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Florsheim Imperial serial numbers, need dating

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi all, I have picked up a pair of Florsheim Imperials with the following serial numbers. Any information about this style of shoe and dating would be much appreciated! While I'm at it, I've also posted a black pair that seem to be much newer.

9  D  418942    16 (or I6)

93602   JE(?)

post #2 of 5
The first pair are old Imperials, probably 1970's or early 80's, made in USA or Canada. The model name was Kenmoor. Your pair are well worn and not worth more than $30 as is. The reason why is because anyone who wants to actually wear them will have some restoring to do beforehand. A once great shoe but your pair have been denied proper maintenance. They don't appear to have ever known shoe trees, ergo the over-wrinkling on the uppers. Otherwise they seem to be in reasonable condition for their age and wear. The shoe laces on the other hand, are original and in excellent condition.
The second pair are from the mid to late 1990's, probably made in India, are of acceptable quality in construction but are ugly as sin and are therefore virtually worthless.

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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you a quick response. Shame. The Imperials seem like a great shoe. What sort of re-work do they need? I don't know enough about shoe care, but would be willing to put some polish and shoe trees in to help them out. Maybe take them to a shoe man?

post #4 of 5
Your Imperials are still wearable but I would have to write a small book to step you through how I would restore them.
post #5 of 5


Nothing on the dating for you, but both shoes would serve you well for wear. 

Biggest issue is are the soles and heals okay.  The brown long wings look like they are good although neglected as previously mentioned.  From your pics I don't see any black mold inside so if they fit and there is no obvious damage (splits in the leather etc.) then they can be revived and be an excellent pair of shoes for you with nice patina.  That is if they fit correctly. 

Here is what I would do to them.  By no means a guru, but here goes. 


First off, get some shoe trees to keep in them.  Even in their current state I'd use them.  Keep them in and be sure to place them in immediately upon removing the shoe from your foot after wearing. 


Remove the laces, replace as needed.


Wipe the shoe down with a damp (not dripping wet) cloth.  Get an old tooth brush and clean in the welt area.  Get the dirt and grime out of there.  Do not soak the shoe.


Once clean, brush them well with a good horse hair brush (including the tongues of the shoes).


From there I'd use a good cleaner/conditioner or leather lotion type product.  Apply evenly and not excessively.  If the leather is hard and dry then once the first application has soaked in and is dry you might want to apply another coat.  (I use various products depending on the shoes I'm working with.  Sometimes Allen Edmonds products and sometimes Saphir).


Once the shoes are dry I brush them again and wipe them down with a soft cloth.  Just to make sure all is buffed even and there are no globs in the perforation pattern.


Then comes down to what you like for polish.  If you like the coloring of the shoe as is then maybe a neutral polish.  Otherwise you can use a brown polish that approximates the coloring of the shoe.  Apply in light coats as needed, brush and then polish down with a cloth. 


After each wear, put trees in them and give them a brush down.


Basically what I'd do if they were mine. 


Oh, and look at the heals if they are worn/rounded quite a bit.  Might want to have them replaced before too much wear to them.  I've found local cobblers pretty inexpensive at this.  Just pop in and ask to see some of their work to figure out if they might be right for you.  Many love the v cleat and will have them done again.  I'm either way on them and find that I tend to gravitate for shoes to wear out of the rotation that have rubber heals applied to them.  Your preference.  They are your shoes. 

Edited by Hillingdoner - 1/28/14 at 10:18am
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