Help Identifying Some Florsheim Imperials

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jamesn67, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. jamesn67

    jamesn67 Well-Known Member

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    Just purchased these shoes recently and need help with the color. Any thoughts on the best Meltonian cream polish match?

    Also, I cannot find anything out about them. They obviously have a v-cleat and are 5 nail
    royal imperials but do not appear to be shell but calf. The only number I can find on the inside is either 368350 or 388350. These ring a a bell with anyone?

    Here are some pics...


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  2. jamesn67

    jamesn67 Well-Known Member

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  3. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    They appear to be early 1980's 'Kenmoor' s and still fabulous. Periodic thin applications of leather lotion or Lexol, once or twice before you ever wear them out, and once every 2 months thereafter. After lotioning, let dry until the leather is no longer sticky, Brush with a horsehair brush dedicated to 'no polish' finishes, then wipe with a clean flannel rag is all that is needed for day to day wear. Use a cream polish, yes Meltonian will be fine. Select a polish colour that is slightly lighter than or equal to the finish of the shoe colour. This will maintain the original colour as long as possible.. Over time (a year or more of active use) they will gradually darken anyway so no need to rush a patina effect when the real thing will come soon enough. Never get the soles TOPY'd because you already have a double layer sole which will wear like iron. Congratulations on your purchase and may you enjoy them in good health. Welcome to Styleforum.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  4. Patrologia

    Patrologia Senior member

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    James: Is the stitching green? I ask because I thought Imperials were green and Royal Imperials had blue stitching. Perhaps either I was wrong or they changed that by the 80s.

    MOL: I have a vintage pair that I had intended to get topy'd simply because I didn't want to have the shoes disassembled for resoling any sooner than absolutely necessary. My pair are quite a bit older than these. I agree about the double sole, but don't you think with a quite old pair, it could still be a wise precaution?
     
  5. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Though I see no photo of your own shoes, I would advise against it because I have already done it and had to have the TOPY layer later removed. Why? Because it made the soles so stiff that walking was a chore. A TOPY layer on a double layer sole will result in heavy Frankenshoes. You are most welcome to disbelieve me and try for yourself. All I say is beware. :) When the time comes a reputable cobbler can resole with double layer leather so not to worry.
     
  6. jamesn67

    jamesn67 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you MOL for the excellent inforomation. I knew that joining here would be a very good thing. Great group of very knowledgeable folks here. Thanks everyone!

    Patrologia, as for the stiching I will have to check. I was just going by the sew in logo which said royal imperial. the inside logo is green if I am not mistaken.
     
  7. Patrologia

    Patrologia Senior member

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    I learn something new every day.
     
  8. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    As a fan of gunboats, triple soled if possible, there is no such thing as too stiff. I had thick Goodyear sole guards added to a pair of vintage Florsheim gunboats. They did not feel any stiffer afterwards.

    But I agree that they do not look good. Does anyone make leather-colored sole guards? Tan, brown, grey?

    Thanks
     
  9. jamesn67

    jamesn67 Well-Known Member

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    Stitching inside is indeed green.

    Also, I think I was able to make out the model number ... 37625 That ring a bell to anyone?
    Number 17 was after the 37625 I assume this is the color. Anyone have a color code chart?
    I also have a pair of 93605's with a 22 that is a reddish/brown color that I would like find out about.
     
  10. Patrologia

    Patrologia Senior member

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    James, congratulations. 93605 is she'll cord long wings in color #8. Originally it was dark burg, sounds like yours have faded with years of age and sun. Please post a pic, vintage shell can be truly beautiful.
     
  11. jamesn67

    jamesn67 Well-Known Member

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    I will post pics after I finish cleaning. As it turns out the shoes are indeed Burgundy! The previous owner must have used brown polish. As to my
    surprise after cleaning and conditioning the color started to change. Going to give it one more pass. Shine is already quite nice (my first pair of shells)
    I am so psyched as I really wanted these in that color in the first place. Now I just need this same color in the plain toe as my Made in India pair
    is just not cutting it. Does the 22 in the numbers refer to the color? Should I use Meltonian #145 burgundy then? Or just Clear?
     
  12. Patrologia

    Patrologia Senior member

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    Use as little polish, and use wax only no cream. Use that wax as infrequently as you can get away with. Intervals should be counted in months at least, certainly not in weeks. Google Mac method shell cordovan for one very well regarded approach. Get a quality horsehair shine brush if you don't have one. You'll be amazed at how good they will look just with consistent brushing. I'll spare you more pontificating for the moment because I'm on my iPod and my finger is starting to cramp. Count yourself lucky ;)
     
  13. jamesn67

    jamesn67 Well-Known Member

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    I'll count myself lucky for all the advice. No worries on the pontification...that is why I joined :)

    So last question...looks like there is some damage to the finish just behind the toe box. One of the creases
    is quite dark and has lost its luster. Any ideas on how to fix?
     
  14. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    I beg to differ with you. I am all for the meaty look of a double sole but adding sole guards is asthetically displeasing, redundant and absolutely stiffening. To each his own.


    To you perhaps and I am happy for you. I would never do this again myself for reasons afore-mentioned.


    Amen. :)


    Most all sole guard manufacturers do indeed make leather coloured guards, as well as other colours. Larger cobblers may carry them in stock but smaller cobblers may have to special order them for you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  15. jamesn67

    jamesn67 Well-Known Member

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    Here are some pics of the cleaned up shoes. Not very good. Will take more later when the light is better.

    Please look at the damage in the last pic. Is this fixable?


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