drpeter

Senior Member
AE MacNeil shell cordovan's for $14.99? What a steal, I mean deal! I bought mine years back and still had to pay a whole lot more! LOL. ;)
Thanks, @eagle. I am sure yours are still in splendid shape. I think this find was really unusual, probably one of the best bargains I have ever found in a thrift shop. And I was not really going to look at shoes, since I have quite a lot of them in my closet. But I have a good eye for quality items and these immediately caught my attention when I was walking past the shoe racks. When I saw they were AE MacNeil, and saw the ripples on the uppers, I immediately tried them on, found that they fit perfectly, and then I saw the second pair of AEs, the Canton. And bought that too since they fit me well. Good fortune, I imagine.
 

Peak and Pine

Connoisseur
^
You did well.
Look carefully at the inside wall and you should see the name of the horse that your shoe once was. It will say Betsy or Arrow or something like that.

(Doc, when you tag (@) someone, it has to be exactly as their screen name appears. Eagle will not get your tag as is.)
 

drpeter

Senior Member
^
You did well.
Look carefully at the inside wall and you should see the name of the horse that your shoe once was. It will say Betsy or Arrow or something like that.

(Doc, when you tag (@) someone, it has to be exactly as their screen name appears. Eagle will not get your tag as is.)
Thanks, Peaks. I looked and it says Bucephalus. I think I'm impressed. Talk about a truly vintage hoss.

I'll try to remember your caution about the @ tag. If I don't use the tag, but just mention part of the name, like Eagle or Peaks, then it can be seen, right?
 

drpeter

Senior Member
A shoe update: I must be on a roll. This morning I went back to the same Goodwill and found two more pairs of Allen Edmonds shoes in my size, in very good condition. Someone must have been dumping all their AEs! These two pairs are tassel loafers, both burgundy, one a bit more reddish than the other. The reddish pair is called Harvard, the other, Enfield. They both look very much like standard calfskin. The uppers are in excellent shape, the soles show some wear, and the heels show only a small amount of wear. No damage anywhere, but the Harvards are a bit looser than the Enfields on my feet -- nothing that a thicker pair of socks would not fix. Each pair cost $9.99 plus tax.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
A shoe update: I must be on a roll. This morning I went back to the same Goodwill and found two more pairs of Allen Edmonds shoes in my size, in very good condition. Someone must have been dumping all their AEs! These two pairs are tassel loafers, both burgundy, one a bit more reddish than the other. The reddish pair is called Harvard, the other, Enfield. They both look very much like standard calfskin. The uppers are in excellent shape, the soles show some wear, and the heels show only a small amount of wear. No damage anywhere, but the Harvards are a bit looser than the Enfields on my feet -- nothing that a thicker pair of socks would not fix. Each pair cost $9.99 plus tax.
For the slightly larger one, you could also try lining the inside with moleskin and / or heal and tongue inserts (most shoe repair stores or, I'd bet, Amazon carry them - cost a few bucks each) that might negate the need for a thicker sock - if you'd prefer not to wear a thicker sock.

Those are great finds - enjoy them.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
For the slightly larger one, you could also try lining the inside with moleskin and / or heal and tongue inserts (most shoe repair stores or, I'd bet, Amazon carry them - cost a few bucks each) that might negate the need for a thicker sock - if you'd prefer not to wear a thicker sock.

Those are great finds - enjoy them.
Thanks, FF. I have some of those inserts which I picked up for other shoes. In fact, my local cobbler carries them.
 

Mr. B. Scott Robinson

Advanced Member
I occasionally find Allen’s, Ferragamos,
and the odd Fifth Ave retailers Italian makes at estate sales in nearly new condition. I hit the mother lode twice recently with some very dapper recently passed gents having loafers in my size. Some were unworn, purchased in 2013, and still in the box with original receipts.

Goodwill is a bit more difficult. I sometimes find AE with perfect uppers yet with holes in the soles, requiring an additional $100 to get them back in decent shape making them a lost cause. Finding my size, 10-10.5 is another issue.

Taking inspiration from Eagle, I have added at least a dozen pair to my collection this calendar year. My wife is not amused!

Cheers,

BSR
 

drpeter

Senior Member
I'm fortunate enough to live in a small college town where we have an excellent cobblery called Happy Feet. I have become friends with the two owners, who are also twin brothers! Their services are priced very reasonably. I can usually get a pair of shoes fully resoled and re-heeled for a total cost of $45-$50. They replace the cork bed beneath the outsole as well when replacing soles. They have replaced insoles too, and occasionally, I have been able to get new half-insoles with the correct logo from the shoe companies themselves. I did this recently with a pair of English Grensons whose insoles had been badly disfigured -- the company sent me a pair of insoles with the right colour for free! The brothers' work on my shoes, both shell cordovans and calfskins, has been outstanding. It certainly beats the price of recrafting services at a more well-known outfit like Allen-Edmonds, a bit down the road in Port Washington, Wisconsin!
 
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drpeter

Senior Member
@bsr's earlier post about finding the right sizes reminded me of one other thing I am lucky about: I'm pretty easy to fit with standard sizes that are average and therefore common. I'm 5'-8" and 155 lbs. My suit size is 40 Jacket -34 Trouser Waist, occasionally some suits with a 42-36 sizing on the labels will fit me well. My shirt size is pretty much 16-33/34, although I always buy 16.5 for the collar because 100% cotton shrinks no matter what they say! I also buy all my T shirts at XL since L fits me well -- again, to handle shrinkage. And shoe size is 9/9.5.

