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smfdoc

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These remind me a lot of the Alden 2160. I happen to like the Fairgate. They are really hard to find though in shell. I've seen only a few pairs come up for sale in anything approximating my size over the last couple years.
Fairgates ARE hard to find in shell. Mine were not the best example and I moved them on to someone else. That left me wanting a shell, blucher, cap toe. Nothing was available at AE and I finally found an Alden build I could get on.

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hamercha

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This post is about new non-vintage shoes. However, I think this group shares my interest and curiousity about Meermin. So, I will spoiler this for those not wanting to hear about new shoes.

received my MTO Meermin Cognac Shell Cordovan LWB from the MTO event this summer. These are my first Meermin. I am very impressed in general. My first impression is that the conventional wisdom about Meermin is accurate. For the price, you can’t find a better shoe. The normal line is about $200. This custom Shell Cordovan pair was $385 with shipping. That is practically unheard of for well made Goodyear welted shoes. The quality of the materials looks great. My one complaint is probably related to the fact that I don’t know enough the different lasts.

I had to guess about the size. I usually wear 10.5-11 (US size) and I sometimes need a narrow width or at least a narrow last. Therefore I ordered a UK 9.5 in medium width (which is E for UK Size). They are definitely not too wide. In fact, the width is perfect for me. That might mean they would be too narrow for some. The one issue related to this particular last is the instep might be a little shallow for me. When I put they on, they feel pretty tight in my instep. I do have a high arch/instep. This results in a crease/fold at the bottom of instep at the start of toe box. You can see it in the pictures. I am planning to use a full volume shoe tree that might stretch it just a tiny bit. I only wore them around my house for a few minutes. I like them. Other than the instep fold/crease, I am very impressed. The materials look great, feel great and I haven’t noticed any QC issues — yet.

I do think I will try the $195 line if I can figure out which last accommodates a higher instep. I decided to break out my black watch plaid Bills Khakis for the occasion. It is that time of year!

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Quick Summary: I will likely order more Meermin. For the money, they are probably hard to beat. Although, my first love will always be high quality vintage shoes.
@Nobleprofessor,
How is the leather? Is it thin? On the right shoe, the flex makes me think that the leather is quite thin. And how is the comfort?
 

Jiqea

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I just picked up this pair of NOS Florsheim Imperials by McHale. I had a hot horse tip from @davidVC that they had just been posted to his venerable list (you should check it twice). For all the world they appear to be shell, hence the horse tip. Shell shoes in Canada were never really the thing. I have only ever seen pictures of one pair of shell John McHales. Both that pair and this pair were made after the buyout by Interco (Florsheim), so perhaps there was some cultural appropriation going on. Maybe these are not shell, but fingers crossed. I am going to check the numbers against some similar style Florsheim McHales that are definitely CG.

I had to have the shoes shipped to my US mailing address so it will be a while before I have them in hand. They are an odd size, 7EEE, but they will go into my NOS McHale and Friends shoe display.

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stook1

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I just picked up this pair of NOS Florsheim Imperials by McHale. I had a hot horse tip from @davidVC that they had just been posted to his venerable list (you should check it twice). For all the world they appear to be shell, hence the horse tip. Shell shoes in Canada were never really the thing. I have only ever seen pictures of one pair of shell John McHales. Both that pair and this pair were made after the buyout by Interco (Florsheim), so perhaps there was some cultural appropriation going on. Maybe these are not shell, but fingers crossed. I am going to check the numbers against some similar style Florsheim McHales that are definitely CG.

I had to have the shoes shipped to my US mailing address so it will be a while before I have them in hand. They are an odd size, 7EEE, but they will go into my NOS McHale and Friends shoe display.

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Those are amazing!!! Umm... can one of y'all give me a heads up when you see a pair in a 10D or 10E. Thank you in advance. :lol::fistbump:
 

Hotel Cali

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I just picked up this pair of NOS Florsheim Imperials by McHale. I had a hot horse tip from @davidVC that they had just been posted to his venerable list (you should check it twice). For all the world they appear to be shell, hence the horse tip. Shell shoes in Canada were never really the thing. I have only ever seen pictures of one pair of shell John McHales. Both that pair and this pair were made after the buyout by Interco (Florsheim), so perhaps there was some cultural appropriation going on. Maybe these are not shell, but fingers crossed. I am going to check the numbers against some similar style Florsheim McHales that are definitely CG.

I had to have the shoes shipped to my US mailing address so it will be a while before I have them in hand. They are an odd size, 7EEE, but they will go into my NOS McHale and Friends shoe display.

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They aren't an odd size at all. They are a perfect size for a couple of us on this thread. Let us know once you receive them and if you plan to resell them.
 

Nobleprofessor

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@Nobleprofessor,
How is the leather? Is it thin? On the right shoe, the flex makes me think that the leather is quite thin. And how is the comfort?
The Shell seems pretty typical for newer brands. It is not like my vintage Florsheim. And doesn’t seem quite as thick or sturdy as my newer Alden. But, it does seem to be consistent with a pair 2 year old pair of Allen Edmonds Shell.

