A few months ago, I started compiling a list of Cold War era (1945-1990s), American men’s dress shoe manufacturers and brands. This was a period of consolidation, contraction and eventually collapse for the US shoe industry. I was hoping to add a paragraph about each with a logo or two. It was intended to help myself and the many readers who send me emails asking me, “Have you heard of this brand?”.
Well, this project was a bit too ambitious given the huge number of companies and brands. So here is the list as it stands now. I will add content to it as I learn more. I am sure I missed a number of brands and manufacturers. There are probably mistakes too.
Please leave a comment to augment or correct any of the information below.
Airfilm – Crosby Square brand
Alden – Middleborough, Massachusetts in 1884. Continues to produce high end shoes in New England
Allen Edmonds – Belgium, Wisconsin in 1922. Still making shoes in USA. Sold to Caleres in 2016.
American Gentleman – Premium Craddock Terry Shoe brand
Banister– Premium shoe brand founded in 1845 in South Weymouth Mass. Purchased by Ezra Stetson in 1934. Later purchased by Freeman. Click this link for a full history of Banister shoes.
Barclay– Nettleton brand started 1929. Shoes were outsourced to other manufacturers.
Bates – Founded in Webster Mass 1885. Purchased by Wolverine Worldwide in 1969. Prominent military footwear producer. Big user of porometic/corfam leather. Company website claims Bates invented the long wing in 1919.
Bob Smart Shoes – Craddock Terry Shoe Co brand
Bostonian – Founded in 1899 as Commonwealth Shoe Co, Whitman MA. Whitman plant closed in 1964. Merged with Kayser-Roth Corp. in 1968. Purchased by Gulf and Western Industries in 1975. Purchased by Clarks in 1979. Shoes made at Hanover factory after purchase. Shoes no longer produced in USA.
Boyd’s – St Louis MO based retailer. Out of business in 1995. Produced a premium line of shoes branded Threadneedle Street.
British Walkers – J.P. Smith Shoe Co Brand. Later owned by E.E. Taylor
Bronson Shoe Company – Minneapolis Minn. Direct shoe sales company
Brown Shoe Co – Founded in 1878 in St Louis. Ended US Shoe production in 1995. Company changed name to Caleres in 2015.
Charles Chester Shoe Company – Brockton, Mass. Direct shoe sales company. Folded in the early 1970s
City Club – International Shoe Co Brand
Coburne Square – JC Penney brand. Hanover produced many of the shoes
Cole Haan – Founded in Chicago in 1927. Purchased by E.E. Taylor in 1957. Sold to George Denney in 1975. Purchased by Nike in 1988. Purchased by Apax Partners in 2012
Commonwealth Shoe & Leather Co – Gardiner Maine
Cordwainer Wright – ET Wright premium line of shoes
Coward Shoe – Founded by James S Coward in New York in the 1800s. Sold to the Limited in 1983
Craddock Terry Shoe Co – Founded in Lynchburg VA in 1888. Bankrupt in 1987
Crosby Square – Premium brand of Mid-States Shoe Co
Currin-Greene Shoe – Founded in Seattle in 1900. Sold in 1998.
Danner – Founded in Chippewa Falls, Wis in 1932 then moved to Portland, OR in 1936. Focused on logging boots. Merged with LaCrosse Footwear Inc in 1994. Continues to make boots in Portland to this day.
Dehner Company – Omaha Nebraska based boot maker. Founded in 1875.
Dexter – founded in Dexter Maine in 1958. Sold to Berkshire Hathaway in 1993. Ended US Production in 2001. Part of HH Brown Co.
Douglas Shoes– Brockton Mass. Founded in 1876, closed in 1950.
Dr. Scholl’s– founded in Chicago in 1906. Focused on orthotics. Brand sold to Schering-Plough in 1968. Name owned by Caleres.
E.E. Taylor Corp – Founded in New Bedford MA. Bought by George Denney in 1975 and moved to Freeport Maine.
