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Lee Kee Shoes- Does anyone know anything about them? - Page 2

post #16 of 30

Has anyone ever seen a pair of custom made Lee Kee military looking boots? Did any military men have them made to wear with uniforms? I just acquired a pair and they are great but I don't know anything about them. I thought he just made casual shoes and boots. Any help would be appreciated.

post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swan Song View Post

Thank you
Two more pictures showing true color.
They are very slightly longer than a 10 and a definite a US "D" width.
467
263

Beyond beautiful. Lee Kee still comes up all the time on eBay which just goes to show what a top outfit they were. I first went to Hong Kong in 1978 but wish I had known about them or where their cordwainers went or who trained them. When you look at this stuff on here from Hong Kong it is like comparing Lobbs with Florsheim.
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by meister View Post

Beyond beautiful. Lee Kee still comes up all the time on eBay which just goes to show what a top outfit they were. I first went to Hong Kong in 1978 but wish I had known about them or where their cordwainers went or who trained them. When you look at this stuff on here from Hong Kong from the Nathan Rd with Lee Kee it is like comparing Lobbs with Florsheim. Yet they are probably no more than 500 metres apart geographically.
post #19 of 30

My Dad was in the US Navy during WW2 and was in the Pacific. He had all his shoes made in Hong Kong by Lee Kee until he died in the 1970's. 

post #20 of 30

When I was a kid my Dad had all his shoes made by Lee Kee. The shoes were made to  measure . Customers  traced their feet and then measured in several locations with a cloth tape. Lee Kee made a mold from the info provided and your shoes were made around the mold of your foot. Lee Kee would send leather samples so you could pick what you wanted. They would make any style you wanted. We just mailed them a photo, or a pick out of a mag or a catalog, and you got exactly that shoe in the photo you sent.  It took about 6 weeks to get them as I remember. The quality was the best I have ever seen.  My Dad wore nothing but these from about 1964 or 65 until his death in 1969. Dad loved these shoes had maybe 12 or 15 pairs. All my Dad's shoe were exactly the same style. He had all kinds of leathers and colors, everything from lizard to gator , but they were all this style that he liked.  My brother and I had maybe a dozen pairs each over the years. We had everything from penny loafers to Beetle boots and cowboy boots to" Bally like" dress shoes. The last pair I got was maybe in the 1980's.  Somewhere in a box I think I've got the ordering directions and a a sample card for the leather. It would take me a month to find them if  I  could find them at all. I think I've I even got a pair of the shoes somewhere.  I hope you enjoy your find.

post #21 of 30

Yes, I had shoes by Lee Kee and Sam Kee for many years in the 60's, and  70's. they were in a small alley off Hankow Road. I still have 2 pair and they fit like a glove from the lst day.

 

Sam retired in the late 70's and I have never found another shoe maker like him.

 

The ally ( passage way caught fire in the late 90's and the store never opened again

post #22 of 30

Hello. 

 

YES: I can tell you about Lee Kee shoes, since I ordered a pair myself back in 1973.  I can't remember now how I heard about the company, but thought it would be really cool to own a pair of custom-made shoes - so I sent them a letter asking for ordering info.  In about three weeks, I received a bulging manila envelope with instructions on how to measure and trace my foot, along with a nice little folder of leather samples. I recall it had a heavy brown cover and the postage stamp-sized samples were stapled to the inside. There must've been about 25 different leathers, including:  Ostrich, Crocodile, Water Buffalo [it was the thickest], Snakeskin, Sharkskin, Tortise, Cowhide, Goat... the variety was amazing!   All of them were offered in your choice of colors and there too, the selection was huge... or you could send a color sample for them to match.  The shoe soles were also offered in several different materials. Further, you could send them a drawing or photograph... or even a picture out of a magazine and they'd duplicate the style.  The basic shoe cost?  $65.00 + about $5.00 shipping!  When they arrived, I also had to pay a Customs Fee of around $6.00.  They took about a month to arrive after I ordered them.  BTW:  after you traced your foot on a piece of paper, you took a piece of string and wrapped it around the widest part of your foot.  You sent the tracing and the string along with any pictures, etc. and they'd go to work!

