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Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by davestlouis, Jul 29, 2010.
I don’t know much about this, but wow
Wow is right. Jeepers too much of some things and not enough of others. Temperance appears to be missing.
I rather like that, actually....
SJC has threatened to develop a spade sole, though it'd be a big investment. Be interesting if there was a market.
I find it a bit excessive and the sharp corners of the sole a distraction and unattractive. The spade soles that I've found attractive aren't angular but more contoured. The shoe leather looks nice with the stitching reminiscent of the stitched shaft of cowboy boots. The shoe itself appears to have no waist and very little contour until narrowing toward the toe.
I have a number of pair of custom made cowboy boots that the sole appears to be of the "spade" variety but I doubt that was the intention of the maker, at least I've never heard one of the makers refer to them as spade soles. The sole is just following the contour of the foot.
Jay Griffith of Griffith-Blucher cowboy boots said, "the foot of a cowboy boot should resemble the shape of a woman's body." I've always felt the same about a high end shoe. For what those Prada shoes probably sell for, with the addition of a few more dollars one could commission a pair to be made.
It may well be that some of the "western boots" have some shape and form over time to have become what they are now, from spade sole inspired mens dress boots/shoes. I have to make this mention merely due to reading the history of shoe making from a variety of sources and publications that I have read over the past few years.
Orignally most "cowboy boots" had a squared toe box, and were indeed many of those were lace up or partially lace up boots. You will see these in many re-enactment settings where people are doing their best to look like the military during the civil war or early western time periods. Frye Brother Boot Company is one of a few modern bootmakers that still make a boot in somewhat of this fashion in what their boot model is now called a "campus" boot, minus any lace up work on the shaft of the boot. If you peek at their campus boot, you will note the thick heel and sole work. However going back in time, that same boot was made by them in their earlier work with the bottoms of the soles up near the waist of the boot with pegs installed (many western boots follow this type of fastening the sole near the heel area of the waist if the boot). Some more modern shoe making will have some pegs in that same area of application, some for functional attachment of the soles, and some just for mere looks....
However the traditional spade sole has it appeal in most of us "vintage shoe fans" as an additional grace to the shape of the shoe itself, and most (not all but most) spade sole shoes seem to be in the shoe line up of what ever company that made them, in the more quality aspect in how they were built. To date, we here have yet in our home to see any spade sole shoe that was of low build quality if it was a true vintage shoe.
Not one to know about every single spade sole shoe made, I can say from some long conversations with our cobbler, whom is a second generation master shoe maker, as he worked at the Shaw Shoe manufacturing factory in Coldwater, Michigan, when it was still open for business, stated that the last runs of any spade soles made at that location under the Shoe Union, were all hand built by but a few guys or gals working there and very little machine work was done. As a Union shop, Shaw Shoe as well as any Union shop was required to take on any orders sent to them for a production run regardless of what name or label would be put on the shoe itself. It is noted however from his knowlegde the only shoe maker back in the day when the Union still ran everything that was NEVER farmed out to be made was the Florsheim Shoe Company. Until Florsheim went down the tubes and had their shoes sent to China, Mexica, India, Korea, to be made at a variety of locations, Florsheim was a very strict company and held one of the best standards of quality among all shoe makers.
I am not sure what western boot makers have a spade sole boot in the line up (custom boot makers that is..) but I have seen a few for sale on the internet.
The spade sole made by Prada that Scottrace displayed are fairly decent looking shoes. Just a guess they are made by some shoe company that will take production runs from high end companies such as Prada, and will have some of the work done bench made instead of all production machines. And most like made in Italy at the same location as some of the shoes like "Nuckey Thompson's" ( Forzieri) that some of the other name brands of high end made Italian shoes are made.
These are a great example of "form" in spade soles that certainly look to have some influence on western boots...note the shape of the heel and general lines of the toe box area. (NOTE: If these shoes were a larger size, they would be in our closet here if I could have afforded to buy them)!
These are on eBay now, owned by Vintage Shoe Addict, whom is a expert on vintage shoes and boots.
I immediately recognized the picture...Vintage Shoe Addict. The guy is like Timothiescloset, except he actually knows what he's selling. Fantastic shoes, that man has.
Actually Vintage Shoe Addict sells his high end classic Vintage shoes for a very reasonable price for what they are. To find a pair of shoes made by a modern shoe maker, in the same level of quality is near impossible, but a close to the quality shoe would cost more than $600.00 and even then some modern shoes would just be a name you afre paying for and not the real quality.
