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stook1

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Yes! I’m very happy for you. That’s great! 🎉🎊🍾🥳🍻🎈🥂🪅

Weird that they don’t have the combo heel that AE shell usually has, even back then. I have an oddly large sense of pride that I called it right. You guys get it though. Wear those in good health!
Very insightful comment... the heel was a definite tell that they were not shell. I hadn't even noticed it until @vestbash pointed it out. I think I also mentioned earlier that the print on the lining is unconventional. Comparing notes with some other odd pairs it seems to be a tell of an early MTO pair. Notice the spacing between the length and width plus the lack of the date code.

IMG_1789.jpg
 

wasmisterfu

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Yes! I’m very happy for you. That’s great! 🎉🎊🍾🥳🍻🎈🥂🪅

Weird that they don’t have the combo heel that AE shell usually has, even back then. I have an oddly large sense of pride that I called it right. You guys get it though. Wear those in good health!
Weird, AE didn’t really do non-combo’ed lasts. I wonder if that was an MTO option, where they still maintained non-combo lasts (they dropped the combo label in the 90’s as everything was a combo last by default - with, technically, the exception of 108 last, as that was basically the 206 with a non-combo heel).
 

stook1

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Weird, AE didn’t really do non-combo’ed lasts. I wonder if that was an MTO option, where they still maintained non-combo lasts (they dropped the combo label in the 90’s as everything was a combo last by default - with, technically, the exception of 108 last, as that was basically the 206 with a non-combo heel).
I think he meant the dove tail heel... to your point though the lining isnt marked with "COMB" as it usually would be.
 

wasmisterfu

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Very insightful comment... the heel was a definite tell that they were not shell. I hadn't even noticed it until @vestbash pointed it out. I think I also mentioned earlier that the print on the lining is unconventional. Comparing notes with some other odd pairs it seems to be a tell of an early MTO pair. Notice the spacing between the length and width plus the lack of the date code.

View attachment 1624481
So it’s missing date coding, combo stamp, a run number. Weird, very weird.
 

friendlygoz

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I think he meant the dove tail heel... to your point though the lining isnt marked with "COMB" as it usually would be.
Yep. That’s what I meant. Sorry.
 

right_hook

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I actually don't think they are butt ugly. But I do think there is no chance I would wear them. That said, even black shark seemed to be too much for my personal taste. It's a unique look for shark. I've never seen another pair quite like 'em.
Why not? Just buy yourself a proper suit and you're free to go!
 

wasmisterfu

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Gents,
The mystery AE Saratoga loafers that were the subject of discussion over the weekend have landed. A thanks to @vestbash for reaching out to chat about this pair of shoes. It's fair to say that we each concluded that they were probably not shell but that there were enough oddities about this pair that it was difficult to be certain one way or the other.

I am happy to report....


View attachment 1624476

View attachment 1624473
View attachment 1624477
The more I look at these, the stranger they are. They appear to have a circle stamp on the sole(s), the soles themselves are pre-86. I think these might have been some kind of prototype shoe for testing the pattern for shell, that landed in the ShoeBank.
 

stook1

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The more I look at these, the stranger they are. They appear to have a circle stamp on the sole(s), the soles themselves are pre-86. I think these might have been some kind of prototype shoe for testing the pattern for shell, that landed in the ShoeBank.
Yes, they are a very strange pair. They fit perfectly, by the way... which was the other huge gamble. I got them hydrated enough to try a very quick fitting.

Anyway, to your comment. Yes, they are stamped as factory rejects with the old method as you noted. I don't know as much as you do, clearly, about dating based upon the sole.so I am not certain what you are noticing other than the aforementioned stamp. They don't appear to be branded AE on the sole, although I am about 100% sure that the soles are original.

I've yet to come to an absolute decision about whether the tassels are shell. Trying to be very careful messing with them since they are squashed flat and were quite dry.

Other than some of the obvious wear and tear on the uppers, in particular an impression on the toe that will take some effort to fix, there is a relatively minor stitching issue at the binding just above corner of the neck on one shoe. I am going to have to get it re-stitched before these are safely wearable. It's a trivially easy repair and will prob bring them into the NYC next time I am at my office. Also a fair amount of toe drag so will probably add plates and perhaps a very thin topy just to extend the life of the soles. For now just focused on getting the uppers presentable.
 

wasmisterfu

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Yes, they are a very strange pair. They fit perfectly, by the way... which was the other huge gamble. I got them hydrated enough to try a very quick fitting.

Anyway, to your comment. Yes, they are stamped as factory rejects with the old method as you noted. I don't know as much as you do, clearly, about dating based upon the sole.so I am not certain what you are noticing other than the aforementioned stamp. They don't appear to be branded AE on the sole, although I am about 100% sure that the soles are original.

I've yet to come to an absolute decision about whether the tassels are shell. Trying to be very careful messing with them since they are squashed flat and were quite dry.

Other than some of the obvious wear and tear on the uppers, in particular an impression on the toe that will take some effort to fix, there is a relatively minor stitching issue at the binding just above corner of the neck on one shoe. I am going to have to get it re-stitched before these are safely wearable. It's a trivially easy repair and will prob bring them into the NYC next time I am at my office. Also a fair amount of toe drag so will probably add plates and perhaps a very thin topy just to extend the life of the soles. For now just focused on getting the uppers presentable.
I don't think they were a standard second - I really think these might have been part of a test run - they lack the standard run number - and they decided to put them into the shoebank because, well, they're a really nice pair of shell loafers. Keep in mind, the shoebank, back in the day, was literally stuff that couldn't go to retailers (either seconds, or weird things like this pair) that they sold right out of Belgium/Port Washington.
 

stook1

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I don't think they were a standard second - I really think these might have been part of a test run - they lack the standard run number - and they decided to put them into the shoebank because, well, they're a really nice pair of shell loafers. Keep in mind, the shoebank, back in the day, was literally stuff that couldn't go to retailers (either seconds, or weird things like this pair) that they sold right out of Belgium/Port Washington.
This seems to be the consensus point of view. Either that or some type of error in the makeup (ie. the heel) or perhaps a MTO. I'll post some more pics in a few days once they are further along. Already looking much better.
 

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