E.T. Wright – Rockland Mass. Founded in 1876 by Elwin Temple Wright. Name purchased by Mason in 1998.
Eastland – Freeport, Maine. Founded in 1955. Still producing some shoes in USA.
Edgerton – Youth focused Nunn Bush brand
Edwin Clapp – East Weymouth Mass in 1853. Premium shoe manufacturer. Closed factory in 1961 and merged with French Shriner. French Shriner continued to produce shoes under the Edwin Clapp name until the early 1970s
Endicott Johnson – founded in Endicott, New York, USA 1899. Peaked in 1950s and declined in subsequent years. Went through a series of owners in 1990s. Now owned by Rocky Shoes & Boots
Etonic – Charles A Eaton Co, Brockton Mass. Founded in 1876. Primarily a premium golf shoe producer after 1945. USA production ended in 1999.
Executive Imperial – Higher end shoe brand for Mason Shoes
Flagg Bros – Genesco brands. Founded?
Florsheim – Founded in Chicago in 1892. International Shoe Co purchase in 1952. Apollo Group purchased brand in 1991 and spun out as a separate company in 1992. Purchase by Weyco out of bankruptcy in 2002. USA production ended in early 2000s.
Foot Pals – Wall Streeter Shoe Company, North Adams Mass
Foot-So-Port – Founded in 1927 Oconomowoc, Wis as Musebeck shoe Co. Owned by QF&C after 1991. Fire destroyed factory on Sep 18, 1994. Continued for a few more years until closing.
FootJoy – Founded 1857 in Brockton, Massachusetts. Originally Burt and Packard Shoe Company then renamed to Field and Flint Company. FootJoy branded created in 1920s and adopted by the company in 1970. Passed through a series of owners. Closed last Brockton factory in 2009
Frank Brothers – New York shoe retailer. Contracted with a number of firms including Johnston and Murphy to produce premium shoes with the Frank Brothers brand
Freeman Shoe Co – Founded in Beloit Wisconsin in 1921. Purchased by H. O. Toor Company in 1963. Merged with United States Shoe. Bankrupt in early 1990s. Name purchased by Weyco 1992
French Shriner (& Urner) – Founded in Boston in 1893. Purchased by United States Shoe Co in 1960s. Boston factory closed in April 1971 and outsourced shoes to other manufacturers. Named purchased by Weyco 1992. Name currently owned by Weyco Group
Frye – Founded in 1863 in Marlboro, Massachusetts. Sold in 1998 and changed owners multiple times since then. Most manufacturing moved offshore but still produces a collection of made in USA shoes and boots.
G.H. Bass & Co. – Active. Wilton, Maine Founded: 1876 . No longer producing shoes in the USA
G.R. Kinney Company – Founded in New York City in 1894. Sold to Brown Shoe Co and then later Woolworth.
Gardiner Shoe Co – Gardiner and Lewiston, Maine. Closed in 1974.
Genesco – Formerly the General Shoe Corporation. Name changed in 1959. Owner of Johnston & Murphy and Jarman amongst other brands
Gokey Boot Company – Founded 1850 by Noah Gokey in Addison NY. Later moved to St. Paul, MN. Purchased by Orvis in 1990. Boots and shoes now made in Tipton, Missouri
H.H. Brown Shoe Co – Found 1883. Purchased by Berkshire Hathaway in 1991
Hack Shoe Co – Founded in Detroit in 1917 by Nathan Hack. Invented and manufactured the Ripple Sole shoe
Hanan & Sons Shoes – Founded in Chicago or New York?. Purchased by EE Taylor Corp
Hanover Shoe Co – Founded in Hanover Pennsylvania in 1899. Grew to be one of the largest US shoe manufacturers using a mix of retail stores and direct sales. Purchased by Clarks in 1978. USA production ended in 1996.
