No such edict here. I found the walnut hues go very well with blue and a matching walnut belt. Those look killer and in great shape.
David at V-cleat.com, dropped me an email to point out some new old stock Hanover long wings in my size on Ebay. They lasted for another 12 seconds and are now on the way. This made in the USA shoe was comparable to other well made shoes of its day and I will give a fuller report when they arrive.
Very nice! There's no denying how solid these vintage shoes are. When found in NOS condition, there's no reason not to pull the trigger immediately.
Hopefully the other shoe enthusiasts don't catch on to the value of NOS vintage Made in USA shoes!
Nice score! There's something about this model (either the pattern or the owner's that wore them) but they can be found in great condition. The uppers tend to look pretty much brand new, even when the soles could be mangled (not to say that yours are). Bonus that this last fits you so well. My pair doesn't fit great, but I still wear them because they are the quintessential tassel, IMO.
My NOS Hanover long wings arrived and they were just what I had hoped for. Searching the internet provided some short accounts of the companies history. Mr. Harper Sheppard and C.N. Myers established the Hanover Shoe on December 26, 1899, with a common vision: sell the best shoes possible for one price, $2.50 a pair, and eliminate the middle-man by selling directly to the public. They opened their first store in York in June 1900; within fifteen years the Hanover Shoe Company had 61 stores from Indianapolis to New York City.
The Sheppards had two sons: Lawrence Baker Sheppard (of LB Sheppard Signature fame) and Richard Harper Sheppard. L.B. Sheppard ran the Hanover Shoe Company after his father’s retirement and death in 1950, took the company public in March 1956, ran it until his own death in 1968.
The original Hanover Shoe Factory closed its doors in 1974 and the name and right to manufacture were sold to Clark shoes in 1978. Clark purchased the rights to the Bostonian shoe line in 1979. During this period, from the late 1970s until the 1990s, Hanover and Bostonian shoes were manufactured at the same factory in West Virginia. Production appears to have ended around 1990s, but I have not found an exact date.
My examination of Hanover shoes on Ebay gives the impression that Hanover, like other companies, had several levels of materials and quality. The LB Sheppard Signature series of shoes appear to represent the higher end, which is understandable since they bear the name of the CEO.
The LB Sheppard Signature long wings are essentially identical to the Florsheim Imperial long wings I have from the late 1960. Their materials, stitching and styling are remarkably similar. The Hanovers fit my feet slightly better than the Florsheim. I compared the two shoes for weight, length and width, as they are both 11 EEE. The Florsheim was slightly heavier at 1 pound and 12.3 ounces, 13 1/8 inch in length and 4 ¾ inches in width. The Hanover was 1 pound and 9.9 ounces. Length was 13 ¼ inches and 4 5/8 inches in width. The major difference between the two is the Hanover uses a rubber heel as opposed to the nailed leather and V cleat of the Florsheim. From a comfort and safety perspective, the rubber heel is better than the suicide heel on the Florsheim. My conclusion is that the Hanover is a great value and represents a high level of quality that I expect from US made shoes of this era. It is certainly the equal to the limited number of other US made shoes I have seen.
A final word should be said about preparing the shoe for wear even though it is NOS. Leather does dry over time and, on advice from David at vcleat.com, I used a condition and let them sit for a day, and then repeated this again on the second day. I concluded with VSC and buffed them to a nice shine. Its good to get some moisture back into the leather before making them work. The first photo is under office lights, no flash and a closer representation of their actual color.
The Florsheims for comparison.
Those uppers look great! Was the vibram sole applied over the existing sole? If so, does that make them thicker than the normal double oak?
Agreed! Those will last @AHS through a nuclear winter and then the follow up zombie apocalypse.
Florsheim did make shell cordovan shoes up until a few years ago, even when they moved to India. These used rubber heels, but the sole said Genuine Horween Cordovan. The logo on the sole and inside the shoe are not saying Imperial, which indicates they are not an Imperial or Royal imperial and this also decreases the chances that they are shell. For the final nail in the coffin I would ask for a picture of the size and style label. For now, I would consider them to be corrected grain. The logo makes me think that these are from the 1980s.