However, as Left Hand correctly notes, vintage Florsheim - and by "vintage," I mean their American made shoes of decades ago - are often at least as good any non-custom shoe currently on the market. An Imperial or Royal Imperial Florsheim from that era could put most of Allen Edmonds or Alden's offerings to shame.
Ironically, the usual way things work is that people point to the huge, successful company, and note that the quality of its goods was far superior back before it opened stores in every mall in America. You know, like how Jos. A. Bank was actually high quality, back when it consisted of a handful of stores and didn't bother running sales 364 days per year. The basic idea is that a company has to "sell out" for success. That the dedicated, hands on owners of the company turn over management to soulless lawyers and accountants and other business types interested only in maximizing short term profits.
But with Florsheim, quality was phenomenal during the days when a Florsheim store could be found in nearly every shopping mall in America. And back then, Florsheim was owned by International Shoe Company, the largest shoe manufacturer in the world. It's today, when there are only a tiny fraction as many Florsheim stores as there once were, and when members of the Florsheim family own the company once more, that Florsheim shoes are disappointing.
(In fairness, the Florsheim family may be at least trying to improve quality. As I mentioned at the start, there is some talk that some of Florsheim's shoes are slightly better than they were prior to Thomas W. Florsheim, Jr. and John W. Florsheim regaining control of the company, around 10 years ago.)
Edited by 12345Michael54321 - 1/3/13 at 8:06pm