Florsheim Royal Imperial 97604

Florsheim Royal Imperial 97604 Restore

If you read this blog regularly, you will have noticed that I have remained silent on which candidate I will support in the US Presidental general election. Its not that I am without knowledge on the candidates because I do briefly scan a few headlines in the news between my sessions searching shoes on eBay. Unfortunately I haven’t seen either candidate tackle the main issue I care about – the shortage of reasonably priced, quality vintage shoes in size 11.5.

Even without addressing this vintage shoe gap, I wouldn’t be surprised in the coming months if Hillary or the Donald reach out to me directly to help them get votes from the massive vintage shoe community. And when they do, let me just say, I can be bought. “Influenced” is probably a better term. What would influence me? Money, gifts, shoes (of course), or even a cool position or title. Maybe Hillary could host my blog and email using her home based hosting services. That would save me some money. And I have heard rumors of Trump renaming the USA to the “Kingdom of Trump” and dividing up the states into fiefdoms controlled by his kids. If true, being the “Viceroy of Ivankastan” sounds like an appropriate title for me. I could then wear “Royal Imperial” shoes every day. I like that. Yes.

Florsheim Royal Imperial Logo

I have written about this Royal Imperial 97604 model in the past. The problem was, they weren’t my shoes. They were owned at the time by a seller on Etsy. The pair in this post is owned by me but they were in rough condition when I bought them off eBay. This is how they looked when I pulled them out of the box:

Old shoes

More old shoes

The leather was dry but not cracking. There were a few stains. The soles had been replaced and the welt stitching was a bit rough in areas. The toes were beaten up with a number of deep scratches and cuts into the leather. Not great condition but I have seen worse.

Allen Edmonds Bickmore Bick 4 Cream Collonil 1909 Reno'Mat

The shoes were somewhat misshapen so I gave the shoes a dunk in water to straighten them out. It took a few days to dry out. I don’t normally soak shoes but it helped these (look at the last photo below without shoe trees).

I used Reno’Mat to clean the shoes. It removed a few spots but the large stain on the outer left shoe remained. After cleaning, I conditioned the shoes with Bickmore “Bick 4”. A few people on StyleForum recommended it and I have used it on a few shoes. It reminds me of Allen Edmonds Leather Lotion. It works well and doesn’t leave a sticky film on the shoe. The leather feels soft and a bit cool to the touch after it soaks in.

These were the shoes after cleaning and conditoning. Better but they still had a ways to go.

More old shoes

For polish, I used Collonil 1909 Medium Brown. This product is made in Germany and is a high pigment cream. It’s a redish brown and that color seemed perfect for these shoes. After I applied the cream and buffed the leather, the shoes had a rich, warm brown color.

Collonil 1909 Medium Brown

The toes area improved but still looked beaten up even after the Collonil cream.

even more old shoes

I decided to darken the tips of the shoes and used Allen Edmonds Dark Brown Cream to do so. I have used the product in the past and it works well. Its another high pigment cream. I applied a few rounds of the AE cream to the tips of the shoes. I couldn’t do anything about the deep gouges but the darkened tips were an improvement.

Here were the finished shoes:

Florsheim Royal Imperial 97604

Florsheim 97604

Florsheim Royal Imperial 97604

This is the 97604 next to a similar sized Imperial 93602 so you can see the differences in the models.

Florsheim 93602 97604

I was happy with the overall results. I would be happier if this pair were my exact size. No doubt, the Donald or Hillary will fix that.

4 thoughts on “Florsheim Royal Imperial 97604 Restore”

  1. Beautiful job with these! I just read your other post on the 97604s and I’m happy to see that you got a pair!

  2. Really sweet restore. It is interesting what a few subtle style changes can do to improve the look over the 93602. Send them my way if they are 11 eee.

  3. Great job on the restoration. I have a question about the logo on the insole. I just bought a pair off of eBay that I believe are 1966 or 76 and they have that exact same logo. These are model 96032 BG. Thanks for any info.

  4. A buddy who was a boot-black in the 80s while on active duty told me that the way to fix scratches, scuffs and gouges is to remove any little pieces hanging on with a nail clipper. Then fill in the scratches, scuffs and gouges with Elmer’s glue using your finger tips. One could put a drop of leather dye in the glue. Put on more than seemingly necessary because it will shrink as it dries. Then a light sanding and cream or stain wax as usual. The method is similar to mudding sheet-rock.

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