Hawthorne Classics – Mainline shoes made by Musebeck Shoe Co. of Oconomowoc, WI
Howard & Foster – Brockton, Mass
Hush Puppies – Wolverine brand
International Shoe Co. – Founded in St. Louis as Roberts, Johnson & Rand Shoe Company in 1898. Renamed to Interco in 1966. Bankrupt in 1991
J.F. McElwain Co – Founded Nashua. Produced shoes for Melville’s Thom McAn brand. Merged with Melville in 1939
Jarman Shoe Co – Founded Nashville in 1924. Later renamed to General Shoe Corporation, then Genesco
John Ward – Melville Shoe brand
Johnnie Walker – Modern Shoe Co brand
Johnsonian – Endicott Johnson brand
Johnston & Murphy – Founded in Newark NJ in 1850. Purchased by General Shoe Corporation in 1951. Outsourced most shoe production by 2002 but produced a line of shoes in USA until 2018.
Keith Highlanders – Premium Walk-Over Brand
Kempton – Macy’s brand
King Size – Brand focusing on large sizes. Purchased by Knapp in 1966. Liquidated in 1967
Knapp – Founded in 1921 in Brockton Mass. Bankrupt in 2007
L.L. Bean – Freeport, Maine Founded: 1912
Lefcourt – New York retailer at 400 Madison Ave, New York. The company primarily sourced their shoes from English shoe makers but also had Alden produce some of their stock. Company was the first to introduce the tassel loafer. The retailer ceased operations in the 1990s
Lloyd & Haig – New York retailer. Founded in 1929 and closed in the 1996. Contracted with a number of firms including Bostonian and Hanover to produce premium shoes with the Lloyd & Haig brand
London Character – New York based chain. Closed in the 1970s?
Mason – Chippewa Falls Wisconsin. Founded in 1904 by August and Bert Mason. Ended USA production in 2003.
Mansfield – Bostonian shoes brand
Melville Shoe Company – Large conglomerate founded in Rye, New York. Owned a number of shoe brands and retailers. Reorganized in the 1990s and became CVS corporation.
Mid-States Shoe Co – Milwaukee Wisconsin. Originally the Walter Booth Shoe Co. Later Shoe Co of America. Bankrupt in June 1999 and remaining assets sold to J Baker in February 2000.
Modern Shoe Co – St Louis Missouri.
Musebeck Shoe Co. – Founded by George Musebeck in 1927 in Oconomowoc, WI. Sold to Thomas Stoll in 1979. Out of business in 1991.
Nettleton – Founded in Syracuse NY in 1878 as a premium shoe manufacturer. Sold to Endicott Johnson in 1968. Purchased by Ed Tognoni in Dec 1981. Closed Syracuse factory in 1984. Purchased by United States Shoe Co in Dec 1984 and production moved to Freeman factory in Beloit Wisconsin. Ed Tognoni purchased name in 1990 out of Freeman bankruptcy.
Nicks Boots – Founded in 1964 in Spokane WA. Still in business and continues to make high quality work boots for lineman and loggers
Nunn-Bush – Founded in 1912 in Milwaukee WI. Purchased by Weyenberg in August 1967
O-So-Snug – E.E. Taylor brand. Trademark registered in 1922
Oakwoods – Meville Corp brand
Ortho-Vent Shoe Co – Salem Virginia. Founded in 1904. Changed name to Stuart McGuire in 1962
Pedwin – Brown Shoe Co brand
Plymouth Shoe Co – Middleborough Mass. Closed in 1970
Porto-Ped – Portage Shoe Co. Division of Weyenberg
P.W. Minor & Sons – Founded in 1867 in Batavia NY. Numerous ownership changes. Produced shoes until closing Batavia factory in 2018. Factory reopened in 2019 under new ownership as Artisan Boot & Shoe Co. Factory now produces Parkhurst and Bostonian pairs.
