Colchester Rubber Co.

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by dannyk, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. dannyk

    dannyk One Too Many

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    I considered putting this in the Footwear To Go With Our Jackets Thread; but I’ve seen these mentioned once or twice around here; yet as far as I know, no reviews.

    These are Colchester Rubber Co. “National Treasure Hi-Top Black and Gum.”

    To start as I said I saw the name pop up one or two times. So I was curious.


    The company was founded in 1888 and made these sneakers in 1892, by 1893 the factory was closed and parts sold off. They have a legitimate claim to be the first basketball sneakers made. No way to 100% prove it but they certainly have the goods to back it up.
    In 2004 a pair of originals were found at an estate sale which sparked the imagination of the guy who found them and now here we are.

    I emailed them and they answered promptly the same day. They don’t do half sizes and I needed to know to size up or down. I followed their recommendation and the fit is perfect. They also gave me a code for being a first time buyer that knocked 10% of the cost. They came in a very artful box that shows the factory. They were wrapped in this beautiful paper that recreates a newspaper ad section from that era. They came laced with black laces. They also came with “gum” colored brown laces in the same style, as well as white laces similar to original laces of that era should someone want a closer og look.
    The canvas uppers are well built and I see no flaws. The rubber also the same and I love the color of the “gum.” They even have a mild arch support built in. They have various lo and hi top models and color combos. They retail for about 95 dollars. After the code my total came to 86. Some might say these sorts of shoes should not cost this much. To that point I agree in general everything costs too much these days. All I can say is that how many repro makers are making these and they cost much much more?Or companies like Converse that will do limited editions that cost more. They often times don’t have full stock because they are such a small group. All in all I think these are fantastic and will be my go to, after the end of winter boot season. I love this color and model because they are sneakers, but I can easily throw these on with chinos or khakis and look great. I can 100% wear these with my leathers. If you’re liking the looks of these or similar models as of right now I 100% recommend them. They may not be quite as nice as a lot of the repro models but the price is nice. The repros usually start at 125 and I’ve seen some at 300. I’ll let you know how these wear in over time and maybe that changes my opinion, but right now I’m stoked with these!

    9B0C610A-E330-402A-8975-3AA5E3F92B18.jpeg 4268F138-8D2B-4D9A-AA17-30117DC8392A.jpeg CB1C6BE9-02F8-4B02-876D-2A05ADB05D30.jpeg

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  2. Grayland

    Grayland One Too Many

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    I recall seeing something about these sneakers before. Basketball was invented in December of 1891. Is it really possible that a company started to produce a basketball-specific sneaker by 1892? They look pretty cool, and it's a neat story but sounds like marketing spin to me.
     
    dannyk likes this.
  3. dannyk

    dannyk One Too Many

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    It sure could be. That’s why I said who knows 100%. Just like all of Schotts claims. They might be false or embellished... but it doesn’t change the fact that they really did exist and really were turning out a product. So was it the first? Was it maybe made in 1893 or based on another shoe etc.? Absolutely. But doesn’t bother me, because the end product is killer and made for a great price, by customer service that responds within a day and gives our discounts ha. But yeah, I agree who knows?
     
  4. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton One Too Many

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    The dates...who can know...but finding a pair a century and more later, that's where the story gets questionable for me. The rubber would have been dust and made a constant mess every time they were handled. If you've ever picked up a pair of sneakers from even the 1970s, you know what I'm saying. All the rubber and glues turn to sand. So little of them would have remained, it makes it even more doubtful anyone would have saved the upper. Anything is possible. Now finding a couple photos from vintage postcards. That's something I can buy. The art of finding the balance between nostalgia and marketing and straight turn off BS. You know, like when dictators claim they won 90% of an "election." Why reach so high? It's absurd.
     
  5. dannyk

    dannyk One Too Many

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    I don’t know stranger things have happened. But even if that’s all lies and it’s all made up. Look at the things we enjoy. Half the Japanese brands have labels and are named after and using styles they had nothing to do with and are not paying to use. They are copying old designs and calling them things they are not. Patterns are stolen across makers. The whole thing were into so much of it is stolen, “fake” mixed up, legends and tales passed down and around. This just doesn’t bother me. Because if I had to stop and think about it, I wouldn’t really be able to enjoy half the stuff I enjoy. At the end of the day it’s all myth. Most of the “legendary” original things we enjoy weren’t even that good. Modern repro A2s kick the nuts off originals. Most Bucos today are made way better than originals. It’s just the nature of this. If their story is made up or embellished the whole thing is. Besides that’s just their story the product for the price is super good. That’s all my intent here is. The names popped up and I tried it out. They are really good for the money comparatively.
     
  6. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Who knows? But if kept in low light sneakers will last for 100 years or more, like this from 1917 in the Smithsonian Magazine.

