Vintage Florsheim Model Numbers

Florsheim Model Numbers 1950s-90s

The information in this post covers the 1950s to the 1990s. During these years, Florsheim dominated the dress shoe market in the United States. The company produced some great (and not so great), shoes during that period. These vintage Florsheim shoes are sought after by men’s dress shoe enthusiasts and are commonly bought and sold on eBay.

I have never worked for Florsheim. I have sold quite a number of Florsheim shoes but all second hand. The info I am providing in this post has largely been gathered from first hand experience and researching the internet. So some of this info may be wrong. But if you buy or sell vintage Florsheim shoes, you should find this information useful. I hope!

Looking for info on Shell Cordovan models? Visit this post which has a complete list of Florsheim’s vintage Shell Cordovan models. And read my guide to buying a Florsheim Imperial 93605.

Also view my mostly complete list of calfskin long wing models.

Shoe Manufacturing Codes

So let’s start by looking at all the numbers and letters you typically find in a vintage Florsheim. These will be on the inner right side of the shoe.Florsheim Model Number

10 1/2 D – Size information. US sizing
654543 – An order/sequence number but I don’t believe the value is unique. The same number should appear in the left and right shoe
15 – Factory/manufacturer code (pretty sure)
93631 – This is the model number (Golden Harvest)
GH – Month/Year code (more on this below)

Date of Manufacture

Florsheim used two letters on the shoes to represent the year and month (see discussion). The first character is the month (A=January, B=February, and so on). The second character is the last digit of the year (A=0, B=1, etc).

So in the example above, GH would be July of the year 7. Is that 1997 or 1987 or 1977 or 1967 or 1957? I am guessing it is 1977. This was a model produced in the 1960s and 1970s and this particular shoe has a post-1973 v-cleat (more on that later).

Unfortunately for us, Florsheim decided to use a single character to represent the year. So its difficult to date Florsheim shoes to the year without knowing the years the model was produced. And that information is hard to come by. I emailed Florsheim to see if they had any vintage model information to share and they said they couldn’t assist me with pre-2002 shoes. Thanks! Florsheim should embrace their history, like Allen Edmonds, especially since they put “Established 1892” in their logo.

I made this date calculator to help you decode the possible dates:
Enter Florsheim Date Code (Upper Case):

A few dating clues that can help you (see examples at the bottom of the page):

  • The Imperial Kenmoor 92604 and 93602 (the two most common Florsheim Imperial models on eBay) were produced from 1958 to 1988
  • Most of the Royal Imperial models you see on eBay (97623, 97624, 97625, 97626), were made in the 1990s
  • If the numbering looks old and is black, it is likely from the 1950s or 1960s
  • In Imperial models after 1973, the v-cleat position is inset within the heel toplift. Before that, the v-cleat was flush with the outside of the heel (see examples at the bottom of the page)
  • In 1993 and after, some models are labelled “Made in USA”. This was probably done to distinguish them from “Made in India” models
  • Theater like Florsheim corporate logo appeared in shoes ~1992
  • Rectangle Florsheim corporate logo appeared in 1997
  • Models labelled with “Assembled in USA” started in 1997
  • “Custom Grade” models were made in Spain in the 1980s
Model Number Details

From 1957 to 2002, the model number was a 5 digit code. The first reference I saw for this 5 digit number system was in a February 1957 ad, but it may have started in late 1956. Prior to those years, the models usually started with “S-” and were followed by 4 digits. So if you find a shoe with that pattern of model number, you know it is 60+ years old. Nice find.

For non-Imperial line models, the first digit of the model number signifies the color if the digit is 2, 3, 4 or 8. For Imperials, the second digit is the color code. I see no pattern for models starting with 5, 6, or 7. Here is what I have gathered:

2nnnn Black, Gray
3nnnn Brown, Wine, Tan, Gold, Burgundy
4nnnn White
8nnnn Blue
92nnn Imperial Black
93nnn Imperial Brown (not black)
96nnn Royal Imperial Black
97nnn Royal Imperial Brown (not black)

What about 1? I haven’t seen any models starting with 1. Modern Florsheim shoe model numbers (2002+), usually start with a 1 though. Maybe that’s why they chose it.

