Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Thrifted these McHale Dress Shoes: Experts are these RARE?!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Thrifted these McHale Dress Shoes: Experts are these RARE?!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

thrifted these a few days ago, googled them cant find anything on McHale shoes except that they are rare.. experts on style what do you think??

post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 
EDiT: see pics below
Edited by bruceallan - 1/22/13 at 12:33pm
post #3 of 16
Canadian-made I think. My father wore McHales circa 1950's. think they were bought up by Florsheim. Well made and well regarded. That is all I can recall.
post #4 of 16

The quality of the leather appears pretty good, but the shoes look like they've seen better days.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for you insight that helps narrow it down


EDIT: "The existence of only three pairs of shoes made by John McHale is documented. Two, in private hands, are thought to be of post-war production. McHale’s partner Francis Stuart Scott died 13 Feb 1943 and I cannot find any record of Mr. McHale passing. The firm itself appears to have continued in existence to 1954, although one of the three known pairs is dated 1956."


From Website:


My shoes have same markings as ^ this articles shoes do...     : /   hmmm

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
post #8 of 16
Picture of the sock liner? There is a pair listed on Kijiji in Ontario.

I seem to recall these shoes were more readily available in the Canadian market and certainly not out of reach for the common man, of which my father certainly was.,4532056
Edited by gsugsu - 1/22/13 at 5:28pm
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Wow Thx for the expertise, truly impressed with this forum and the feedback, i think i'll stay a while. 


post #10 of 16

McHale shoes are indeed a Canadian manufacturer (long ago gone).

I also had family members who were proud owners of said shoes. Regrettably, they are no longer alive to confirm for me, however, if memory serves, McHale made shoes into the 1970's before going under.

I also did a cursory search and came up with at least one hard piece of evidence of their existence in the 1960's,

as seen here :,2323559


I have pieced together the image from that link and provide it here for posterity.

Right-click on image, select 'Open in New Window' to see the image in all of its full-sized glory.


From the Montreal Gazette October, 1962



By this ad, we hope that this was not old or dead stock being sold, but brand new product at that time.

Also, have a look at those prices!

One thing is for certain, that McHale shoes, contrary to the claims of many other websites and discussion fora,

did indeed make it into the 1960's (1962 specifically as this ad states) and I am certain that a 1970's ad will crop up sometime in the future.

I will do my utmost to find such an ad and summarily post it henceforth.


As to the specific details of the demise of McHale shoes, it would be prudent to find evidence.

With respect, to speculate that Florsheim bought them is a dubious claim.

True, there are similarities in construction between McHale and Florsheim of that era, but this is inconclusive.

Many shoe manufacturers empoyed near identical features and construction to one another, as they still do today.

At least now by this ad, we have a point of reference for the future that now debunks the 'went under in the 1950's' rumour.

post #11 of 16

I am new here and have some information on John McHale shoes. This is some information i have pieced together and please feel free to correct anything if you know mare than I do.

For the most part the history of the company above is correct, however there are some items that have been overlooked. The Pair of shoes in the this thread are called "The McHale Shoe" and where made later than some of the traditional shoes that where hand made pre-1955-1959 my history is a little fuzzy about John Mchale's involvement after 1954. Early John McHale shoes simply say "John McHale" in the interior and only three styles Balmoral, Blucher and a Brogue. All the shoes after the company was bought will say "The John McHale Custom Shoe", "The McHale Shoe" or simply "McHale".  If you notice in the add from 1962 the name of the brand is McHale and not John McHale. As far as I have heard the company was bought in the 1950's and they continued to make the styles, but with a slight difference in the labeling after Mr. McHale left the company. Then later companies like Simpsons, Eatons and Sears, simply used the McHale name to lable shoes that are nothing like the handmade originals prior to 1955. You could even find McHale branded shoes into the 1980's,241918&dq=mchale+shoes&hl=en however these are not hand made in the London Ontario shop, they where mass produced most likely in Japan.


Here is an ad from 1959 that shows shoes produced after company was sold.

Magazine Ad for McHale Benchmade Men's Dress Shoes, 5 Styles, 1959



Magazine Ad for McHale men's Dress Shoes, 4 Styles, Falcon Satellite Thor Sorento, 1963


This is a shoe made in the 60's, label "The John Mchale Custom Shoe"  early shoes just have "John McHale" The really late branded shoes only say "McHale" on the inside.



post #12 of 16

Here is where the reference to the Florsheim buyout gets tied into John Mchale Shoes. Sir John McHale had a company and in 1920 her merged with Francis Stewart Scott and formed the Scott and McHale Shoe Ltd. In two world wars, they were the principal supplier of boots to the Canadian military. John McHale Jr. eventually took aver the company sometime in the 40's after the death of Francis Scott. J.J. McHale ran it until they had troubles with their branded stores and pressure from companies like Clark's moving into the Canadian Market. Eventually they sold out in the late 50's


International Shoe Company (now known as Interco Incorporated or Furniture Brands incorporated) had bought Florsheim and a number of brands globally including what was left of the Scott and Mchale Shoe Ltd. They still own the McHale brand  This is why after the late 1950's the shoes are considerable different than the ones made my the Scott-Mchale Shoe Ltd. while it was still run by John McHale jr.

post #13 of 16

As a Canadian, this makes me very sad. I would have loved to get my hands on these shoes if the company existed... Thanks for the history lesson! 

Those longwings look gorgeous!

post #14 of 16
I just picked up these John McHale shoes the other day at a Canadian Value Village ($10). Are these also from 50s/60s? I would appreciate any details about how these are made etc as I'm just a novice when it comes to vintage shoes. Any tips for how to clean them up? I have saddle soap and something called Meltonian all-purpose cleaner and conditioner.

post #15 of 16
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Thrifted these McHale Dress Shoes: Experts are these RARE?!