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#1 2018-02-02 06:16:55

Yuca
Member
Posts: 6990

The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

I don't normally appreciate inferior copies, and I've never actually owned a pair of vintage gunboats made by anyone other than Florsheim, however it seems obvious from photos and all accounts that those shoemakers back in the day that followed Florsheim's lead were also able to produce amazing gunboats.

Just for fun, let's create a list of the brands. Photos also welcome.

Hanover
Walkover
Nettleton
Barrie

Obvs some/all of these brands had life outside gunboats (particularly Barrie), but I think it's fair to say that their gunboats were based on the original Florsheim design classic.


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#2 2018-02-02 06:19:33

Yuca
Member
Posts: 6990

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

That's not supposed to be a complete list incidentally, but the start of a list.


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#3 2018-02-02 06:22:27

Yuca
Member
Posts: 6990

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

I suppose Allen Edmonds has been around long enough to qualify.


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#4 2018-02-02 06:23:42

Yuca
Member
Posts: 6990

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

Likewise Alden.


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#5 2018-02-02 07:48:25

alkydrinker
Member
Posts: 71

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

ET Wright
Bostonian
British Walker (made in USA despite name)
Nunn Bush
French Shriner
Dexter
Sears
Gold Bond (I bought a pair with this branding that are *very* nice, seller claimed it was sold through Sears and was a re-branded Nettleton-made shoe, but I can't confirm that info anywhere on the web)
American Gentleman (seen only one example of PTB gunboats, probably a re-brand?)


I like this thread, as I find it very fun and interesting looking through the obscure vintage gunboats on eBay and Etsy. Occasionally there will a re-branded shoe for a specific men's store.

With the lesser brands, it is always a risk that the shape will be slightly off from the perfection achieved in the Florsheim design, or the leather quality will be bad. Sometimes online pictures make these factors apparent, but sometimes not.

Last edited by alkydrinker (2018-02-02 08:42:37)

 

#6 2018-02-02 08:48:49

Sid Ford
Member
Posts: 492

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

alkydrinker wrote:

Dexter

I've had a pair of the Dexter gunboat and my god were they a rock solid pair of shoes.
As in, almost impossible to break-in.

Gave up with them in the end and sold them on.

 

#7 2018-02-02 09:15:49

woofboxer
Devil's Ivy Advocate
From: Staines-upon-Thames, Middlesex
Posts: 6267

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

Keith Highlander


'I'm not that keen on the Average Look .......ever'. 
John Simons

 

#8 2018-02-03 08:10:50

Yuca
Member
Posts: 6990

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

Now we have the names: any further comments on quality? As I understand it they're all pretty much superb - not always as good as Florsheim but definitely better than the vast majority of today's footwear. Correct?

My AE ptbs that I bought new a few years ago don't even deserve to be on the same shoe rack as my Florsheim royal ptbs. (Although they are - I only own one shoe rack.)


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#9 2018-02-03 10:09:57

woofboxer
Devil's Ivy Advocate
From: Staines-upon-Thames, Middlesex
Posts: 6267

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

Stuart McGuire


'I'm not that keen on the Average Look .......ever'. 
John Simons

 

#10 2018-02-03 12:50:53

Yuca
Member
Posts: 6990

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

Do you only wear gunboats with Scottish names Woof?


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#11 2018-02-03 14:38:31

woofboxer
Devil's Ivy Advocate
From: Staines-upon-Thames, Middlesex
Posts: 6267

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

Yuca wrote:

Do you only wear gunboats with Scottish names Woof?

I have two pairs of AE Macneils and a pair of Loakes Braemars, so I guess I do!


'I'm not that keen on the Average Look .......ever'. 
John Simons

 

#12 2018-02-04 01:05:37

Armchaired
Ivy I.V.
From: Old England
Posts: 7492

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

Staffords ?

https://i.imgur.com/66Pd4JD.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/sSNpbIw.jpg


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#13 2018-02-04 04:29:40

Yuca
Member
Posts: 6990

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

Definitely. Seller's photos? You'd think they'd have the gumption to give them a decent polish.


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#14 2018-02-04 05:47:33

woofboxer
Devil's Ivy Advocate
From: Staines-upon-Thames, Middlesex
Posts: 6267

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

Yuca wrote:

Definitely. Seller's photos? You'd think they'd have the gumption to give them a decent polish.

Now you've been rude about Armchaired's favourite shoes, you just can't help yourself can you?

I've read that Stafford were JC Penney's shoe label, possibly run of the mill qualitywise for their day, but you would have to pay hundreds to get anything comparable now.


