Florsheim Imperial Shell Cordovan Wingtip

Florsheim Imperial Shell Cordovan Wingtip

Heading to work the other day, my mind was obviously on shoes. And business. And shoes again. And then doughnuts. Because I love doughnuts. And shoes. And business. Of course. Sometimes a very kind person at my office will bring in doughnuts. Usually on Friday. But it was Tuesday. I thought, if I thought positive thoughts, the thought of doughnuts might enter the thoughts of this person. Positive and powerful thoughts. I needed to channel Tony Robbins. Exude confidence. Chin up, chest out, shoes polished. Today is the day. Doughnut day.

When I entered the office kitchen, there were no doughnuts. Just aging apples and bananas. I was disappointed. I explained my disappointment to the two women coworkers in the kitchen at the time. They were not sympathetic. One asked me why I didn’t just buy a doughnut. The other agreed and then double downed by saying I should have bought doughnuts for the whole office. Logic can be annoying when it is deployed to assault your positive and powerful thoughts.

I thanked them for their sage comments. I grabbed a glass and filled it with free, sanitized, on demand water from the office water dispenser and headed to my desk. My head was still up and my shoes were still polished. Tomorrow will be the day. Yes.

Today is a day for a pair of vintage shoes. It usually is. Unless it isn’t. This pair is rare pair of Florsheim Imperial Shell Cordovan wingtips.

Florsheim Shell Cordovan Wingtip

Florsheim didn’t regularly produce a pair of Shell Cordovan wingtips after it ended production of the model 32301 in the mid-1960s. I assume this was due to the lack of sales. During the 1960s to 1990s, Florsheim Shell Cordovan models were primary long wings and plain toe bluchers (PTBs) in brown or black. Florsheim also made a few Shell loafers, most notably, the Yuma. You can see examples of the models on my Florsheim Shell Cordovan models page.

Florsheim Imperial Shell Cordovan

Alden and Allen Edmonds still makes Shell Cordovan wingtips. This Florsheim design is more like the Alden 974 than the Allen Edmonds Cambridge. The wingtip Balmoral is a classic style but I prefer a cap toe for dressy occasions and a long wing for casual wear. Which is almost every day.

Shell Cordovan Wingtip

Shell Cordovan is a bit of an obsession in the USA. It seems like European manufacturers only produce shell models to sell in America. I could be wrong. Is it a practical leather? No. But it looks great when shined. It can have a depth of color not found on any calfskin leather. But it is fussy and requires a lot of maintenance. So it’s good looking and fussy. Most men can tolerate anything fussy if also good looking.

Florsheim Imperial Shell Cordovan

Doughnuts are another favorite in the USA. And every American loves them without exception. Pretty sure. I looked it up and apparently the doughnut was invented by a Dutch American. Good for us. Unfortunately, I also found out that Americans did not invent wingtips, Shell Cordovan, shoes or horses. Another American disappointment. Like the New York Knicks.

Florsheim Shell Cordovan Color 8

This pair was likely made in the 1980s. It must have been produced in a special run because it doesn’t have a regular model number listed on the inside. The shoe construction is quite nice. Its fully leathered lined and the black lining has cool green stitching. I normally wear a 11.5 D or 12 C but this 12 C runs long. Almost too big.

Florsheim Shell Cordovan

I have only seen a few Florsheim Shell wing tips on eBay in the past few years. I have seen a lot of sellers promote their Florsheim wingtip model as Shell Cordovan when it is not. These faux Shell models include the 30353, 30368, 93327, 93363, 97318, and 97323.

Florsheim Imperial Color 8

I took a few photos of the shoes in the full sun and shade to highlight the shoes color. The shoes were in very good condition when I bought them. I just cleaned them with a damp cloth and a good brushing. I conditioned and polished the pair with both Venetian Shoe Cream (first) and Colonil 1909 Creme Supreme neutral (second).

Florsheim Shell Cordovan

Enjoy the photos.

Florsheim Imperial Shell Cordovan




4 thoughts on “Florsheim Imperial Shell Cordovan Wingtip”

  1. Looks like these have a tiny bit of cracking on the left heel. They’re quite beautiful, but I was under the impression that you were against purchasing any Shells with this condition. I’m making this point because I too have some Shells (93605) with similar issues. Since the heel counter shows no sign of a loss in structural integrity, I have convinced myself that everything is going to be fine. I have yet to purchase any vintage Shells that do not have at least some cracking on the piping near the heel.
    I’d be interested to get your thoughts on the issue.

    1. Yes, my recommendation is not to buy shell that is cracking. Its an indicator of general condition of the shoes. You are buying shoes just off eight or so shoes photos on eBay. That said, if you own a pair, wear the pair. I have a few pairs with minor cracks on the eyelets. I believe I caused the cracks but they could have been there when I bought them. On this pair, there is a tiny cut or tear on the back. I am not what caused it. I didn’t see it in the listing photos and the seller didn’t disclose it.

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