During my last visit to NYC I took a much anticipated field trip to Moulded Shoe, a historic , family owned shoe store in midtown. I first read about Moulded Shoe in menswear forums discussing Modified Last Alden shoes and boots. As it turns out, Moulded Shoe is one of only a handful of places in the world still selling hard to source, Modified Last Aldens (Anatomica in Paris is another ). For curious parties, the Alden Modified Last is an older, orthopedic last that is designed to more closely follow the contours of the foot. As someone with wide feet and a low arch, I love the fit of shoes made on the Modified Last. Some have commented that the Modified Last gives shoes a slightly bulbous or clown like shape. I for one prefer the extra degree of stylization that the modified last brings to shoes. During my visit, I tried on some snappy v-tip lace ups in Horween and black calfskin in the modified last. Ultimately, what’s great about Moulded Shoe is that it is like going back in time (to childhood) to shop for shoes. Super friendly clerks (the shop owners) measure your feet with a Brannock device and lace up the shoes for you. While I was testing v-tip fit on the ancient carpeting, I took in the visuals of the shop. Shoe boxes were piled in high towers to the ceiling.. Hand lettered signs communicated store policies and prices. The shop was busy with customers from Japan as well as elderly ladies from the neighborhood dropping off repairs. Thanks to the kind gents at Moulded Shoe for letting me take obsessive snaps during my visit.
In a recent post on Japan only Aldens, I posted a number of photographs from a Japanese site that sells many special Alden make ups built on the Modified Last.