Barker Black...Spectators at starting price.....they will make them custom ordered and colors if you want to spend more then the almost grand these cost.....so now you can see you got a steal on the vintage shoes you recently purchased as your shoes are way up there in quality.....
I know the american shoe industry hasn't been good since the 1960s, but surely there are modern shoes that are below the horrific $950 example presented that are of decent quality? In comparison to vintage, probably not but decent?
You raise a good point. Yes there are some decent made shoes with quality. The heavier gunboats made by Alden. Most shoes made in England or Australia are of high quality. And of course you have some shoes made in Italy that are very elegant and of quality. BUT...lets look at your vintage shoes....you would have to spend a lot of money for a "modern" shoe that is close to your shoes in quality. This is why what shoes are on eBay being offered by Vintage Shoe Addict are not so high priced after all. Everyone can like one high end shoe maker over another, the prices are up there when you start looking at them all. St. Crispin shoes are nice looking, but the choice of most is Vass as to overall quality and how they will hold up when worn often. That is why I wanted to post the advertised Barker Black shoe that is a spectator....it is of good quality and hand made, but look at that price tag!?! The Prada shoes Scottrace showcased are most likely very good quality as well. Not sure how much they would cost...but would bet more than $500.00
Amazingly, I had never heard of Prada until this thread. From a quick Google search, yes, the exemplar presented by Scottrace would be over $500, for sure. I definitely see your point being made here. As with my recently purchased spectators, the difference is definitely there when compared to a pair of modern wingtip oxfords I previously owned. I have never doubted that our clothing used to be made with much more resilient construction, but this raises questions from me. Why the decline in clothing quality (more especially footwear) in the last 40-50 years? Is it due to the globalization of the industry, and we have to use cheaper fibers and leathers for our shoes to accommodate a much larger, worldwide clientele? Are manufacturers opting out of using these excellent materials that were once used to their best for cost-effectiveness? Has the government enacted restrictions on obtaining, for instance, better leathers?
Not that I'm trying to challenge your ideas--as you know an exponential amount about vintage shoes. But WHY do my 1940's Nunn-Bush's triumph over my very recent Aldens?
It's the other way around; a tiny fraction of modern U.S. consumers are willing to pay for quality. Prices in old catalogs may seem low, but when adjusted for inflation they are not.
I have looked at several 1930's-40's shoe catalogs, and most shoes I'm seeing are marked $6-15, which means they were USUALLY much less than $200 adjusted for inflation. These are from popular American makers like Roblee, Nunn-Bush, Thom McAn, Bally, etc.
True. But firstly, those were, to a large extent, shoes for the everyman and there were higher-end brands that cost $20 to $30. Secondly, Americans were actually far less affluent then, as compared to today. For that reason, running numbers through a CPI inflation calculator is only half the equation, so to speak. You also need to look at relative income levels to see where prices fall as a percentage of overall income. For instance, in 1935, the median U.S. salary was about $1,500. Thus, paying $15 for a pair of shoes was a big deal because it ate up 1% of the average American's annual income. For context, the same data point for 2016 was about $31,000, so the equivalent expenditure today is about $300, on average.
Not knocking the brand name of Aldens, but today the leather quality is just not the same as vintage, and your Nunn-Bush have more hand made/bench work done then the Aldens.
One very large part of what has happened to our Shoe Industry is the very thing that at one time linked most of them together is the Union. Eventually the Unions created a demand for higher wages for workers, and it cut into the profits of the Shoe Industry so much that it played a major role in having brands send out their work to other Countries to be made. One by one the Shoe Industry started to close down the places all around the US and mostly in Brockton, Mass., and send their manufacturing to be done elsewhere. The mass production of shoes made elsewhere provided more profit as did loweriing the quality of the materials used to make shoes. Even the famous Red Wing company has some of it's line of shoes/boots being made outside the USA and Mason has done the same thing, very few Mason shoes/boots being made in the USA now.
You are so right, it does add to what has happened in the Shoe Industry in general. However one things has been happening in the last 10 or 20 years time, that being some of the high end shoes are now in some demand, and you can see an awareness of this taking place within shoe makers that are non mass production shoes that are made to order or custom fitted shoes.
I sure do wish they would do some spade soles as I would buy a pair or two for my Husband.