The 5 Nails on Vintage Florsheims. What purpose do they serve?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by deveandepot1, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. deveandepot1

    deveandepot1 Senior member

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    Its been on my mind. They never really meet the floor.

    Edit- Here a quick pic for those not in the know.
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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013


  2. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Paging Teacher...
     




  3. cogbog

    cogbog Member

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    I would like to know this too.
     


  4. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Anyone up to phoning them? Weyco-Florsheim 1 414 908 1600
    I have messaged Teacher but he hasn't logged in for some time. He used to work for Florsheim and knows the brand history very well.
    I can only speculate that they served a need of some sort or were decorative indicators of the Imperial line. The old school thinking would lend me to believe they originally served a need but who knows?
    :lurk:
     


  5. Patrologia

    Patrologia Senior member

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  6. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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  7. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    Hi guys. I'll be perfectly honest: I've never figured it out myself. I have those old shoes, and I've never noticed them making any sort of difference. Probably some marketing ploy. (The nails on the heels DO help quite a bit with wear and tear, though.)

    Just for clarification: I never worked for Florsheim. I sold them at an independent shoe store, back when they were USA made.
     


  8. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Teacher, my mistake and thank you for clarifying.
     


  9. deveandepot1

    deveandepot1 Senior member

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    Thanks for the help guys. I am leaning towards a marketing ploy too.
     


  10. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    The nails on the heels do make a major difference in wear. They are also hell on marble floors. I wore a pair to a meeting on the Hill once. Never again...
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013


  11. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    They help you learning how to skate. Fast.
     


  12. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    I am a very, very good skater. Can keep up with minor league pros level, at least in terms of speed, though I can't do agility drills as well as they can. Nearly always the best in any beer league or pickup game I'm in. Trust me, the skill does not help you much when it comes to nailed heels and polished floors.
     


  13. VPlate

    VPlate Member

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    Folks:

    Speculation on my part.

    These are "Gunboats".

    The first defining characteristic of a Gunboat is double soles (correct me if I'm off base here).

    And when you add a second sole, you need the nails to keep the 2nd sole correctly attached to the first sole during the flexing incurred during walking.

    The main reason I believe they are not cosmetic (ie just to facilitate sales) is that this shoe is literally one of the best manufactured shoes in the industry. Adding nails increases manufacturing costs without necessarily increasing sales to cover those costs. And here I maybe off base also because the Florsheim Company defined marketing practices for the industry.

    This thread has gone silent, and I personally feel this is important information for the "flagship shoe style" of the Florsheim Company.

    I'm hoping someone will dismantle an old pair and see if the nails are used to keep arch components in place, etc.

    Also if folks know of anyone who worked in the Florsheim factories of this period, that will help also.
     


  14. VPlate

    VPlate Member

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    Continued speculation:

    These nails enter the outer sole, pass through the double sole, and exit after passing through the inner sole (as pointed out by a member above). They must serve a purpose that mitigates a weakness at that point in the "sole system". However, what this "weakness" is, I don't know. And as I mentioned previously, it can be to keep sole components, like a metal plate in place (I assumed the nails straddle the plate). Once I get my hands on a pair that have no value, I'll have my local shoe repair guy disassemble them to see what can be discovered.
     


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