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right_hook

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Allen Edmonds Bedford from February of 1976. Style number 4343 made on the Bancroft Last. This shoe first appeared in the 1965 catalog through 1983.

1976 Catalog pictures included. Bancroft Last appears to be the same as 73 last. The Chester, which I know for a fact was made on 73, is also listed as Bancroft from that era.

Also, if the price notation on the 76 catalog page is accurate, I paid less for these in 2020 than they cost in 1976.
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They are really good looking shoes!!
 

smfdoc

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Buy first, ask questions later. Well, almost. Any dating help from the community on these Florsheim? Thanks
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The info at vcleat.com states this is a 1980s model made of Bourbon Cortez leather. The date code would be for 1983. Be sure to check out vcleat.com as @davidVC has a wealth of information there. What is Cortez leather? David says, "Not sure what that is but it might be top grain leather."
 

davidVC

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That's my thinking too. But I'm talking about a way longer time horizon. For example, lets say someone out there has a pair of vintage shell that were bought 40 years ago, worn every sunday, and properly maintained. Still good? I think - yes. But I'm not in a position to give any kind of authoritative answer on that considering the oldest shell that I bought new is still only 5-10 years old.
I agree, if you care for the pair and maintain the upper, it should last a long time.

Buying a vintage Shell Cordovan pair is a bit of a gamble. A pair can look new but they might have been stored in someone's hot attic and are dried out and brittle. Conditioning will help but I don't think you can fully reverse the effects of long term neglect.
 
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Jiqea

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I was out this morning to buy some materials to build a Purple Martin house, which was the perfect excuse to pop into my local Value Village to look for used shoes. I clearly don't need a very good excuse! I found one pair of slightly used Blue Label Florsheim in black by McHale as well as a matching NOS pair in brown; both 10.5E. They should date to the late 70's thru mid-80's. Very fine shoes which will go to defray the cost of my Purple Martin house. The only thing cheap about building one is the birds.

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vestbash

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Question 2: what's up with shell and cracking? Is shell overly prone to crack? (I don't have a pair in shell, so no experience with it) There seems to be a lot of cracking going on in this thread, but much less so with calf.
Shell is particularly susceptible to certain types of damage that calf skin leather is not, but with most leathers, if the leather is dry it can crack which cannot be fixed (but you can hide or disguise it). The manufacturers of the vintage shoes that are discussed in this thread made shell cordovan shoes to varying levels of quality and there are quirks with particular models, designs, and manufacturers. It's hard to tell from even very high quality photos if a particular pair of vintage shells will withstand further wear unless there is something glaringly wrong with them, so you really need to be able to handle the shoes and check the temper and closely inspect for damage and cracks. For vintage Florsheim shell LWBs there is probably 1 or 2 truly viable pairs for long term wear for every 10 you see, if you were to evaluate on a fairly rigorous standard.
 

sam67

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Alden shell saddle (993)- I looked around but can't really find a satisfying answer. These are second hand. I brushed for 20 min and then put a wee bit of Renovateur on them. Black came off on my fingers with application of. So what is the best way to get old polish off shell? Thanks.
 

stook1

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Alden shell saddle (993)- I looked around but can't really find a satisfying answer. These are second hand. I brushed for 20 min and then put a wee bit of Renovateur on them. Black came off on my fingers with application of. So what is the best way to get old polish off shell? Thanks.
Renomat. Don't use alcohol, it will strip alden's coating. Another option is VSC with intense scrubbing with a microfiber. I've done that with good effect but it really depends just how much polish we are talking about.
 

sam67

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Renomat. Don't use alcohol, it will strip alden's coating. Another option is VSC with intense scrubbing with a microfiber. I've done that with good effect but it really depends just how much polish we are talking about.
I was unsure about renomat. But I have a big jug ;) thanks. Bingo! First application. I knew it didn't feel right! Ok, I'll be busy for a while. (this material is so cool)
 

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stook1

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I was unsure about renomat. But I have a big jug ;) thanks
I find it to be fine. I used it for a similar situation with a pair of inexpensive shell AEs that someone had botched with years of excess polish. Night and day difference. As with renomat generally --- go easy and condition afterwards, which you prob already knew perfectly well if you have a big jug of it.
 

Nealjpage

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Look at the stylized name (Ra Leigh), which appears to be a portmanteau. I can't figure out what the two words would be, though. Any way you slice it, those are some sweet kicks.
 

happypebble

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Shell is particularly susceptible to certain types of damage that calf skin leather is not, but with most leathers, if the leather is dry it can crack which cannot be fixed (but you can hide or disguise it). The manufacturers of the vintage shoes that are discussed in this thread made shell cordovan shoes to varying levels of quality and there are quirks with particular models, designs, and manufacturers. It's hard to tell from even very high quality photos if a particular pair of vintage shells will withstand further wear unless there is something glaringly wrong with them, so you really need to be able to handle the shoes and check the temper and closely inspect for damage and cracks. For vintage Florsheim shell LWBs there is probably 1 or 2 truly viable pairs for long term wear for every 10 you see, if you were to evaluate on a fairly rigorous standard.
Ah, I see. In other words, if I want a good pair in shell, buy new.
 

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