 

I was 22 years old at the time, a student working in the theatre on a monthly salary of $500 and that $65 bucks was pretty precious to me - but I wanted a pair of shoes I could wear backstage that would be completely silent, so I chose their Crepe Rubber sole.  I wanted my shoes to be super-soft, so I chose their Glove Leather.  My color needed to be fairly dark [for backstage use] so I chose Dove Grey [I remember I actually found some paint in the color I liked and brushed a swath on a piece of card for them to match].  For my style?  I looked through every catalog I could fiind that carried men's dress shoes and finally found a pair of square-toed slipon loafers in a Sear's catalog that fit the bill.  The shoes in the picture were plain, so I decided to add three stitched Chevrons across the vamp as a subtle addition [good thing too, since this extra stitching kept the leather from stretching after ALOT of wear!].   And:  sure enough, in about a month my shoes arrived and they literally fit like a glove.  The sole was a Beige nubby rubber that had several 1/4" indentations impressed into the surface for better traction, and those shoes were absolutely silent when I walked backstage. They were also an exact match to the picture/paint color I sent.  I cannot remember whatever happened to them, but I did wear them for several years.  And, yes:  I got the usual jokes when I bragged about my custom-made "leaky shoes!"  Somewhere I know I have a pic of myself in my theatre control booth wearing a Tourquoise Polyester Leisure Suit in a broad plaid pattern [GOD! Remember those abominations???] and... my Lee Kee shoes!  And, let me tell you: those shoes were the most fashionable part of that outfit! 

 

The coda to this story is how I found this website/forum:  I remembered those Lee Kee shoes just yesterday and decided to see if the company was still in business.  Google brought me to this forum in the hopes that someone would know if the company was still around. How I wish they were!  But, thanks for letting me share my story with you about the finest pair of shoes I ever owned!

post #23 of 30
^Very interesting story. Thanks for posting.

The first I heard of Lee Kee was during a search for Florsheim Yuma/Lansford/Cobra loafers. This image popped up:




Can't remember the website it was from. German or Austrian guy, who sells a lot of vintage shoes online.
post #24 of 30

I had him make a pair of 'Gator shoes in1965 - I've worn them A LOT since then and they were still in great shape after two sets of new heels and soles - they make a great shoe

David

post #25 of 30

For many years Lee Kee was a custom bootmaker in Hong Kong.

I bought several pairs of boots and shoes from him in 1971, while I lived and worked in the Far East.

He had already been in business many years then, and he continued many years later.

His products were of high quality, and they fit extremely well.

Sadly, though, he eventually went out of business.

post #26 of 30

My family used to have our shoes and boots made by them.  I once sent a photo of a pair of Tony  Lama boots, along with my measurements.  The boots I got from them were more comfortable and better looking.  They fit like a pair of socks.  And, they were $29

post #27 of 30

Thanks for the lead on the Classic Shoes For Men site - great selection there!  And, I really enjoyed the write ups on the shoes - they must love their work!

post #28 of 30

I have three. Here is the first one on the card I got from him when I was in Hong Kong on shore leave back in the 70's. Lee Kee Boot & Shoe Maker, LTD, 65 Peking Rd., Universal Commercial Bldg., Kowloon Hong Kong., TEL. K-674903 I contacted him a few years back and he responded. Was willing to make me a pair of shoes if I would send a picture of the style I wanted and an impression of both of my feet. Just never got around to it. I was doing a search when I found these postings because I thought the company may of had a web presents now. Not having much luck so will send info to them via snail mail. Hope this helps. Chiefe71

post #29 of 30
Why are there like 10 people whose first (and only) post is about Lee Kee shoes? EERIE!!!
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokentelephone View Post

Why are there like 10 people whose first (and only) post is about Lee Kee shoes? EERIE!!!

Legend has it, that once one owns a pair of the revered shoes, all other conversation pales by comparison. Enough said.
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