    Sneaker 1917.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
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  7. dannyk

    dannyk One Too Many

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    6101E12C-F7CE-4548-8A1C-45A6919E0800.png The link to their story. https://colchestersneakers.com/pages/our-american-national-treasure
    And one of the photos of the ones they say they found. Very similar to Smithsonian photo. But again I don’t know and I’m not here to defend or deny their history/marketing. I just want people who have been curious to try these or heard the name to know they kick ass for the price.
     
  8. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton One Too Many

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    I think I came off as more negative than I intended. The rampant cynicism in our culture is too often sold as wisdom or necessary. Skepticism can be healthy. Cynicism is ugly. I apologize for not being more clear. I love things like this. It's the marketing that strikes me. Regardless, I think it is very cool that there are shoes and options like this. The Wilson Bata John Woodens aren't nearly as old, but they're cool like this too. Thanks for posting them, as I wasn't aware of this sneaker.
     
    dannyk likes this.
  9. dannyk

    dannyk One Too Many

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    Let’s call it even cause I came off as mostly dismissive. I enjoy them and recommend them and whatever the case may be, hey we live in a damn good time. So many choices and options. The whole world is our playground. Except you know it’s an expensive playground ha.
     
    Benny Holiday likes this.
  10. ton312

    ton312

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    I’m buying them. These look great and are right up my alley. Thanks @dannyk! Hadn’t heard of these guys before.
     
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  11. ton312

    ton312

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    And done! Ordered the same pair Danny. These are cool!
     
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  12. dannyk

    dannyk One Too Many

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    It’s a perfect color combo. Shorts? Yup. Jeans? Yup. Khakis or Chinos? Yup. Work with just about everything. They are just canvass and rubber so 95? But like I said go check like standard and strange right now and see the prices for all the other canvass and rubber shoes on the market like this? My pair at least I looked over heavily and could find no flaws. Maybe other repros makers user higher end or more exotic canvasses and rubber, but again how much more? I think at some point I’ll be getting another pair in a different color-way.
     
  13. ton312

    ton312

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    Love the black and natural gum! Sole is cool! I coped the 30% Black Friday coupon. No more $ than a pair o’ chucks and these look a helluva a lot cooler. Thanks for the tip Danny!
     
    dannyk likes this.
  14. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

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    https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/colchester-sneakers.97249/
    https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/footwear-to-go-with-our-jackets.91962/page-22
    It is again the Japanese who revived the brand and made the repros first a few years back. I saw them on Smart Clothing's blog in 2017. They were only available in Japan. I went to Tokyo to check them out and the store only had one pair left and there was defect on that pair.
    Funny enough, there wasn't much interest after the initial batch. I bought mine (same shoes, even same newspaper wrap, different box design) at a discount on Rakuten around 2018 when I saw all the Japanese dealers getting rid of their stock.
    Then came the current owner who raised money at kickstarter to bring them international. The current owner seems to have more success and I can see them having lots of dealers on the internet. This black with raw rubber sole is a new colour scheme though.
     
    dannyk likes this.
  15. dannyk

    dannyk One Too Many

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    Good info...thanks! I heard of them way back like I said once or twice on here but that was about it. Sounds like the first owner maybe was doing it all wrong haha. I can tell you as of now they answered my questions right away. Gave me a discount, and the product has no flaws. So if anyone around here did have a bad experience under prior management, seems like new management have this figured out. Thanks for that bit of info.
     
  16. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

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    It wasn't bad management just they were only available in Japan. As I said those Japanese repro companies mostly concentrate on local market. The only store I can find in Tokyo that sold these is Smart Clothing Harajuku which is the clothing brand Pherrow's own store. I have yet to see any mention of Pherrow's here but it is a major repro co in Japan. Pherrow's however was only a dealer and did not own the Colchester brand.
    https://www.pherrows.com/
     
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  17. dannyk

    dannyk One Too Many

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    The comment about them being flawed made me go in that direction. I thought that’s where you were headed. Sorry I read into that part of the comment too much. In any case got ya. Thanks.
     
  18. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

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    Mine are still in the box but from what I have read here, people are happy with them. As said, the defective pair was the last pair of black at the store or they would most probably have sold out. I did not even notice the defect until the shop keeper showed it to me.
    Unfortunately, the other dealers were not in Tokyo and therefore may have a harder time selling those.
    I think they are better than the regular Converse but not as solid as the Converse 70s.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
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  19. ton312

    ton312

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    Freak’n’ love ‘em! Thanks @dannyk!
    1D5DBDEE-EEB8-4D17-81EB-79E506E89C9C.jpeg
     
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  20. dannyk

    dannyk One Too Many

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    Yeah, whether the story is true or not, they are very well made, easy to dress up or down, and that color combo is great!
     
    ton312 likes this.

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