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What's the story w/ Florsheim? ...

cmeisenzahl

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Last night the wife and daughters were looking for some clothes at the mall. So the boy and I wandered around and eventually into Altier's, a mall shoe store.

I saw a few Florsheim wingtips in the men's section. Now that I've seen AE, Alden, and many more shoes I've become a bit jaded. When I was younger, and considered chinos to be 'dress clothes,' I thought Florsheim shoes were high-end. But these shoes looked horrific, they didn't even look like leather, I'm reasonably confident that they were just very glossy black plastic.

So was Florsheim once a decent brand? Or have my experience and perspective just changed?
 

marc237

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Florsheim was, in its heyday, one of the better American shoe makers. The company had different lines - the top of the line were very good indeed. Unfortunately, the decline in wearing dress shoes and the opening up of foreign sources of labor killed off the quality or the company itself for so many American shoe makers. All that remains really are Alden and Allen Edmonds. Unfortunately, QC at AE leaves me with some concern.
 

Cary Grant

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Somebody posted a pic here in the last year of a very vintage (40's?) pair of Florsheim's complete with a beveled waist. They certainly were a "go-to" brand in their heyday.
 

Steve Smith

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The Florsheim Imperial longwing is an American classic. They are built like tanks. These are still available on ebay, SF, and AAAC sales fora, if you don't mind buying used. I have sold two thrifted pair in the last month and will most likely put another pair (12E) up soon.
 

Composer_1777

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I get florsheim shoes, because they last pretty long. They are beaters that get the job done, if you pick the right ones. Mine have been through snow, rain, miles of concrete still look good doesn't even show scratches. They are from the imperial collection though, which isn't that expensive.
 

antirabbit

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Originally Posted by Composer_1777
I get florsheim shoes, because they last pretty long. They are beaters that get the job done, if you pick the right ones. Mine have been through snow, rain, miles of concrete still look good doesn't even show scratches. They are from the imperial collection though, which isn't that expensive.

So they heal themselves?
 

Felix Krull

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My favorite pair of shoes that I've ever owned are a pair of black, wing-tip Florsheim Royal Imperials from their Made in Italy line. The leather fits like a glove around my foot, better than shoes I own that cost five times more. I paid about $120 for them in 1995. I still wear them to this day and they are only now getting to the point of needing re-crafting.

Sadly, the Florsheim of today is a sad shadow of itself even 14 years ago. I believe they've only been able to stay in business by aiming at the Wal-Mart crowd.
 

Nexus6

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Let us not pick on Florsheim alone for the decline in quality

This is the same fate that has befallen
Bostonian, Stacey Adams, Cole Haan, and a lot of others.
All great shoes in their day...and today, all trimmed down to stay alive.

This is not the story of Florsheim mis-management.

This is the story of the great North American sell-out.

This is the friendly mask of global economics;

of the global plantation;

of the rout of civilisation,

and the end of humanity.



Disclaimer:
No drugs or alcohol were used in the typing of this response.
I am still drinking tap water though.
 

meister

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Originally Posted by Nexus6
Let us not pick on Florsheim alone for the decline in quality

This is the same fate that has befallen
Bostonian, Stacey Adams, Cole Haan, and a lot of others.
All great shoes in their day...and today, all trimmed down to stay alive.

This is not the story of Florsheim mis-management.

This is the story of the great North American sell-out.

This is the friendly mask of global economics;

of the global plantation;

of the rout of civilisation,

and the end of humanity.



Disclaimer:
No drugs or alcohol were used in the typing of this response.
I am still drinking tap water though.


+1 Hilarious reality check of globalism and its impact on quality...
 

Journeyman

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Originally Posted by Nexus6
Let us not pick on Florsheim alone for the decline in quality

This is the same fate that has befallen
Bostonian, Stacey Adams, Cole Haan, and a lot of others.
All great shoes in their day...and today, all trimmed down to stay alive.

This is not the story of Florsheim mis-management.

This is the story of the great North American sell-out.