Quoddy – Perry, Maine Founded: 1909. Dormant for years until the brand was revived in the 1990s. Once again making traditional moccasin style shoes and boots in Maine.
Rancourt – Lewiston, Maine Founded: 2010
Randcraft – International Shoe Co brand
Red Wing – Red Wing, Minnesota. Began in 1905. Still going strong
Richland Kings/Lyne– HH Brown Shoe Co brand
Robert Kirk – San Francisco retailer founded in 1939 and sold to Cable Car Clothiers in 1972. Had a line of Alden made shoes under the Robert Kirk brand.
Roblee – Premium brand for Brown Shoe Co
Russell Moccasin– Based in Berlin, WI and founded in 1898 by Will Russell. Maker of fine shoes and boots. Still making shoes in Berlin to this day
San Antonio Shoemakers (SAS) – founded in 1976 in San Antonio, Texas. Makes are range of men’s and women’s shoes in the USA.
Sebago – founded in Westbrook Maine in 1946. Name owned by Wolverine Worldwide
Selby Shoe Co – founded in Portsmouth, Ohio in 1879. Closed in 1957. Used the Arch Preserver tag before Wright.
Shaw Shoes – Coldwater Michigan. 1929 Shoe Company bought by M.T. Shaw. Closed 1982
Sibley’s Shoes – Detroit based footwear chain. Out of business in 2003. Produced a line of shoes with the store name. Dexter made many of the pairs.
Sperry Top Sider – Lexington, Mass. Founded: 1935. Brand has passed through a number of companies. Name owned by Wolverine Worldwide
Stacy Adams – Founded in 1875 in Brockton. Name owned by Weyco
Stafford – JC Penney brand
Stephen Putney Shoe Co – Founded in 1817 in Richmond, VA. Shoes sold under the Battle Axe Shoes brand. Bankrupt in 1988.
Stetson Shoe – Founded in 1885 in South Weymouth Mass. Stopped production in 1969 and licensed the name to Bostonian. Production ended in 1973. Name sold to Kayser-Roth.
Stuart McGuire – Founded in 1962 as direct shoe sales company. Previously the Ortho-Vent Shoe Co. Sold to Home Shopping Network in 1986. Name purchased by Mason in 1995
Stuart Holmes – 1960s dress shoe brand for Kinney Shoe Co
Sundial – Manchester New Hampshire. Purchased at some point by International Shoe Co Brand
Taylor Made – EE Taylor Corp brand. Unrelated to the current Taylor Made golf company (not 100%).
Timberland Boot Company – Stratham, N.H. Founded: 1973
Thom McAn – Meville Corp brand. Founded in 1922 as a budget shoe brand. Name now owned by Sears Holdings
Thurmont Shoe Co – Thurmont, Maryland.
Towncraft – JC Penney brand. Primarily made by Hanover
United States Shoe Co – Founded in 1931 in Cincinnati. Bankrupt in the early 1990s.
Velvet-eez – Premium brand for Mason
Walk-Over – Founded in 1899 in Brockton, Mass. Part of H.H. Brown shoe company. Ended USA shoe production in 2016 or 2017
Weinbrenner Shoe Co – Founded in 1892. Based in Merrill, Wisconsin. Still makes some Thorogood work boots in the USA.
Wesboro – International Shoe Co Brand
Wesco – Scappoose, Oregon. Boot maker founded as West Coast Shoe Company in 1918. Still active.
White’s Boots – Founded in West Virginia then moved to Spokane, WA in 1905. Long time work boot maker and still producing made in USA boots and shoes. Purchased by ABC-Mart owned LaCrosse Footwear in 2014.
William Hahn Shoe – In house shoe line for Hahn’s Shoes, a Washington DC based shoe retailer. Retailer started in 1876 and purchased by US Shoe Corp in 1962. Sold to a private partnership in 1992 and and bankrupt in 1995.