The third digit is a style code. Again, this what I have seen in the wild:

nn0nn Loafer, Monk
nn1nn Loafer, Boot, Monk
nn2nn Loafer, Boot
nn3nn Balmoral
nn4nn Loafer, Boot
nn5nn Loafer, Boot
nn6nn Blucher
nn7nn Blucher
nn8nn Blucher
nn9nn No pattern

With this information for example, you can categorize the handsome 20305 as a Black Balmoral:
Florsheim 20305

What about the shoe last? Allen Edmonds encodes the last into the model number, did Florsheim? I don’t believe so. I have found no mention of lasts in any Florsheim ads/materials.

This numbering schema was fairly consistent until the early 1990s. There was probably some guy on the product teaming making sure the model numbers conformed to this system. In the 90s, older model numbers started getting reused, Royal Imperials became Imperials. Model number anarchy! Why? I assume it was because that “guy” was probably laid off.

Country of Origin

Where was this shoe made? There is no “Made in…” label on the inside. If the shoe doesn’t have a country of origin, the shoe was most likely made in the USA. Made in India shoes will say “Made in India”. Florsheim also made shoes in Canada, Italy, Brazil, China, Australia, and Spain. So if you are listing a Florsheim shoe on eBay to sell, enter “United States” as the country of manufacture when listing a shoe without a “Made in …” label. Canadian Florsheim shoes have a maple leaf on the insole.

Names and Custom Model Numbers

Very occasionally you might see names and non-standard model number numbers in Florsheim shoes. These are made to order (MTO) models and are unique in some ways. I once purchased a split toe Imperial model with the model code of “3F-2397X” and the seller told me it was a special order from the Chicago Florsheim store.

Vintage Florsheim custom codeVintage Florsheim MTO

If you know more details about vintage Florsheim shoes, email me or leave a comment below. Thanks!

Examples

Shoes from the 50s and 60s had this style of print. This example is from a Florsheim Varsity 20686 produced in October 1965 (JF)
Florsheim 20686 date code

If the v-cleat is flush with outside of heel it was produced before 1973
Vintage Florsheim V-Cleat

Inset v-cleats indicate the shoe was made in 1973 or after. Florsheim Imperial 93602 from March 1980 (CA):
Florsheim 92604 heel inset v-cleat

If your shoes have this theater like logo, they were produced after 1992. Florsheim Imperial 97625 from May 1996 (EG):
Florsheim EG

“Made in USA” started in 1993. This Florsheim Imperial is from January 1997 (AH):
Florsheim AH

“Assembled in USA” started in 1997. Florsheim Imperial 97625 from December 1998 (LI):
Florsheim Assembled in USA


41 thoughts on “Florsheim Model Numbers 1950s-90s”

  1. I own a pair of shoes with markings like those shown in the last photo where the model number is marked 97625 but the shoes are labeled simply “Florsheim Imperials” as you noted in the photo caption. From what I’ve learned on this site, that particular model number would have previously been associated with a Royal Imperial shoe. Do you have any idea at what point in time Florsheim dropped the Royal Imperial line from their offerings? Strange that they would keep the model number. Perhaps the lasts used were the Royal Imperial lasts, but with no more of the Royal Imperial branding?

    1. Of the 97625 models I have seen, and I have seen a lot, 1996 was the first year I saw Florsheim drop the “Royal” prefix for the 97625. Build wise, it looks like the same shoe to me but with a different liner color. The heel is slightly different. I believe Florsheim eliminated the shoe bags when it became an Imperial.

  2. Great source of information. I just picked up a great pair of 96032 BG loafers made in Italy and everything here matched up perfectly. The only thing that appears different is that the insole has THE ROYAL IMPERIAL in gold letters and an image of a royal scepter. I’d love to know when that logo was used. I figure they are either 1966 or 1976.

