Alden Ravello Leisure Handsewn (2020)
There are a few models that I would argue are actually true classics for Alden historically. I would argue that the 9-series, 974 (Color #8 Shell Cordovan Wingtip Balmoral), 975 (Color #8 Shell Cordovan Longwing Blucher), and the 986 (Color #8 Shell Cordovan Leisure Handsewn) are their true classics. There are many iconic additions to that list, such as the 563 (Color #8 Shell Cordovan Tassel Loafer) or the 405 (Indy Boot), but the those are the old school true classics. There are many modern classics such as their Tanker Boots, but the 974, 975, and 986 are their old school true classics.
The 986 is Alden’s Color #8 (Burgundy) Leisure Handsewn or LHS for short. So what is a Leaisure Handsewn? Well – simply put it is the classic American Penny Loafer made with a handsewn skin-stitch along the apron of the vamp. It is a truly classic loafer that is known for its beauty and practicality. It is less formal than their Aberdeen Lasted Full-Strap Laofer, which has a sleeker lines and is more situated for wear with a suit. The LHS is the perfect loafer to go with slacks (and jacket and tie) or khakis or even denim. It is perfect the more casual office or the Friday in your office and weekend out and about.
Alden occasionally offers vendors some of their truly special shades of Shell Cordovan, more commonly known as the exotics. This shoe is made out of Ravello Shell Cordovan, which is a lovely shade of Shell Cordovan made in a medium-brown shade with a red undertone. It is a truly exquisite color to behold as it has so much richness to it and it has been part of the thing that captivated me in Alden.
Back in my early Alden days, I used to randomly peruse TheShoeMart’s website. Back then, they used to have the Ravello LHS listed on their site normally and I would just love to check in and see if they had them in stock. I did get very lucky and got a pair back in late 2013. It is a truly glorious pair of Ravello goodness, it just had one minor problem. It wasn’t my perfect size, it is a 10.5B and I have learned that 10C is my ideal size on the Van Last. I have managed to make them work over the past 7 years, however, I have always wanted to get my perfect fit on this model, that I have so long cherished. I managed to get another pair in March of 2014, but they arrived with a literal tear in the Shell and they were returned to the factory as Factory Defects. Again, I found another pair and received them in 2014, but they weren’t my perfect fit, as they were a 10D vice my 10C, and so after trying them on, I decided to part ways with them. Again, in February 2015, I managed to get a pair from Harrison Ltd, they were truly beautiful shade of Ravello and uniquely featured a dark edge, but they again were a 10D and were way to lose on me, so I parted way with those as well. I share that chronicle, because it is sometimes not always easy to get what you really wanted. Sometimes there are bumps and turns in the road, but with time and perseverance, you can overcome and sometimes you appreciate things more when you have to wait.
This Ravello LHS is the truly classic Ravello LHS. It is made around Alden’s Van Last, features a 360 degree flat welt and has Alden’s coveted Tan “Antique” Edges. This all combined with Alden miraculous Ravello Shell Cordovan and the timeless LHS pattern combines for one truly remarkable loafer that I will be able to cherish for years to come.
Here are the 2020 Ravello LHSes in my back yard.
Here are the 2020 Ravello LHSes with my other Ravello U-Tips acquired in 2020 namely a Ravello Indy Boot, Ravello Dr. Jones Boot, and a U-Tip Blucher.
And finally my entire U-Tip happy family.
Last but not least, a few quick shots of the 2010 LHSes (purchased in 2013) with the 2020 LHSes.