Williams Shoe – Portsmouth, Ohio. Economy shoe maker. Closed in 1976.
Winthrop – Brand created by St Louis based International Shoe Co in 1934. Ended production in 1970s
Worthmore – Interco value brand. Established in 1930. Non-Florsheim manufactured shoes sold in Florsheim owned retail stores. Worthmore had a lower price and were lower quality than regular Florsheim shoes. Florsheim salesmen used them to upsell customers on full priced Florsheim pairs.
Wolverine– Founded in 1883 in Grand Rapids, MI. Still making boots in the USA including the 1000 Mile Boot
Weyenberg – Founded in Milwaukee Wisconsin in 1905. Later renamed Weyco Group in 1964
Yorktown Shoes – Made by Gardiner Shoes Gardiner Maine
82 thoughts on “Vintage Made in USA Brands”
Shoe manufacturers and brands are comprehensively listed in “Leather and Shoes, Blue Book of the Shoe and Leather Industry.”
JP Smith seems to have been absorbed by EE Taylor around the 1950s.
thanks for the info. I am travelling but will review this soon.
Thank you for the great post.
I really appreciate it.
In my survey, FSP factory fire broke out on Sep 18,1994 (Sunday).
After the fire, the company declined as you described.
Thank you. Updated .
Worthmore since 1930.
Thanks to J Hendrix for helping me with this list
Another brand missing from your list is John Ward. I own a pair of theirs called “John Ward Mastershoes.” Has to be from the 1940s or ’50s.
Thanks. I updated the list
Came across a pair of Christopher Hayes on eBay. Never heard of them and can’t find any info.
Christopher Hayes was a Macy’s brand
I rencenty came across a vintage Thurmont Shoe, long wing derby, made in USA. Haven’t seen this brand before. Appeared to be all leather with the exception of the biltrite rubber heels.
Thanks. I added the company to this list. I couldn’t find much info about it
Don’t forget about Ranccourt & Co. They sell under their own family brand now, however they manufactured for numerous brands historically (Cole Haan, Allen Edmonds, Red Wing, Polo Ralph Lauren and many more) and still make shoes for others (Helm Boot, Eastland). https://www.rancourtandcompany.com/authentic-craftsmanship/
I added Rancourt to the list
Ever heard of Park Place? Shoes indicate made in the USA but I can’t find anything on that brand.
I am not familiar with that brand.
My great grandfather founded the Freeman Shoe Company in Beloit. Its really neat to see some info still preserved. Disappointingly little is preserved online.
Thank you. I have a number of Freeman catalogs from the 50s and 60s. Some great shoes. I will post them online in the future.
Own a beautiful pair of 1975 RICO Guard – Aire burgundy long wings that are an Imperial copy. Very heavy duty well made shoe. Brand name file date 2/7/48 to 6/29/78.
Does anyone have anything to say, good or bad, about Stuart McGuire? I found a pair of LWBs that looks interesting, but I’m not finding much information about the quality of the brand online.
The shoes appear to have a GYW rubber sole, with paint on the bottom to make them look like leather soles. The seller says they’re circa 1960s.
In general, they were lower end shoes. Not great.
Have you ever heard of Peal & Co exclusively for Brooks Brothers? Also, what do ask the markings in the shoe represent?
Peal was/is a house brand for Brooks Brothers. Shoes are made in England
Should Frye be added to this list? Crosby Square disappeared for several years but is back, although their shoes are produced in Spain.
Thanks. I added Frye
I know that Red Wing is out of your purview, but they are very much in business and have made a big splash with their Heritage line. The cool kids love these reproductions of old work boots (which run $200- 350 (and are beautifully made). My husband is a curmudgeonly builder who wears modern Red Wings and rolls his eyes at this phenomenon, but if it keeps Red Wing strong and making many of its shoes in America, I’m all for it.
I really enjoy the blog, keep up the good work!