      1. Thanks for the quick response David. I think you are right about the date. They definitely exude a sort of disco Saturday Night Fever vibe : )

  3. Hi,
    Thanks for your interesting article here. I have a mystery that I have not been able to solve after reading all above. I have a split toe, five eyelet shoe with a heel stamped: The Florsheim Shoe. The interior numbers are as follows: 9C 651202 1392, with the following markings on the leather insole: K union made 2 (with a circle around the 2). I can send photos. Please help!

  4. Thanks for the great site!

    I just picked up a pair of 93605. The only stamped information is the size and model number. There is no sequence number, factory code, date code, or country of manufacture stamped on either shoe. The footbed logo is the older style (although very worn and unclear). The heels and sole have been replaced so no clues there.

    Any idea when these shoes may have been made? And why no date stamp?

  5. Hello!

    I have a brown pebble grain split toe that has the model 7S3379 BH on the inside. Any idea when these might have been made? They are labeled Florsheim Imperials with the pre 90s sole label.

  6. Hi
    I just found a pair of split toe, 5 eyelet Imperials in brown. They have two cleats inset flush with the heel (same as the black ones in your other article). The code next to the size is “312489” and the code below is OF 3396 LA. The text is in black and pretty clear. I have searched everywhere for some information on this model but can’t find anything. Do you have any ideas?

    Thanks and love your site!

      1. Sounds like the same model described in Ray’s comments above. You can send me a photo using david at vcleat dot com

  7. Great informative site you have! I have a pair with the number 30813 HB. The insole has a round logo (too worn to make much out other than Florsheim Shoe(?) and Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. Any idea of a year/decade/style? Thanks.

  8. I recently purchased a pair of Royal Imperial model 96614 with a date code of KD. They have a split leather/rubber heel. Do you have any information on the type of leather, years produced, etc.? Thanks in advance!

    1. That model was made in the early to mid-1970s. The leather was likely what Florsheim called “Coventry Calf”. Not 100% on that. I have read a few people saying it was Bison or Buffalo. They could be right. Or wrong.

  9. Wow, what a great article and fount of refreshing knowledge you are! I have a pair of Florsheim Imperial loafers that I think are deerskin, I’d call them bit loafers, except the bit is a leather twist, like a beefroll. The code inside is 18332. They are like these http://ebay.to/2ncw1ct but tan leather with no canvas. Can you help me, Obi Wan?

    1. Sorry but I don’t have any info on that model. Since the model number starts with 1, they were likely made after 2002. You might email Florsheim customer service for model info.

  10. Do you know the locations of all 14 Florsheim factories that operated in the 1970’s? Were any located in TN?

    thanks

    Rob

    1. No I don’t. I spent a day once trying to align the manufacturing code in the shoe with the plant. No luck. The internet failed me. Again.

  11. I have a curious shoe. It appears to be a black shell cordovan Imperial shoe with the Theater like logo inside and says “made in USA. However, the model number seems to be missing. The information found on the inside of the shoe is 7 1/2 — D– 355175–2. Below that where the model number should be there is nothing except HG– made in the USA. Additionally it has a vcleat that is flush with the outside of the heal. I can send photos once I figure out how to do so… or send them to you directly. Thoughts?

    1. That’s probably a mid-90s model. Florsheim produced black shell cordovan long wings in the 90s but they must have been special runs or MTO. Thus no model number. You can send me a photo at david at vcleat dot com.

  12. I bought a pair of vintage Florsheim Oxford-Spectators and have no idea what year they are from. Could you tell me based on the numbers inside?
    361094 14
    31325 JH

    1. I looked and have no information on the 31325 model but its likely from 67 or 77. If you send me some photos at david at vcleat dot com, i will take a look at them.

  13. Great info! I just found a pair that are marked 773606 and have a name instead of a size. Does this mean they were custom made for someone? Any idea what year they are from? Thank you!

    1. If the shoes have a name then they made to order. Is there a date code in the shoe? If so, that helps with dating them.

  14. Hi, i bought a pair of vintage imperial quality with code 7 3E 1059 03 09 under these numbers is another numbers & letters code 7392 DI. Any idea what year is this? Thank you.

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