Walking into Moulded Shoes on East 39th street is like walking into the past. Dusty, faded shoe boxes line the walls from front to back, stacked 20 feet up to the ceiling like some kind of used book store. The shoes displayed on either side of the small, narrow shop seem like they may have been sitting there for decades. A shop primarily concerned with outfitting customers with shoes that are comfortable and fit properly, Moulded Shoes can accommodate customers with even the most severe foot conditions. A fashion conscious shopper looking for some new shoes might dismiss the tiny store as a relic, a “comfort” dealer with nothing stylish to offer, but within these walls is one of the most unique and interesting collections of Alden offerings in the world.
The Alden assortment at Moulded Shoes heavily features shoes and boots built on the Modified Last. This shapely last is revered for its comfort and ability to closely fit the contours of the foot. The Modified last might look a bit strange at first glance but it is widely acknowledged as one of the most accommodating shapes and its fans swear by the comfort and support provided. The guys at the shop have a knack for coming up with very handsome makeups and good-looks are definitely not sacrificed for comfort. Moulded Shoes is unique in that it is the only retailer in the western hemisphere to offer this last to its customers. As I am learning, politics are sometimes at play between Alden and its accounts and that seems to be the case here.
It’s easy to spend an hour or two in this shop speaking with Co-owners Rafael and Ron. Their welcoming attitude, friendly service, and passion for making sure their customers walk out of the store with properly fitting footwear is second to none. I encourage you to visit them next time you’re in Manhattan.