I have an old pair of Jarman Longwings. I know that they changed names multiple times, until now they are known as Genesco, the manufacturers or J&M and others. Is there a way to tell if I have an American made shoe or not?
If they don’t have a “Made In …” label, they are probably made in USA
Russell Moccasins are still made in Wisconsin, I believe. Maybe minnetonka as well (though they might outsource at this point
Thanks. That was an oversight. I updated the list with them
Might I recommend adding in Dehner’s? Mostly custom made riding boots, but they also include shoes. I own several pairs, custom and OTR.
Still going strong in Omaha, NE.
Thank you, David, for your time and effort on putting not only this list together, but the whole site as well; it is delightful.
I’m a 28 y.o. guy from Venezuela, enthusiast of LWBs, currently working on a book called “The Long Wing Blucher: a comprehensive classification of its morphology” as my college y degree project in graphic design. It is intended to graphically list all variations found in LWB that I am able to trace through pictures and drawings from all time. The book will also feature other minor contents such as a glossary and a review of the LWB history. In this regard, I was nothing short of flabbergasted a moment ago when I read about Bates brand claiming they invented the shoe in 1919. Went to their website but found nothing; probably they removed the info.
What do you know about that being any possible? It would really help me up on shaping the chapter about LWB history a little better.
Kind regards. Jorge.
Hi Jorge – That is a very interesting project. I would love to read it when it is done.
For the Bates question, you can see it on the web page below. Click the right arrow on the section that says “Honor Bound Since 1985”. I am assuming the photo is from a Bates catalog but am not 100% on that.
Hello today, David. Hope you’re doing great.
Yeah, short after I posted my previous comment I found that specific page on Bates’ website and I though it would end there for me. Unfortunately, as you may notice, terminology is a bit of a problem when it comes to LWBs (in fact, I’m starting to assume that “Long Wing Blucher” is sort of the newest denomination for such a shoe style; needless to say, I believe it is the most accurate and proper), so they indeed put a vintage picture of a LWB there, yet they say “… Brogue and Clyde style shoes”, so I’m basically wondering if they are actually referring to the style of shoe in the picture (the long wing) or just to some other brogue… It leaves room for misinterpretation, doesn’t it?
I know, as I said, that the style have been called in several ways through the decades (Long Wing Tip, Long Wing Derby, Long Wing Brogues), sometimes even not making any reference to the Long Wing part, which is, of course, essential to the identity of the shoe. So having Bates plainly talking about “Brogues” is a little vague and imprecise for me; it’s basically a name thing.
I contacted them about it via email; we will see if there’s someone there who can clarify the issue.
P.D.: I will also inquire about that so-called “Clyde” shoe style of them, whatever the hell that might be.
Kind regards, and thank you for the swift reply.
I had not heard the specific term “Longwing” until recently, i.e., the last several years. My dad always referred to them generically as “wingtips”.
Very interesting about Bates.
The Bates discussion caused me to wonder if Craddock-Terry got into the game as well. Found a pair on Ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Michael-Britton-Craddock-Terry-mens-size-11-D-shoes-Made-in-US-1970s/173746344853?hash=item287416d395:g:WokAAOSwyApb7d3a.
What is the make of the shoe pictured on the header of this article？ I ask because I have a circa sixties cap toe balmoral with the same type of quad stitch upper construction. Unfortunately the printing on the heel pad has mostly worn off, as well as the sizing and serial numbers on the inside lining. I can barely discern lettering on the heel pad ending with “y’s” so I suspect a shoe store exclusive model (Sibley’s?). Thanks.
It’s a Florsheim S896. Likely made in the early 1950s.
I just received a pair of shoes and was told they were my Fathers He died in 1961 They look like the shoes on your cover but still have the name and numbers clear inside It is a Pedwin black size 9 sx67473 comb.c/a PLEASE WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT IT dEE gARDNER 11DEEAG@GMAIL.COM
I think this is outdated a little. I can’t find any GH Bass shoes being made in the US anymore. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place. Their website seems to all be imported shoes. At least men’s shoes.
