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Vintage Dress shoe appreciation, tips, maintenance and advice

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by smfdoc, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. mormonopoly

    mormonopoly Senior Member

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    Here are some 1940s Winthrop Spectators I was wearing this week. I snagged these for $15 on ebay in gently worn condition. The seller had labeled them as "Funky 1970s shoes." IMG_2659.JPG
     

  2. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Distinguished Member

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    I have read about Lee Kee from classicshoesformen.com.

    I asked my family about that brand. Both sides were working class and didn't eat or shop at the Peninsula Hotel so never heard of the brand, let alone any bespoke shoes.

    My dad heard of Florsheim and Dacks as a kid. Apparently one of the shoe stores in HK was able to sell Dacks in record numbers.

    And Florsheim for some reason commanded a lead there, even over the English brands.

    My paternal grandpa only wore Bally in his old age. He said they were comfortable and worked for his feet.

    God, thinking about this brings back memories of my dad and grandpa. The latter bought me my first Florsheims which I wish I had kept. They would have been one of the last made in, or assembled in USA shoes (1997). If I had known better, I probably could've pushed him to buy a pair of shell v-cleats for his favourite grandson.

    And my dad encouraged me to do my own research about well made men's shoes. That's how I came across this epic group of people and vcleat.com.
     

  3. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Distinguished Member

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    Thank you for this great information! I normally would not go to those areas. Now I have a reason!

    I have heard of Tassels. Will check them out. My aunt tells me that Salvation Army sells used clothes and shoes by weight. I imagine a few pairs of v-cleats would weigh down the scales.

    I last visited in 2008. And before that, went almost every year to see family. I can't wait to see them, eat the street food, and now check out the vintage scene.

    I will not enjoy the humidity, the cramped quarters, and general constant hustle and bustle.
     

  4. Jiqea

    Jiqea Senior Member

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    I have spent part of the afternoon cleaning up a pair of S.E. Dacks from the late 1940's. Stanford Elmore Dack was the great great grandson of Matthew Dack, who started the firm in 1834. Stanford sold the company in 1948 to a group of Toronto investors, who passed it on to Churchs in the late 50's. During Stantford's time S.E Dacks were the very top of the line, with hand stitched welts and using the very finest materials. These shoes have ostrich aprons and vamps, with the remainder of the shoe made from African Water Bison. The first picture is what I saw in the Ebay add.

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  5. CWOyaji

    CWOyaji Distinguished Member

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    Great restoration! I have yet to see a made in Canada pair of Dacks at thrift here in California. I saw a newish pair of Dacks last month, but they were made in Mexico. Still looked like pretty good shoe though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019

  6. Jiqea

    Jiqea Senior Member

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    These came from Michigan,and I have bought a number of pairs from Florida, mainly from retired Canadians.
     

  7. CWOyaji

    CWOyaji Distinguished Member

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    I like finding vintage shoes at thrift, cleaning them up and passing them on to my sons. The unlaced pairs here are going to my older son, the laced pairs are mine. I got him started with a pair of shell 93605 LWBs at Christmas, which he liked very much. The total cost of these four black pairs was $25.
    Left to right: Florsheim 92611 PTBs, Hanover (for Sears!) PTB's, 92604 LWBs and Dad's 92604s.
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    Interestingly the two laced pairs are a 12 D and a 14 C but they both fit my size 13 D feet. I had to work on the Hanovers with Mackay stretchers, Bick 4 and a stick-on furniture pad to get the left big toe comfortable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019

  8. instigateur

    instigateur Distinguished Member

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    Woah!
     

  9. friendlygoz

    friendlygoz Senior Member

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    Again, I’m totally available for adoption.
     

  10. Oshare

    Oshare Senior Member

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    Thanks for the insights. Now I want to go to Hong Kong again.
    I was there last year but I didn't have time to do much shopping -- just way too much eating. Hopefully next time I'll get to put some vintage shops on the itinerary.

    Several generations ago my family emigrated from the Hong Kong or Guangzhou area to the USA. The language faded away over the generations and no one speaks Chinese anymore, but some of the cultural elements remain... especially the food.
    Two years ago I visited Hong Kong for the very first time, and it was the weirdest feeling of deep familiarity for a place I had never been to before.
     

  11. Oshare

    Oshare Senior Member

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    Japan has some pretty unusual TV shows, as well as niche manga and anime.

    Over on the Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread someone had found a Japanese manga called "Ippo" about a young bespoke shoemaker. The first 2 short stories are translated into English which you can read online. I then got curious and picked up the set of 5 books, so slowly reading through them now. Not exactly a page turner, but the artist definitely knows his stuff when it comes to shoes. The stories so far revolve around his journey as a shoemaker, and what bespoke shoes mean to the lives of his customers.

    [​IMG]
     

  12. eTrojan

    eTrojan Senior Member

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    Alden shell loafers for church this morning. Not sure how old these are, but haven’t found my reference to this model anywhere.

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  13. davidVC

    davidVC Senior Member

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    When you and @CWOyaji go thrifting together, aren't you both competing for the same items? How does that work if you find a good pair? In the words of Highlander - there can be only one.
     

  14. Shoonoob

    Shoonoob Senior Member

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    Pebbled grain leather is not a good choice for nubuck conversion. So many deep gouges and scuffs in these that I thought I would try for a St Paddys Day leprechaun shoe. Not very good but they will work for getting green beer spilled on them. I shall update their progress if they get any better.
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  15. davidVC

    davidVC Senior Member

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    Belated Happy Birthday. And thanks for being such a great contributor to the shoe community over the years. You have a lot of passion and knowledge about shoes. Thanks for sharing it with everyone. I hope you have 50 more years in you.

    To your comment on the Imperial, a modern Alden is arguably better than that 93605 I took apart. It has a steel shank and better heel but on the downside, Alden stitching is not as good as vintage Florsheim. I am not sure the Alden outsole leather is better. It's definitely not as thick. Both have very nice shoe linings and the same Horween shell cordovan upper.

    I am struggling to think of another dress shoe brand/model below the Alden price point that is demonstratively better than a vintage Imperial. Florsheim were selling them at a price point similar to Allen Edmonds. @ccpl14 and I were looking a brand new AE Shell MacNeil the other day and the quality was rather sad. And that was the floor model. It was also around $700.
     

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