This is the friendly mask of global economics;

of the global plantation;

of the rout of civilisation,

and the end of humanity.



Disclaimer:
No drugs or alcohol were used in the typing of this response.
I am still drinking tap water though.


Originally Posted by meister
+1 Hilarious reality check of globalism and its impact on quality...


Globalisation is not - or at least, not solely - due to the reduction in quality of shoes from companies such as Florsheim, Bostonian and others. If one looks at other companies or industries that have been changed by globalisation, such as the manufacturing of computers and automobiles, there's no doubt that quality has increased over the past few decades. Even setting aside such issues as air-conditioning and engine power and efficiency, would you rather drive a Toyota from the 1980s or recent-model Toyota? The more recent model is far superior - better materials, better panel fit, more durable and so on and so forth. Globalisation and the outsourcing of production does not necessarily equate to a reduction in quality.

The real question, then, is why companies such as Florsheim felt that they could, or should, lower the quality of their goods along with the cost of production. Quite simply, it's probably because they thought that they could get away with it. No-one at their overseas factories compelled Florsheim to use cheap, corrected-grain leather in their shoes instead of calf-leather. No-one compelled them to start gluing the soles to the upper instead of stitching the two parts together. Those decisions were made by Florsheim HQ and I can only assume that it was because they thought that customers wouldn't care.
 

ferguscan

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Florsheim sucks for the same reasons that USA manufacturing in general sucks. The biggest of these reasons is the US dollar. Since WWII, the world accepted US dollars as if they were gold. But since 1971, the US dollar has had no gold backing. And yet the world continue to accept it as a gold-equivalent, while the US government inflates like crazy.

So, Americans are faced with a choice: either work hard and manufacture high-quality goods to earn money, or simply print more dollars and pay Asian peasants to make the goods instead. Which one do you think they chose?

That said, the world will soon (next few years I think) reject the dollar, and Americans will become poor. If their government is forced to maintain a sound currency once more, and to keep their hands off in general, Americans will go back to work and we'll see a resurgence in USA manufacturing. It will be a very, very painful transition.

Stuart
 

bengal-stripe

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Florsheim Shoes went under in maybe 2002. They were bought by a consortium which included some members of the original founder family (who had not been involved with a company for many years). Here is the gloss from the web-site:
In May of 2002, the Florsheim trademark returned to its roots when purchased by Weyco Group. Weyco Group, located in Glendale, Wisconsin, is currently the headquarters of Florsheim Shoes. The senior officers of the company are fifth generation Florsheim and proud to carry on the family tradition. They are committed to making Florsheim the leading dress and casual footwear brand by creating shoes that embrace Florsheim's heritage of quality and craftsmanship and incorporate the latest in comfort technology and styling. http://www.florsheim.com/shop-fl/about-us.ep
Immediately the new Florsheim/Weyco company, closed the remaining production facilities in the US and sourced overseas. It appears, even in it’s heydays, Florsheim, tried to cater for every price segment in the shoe market: from cheap-and-cheerful junk to top price American classics, mainly sold in the company’s own stores. There is a new “Designer-Range” coming shortly, in collaboration with Duckie Brown, which might, or might not, take the Florsheim name more upmarket: http://www.stylelist.com/blog/2009/0...-duckie-brown/
 

voxsartoria

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Don't quote me on this, but teh Florsheim is perhaps the finest shoe made.

- B
 

Journeyman

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Originally Posted by bengal-stripe
There is a new "Designer-Range" coming shortly, in collaboration with Duckie Brown, which might, or might not,
take the Florsheim name more upmarket:

http://www.stylelist.com/blog/2009/0...-duckie-brown/


I have no idea who Duckie Brown is.
Having said that, however, I think that the shell cordovan shoes look very nice indeed, from the small photos on the stylelist website.
The wingtip bals would look great if they had laces. The idea of laceless wingtip bals is, however, a stupid one and ruins the look completely. I wonder if you can add laces if you choose...
 

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