The Dovers are an Alden plain toe blucher that I purchased from jCrew recently. I’ve only worn them for 3 days so far, so this won’t be a full review but I wanted to give my initial thoughts.
This “Alden for jCrew” Dover is built on the Barrie last with a single leather water-lock outsole. The uppers are made with unlined Horween Brown Chromexcel, have blind eyelets, and a medium brown 360 reverse welt.
Out of the box the first thing you’ll notice is the leather smells great. I have a lot of Horween Chromexcel leather goods like belts, and other shoes, and I always love the rich smell when they’re brand new. The leather is supple and waxy to the touch, and the soles have a solid weight to them. The shoes aren’t heavy in comparison to my others but you can feel that they’re solid. The construction all around looks great although I feel like the eyelets could have lined up a little better. It’s not a big deal though because once the shoes are broken in and the leather stretches, it will be impossible to tell there was a slight offset.
I’ve worn Alden’s Trubalance lasts before, where 9.5 3e fits snug, so I thought I would try these in 10D, since jCrew didn’t have wide sizes available. I probably would fit best into a 10E, but these will work after they stretch out a bit. You can see in the photo below that my foot is bulging out a bit by the instep. I didn’t really care though, because when I first put these on, I immediately loved how comfortable and soft they were. The waterlock sole is very flexible, and in combination with the unlined chromexcel leather, almost feels like wearing slippers. Some people may find it a little too thin and flexible, because you can really feel every pebble and crack when walking on rough pavement. I personally don’t mind this ground feel.
My only complaints are the leather is starting to crease badly right in the vamp. This is one of those things that are hit-or-miss with Chromexcel, so I can live with it. We’ll see how it ages over time. The other issue was a little bit of a rubbing annoyance behind my right heel on the first 2 days. The part of the heel cup that was irritating my foot must have worn down or stretched because I don’t feel it anymore.
These are a solid offering from Alden. I’m in love with the comfort and shape of the last. They’re casual enough to wear with denim, but clean enough to pass as a dress shoe for the office. In the future I would love to have these in color 8 shell cordovan. I just have to make sure to get it in a 10E, and maybe a double leather sole for a little more stiffness. I’ll get these in my rotation for the rest of the spring months, and post a follow-up review once they’re fully broken-in.
For reference I’m a 10.5 2E on a Brannock device. Alden suggests to size down by a half from your TTS for their Barrie last. This advice would be perfect for someone with a D width foot, but for me I still need the width.