'I'm not that keen on the Average Look .......ever'. 
John Simons

 

#15 2018-02-04 05:56:53

Patrick
Member
Posts: 2243

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

I had a pair of Staffords I bought at JCP in 2004. They were okay but I ended up selling them. They were made in India and identical to the Florsheim longwing of the same time.

 

#16 2018-02-04 08:13:05

Yuca
Member
Posts: 6990

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

woofboxer wrote:

Yuca wrote:

Do you only wear gunboats with Scottish names Woof?

I have two pairs of AE Macneils and a pair of Loakes Braemars, so I guess I do!

Just make sure there are no photos of you in a kilt making their way to the ILSFT thread.

Last edited by Yuca (2018-02-04 08:14:23)


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#17 2018-02-05 11:25:27

alkydrinker
Member
Posts: 71

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

Yuca wrote:

Now we have the names: any further comments on quality? As I understand it they're all pretty much superb - not always as good as Florsheim but definitely better than the vast majority of today's footwear. Correct?

Eh, I'm not sure I'd completely agree with that. I have churned through some lesser-brand vintage gunboats, where I got rid of them because they were "off" in some way. Crappy leather, stiff and uncomfortable, etc. Many vintage models definitely are *not* better than AE Macneils for example. Staffords are mentioned above - I tried a pair of older USA Staffords and got rid them as the leather was stiff and plastic-y and they just felt kinda nasty to wear. That said, my one issue with Macneils is that I find them to look less "gunboat-y" than vintage models; they seem slimmer and trimmer to me.

Now the good vintage gunboats - Florsheim, Nettleton, etc - it can't be overstated what beauties they are. I think they are better than modern Alden longwings that cost $600 or whatever.

Last edited by alkydrinker (2018-02-05 12:54:44)

 

#18 2018-02-05 13:33:43

Yuca
Member
Posts: 6990

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

Interesting. So other than Nettleton, which were the quality Florsheim imitators?

As stated earlier, I find today's AE to be passable but vastly inferior to old school Florsheim, so worse than AE is definitely to be avoided.


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#19 2018-02-06 08:58:01

LeeLo
Member
Posts: 245

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

alkydrinker wrote:

Yuca wrote:

Now we have the names: any further comments on quality? As I understand it they're all pretty much superb - not always as good as Florsheim but definitely better than the vast majority of today's footwear. Correct?

Eh, I'm not sure I'd completely agree with that. I have churned through some lesser-brand vintage gunboats, where I got rid of them because they were "off" in some way. Crappy leather, stiff and uncomfortable, etc. Many vintage models definitely are *not* better than AE Macneils for example. Staffords are mentioned above - I tried a pair of older USA Staffords and got rid them as the leather was stiff and plastic-y and they just felt kinda nasty to wear.

I had a similar experience with some Stafford PTB's. They were just awful. Luckily I was able to sell them on eBay and recoup my money. I think Stafford can be hit or miss.

 

#20 2018-02-06 11:16:47

Worried Man
Member
From: Davebrubeckistan
Posts: 15988

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

I have owned or do own Nettleton, Hanover, British Walker, and Dexter and while maybe not on par with the Florsheim Imperials, they are all high quality in my opinion.  As good if not better than current Allen Edmonds stuff.  If you can find a very lightly used or NOS pair then it is money well spent.


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#21 2018-02-07 16:25:44

Acton_Baby
Member
From: West London
Posts: 3733

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

alkydrinker wrote:

ET Wright
Bostonian
British Walker (made in USA despite name)
Nunn Bush
French Shriner
Dexter
Sears
Gold Bond (I bought a pair with this branding that are *very* nice, seller claimed it was sold through Sears and was a re-branded Nettleton-made shoe, but I can't confirm that info anywhere on the web)
American Gentleman (seen only one example of PTB gunboats, probably a re-brand?)

American Gentleman was the mens line of the Hamilton Brown Shoe Company.
Hamilton Brown as a manufacturer made many of the department high end store brands right up until the early 80s, the Sears 'Gold Bond' range mentioned above was one of them.


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#22 2018-02-12 07:49:50

Sid Ford
Member
Posts: 492

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

 

#23 2018-02-12 21:19:10

stanshall
Moderator
From: Gilligan's Island
Posts: 11358

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

Roblee


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#24 2018-02-14 12:25:56

Yuca
Member
Posts: 6990

Re: The great Florsheim gunboat imitators

stanshall wrote:

Roblee

Any good?


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