Looks like you are correct. The Made in USA page on their website returns “NULL”. I updated the list
Hello, Wolverines are absolutely still made in the USA. The 1000 Mile is literally an American classic.
Thanks. I updated the list
I’ve seen a few JB Made in USA longwings and loafers on ebay and poshmark. Know if this a manufacturer or house brand?
I am not familiar with the JB brand.
What about sas?
San Antonio shoes?
The jung shoe company?
I added SAS. Need to look up Jung.
My father sold French Shriner & Urner shoes since before I was born and that was in 1934. He worked in a mens clothing store called Harper’s in the Fisher Building in Detroit, Mi. He later moved from there to another men’s store called Jerry Morse also in Detroit.
I still have a pair of French Shriner & Urner that I got in 1952. They have been re soled once during that time and are still wearable.
He must of had some great shoes. The original made in Boston French Shriner shoes were some of the best shoes you could buy. Anywhere.
David just discovered your website a couple of months ago you’re doing great work! I came across a pair of Ambassador by MILES long wingtips similar to the look of a Florsheim are you familiar with this product?
Sorry, I don’t have any info on that model
You should try Thomas’s Register. It could be found in large libraries, and listed every manufacturer in the country. There was also a publication called something like Index of National Advertisers. Between those two, you should be well on your way.
Would you know where to find more info on Barclay? I have a pair of vintage ones model number 90011. High stitch density (7-8 spi) and really supple leather. Any idea how to date them? Info online is really sparse. Thanks!
I don’t have much info on Barclay. I do know that the shoes were not made by Nettleton. Some of them look like they were made by Hanover.
Really this is very valuable information.
In 1989 to1992 I had been working in Freeman shoe company in India. Freeman shoe co, incorporate office, as a Quality controller.
Iam really proud to post this message.
Is “The Crosby Shoe” the same brand as Crosby Square?
I believe so
Yesterday (1-13-21), at a thrift shop, I bought a pair of British Walkers, stamped Made in USA on the heel pad, plain toe balmoral oxfords. Leather uppers, leather soles, rubber heels, vinyl counter linings, canvas sock linings. Matching flat cloth laces, probably original, because the shoes have very little wear.
Numbers on the counter lining are 9408077. There is also 1614, and a 10. The size is 11.5 C/A. Also stamped on the heel pad, above the British Walkers logo, is the word Syncro-Flex.
The shoe store I worked at in 1974 carried British Walkers, English Walkers, and Ainsley Blake.
Any information on these shoes? Web search reveals that modern British Walkers are brightly colored hip-hop styles.
I don’t have much information on vintage British Walkers. At one point they were good shoes but then became not good shoes.
Addendum to above: the stitch density is 10 per inch, and the upper stitches line up with the sole stitches. Could these be from the 1960s?
what shoes in the picture on the top of the page?
That is a Florsheim S896. I believe it was made in the late 1940s. It has 6 parallel rows of stitching.
That’s a real vintage beauty with the six rows!
First thing I always look at is the quality of a shoe’s fitting work (stitching). Rows, stitches per inch, uniformity – especially the ‘tight turns’ a machine operator was often required to make – and such generally tell you all you need to know about a company’s overall quality standards.
Your description on this list gave me the confidence to bid on a pair of Cordwainer Wright cordovan color cap toe oxfords. This was my first online purchase of shoes and I am very happy with it. They are top grain leather, Goodyear welt, leather sole, full leather lined, and a stacked leather heel with a rubber top lift. Top quality in every way. Worried that I overpaid, winning the auction at $30, but that worry disappeared when I opened the box. Cordwainer Wright is now on my list if desired shoes!
Tough to go wrong at $30
Actually, that’s more than I’m used to paying.
That last comment was me. I forgot to fill in my name.
