Alden Indy Boot Review: The Indiana Jones Shoes

Alden Indy Boot Review: The Indiana Jones Shoes

Oct 1st 2022

Note: This article will serve as a dual Alden 403 review (Brown Chromexcel) and Alden 405 Indy boot review (Tan Cowhide).

Established in 1884, the Alden Shoe Company is the oldest in New England. Since its founding over 100 years ago, Alden has made its signature shoe, the Indy, the same way. This brand reminds you just how important a good pair of boots used to be. It was founded during a time when boots had to be ultra durable and resoleable, as people walked just about everywhere they went.

If you've ever heard of the Alden Indy boots, you probably know them as the Indiana Jones shoes. The legend goes that once Harrison Ford was cast, he insisted on wearing the boots from his days as a carpenter – his trusty Alden 405s. The company even renamed the boots in the 80s after the titular character. It's a great piece of trivia, and we'd be lying if we said it didn't add a bit of excitement to the purchase.

Is the Alden Indy boot worth the buy? Keep reading our Alden Indy boot review to find out for yourself.

Alden Boots Available at The Shoe Mart

Before we jump into our Alden Indy 405 and 403 reviews, check out some of the latest and greatest boots from Alden available from The Shoe Mart.

Alden 403 - Iconic Alden Indy Boot - Brown Chromexcel

Check out the iconic Alden 403 Indy boot in rich, brown Chromexcel leather. This boot is finished with a proprietary neoprene and cork outsole, perfect under most conditions, and will wear hard for years. The 403's versatile style looks incredible with chinos, denim and wool trousers. As sharp as they look from the start, they're true masterpieces after several years of wear and tear.

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Alden 403 - Iconic Alden Indy Boot - Brown Chromexcel
Alden 405 - Iconic Alden Indy Boot - Brown

Alden 405 - Iconic Alden Indy Boot - Brown

The iconic Alden 405 Indy boot is Alden's authentic work boot. Shown here in brown calfskin leather, the 405 is famous for its film career. The Indy 405 is appreciated for its robust Horween leathers, timeless design and incredible all-day comfort. A layer of cork under the insole provides both resilience and insulation, perfect for most conditions. As time passes, the 405 will assume the natural contours of your foot for a fit that feels hand-tailored to you.

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The Look

One thing the Indiana Jones shoes share with most other work boots is a moc-toe design, although it's not exactly a true moc-toe. The Indy's distinctive double toe stitch is through a single piece of leather on the vamp rather than a separate piece of leather and elevated stitch found, giving the Indy a sleeker look. The rounded toe shop of the Alden TruBalance Last (the wooden molds used to shape the leather) contributes to the work boot feel and comfort. This is why Indy boots don't feature an aggressive, uncomfortable taper as you find on many Chelsea and chukka boots.

The speed hooks found on the top of the lacing set make Indys less time-consuming to get on and off and add a touch of rugged visual appeal. And the classic flat Alden laces add a hint of class that can hold up in even the most formal occasions.

Overall, out of the box, the Alden Indy 403 and 405s look beautiful. Even after years, customers say they maintain their shape and appearance. No two pairs of Indys age the same, and that's part of their beauty.

Indiana Jones Shoes

The Leather

While the Indiana Jones shoes have traditionally been sold as the 405s, the 403s made of rich, lustrous Chromexcel are often misunderstood. Chromexcel is a type of full-grain leather, which is generally seen as the best leather you can buy for a pair of well-made boots. It's made from the top layer of cowhide, is super durable and develops a great patina as it ages. The method of tanning and processing imbues the leather with a wide variety of waxes, oils and greases such as beef tallow and cosmetic-grade beeswax. Before it leaves the factory, it's even treated with neatsfoot oil made from cattle's rendered shin and feet bones. All this processing makes the leather ultra moist and rich, with a pristine color coveted by many.

Chromexcel can be quite sensitive to scratches, but after a minute or two with a horsehair brush, you can buff them out. Is it possible to occasionally put deep scuffs into this leather that you can't buff right out? Of course. That's why if you're attached to your Indys' aesthetic, you'll want to take good care of them.

The Sole

The outsole of the Indiana Jones shoe is made from neo-cork, which is harder, far more durable and less likely to slip than stacked leather. Many find neo-cork to be an excellent compromise between leather and rubber soles. They look more "classic" than rubber and have more grip than leather.

There are three layers to the sole of Indy boots: the neo-cork outsole, a cork midsole and a vegetable-tanned leather insole. A triple-ribbed steel shank for a firm backbone and arch support is down the middle of the sole embedded in the midsole.

Finally, all Alden boots, including the Indiana Jones shoes, are constructed using Goodyear welting. This is widely considered one of the best ways to create a shoe that retains durability through the years, is waterproof and capable of being wholly rebuilt once the soles wear down. And while the laces may not last a lifetime, their looks make them worth replacing every so often.

The Value

Value is tricky to nail down because it's completely subjective. If you can't afford to spend $600 to $700 on a pair of Indiana Jones shoes, they won't have good value for you. If you can afford it, and you love how Indys look, fit and age immaculately — and you're prepared to treat them every once in a while so they last over ten years — then they are an excellent value.

While there may be more affordable alternatives with similar looks, very few can offer the extreme comfort, style and long-lasting durability of 403 and 405 Indy boots. There have been many knock-offs and cheap imitations, but there's nothing quite like the genuine article.

Did You Enjoy Our Alden Indy Boot Review? Shop The Shoe Mart for Your Pair Today

If you're interested in picking up a pair of Indiana Jones shoes for yourself, The Shoe Mart can help you experience the style, comfort and durability they offer. Here at The Shoe Mart, we offer a wide selection of 403 and 405 Alden Indy boots and other Alden shoes made right here in America. Browse our entire selection today.

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