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Old People: How do you rank Made in USA Shoes prior to the 1980s?

deveandepot1

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Today I think we can safely say
1. Alden
2. AE

3.Crap- Florsheim, ET Wright, Cole Haan, J&M, Hanover(Are they still around?), Bostonian,....

How would you rank them prior to the 1980s?
 

slappy

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Are all of J&M shoes inferior? I know little about them but I thought they still made some decent shoes in the US?
 

Cary Grant

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I think you need to move your comparison point back a couple of decades. The American scene was really no better in 1995 than now.
 

deveandepot1

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Originally Posted by Cary Grant
I think you need to move your comparison point back a couple of decades. The American scene was really no better in 1995 than now.

Good idea. Edited thread title.
 

OttoSkadelig

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juvenile person: there is another element of your thread title that could possibly use some editing if you are looking for responses.

 

rebel222

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This is tough because the quality of all the mentioned brands has been deteriorating for a while. I am not old, but I have handled some vintage stuff from the above brands. Some is better than others. For example, I sold Sri a pair of Allen Edmonds from the 50's that would top most C&J or EG stuff. I am basing this conclusion on construction, materials, an finish. Styling changes so it's not relevant to the comparison. Nothing from the 70's could challenge the big English brands. I also have a pair of completely handmade Florsheims. They have a fiddleback waist and some of the finest construction I've ever seen. I own Vass, EG and C&J shoes. My handmade Florsheims are far superior to my EGs and Vass.
 

DocHolliday

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Before my time as well, but I've seen some shoes from the '70s (I'm guessing) that were worse than anything I've seen from J&M and the like. Bear in mind, there was a time when manmade materials were common in inexpensive shoes, both for upper and sole. I've held some deadstock shoes that were literally dissolving; they left a black oil all over my hands.

There was also an unfortunate trend at some point for a spray-on finish that was like a high-contrast antiquing. Looked absolutely terrible, like someone had taken black spraypaint to a brown shoe.
 

mr monty

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Originally Posted by deveandepot1
Today I think we can safely say
1. Alden
2. AE

3.Crap- Florsheim, ET Wright, Cole Haan, J&M, Hanover(Are they still around?), Bostonian,....

How would you rank them prior to the 1980s?


You need to go back to somewhere between 1965 and 1970
 

amplifiedheat

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Originally Posted by DocHolliday
Before my time as well, but I've seen some shoes from the '70s (I'm guessing) that were worse than anything I've seen from J&M and the like. Bear in mind, there was a time when manmade materials were common in inexpensive shoes, both for upper and sole. I've held some deadstock shoes that were literally dissolving; they left a black oil all over my hands.

I've heard stories about polyester suits with plastic shoes. I always thought it was what tailors told their kids around the campfire.
 

BBC

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If I was forced to rank them, I would put them in groups as below such. However, such groups don't take into account the time period we're talking about. For example, a snapshot in the mid-1950s would produce a much different group of rankings. Conversely, a "second-tier" shoe in my list such as Bostonian Crown Windsors would easily rival contemporary Alden models of a similar type. I have a pair of hand-lasted Bostonian Crown Windsor pebble-grained ptbs and a pair of Alden All-Weather-Walkers and except for some different features in the shoes (the Aldens have a plantation crepe sole, but are machine lasted) I would say they're the same quality.

These groupings are for pre-1980
1. Nettleton (once easily the equal of current Alden), Alden, Florsheim Royal Imperial, J&M Aristocraft (the earliest), J&M handmade models, pre-1965 Allen Edmonds

2. Florsheim Imperial, J&M Aristocraft (later models), Bostonian Crown Windsor, Hanover Imperials and LB Sheppard Signature models, "early" Howard and Foster, and the shell models from Wright, Regal, Cole Haan, Nunn Bush, French Shriner & Urner, and AE

3. Florsheim regular lines, J&M regular lines, Bostonian, Hanover regular lines, Regal, later Howard & Foster (late 1960s-early 1980s), Walk-Over (especially their bucks), EE Taylor, Footjoy, Cole Haan (made in USA), Nunn Bush (made in USA), French Shriner, Allen Edmonds

Generally speaking, almost all of the rather obscure US shoe manufacturers had their start in the late nineteenth century (before AE) and had their heyday in the period between the 1920s-early 1960s, but by the 1960s were facing competition from overseas manufacturers (Japan, Korea, ROC, etc), new-fangled production processes, and new types of uppers (Nettleton pioneered Corfam, IIRC) and the slow decline began. Probably until the early 1980s you could still find some of the old manufacturers still hanging around, but they had so dilluted their quality that people remember them as low-end shoes (e.g. current French Shriner models).
 

DWFII

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Originally Posted by BBC
If I was forced to rank them, I would put them in groups as below such. However, such groups don't take into account the time period we're talking about. For example, a snapshot in the mid-1950s would produce a much different group of rankings. Conversely, a "second-tier" shoe in my list such as Bostonian Crown Windsors would easily rival contemporary Alden models of a similar type. I have a pair of hand-lasted Bostonian Crown Windsor pebble-grained ptbs and a pair of Alden All-Weather-Walkers and except for some different features in the shoes (the Aldens have a plantation crepe sole, but are machine lasted) I would say they're the same quality. These groupings are for pre-1980 1. Nettleton (once easily the equal of current Alden), Alden, Florsheim Royal Imperial, J&M Aristocraft (the earliest), J&M handmade models, pre-1965 Allen Edmonds 2. Florsheim Imperial, J&M Aristocraft (later models), Bostonian Crown Windsor, Hanover Imperials and LB Sheppard Signature models, "early" Howard and Foster, and the shell models from Wright, Regal, Cole Haan, Nunn Bush, French Shriner & Urner, and AE 3. Florsheim regular lines, J&M regular lines, Bostonian, Hanover regular lines, Regal, later Howard & Foster (late 1960s-early 1980s), Walk-Over (especially their bucks), EE Taylor, Footjoy, Cole Haan (made in USA), Nunn Bush (made in USA), French Shriner, Allen Edmonds Generally speaking, almost all of the rather obscure US shoe manufacturers had their start in the late nineteenth century (before AE) and had their heyday in the period between the 1920s-early 1960s, but by the 1960s were facing competition from overseas manufacturers (Japan, Korea, ROC, etc), new-fangled production processes, and new types of uppers (Nettleton pioneered Corfam, IIRC) and the slow decline began. Probably until the early 1980s you could still find some of the old manufacturers still hanging around, but they had so dilluted their quality that people remember them as low-end shoes (e.g. current French Shriner models).
A cautionary tale that continues to this day.
 

deveandepot1

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Originally Posted by BBC

These groupings are for pre-1980
1. Nettleton (once easily the equal of current Alden), Alden, Florsheim Royal Imperial, J&M Aristocraft (the earliest), J&M handmade models, pre-1965 Allen Edmonds

2. Florsheim Imperial, J&M Aristocraft (later models), Bostonian Crown Windsor, Hanover Imperials and LB Sheppard Signature models, "early" Howard and Foster, and the shell models from Wright, Regal, Cole Haan, Nunn Bush, French Shriner & Urner, and AE

3. Florsheim regular lines, J&M regular lines, Bostonian, Hanover regular lines, Regal, later Howard & Foster (late 1960s-early 1980s), Walk-Over (especially their bucks), EE Taylor, Footjoy, Cole Haan (made in USA), Nunn Bush (made in USA), French Shriner, Allen Edmonds


Thanks for this. It will help me in my search for shoes that fit.
 

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