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Dacks and other Canadian shoe brands

Hotel Cali

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Are there any code markings in the interior, or anything left of the sockliner imprint, or stampings on the waist of the sole? The medallion is similar to the one used by John McHale on their famous Bomber brogues, but the sockliner lacks doubled and stitched edge. That trait began sometime around '55, so perhaps they predate that. The lacing stay flap lacks the "box bar" which was McHale's hallmark post 1950 on Bluchers. If they were Scott-McHales (McHale's 2nd quality line up until 1959) that would be stamped down on the interior waist of the sockliner. I wonder if they are McHales, or perhaps another manufacturer. Marius knows his stuff, so perhaps he is seeing something that I don't. Coding would tell the tale. Nice shoes. Will you resole them?

I will look through the newspaper adds.
Here is a couple photos of the inners. One has the size 575 font.

The waist seems to be similar to your photo below.
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McHale was certainly making high quality golf shoes in the 40's and 50's. Attached is the only image I could find of one from 1947. One ad I found suggests that they were being imported and sold in Los Angeles!

Also attached is a shot of your toe medallion on the left vs a Bomber medallion on the right. They share the interesting diamond shape with a large dot right at the toe. My guess is that if your shoes are John McHales that they pre-date 1950. Otherwise I would expect to see a box-bar post 1950 and both the box-bar and a stitched liner post 1955.

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Thanks for the research. There are quite a few characters found with McHale shoes.
 

Jiqea

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Here is a couple photos of the inners. One has the size 575 font.

The waist seems to be similar to your photo below.
View attachment 1454058View attachment 1454059View attachment 1454060View attachment 1454061View attachment 1454060


Thanks for the research. There are quite a few characters found with McHale shoes.
Prior to 1959 McHale indicated the shoe size in the fashion that your shoes show, with the width as the first number. Post 59 and the buyout they put the length first followed by the width as a letter. I will look closer at the fonts on my early pairs. I cant make anything out on the liners.
 

suitforcourt

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The classic McHale triple leather soled gunboats. I really can't get enough of these. I wish I could find a pair in 8.5eee. These are 9.5E so I need to supplement the length by wearing no show socks, and then dress socks.

One of my favourite pairs from my Canadiana collection.

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Jiqea

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The classic McHale triple leather soled gunboats. I really can't get enough of these. I wish I could find a pair in 8.5eee. These are 9.5E so I need to supplement the length by wearing no show socks, and then dress socks.

One of my favourite pairs from my Canadiana collection.

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Here is an ad from January of 1959 for your Bomber shoes. They were marketed for winter use, and as being made from Scottish leather. This ad was published mere weeks before the Florsheim (Savage) buyout. I guess when you are acquired by Savage that must be a hostile takeover!

John McHale 1959 Bomber.JPG
 

dadjeans

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Anyone need some absurdly small Dack's trees? Natural pair is mismatched 5 D and 5.5 D. I believe the other two pair are 5.5 D as well.
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Jiqea

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Anyone need some absurdly small Dack's trees? Natural pair is mismatched 5 D and 5.5 D. I believe the other two pair are 5.5 D as well.
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The pair with the tall handles are from the 20's or early 30's. The other two black pair date from the mid-to-late 30's and were in use up until S.E. Dack sold the company in 1949. After that you see the black style with the shield logo to 1958 or so.

Drop me a DM.. They would fit my wife's shoes perfectly.
 

Jiqea

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Here is a tidbit of shoe trivia from 1965. It appears Gale shoes of Quebec City were licenced to manufacture Bostonians in Canada. It is surprising the number of American manufacturers that set up shop in Canada at some point. Nunn Bush for instance produced some shoes in Canada in the 50's and 60's, and we see H.H. Brown all the time. Wright had a factory in St Thomas as early as the 1920's and of course McHale produced Florsheim from 1959 to 1990.

So next time you see a pair of vintage "American" shoes when out thrifting, take a closer look. Maybe they are Canadian.

