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Florsheim Royal Imperial question

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by AtomicPop, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. AtomicPop

    AtomicPop Member

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    I recently picked up a pair of Royal Imperials (black Scotch grain with the standard 5-nail double soles) which have a feature I've not seen before. The heels have 2 V cleats in each, rather than the standard (or what I assumed was the standard) 1 cleat per heel. Anyone ever seen this before?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Both the soles and heels on these shoes appear to be original. The shoes have very little wear.

    Just never seen any with double V cleats before and wondering if anyone else has and/or can provide any info on them.

    Cheers!
     
  2. Nick V.

    Nick V. Well-Known Member

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    Yes...that's factory manufactured.
    It just offers a wider area of protection from wear.
     
  3. Grayland

    Grayland Well-Known Member

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    Twice as slippery on tile floors.[​IMG]
     
  4. AtomicPop

    AtomicPop Member

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    lol, yeah I suppose it would!

    Thanks for the feedback on them.
     
  5. DARLEY

    DARLEY Active Member

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    The heels have 2 V cleats in each, rather than the standard (or what I assumed was the standard) 1 cleat per heel. Anyone ever seen this before?

    Yes. But a remarkable point is not the 2 V cleats but the top line stitching(green line). Your shoes are extremely rare.

    Attachment 59366
    [​IMG]
     
  6. cptjeff

    cptjeff Well-Known Member

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    Yes. But a remarkable point is not the 2 V cleats but the top line stitching(green line). The shoes are extremely rare.

    Attachment 59366


    The plain imperial line had the green stitching too. Of course, there isn't much difference between the imperial and royal other than lasts, and the exotic leathers were only found on the royals. But black scotchgrain isn't exotic.

    They're nice shoes. And it's blasphemy to some, but I would replace the heel. Have it changed to rubber I did it on my personal pair, and haven't regretted it. No risk of killing wood floors, and less risk of killing yourself.
     
  7. DARLEY

    DARLEY Active Member

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    The plain imperial line had the green stitching too. Of course, there isn't much difference between the imperial and royal other than lasts.

    I hope you understand what I mean by this pic.
    Attachment 59367
    [​IMG]
     
  8. well-kept

    well-kept Well-Known Member

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    ^ Yes, or maybe. Some have rolled facings and some not. And I own a pair of Imperials made from deeply-textured shark, if it's the exotics issue. But... The Royal Imperial line was introduced well after the Imperials and the exotics Imperials might just date a bit before that. Royal Imperials were made in all the same leathers as the Imperials, btw, and with the same stitching, as well as in a few slightly different modes. The double-v heel might be unique to the R.I. line, don't really know.
     
  9. AtomicPop

    AtomicPop Member

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    I've wondered myself about the possibility of the material being something other than cowhide. I can't find any markings to indicate otherwise though (were the exotics marked as such?) so I'm still assuming it textured cowhide.

    The lack of top-line stitching is very interesting. I hadn't really noticed it before. I've looked at the rest of my shoes now and see that they all have stitching there (Florsheims and others) regardless of material (leather, shell, etc). Interesting that this pair has none. Again, makes me wonder if the material isn't something out of the ordinary.
     
  10. well-kept

    well-kept Well-Known Member

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    I was editing my reply a minute ago, so, see above.

    The texture of your pair is their standard Scotch grain calf, as you said. (I've never seen a pair in exotic leather that were marked as such, btw.) The Royal Imperial Scotch grain I have feel a bit softer than the regular Imperial line. They called it Cashmere Calf. It's very nice leather.
     
  11. cptjeff

    cptjeff Well-Known Member

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    I've wondered myself about the possibility of the material being something other than cowhide. I can't find any markings to indicate otherwise though (were the exotics marked as such?) so I'm still assuming it textured cowhide.

    The lack of top-line stitching is very interesting. I hadn't really noticed it before. I've looked at the rest of my shoes now and see that they all have stitching there (Florsheims and others) regardless of material (leather, shell, etc). Interesting that this pair has none. Again, makes me wonder if the material isn't something out of the ordinary.


    Nah, it's just scotch grain. It might be calf embossed with a pattern, or considering the quality of those shoes, might be legitimate scotch grain- which originated as calf soaked in scotch as part of the tanning process, which is what gave it the pebbled appearance. More expensive sure, but the finish doesn't tend to look like someone stamped it on.
     
  12. AtomicPop

    AtomicPop Member

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    Interesting. Amazing what I've been able to learn from the threads on this board.

    I'd agree with Well-Kept above in that these are much softer than any other Scotch grain I've felt. It's really a beautiful leather.
     
  13. TheFlyingDutchman

    TheFlyingDutchman New Member

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    I received a similar pair of Royal Imperials for Christmas (and was going to ask a question about the double v-cleats until you beat me to it!). There are some other features besides the double v-cleat and stitching that set these apart from other Florsheims that I've seen:

    - No pinking on the tongue
    - Soles don't have a wood grain stain
    - Tag in the heel cup says "Florsheim Imperial" rather than "Florsheim Royal Imperial"

    I just assumed these features meant the shoes were older than the ones you usually see for sale.
     
  14. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Well-Known Member

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    Double V-Cleats are probably a signature of the Royal Imperial line to distinguish them from the regular Imperial line.
    You may PM 'Teacher', a member here who used to sell Florsheim and knows his stuff.
    Either way, you have purchased some seriously beautiful and well made shoes. Congratulations.
    Get the leather lotion on them and often for the first few weeks before wearing them to re-envigorate the elasticity of the leather.
     
  15. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Well-Known Member

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    I hope you understand what I mean by this pic.
    Attachment 59367


    The photo on the left looks like the back of my hands and both are in serious need of lotion.
     
  16. KObalto

    KObalto Well-Known Member

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    Nah, it's just scotch grain. It might be calf embossed with a pattern, or considering the quality of those shoes, might be legitimate scotch grain- which originated as calf soaked in scotch as part of the tanning process, which is what gave it the pebbled appearance. More expensive sure, but the finish doesn't tend to look like someone stamped it on.

    According to well-kept, it is tanned in the used whisky mash:
    http://www.styleforum.net/showthread...02#post4098102
    Awesome shoes, OP.
     
  17. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

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    I would like to buy those from you.
     
  18. porcelain monkey

    porcelain monkey Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone in these parts put together a time line of Florsheim details to date Imperials. Also, where were the V cleat, five nail versions made. I assume they were made in the US.
     
  19. Swan Song

    Swan Song Well-Known Member

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    bump to find a date for the last of the nailed, double rowed, V-cleated Florsheim Imperials in Cordovan leather.

    These are"newly" mine back from the cobbler to excise the nails and cleat. They were well worn, but the sole was still original(5 nail) with only the toe area needing rebuilt.

    Extremely supple Cordovan leather and as found. I only buffed them with a horsehair brush. Killer Comfortable.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. well-kept

    well-kept Well-Known Member

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    ^ They're probably mid-80s. Very nice find.
     

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