I just took delivery on a pair of Mason Shoes longwing derby “Executive Imperials” shoes. They appear almost new with only minor wear on the soles and zero wear on the heels. They look almost identical to the Florsheim Imperial longwings (which is what I thought i was buying), with a subtle pebble grain leather, double leather soles, a storm welt and the color is the same Antique Gold. Soles are rubber, not v-cleat, which is fine since I plan to wear these often. They fit great, with a solid feel that seems unique to me! The only problem is the color. I love the color but where am I going to find antiques gold shoe polish? Do you have any suggestions? I am very excited about these shoes. They are my first longwings and my first storm welts. I feel like I’m literally waling in my fathers footsteps!
I wouldn’t worry about the polish color. Use a neutral conditioner cream like Bick4. Its probably all you need for regular wear.
Thank you David! Interesting that you suggest that! After reading your recommendation of Bick 4, I bought some, and used it on my longwings yesterday. Incidentally, I just took delivery on my second pair of longwings. This pair is a totally different animal. It is a Johnston & Murphy longwing tassel loafer in a lightweight construction. Looks like a Blake Stitch. Quite stylish IMO.
Great. Bick4 is the best all around leather care product IMO.
I recently came across a pair of NOS Cordwainer wright wing tips. on the insole it etched “MADISON union made”. my understanding is that “union made” does not always mean “made in usa” it is very debatable. The U.K. also used “union made” stamp. My question is, although they say MADISON (as in Wisconsin), they have telltale signs of European crafting. americans do not have fiddleback waists on their soles, or do they? These also have gentleman notched heels, which I have never seen in US shoes. the Name Cordwainer and Wright are very old english guild designations? I guess this is why the consensus around the world is to now say “made in XYZ” this is black and white, reducing ambiguity.
Wright did manufacturer some of their shoes in Europe but it was in the 1980s. The Wright pairs that have a Union stamp are likely made in the USA. Not sure if Madison is Wisconsin. Wright based in Rockland Mass.
I just found a brand new pair of vcleat, storm last longwing bluchers with the brand name Tri-Wear. They are very well made shoes but I can’t find any mention of the brand. Inside the shoe it says 8 1/2D A77909 11, 7-4280. Do you have any idea what I have, here? Regardless, I am size 8 1/2D and they were only $18 in a charity shop. Obviously I could not leave them behind. I am not just into shoes. I like classic men’s wear in general and I have some suits that these will be amazing to wear with. Keep those articles and YouTube videos coming!
P.S. I think the are shell cordovan, but since I’ve never see shell cordovan before, I’m not sure.
I am not familiar with the Tri-Wear brand.
I couldn’t find anything about them on the web. Interesting that they are vcleats. I wonder if it was some kind of house brand that contracted to one of the makers of vcleats. I read that vcleats can be no newer than 1972, so these things are pretty old. There is a local cobbler that is known for doing great work on high end shoes. I need to take some Allen Edmonds horse bit loafer to him for new heels. I’ll see if he is able to verify that these shoes are shell cordovan. I’ve been reading up on it and the care and feeding of shell cordovan is very different than regular top grain leather. No saddle soap for one thing.
After looking through your site, I now think these shoes were made by Florsheim. The construction is very similar, although the stitching at the bottom of the blucher tabs is slightly different. My main reason for thinking the are Florsheim is that the markings inside are identical to the way Florsheim marks their shoe:
81/2D R779090 11
Came up with a simple solution. There is no way I’m going to sell these. They are just too beautiful and they are a great fit. So I’ll just start wearing them and see how they break in. If micro-creases then they are top grain, if ripples they are shell. I put Bick 4 on them last night and buffed them with a horse hare brush this morning. They buffed out to a beautiful dark cordovan color, almost eggplant. I took them out in the sun to admire them. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping they don’t crack! I’ve read that can happen with shoes this old.
How about Bass and Spalding?