see the demise of classic clothing on the campus. Even after his retail store closed, he maintained his relationship with Alden and continued to do special orders for the saddles. He had a client list of Princeton alumni from over the years and used to ship the shoes all over the country. He told me that he even traveled to the Alden factory to inspect the leather before he allowed the builds! Did I already use the word fanatic? Well anyway, some of us benefited from his obsession. The shoes have been refurbished twice by a company in upstate NY. The refurbishing does an amazing job of bringing the leather back to life and diminishing the scars from wear. Maybe some day, someone will convince Alden to make them again. Until then the RLs will have to do.

Mr. Coyle? Done deal.