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Senior Member
Jan 6, 2020
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Man, your posts make me consider checking out thrift stores. I have friends who go, but I generally hear that because Minnesota is far from a fashion Mecca, and the weather is so hard on shoes, it's not a fruitful endeavor. I am a bit green at the moment...
Hey, I live in rural Oregon, which is even more of a fashion wasteland. At least you've got the Cities and there's a few Fortune 500 companies in the outlying areas that required well-dressed executives.


Senior Member
Feb 15, 2015
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My initial thought was the same as Vestbash, it's entirely a function of when they were made. Bostonian's Denny Murray (sp?) line was incredible. I think that 1960s LB Sheppards and Nettleton Traditionals are on par with Florsheim Imperials, but both brands cut quality earlier (and more obviously) than Florsheim. I'd argue that Johnston and Murphy Handgrades (up to the early 90s) are (and were) the best quality of shoe made in the US for going back to when the Clapp factory closed in the late 1960s.
Spot on commentary. The shoe that I referred to earlier as the finest I’ve ever handled was from the Denny Murray line. I absolutely agree that the J&M handmades were the nicest American made shoes from at least 1970-the end of production. My rankings earlier were solely for longwings in the 70s-80s which I think is what most people are thinking of when they’re asking about relative vintage shoe quality.


Distinguished Member
Jul 2, 2015
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I’ll have to look again,I thought I saw the cracking on the brogueing rather than the main body of the heel. That would indicate the crack couldn’t spread very far
there was cracking at the vamp also along the brogue and possibly developing in the creases. as a frame of reference in terms of price I recently bought a pair of black shell macneils for about $150 that are in exceptional condition --- like worn just a few times, I would say. in my experience, that is a bit on the low side for cost but they are pretty readily available in around the $200 range. So to me, this pair is a bad deal at $130. I wouldn't buy shell shoes that are cracking and this pair looks to be in pretty rough shape to me. I'd avoid.


Distinguished Member
Aug 17, 2016
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Hey, I live in rural Oregon, which is even more of a fashion wasteland. At least you've got the Cities and there's a few Fortune 500 companies in the outlying areas that required well-dressed executives.
I live in Silicon Valley, home to @CWOyaji, so I find nothing at thrift stores because he cleans house.


Distinguished Member
Jun 9, 2017
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I think it becomes pretty impossible to rank brands generally if you’re not doing it based on a specific style and era. Even within that, the variation can be vast. The nicest shoe I’ve ever handled is a 1950s Bostonian, but I wouldn’t rank all 1950s Bostonians over all 1950s shoes from another maker. It could be fun to rank based on average quality of that maker, but it’s tough because there were so many differences. That being said, I’m a sucker for pre-1960s Clapps and Stetsons.
I think you can walk down this path with any manufacturer. I have a beautiful pair of 1960s era FootJoys (LWB) that are spectacular shoes. Conversely, my 1970s era FootJoy — while well made — pale in comparison.

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