Here is the tiny news item from 1965.

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suitforcourt

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True vintage. These are one of the last Dacks shoes, prior to their bankruptcy in 2009, after 175 years of making shoes. Prada drove the brand towards a slow death. This pair was manufactured by Cheaney of England, which took over production after the Canadian factories were closed down. I bought these at 25% discount from the last store in Toronto. Even when bankrupt, the discounts were rather low. In 2012, the brand was relaunched as Matthew Dacks. The new owners are still using Cheaney for manufacturing. Shoes are only sold online. While this model, Seneca is still available, walnut colour is not. After 10 years of service, I had them recrafted. SSIA Silver Cup champion (and the only Canadian title holder) Ronald Nijdam of Quick Cobbler in Vancouver, personally took care of this pair. I also had a chance to visit his shop. Ron rebuilt with JR soles and cat paw heels. Matthew Dacks advised me they are considering restarting Canadian production. I hope so. Wishing you all a great week ahead.
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suitforcourt

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Thrift store finds.

Florsheim PTBs (maybe kudu?) By John McHale.

NOS made in USA Totes rubber overshoes (can never have too many pairs of these).

Shoe shine box.

And a boot jack.

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suitforcourt

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Dacks whole cuts. Maiden voyage. Great last and are very comfortable.
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Jiqea

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I picked up another pair of the venerable Dacks 2330 water bison whole-cuts. I have 4 pairs in my size now. I plan to try them all out this week and decide which pair to let go. Any man of distinction needs at least three pairs of the same model; one for home, one for the office, and one to keep at the apartment of your mistress.

This model was introduced in the 50's as part of the top of the line S.E. Dack offerings. Up until about 1955 they would have had a 3 digit style code, in this case 330. At some point in the mid 50's Dack's added a fourth digit, with a 2 indicating brown and a 3 indicating black. In the late 70's this model was discontinued, being replaced by the Kudu antelope whole-cut which did not have the decorative stitching. That model was numbered as the 2331 or 3331 depending on if they were brown or black. I have attached the only ad I have ever found for this shoe, which is from 1976. Unfortunately it does not provide the shoe name.

This pair were rebuilt by Dack's sometime in the 70's based on the sock-liner style (not pictured). My understanding is that Dack's maintained a rebuild shop in Toronto even after general production moved to New Brunswick circa 1960. For the longest time a Dack's rebuild cost $10.00, which would have been about 30-35% of the cost of the shoe new through to about 1965. It is interesting that the rebuild stamp that was impressed on the waist of the sole uses the old Dack's script logo from pre-1949. Clearly in the re-branding after S.E. Dack sold the firm in 1949, they didn't bother to have a new re-build stamp cut with the "fat" modern logo.


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Dacks water Bison whole cut 1976.JPG
 

Jiqea

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I just noticed these Hartt service boots listed on Kijiji. I did not realize that Hartt produced this boot, as you almost always see them by H.H. Brown. Now I want a pair.

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Jiqea

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And here is another pretty rare item that popped up on eBay (not mine). Slater boots. You will find three pieces of unicorn poop for each pair of these you will see.

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Jiqea

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Here under the category of "you learn something new everyday", is a pair of Williams Shoe Co. Oxfords, likely from the 1950's. As per the attached advert, Williams shoes were made in Brampton, Ontario. At a price point of $17 for their top end shoes, they would have been about two thirds to three quarters the cost of a Custom Grade Dack. Unfortunately we cannot see the sock liner, but Williams shoe Co is stamped further down near the waist on the shoe interior, The attached advert is from 1952, and I see a few advertisements for Williams showing up as late as the early 1960's. Check out the heels with those horse shoe cleats. They make V cleats look pretty tame.

The shoes are on eBay if anyone wants them. Size 12D. Not mine.

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Jiqea

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A little more digging on Williams shows that they were well established by 1910, as seen my their factory as depicted on the postcard attached below.

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