Vintage Made in USA Shoes

Vintage Made in USA Brands

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

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.

Bostonian – Founded in 1899 as Commonwealth Shoe Co, Whitman MA. Purchased by Kayser Roth Corporation. (date unknown). 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

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

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 – Freeport Maine. Closed in 1975.

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 . Still 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.

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 – Founded in Hanover Pennsylvania in 1899. 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 still produces a line of shoes in USA.

Keith Highlanders – Premium Walk-Over Brand

Kempton – Macy’s brand

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

Wolverine– Founded in 1883 in Grand Rapids, MI. No longer making made in USA boots or shoes (i believe)

Weyenberg – Founded in Milwaukee Wisconsin in 1905. Later renamed Weyco Group in 1964

Yorktown Shoes – Made by Gardiner Shoes Gardiner Maine




40 thoughts on “Vintage Made in USA Brands”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. My great grandfather founded the Freeman Shoe Company in Beloit. Its really neat to see some info still preserved. Disappointingly little is preserved online.

    1. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    Any thoughts?

  7. Should Frye be added to this list? Crosby Square disappeared for several years but is back, although their shoes are produced in Spain.

  8. 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!

  9. 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?

  10. Russell Moccasins are still made in Wisconsin, I believe. Maybe minnetonka as well (though they might outsource at this point

  11. 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.

    1. 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.
      https://www.batesfootwear.com/US/en/about-us/

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. David,
    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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.