Raoul Merton shoes.

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by ryanryanryan, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. ryanryanryan

    ryanryanryan New in Town

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hey All, Sorry if this is improper lounge etiquette for a first post, but I'm hoping someone can help me with these shoes I have. They're Raoul Mertons, which I have found out that they're handmade in Melbourne Australia in the 50's or 60's, and that after being sledged on the TV by the late Graham Kennedy, they were a huge success. That's all I know. I've sent out a few emails to various places but they've yet to reply. So here I am.

    I only wear them on super special occasions, and I had them re-heeled as the previous owner had worn the back edge near to the 2nd layer.

    Hope someone can shed some light on these for me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

    Messages:
    13,719
    Location:
    USA
    Three things

    1. Welcome to the Lounge.
    2. I can't answer your query but someone may be coming along who can.
    3. Please use shoe trees!


    [​IMG]
     
  3. ryanryanryan

    ryanryanryan New in Town

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Are sprung or unsprung ones better?
     
  4. Bugsy

    Bugsy One Too Many

    I prefer the sprung trees myself.
     
  5. cookie

    cookie I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,918
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Raoul Merton was one of the best Aussie shoe makers in the 50s and 60s and that's why they advertised on TV with the King of TV - ie to reinforce their hippness and quality.

    Notice the beautiful bevelled "waist" ie the instep of the shoe. Only found now in high quality UK shoes like Gaziano and Girling etc. Then it was available "off the rack".

    Those are awesome shoes - they look total hip 60s but may be late 50s rockabilly in some inspiration as well.

    What I find interesting is the rust stains inside the footbed. This indicates they have been hand nailed inside like the famous Johnston and Murphy hand mades. These were the best shoes ever made in America and cost USD1K in the 1990s before they ceased their manfacture (I have a pair). This is a top technique used rather than being Goodyear welted in the usual way of the time.

    Again just an example of how good they are.

    It would not hurt to have them looked at by a top bootmaker just to check on the state of the inner sole in view of the rust caused by age or wearing in the rain or heavy sweating in the foot from dancing etc....

    The best value trees are the German ones called Schuh Spanner (unsprung /screw mechanism) that you can buy in the bootmakers. The Florsheim ones (sprung) for AUD35 are also excellent IMHO. Unsprung is better but the important thing is that the trees stretch the vamp (forefoot) leather to prevent creasing when not in use and don't put too much pressure on the inside heel and make it mis-shapen.
     
  6. lolly_loisides

    lolly_loisides One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,846
    Location:
    The Blue Mountains, Australia
    I think Graeme Kennedy's catchpharse was "If they're hurt'n they're Mertons"lol
     
  7. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

    Messages:
    13,719
    Location:
    USA
    Exactly.
     
  8. ryanryanryan

    ryanryanryan New in Town

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Yes. Yes it was.

    Thanks for the info Cookie. I'm trying to find the best place in Melbourne to take them to get some more info. So far I only have an older man at Evans in one of the arcades, and someone that's been hand making custom shoes for about 20 years in the Nicholas Building. I'm open to any other suggestions if anybody knows.
     
  9. Mario

    Mario I'll Lock Up

    Don't know anything about that brand but I really like those shoes. I still have a very similar pair that has survived my wild days in the 1980's (and I'm wearing them as I write this). I'd call that style winklepickers, but that my be UK lingo. Sorry that I can't help you with your shoes, just wanted to let you know that I'd love to have a pair of them myself... :D ;)
     
  10. The Shooman

    The Shooman A-List Customer

    Messages:
    477
    Location:
    AUSTRALIA
    l was speaking to an old shoemaker friend (Mr X) tonight about this very subject, and l have spoken to my father about Raoul Merton shoes because he was an old customer because of them advertised on t.v by the late Graham Kennedy. While my dad couldn't really say much about them, he did say that many of the 60's shoos were winklepickers (extremely pointy) and hurt your feet and were the shoos that many rockers used to wear when they wanted to look cool. Here is one of the advertisements of the t.v great Graham Kennedy in action with his sidekick Bert Newton:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwPrIOXEyQQ

    Now...Raoul Merton apparently started in the 1930's or 1940's and made some of the best shoes in Australia. They started making goodyear welted shoes and blake-rapid (fairstitch construction) shoes that are traditionally classed as midend shoes, but certainly not as good as Church's English shoes. In the late 1950's or 1960's they started gluing the soles and making winklepickers, and it is quite possible it was the start of the decline for the brand.

    Here are some other Raoul Merton `winklepickers' that people like my dad used to wear in the old days:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    No wonder so many blokes had bunions and corns on their toes lol.
     
  11. cookie

    cookie I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,918
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    I recently (since my post on these) came by a pair of Raoul Mertons. I would swear that the heel counter is made from some early 50s/60s top quality binder/corrected grain leather to give that rocker shine. I would not be surprised if they were glued as well. Nevertheless a good shoe.

    Who is this guy that is hand making shoes?
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  12. The Rag And Bone Man

    The Rag And Bone Man One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    Australia
    Picked these up a couple of days ago from a local Vinnies, in the clearance bin. Great looking shoes and looks to have never been worn.
    rouel.jpg soles.jpg soles1.jpg soles 2.jpg

    Plus a brand new pair of English Baxter Shoes with shoe trees also in the clearance bin, beautiful pair of shoes.
     
  13. cookie

    cookie I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,918
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Amazing as those date to the late 40s early 50s.

    I scored two in a similar style which are now in the possession of Isshinryu who may be able to supply snaps....

    BTW if they are hurtin' ...they must be Raoul Merton....
     
  14. The Rag And Bone Man

    The Rag And Bone Man One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    Australia
    Must admit I love the soles on these shoes, as you can see they look like they have an aged wooden appearance.

    And you say from the late 40's or early 50's. I did do a little research, to find out when they could have been made but came up with not a great deal, so thanks for the input.

    I will post up the Baxter one's later, they are a beautiful pair of Vintage handmade shoes.
     
  15. swinggal

    swinggal One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,386
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    Just put a pair of amazing 1950s Raoul Mertons in my Etsy store if anyone is interested. What a beautiful shoe they are and so well made.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.