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Where Do Florsheim Imperial Shoes Rate?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
While I am aware of the forum's admiration of brands such as AE, C&J, etc., I am curious to find out what everyone thinks of the Florsheim Imperial line.

I think that they are pretty good in general . Most have replaceable leather soles and come in both classic and contemporary styles. They seem to be a good buy for someone starting out in the world.
post #2 of 39
Where the hell is Teacher when this man needs him?!!
post #3 of 39
Speaking of Florsheim Imperial, you guys tell me if this is shell cordovan,

http://cgi.ebay.com/Florsheim-Kenmoo...QQcmdZViewItem

Based on the fine creasings on the toebox, I say no. I e-mailed the seller he says yes. Go figure. He says he's a Florsheim Imperial expert, having worn the shoes for over 20 years.
post #4 of 39
Among Florsheim Imperials, there are 2 different animals here, one is current and the other is vintage.

Currently sold line Kenmoor is $225 retail and is probably way overpriced. They are not bad shoes, they are still leather lined and double leather full welted soles. But the workmanship and the surface leathers arent that great and they don't make shell cordovan at all, of course. At $225 there are better values out there.

Vintage Kenmoors are a beautiful beast. There is quite a range, my guess is that most of the vintage ones you see on ebay are from the late 60s to the late 80s, I don't think they are much older than that, no matter how old school Leave It To Beaver they look. The most desirable are the Kenmoors with full flat nail heels with V cleat, and 5 nails in the waist. There are other, more recent variations missing either the V cleat or the nails or both, but there are plenty of the every era to go around. Personally I'm a big fan and I think, due to their ubiquity on ebay, they are a great, great value, especially in shell cordovan. I also think the aesthetic is coming back into vogue - see Thom Browne, which is about as bleeding edge as you can get in adult men's fashion.
post #5 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee_44106 View Post
Based on the fine creasings on the toebox, I say no.
Doesn't look like shell to me either.
post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee_44106 View Post
Speaking of Florsheim Imperial, you guys tell me if this is shell cordovan,

http://cgi.ebay.com/Florsheim-Kenmoo...QQcmdZViewItem

Based on the fine creasings on the toebox, I say no. I e-mailed the seller he says yes. Go figure. He says he's a Florsheim Imperial expert, having worn the shoes for over 20 years.

Definitely not, IMHO.
post #7 of 39
I've sold a few burgundy Florsheim Shells and I think these are a thick calf skin version. Funny, this is only the second pair of smooth burgundy vintage Florsheim calf that I've seen. The vintage heel and sole can lead one to believe that it has to be shell.

I own a pair of burgundy Florsheim shells that is made of a very thin shell cordovan and it has two hidden cracks along two seams. It can be repaired, my cobbler told me that it was from a lack of nourishing the leather with shoe creme.

I've always wanted to start a thread inquiring as to whether you longtime shell cordovan owners have had to deal with cracked,creased or othrwise damaged leather caused by drying out.

Relative to rating Florsheim imperials, I found them to actually be inferior to vintage black lined Hanover pebble grain double soled wingtips. Those were truly beasts and very heavy! I found their black lined shells with the broad gold HANOVER lettering to be exceedingly superior to Florsheim shells.

The Hanover LB Sheppard Signature series, Vintage Bostonians, vintage Dexters seem to be in the same high quality ball park with the vintage Florsheim Imperial.

The current imperials are made in India at the same factory as JC Penney and Bostonians. If you like the F$225 Florsheim imperial wingtip save $150 and buy the JC Penney. It's the exact same shoe.
post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Deacon View Post
I've sold a few burgundy Florsheim Shells and I think these are a thick calf skin version. Funny, this is only the second pair of smooth burgundy vintage Florsheim calf that I've seen. The vintage heel and sole can lead one to believe that it has to be shell.


Funny, I'm no Florsheim expert, but I thought the same thing, namely that they don't look like cordovan, but the work on the heel and sole is something I didn't think Florsheim did for their non-cordovans.
post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonylumpkin View Post
Where the hell is Teacher when this man needs him?!!

I'm here, but I assume he's talking about the new ones, which I haven't even bothered looking over (though they may be good for the money).
post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Deacon View Post
I've sold a few burgundy Florsheim Shells and I think these are a thick calf skin version. Funny, this is only the second pair of smooth burgundy vintage Florsheim calf that I've seen. The vintage heel and sole can lead one to believe that it has to be shell.

True. Years ago, if it was Burgundy and it was a Kenmoor, then it was shell. This, however, looks to be calf.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCN View Post
Funny, I'm no Florsheim expert, but I thought the same thing, namely that they don't look like cordovan, but the work on the heel and sole is something I didn't think Florsheim did for their non-cordovans.

The heels and soles were the same on the calf and cordovan Kenmoors. Sometimes there was "genuine shell cordovan" or "shell cordovan" stamped on the sole, sometimes not (I've seen it both ways). Incidentally, it is this treatment (and probably the use of the term "oak leather") that led some people to believe the soles were actually made of wood.
post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee_44106 View Post
Speaking of Florsheim Imperial, you guys tell me if this is shell cordovan,

http://cgi.ebay.com/Florsheim-Kenmoo...QQcmdZViewItem

Based on the fine creasings on the toebox, I say no. I e-mailed the seller he says yes. Go figure. He says he's a Florsheim Imperial expert, having worn the shoes for over 20 years.

clearly not shell. even worse, probably corrected grain.
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Deacon View Post
The current imperials are made in India at the same factory as JC Penney and Bostonians. If you like the F$225 Florsheim imperial wingtip save $150 and buy the JC Penney. It's the exact same shoe.

I have some of the JC Penney Stafford ones and like them a lot for a ~$70 shoe. I'm sure they're not as nice as the Vintage Florsheim Imperials but they're a lot easier to find in size 14.
post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoVaguy View Post
clearly not shell. even worse, probably corrected grain.

They look like CG to me too.
post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMcG View Post
I have some of the JC Penney Stafford ones and like them a lot for a ~$70 shoe. I'm sure they're not as nice as the Vintage Florsheim Imperials but they're a lot easier to find in size 14.

You know, I still have not bothered to check these out. It would be a shame if this is true (about the current Kenmoors, not about the ones JCP carries). I have two (I think) pairs of Indian-made Kenmoors, and they're wonderful...pretty much the same quality as the American-made ones I have. Then again, I bought them years ago, just after production shifted, and it has come to my attention that Florsheim has changed producers in India at least once. It seems the newer ones are not what even the older Indian-made Kenmoors were. Pity.
post #15 of 39
How about these? Also listed as cordovan, do you agree? I've been interested in the Kenmoor for some time, but all I'm finding in size 10s on ebay are triple e sizes.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA:IT&ih=001
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