Photo by Muffy Aldrich
The Modern Guide to The Thing Before Preppy

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Snaffle Bits

Photo by Salt Water New England


  1. "Probably there is no way to have good and easy boots or shoes, except to have lasts modeled exactly to the shape of the feet. This is well worth doing. Hundreds of times the cost of it are yearly spent in idle gratifications — while this, rightly looked upon, is indispensable to comfort and health. The feet, too, must be kept well clothed with thin socks in summer, and woolen in winter — and washed daily." - Walt Whitman (most of this opinion still holds true, although his observation on costs do not necessarily apply to 21st Century economics as bespoke shoemakers are now quite few).

  2. I have a pair of those kicking around my closet somewhere. Funny, seems like as soon as boot season ends, sandal season begins. Maybe I'll bust them out for spring, which here in Boston, is from May 25th to June 4th ;)

  3. Word is that Gucci threatened to sue Alden and other bonds for making the snaffle bit. Alden has recently discontinued the bit loafer.

  4. Gucci must have threatened Oak Street - they are selling off their stock and have stopped making the bit loafer. Allen Edmonds makes a version make in Italy.

    1. I never heard of Oak Street until you mentioned it, so I checked them out and discovered their women's inventory had limited sizes available. I especially liked that they made the bit loafers in dark brown. You can still find Alden bit shoes through other suppliers, but not on their home website. Gucci must be on a mission to eliminate competition. Muffy was pretty wise to buy her backups when she did!

  5. Purchased my first, and only, pair of Gucci snaffle bit loafers in 1979. Re-soled them once. Never use them, but I could put them on and walk out the door and they look like they were purchased recently. Classic is classic. Wish I could say I looked the same.

  6. My one experience with Alden snaffle bits was uninspiring, alas. My Guccis, on the other hand, have been at it for a decade, and they get a bit more patina with every polishing. Also, paradoxically, ideal airport shoes–tremendous support on the hard floor, easy to take off for your pre-flight violation by the TSA, and never anything but smart once you're off and running again.


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