Shoe Craft: Alden Lasts

The Alden Shoe Company was established in 1884 by Charles H. Alden. A major fixture in the once-thriving New England shoe and bootmaker industry, Alden is the only shoe manufacturer from that region still making all of their footwear in the USA. While other shoe companies have turned towards low cost labor available overseas in order to meet trendy consumer demands, Alden has thrived because of their commitment to quality, craftsmanship and tradition.

Today Alden shoes are known throughout the world for their superior quality and fit. One of the biggest factors in determining how a shoe fits is the form on which the shoe is made known as the last. Alden has been making all of their shoes on the same lasts for decades, and with good reason. For one, a last provides consistent fitting properties. Though a variety of patterns and styles can be constructed on the same last, they will all fit the same because they are crafted using the same form. This means that once you know your size in an Alden last you can expect the same fit every time. This consistency ultimately benefits the consumer when considered in comparison with other companies whose manufacturing standards can fluctuate and change, resulting in shoes with an inconsistent fit.

Each last also provides its own distinctive silhouette. The different toe and heel expressions that result from the unique contours of the individual lasts create recognizable stylistic accents. For instance, the Aberdeen last has an elegant slightly tapered toe shape that lends itself to a wide variety of designs including Alden’s Cap Toe Dress Shoes as well as their Tassel Moccasins and Full Strap Slip-Ons. The Van last on the other hand, is used for just about all of Alden’s Slip-On Leisure Mocassins because it’s fitting properties allow for a high wall around the shoe which can accommodate a full foot as well as a high vamp which helps a Slip-On to fit snugly and securely. All of the other classic lasts used by Alden including the Tremont, Barrie, Hampton, Plaza, and Copley have singular fitting properties as well.

When purchasing Alden shoes, the last is an important consideration for determining your size. If you’ve worn Alden shoes before, you can be assured that you will be the same size in all shoes built on a particular last. If you are a new Alden customer, we would encourage you to contact us and we can assist you in finding the right fit.


Healthy Living: Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Paleo Recipe

We are very proud to be a sponsor for the 2013 Lurong Living Paleo Challenge. The Lurong Paleo Challenge promotes and encourages a healthy lifestyle based around the Paleo diet. For those unfamiliar with the Paleo diet, it consists of eating whole organic unprocessed foods such as meat, seafood, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. The Paleo diet eliminates grains, dairy, potatoes, legumes, refined salts and sugars, and processed oils on the premise that many modern diseases and ailments have become increasingly prevalent due to the rise of modern agriculture. Even if the prospect of going 100% Paleo doesn’t appeal to you, one thing is for sure, all of the foods in the Paleo Diet have health promoting properties and beginning to adopt Paleo-style eating habits is a step in a healthier direction.

If you are thinking about joining the challenge but are overwhelmed with where to start with the diet, here’s a suggested recipe. In fact, we recommend it to anyone looking to adopt a healthier diet without sacrificing flavor.

Don’t forget, registration for the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge starts on Friday August 16th!

Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey Mustard

1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 slices bacon
1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
2 teaspoons honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Trim the ends off the Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Place on rimmed baking sheet and toss with garlic oil. Dice the bacon and sprinkle over sprouts.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the sprouts are browned and the bacon is crisp. Toss with remaining ingredients and serve.

End of the Summer Deals: 40% Off Select Brands and Styles

As the summer nears its close, we are clearing out our inventory to make room for the fall season. We are offering deep discounts on a wide variety of styles. Save 40% on Vibram Fivefingers, Ecco Golf Shoes, and Minnetonka Sandals. We are also offering 40% off closeout models from Keen, New Balance, Blackstone, and Merrell. Quantities are limited, once they’re gone, they’re gone. Act now to take advantage of these great savings!

Spotlight Brand: Minnetonka

Minnetonka is one of our favorite brands here at TheShoeMart. They are celebrated by our customers and staff alike for both style and craftsmanship.

Minnetonka have been making finely handcrafted footwear since 1946. All of their products are made from premium leathers and materials including deerskin and moosehide. Their styles blend classic moccasin designs with contemporary fashion tastes and prominently feature traditional details like beading, embroidery, and fringes. Because of this, Minnetonka is largely responsible for helping to establish fringe mocs like this 3-Layer Fringe Boot as a must-have fashion pick. They are also well-known for perennial classics such as this Kilty Unbeaded Moccasin.

As the summer begins to wind down, we are closing out a limited selection of end-of-the-season Minnetonka sandals at 40% off. These styles feature all of the distinctive things we’ve come to know and love about Minnetonka footwear, but in a sandal. Click here to shop.

To find out more about the process behind creating a Minnetonka moccasin, watch the video below.

Back To School Savings

August is here and we are offering some great savings to help you transition into the fall season. Save on brands like Sperry, Keen, Ecco, Inov8, Saucony, and more!

The more you buy, the more you save. Just use the coupon codes below. You can use the coupon even if you’re out of school, we won’t tell.

Save 10% on your purchase of $50 or more with coupon code SAVE10. Save 15% on your purchase of $100 or more with coupon SAVE15. Save 25% on your purchase of $250 or more with coupon SAVE25.

Click here for exclusions.

*Read Our Sale Exclusions! Shop Keen Brand The Shoe Mart Fitness Shop Florsheim Brand Shop Sperry Brand Shop Inov8 Brand Shop Saucony Brand Shop Asics Brand Shop Reebok CrossFit Brand Shop Naot Brand Shop Dansko Brand