Comfort is too hard to tell right now. They are sturdy like a new shoe. They are not even close to vintage Florsheim. I walked around in my house for a bit. The crease on the instep bugs me. But, I’m hoping it will stretch out just a bit.

I’m impressed enough that I will probably try a different pair. I need to learn more about the lasts.
 

Jiqea

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Here is a brief update to my last post about the possible shell McHale built Florsheim Imperials. I checked the style coding against three similar style pairs that I had data on that were built in CG. The coding didn't match. That sent me to the newspaper archives. I had searched many times for "McHale shell cordovan in Canada" without luck, but a search for "Florsheim shell Cordovan Canada" came up with one hit; this 1963 advert from the Calgary Herald. I am very surprised.

Calgary Herald 1963.JPG
 

smfdoc

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I just picked up this pair of NOS Florsheim Imperials by McHale. I had a hot horse tip from @davidVC that they had just been posted to his venerable list (you should check it twice). For all the world they appear to be shell, hence the horse tip. Shell shoes in Canada were never really the thing. I have only ever seen pictures of one pair of shell John McHales. Both that pair and this pair were made after the buyout by Interco (Florsheim), so perhaps there was some cultural appropriation going on. Maybe these are not shell, but fingers crossed. I am going to check the numbers against some similar style Florsheim McHales that are definitely CG.

I had to have the shoes shipped to my US mailing address so it will be a while before I have them in hand. They are an odd size, 7EEE, but they will go into my NOS McHale and Friends shoe display.

View attachment 1509530View attachment 1509531View attachment 1509532
Interesting find! Close inspection shows these are not just the standard Florsheim shell LWB with a McHale name slapped on. The soles are 7 nail, rather than the 5 nail design. The leather heel does not have the V cleat. The brogue holes are larger than other pairs and the leather that has the eyelets extend all of the way down to the long wing on the side. This is the same as seen on the AE McNeil. The typical Florsheim does not extend as far. None of these are undesirable, just subtle tweaks that make them distinct.
 

downtownstyle

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Can anyone help me identify the maker of these vintage Cole Haan's? Benchmade in England and research comes up with people listing shoes with these markings and heel pattern from different british companies...

 

Jiqea

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Interesting find! Close inspection shows these are not just the standard Florsheim shell LWB with a McHale name slapped on. The soles are 7 nail, rather than the 5 nail design. The leather heel does not have the V cleat. The brogue holes are larger than other pairs and the leather that has the eyelets extend all of the way down to the long wing on the side. This is the same as seen on the AE McNeil. The typical Florsheim does not extend as far. None of these are undesirable, just subtle tweaks that make them distinct.
The easiest trick to identifying them as Canadian made Florsheim is the double and stitched edges on the sock-liner. You will only see this on the John McHale Custom shoes and the Florsheim Imperials built at the London McHale factory. To my eye the Florsheim by McHale also seem to have a bit more outsole.
 

hamercha

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The easiest trick to identifying them as Canadian made Florsheim is the double and stitched edges on the sock-liner. You will only see this on the John McHale Custom shoes and the Florsheim Imperials built at the London McHale factory. To my eye the Florsheim by McHale also seem to have a bit more outsole.
Does the thicker soles means it is around 1970s or it is a signature of the McHale shoes? If you decided to sell it at some point, please let me know.
 

Jiqea

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Does the thicker soles means it is around 1970s or it is a signature of the McHale shoes? If you decided to sell it at some point, please let me know.
McHale was well known for their thick soles, often triple thick, but these appear to be a double. My guess is that these shoes are from the 60's although that is only on the basis of the one advert from the Calgary paper in 1963 for Canadian cordovan Florsheim Imperials. Interestingly these shoes are coming to me from Sweet Grass Montana, which is a small town right on the US/Canada border straight south of Calgary. They will be for sale at some point as they will not fit me.
 

sam67

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I think this is a great idea. For all the time and effort I've put into caring for vintage shell, I still don't know what works best. I use Bick, but haven't ever been able to tell if it really absorbs or dries on the surface. @friendlygoz and I were just talking about how despite Horween's advice, VSC doesn't seem to absorb that well either. Saphir cream gives it a nice shine, but doesn't seem to help much with softening old shell. Mink oil and neatsfoot oil certainly will, especially if warmed with a hairdryer, but do they soften at the expense of fiber strength? Plenty of folks online (cobblers, leather workers, etc.) don't like either product, but some of their reasons given (e.g. it won't take a shine afterwards) are not consistent with my experience. Glycerin absorbs too, but leaves spots. What's a fellow to do?
I was researching neatsfoot and VSC and saw your post above. I can say after restoring these Brooks/Alden shells that they drank up the Renovateur, two applications, (which was really noticeable in my limited experience) then sapphir cordovan cream.
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