When I purchased my first pair of Alden shell cordovans almost fifteen years ago, from a shoe shop in Madison (they had to order these shoes from Alden, they had run out of my size), they measured me and told me that one of my feet was 9 and the other close to 9.5. Their suggestion was to go with 9.5, although a 0.5 size difference is not really huge. The shoes have been great! I guess clothes purchases are easier if one is a very average person!
 

Mr. B. Scott Robinson

Advanced Member
@bsr's earlier post about finding the right sizes reminded me of one other thing I am lucky about: I'm pretty easy to fit with standard sizes that are average and therefore common. I'm 5'-8" and 155 lbs. My suit size is 40 Jacket -34 Trouser Waist, occasionally some suits with a 42-36 sizing on the labels will fit me well. My shirt size is pretty much 16-33/34, although I always buy 16.5 for the collar because 100% cotton shrinks no matter what they say! I also buy all my T shirts at XL since L fits me well -- again, to handle shrinkage. And shoe size is 9/9.5.

When I purchased my first pair of Alden shell cordovans almost fifteen years ago, from a shoe shop in Madison (they had to order these shoes from Alden, they had run out of my size), they measured me and told me that one of my feet was 9 and the other close to 9.5. Their suggestion was to go with 9.5, although a 0.5 size difference is not really huge. The shoes have been great! I guess clothes purchases are easier if one is a very average person!
Our sizing are in the same ball park. I am 6’1”, and 170 lbs after losing about 60lbs over the past 18 months.

I can get into a loose fit 38R jacket, but a slim cut 40R looks better and 38s
trend short in the sleeve. This is down from a 44-46R.

My waist is 33”, down from a tight 38”.

I prefer a slim cut 15 x 34 shirt as I actually like to show off some of the work I have put into gaining my new shape.

My shoe size has actually shrunk over the past 2 years from a 10.5 to a 10, which I find odd. I have added about a dozen pair of thrifted shoes to my collection this year, so I have had occasion to experiment with various lengths and widths.

I greatly enjoy thrifting and have seriously honed my eye so that I rarely pick losers any longer. It took a while to get to this point!

Cheers,

BSR
 
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drpeter

Senior Member
Today's Goodwill find (along with two modern first editons): A pair of NOS black British Walkers wingtip brogues with tassels. The uppers are absolutely pristine, and the outsoles and heels are also absolutely pristine, so it does not appear to have ever been worn, at least not on a surface that is uncarpeted. The leather is intriguing. Up close, and with a magnifying glass, the surface shows no pores, which is one of the signs of shell cordovan leather. I compared it with the shells I own, but those are all well worn and so it is not easy to compare directly. The unrippled parts of the leather look quite similar to the Walkers.

On the other hand, it could also be corrected grain leather, but from what I have read in these forums and elsewhere, British Walkers did make good quality shoes, and even some shell cordovans. So calfskin seems more likely. Time will easily tell: If it is calf leather, it will develop microcreases in the major creasing on the vamp. If it is corrected leather, this creasing will be worse than regular calfskin. And if it develops the characteristic ripples and waves, then it would likely be shell. At any rate, this experiment cost me $9.99, so who's complaining? LOL. They fit my feet nicely, although they have a bit of that stiffness that new shoes have -- they will get broken in with a bit of wear.

Here is an image from the net, that looks identical to my pair:
 

Attachments

drpeter

Senior Member
More thrift finds: Italian-made Clarks and US-made SAS Tripad shoes , both extremely comfortable and in barely worn condition. Also a nice pair of US-made Cole-Haan boat shoes brown leather trim and dark grey-green suede, and a pair of US-made Johnson and Murphy Optima cap-toe oxfords. These two are also light-to-no wear. All shoes appear to be calfskin, except the boat shoes which are calfskin and suede.Total outlay $40.00 for four pairs of shoes. Very reasonable.

I have wanted a nice pair of US-made boat shoes for quite some time. I don't know if Sperry Topsiders and Sebago Docksides are still made Stateside, or in China or Asian countries. I don't see them while thrifting. I am also happy to get the Clarks. I'm hoping the Italian manufacture is better than the Chinese -- my last pair of Clarks made there fell apart quickly. I've never had SAS (San Antonio Shoemakers) and based on a first trial, they also feel very good, like the Clarks.

It seems that of late, I'm finding many shoes which have little to no wear. Maybe people buy them and sock them away (pun intended), or forget they have them! In any case, we thrifters clearly benefit.
 
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Mike B

New Member
Ebay not thrift...Bass Logan Weejuns

I got these for around $15 then had my cobbler put on new heels and a rubber Vibram half sole (they always throw in a shine for free).

I've wanted a pair of beater beef roll all-weather loafers that can span the range from casual to formal wear for a while now and these should do the job.

Bass Weejun Larson loafers I.jpg


Bass Weejun Larson loafers II.jpg
 

drpeter

Senior Member
Ebay not thrift...Bass Logan Weejuns

I got these for around $15 then had my cobbler put on new heels and a rubber Vibram half sole (they always throw in a shine for free).

I've wanted a pair of beater beef roll all-weather loafers that can span the range from casual to formal wear for a while now and these should do the job.

View attachment 48618

View attachment 48619
Lovely find -- congratulations! Now you need to christen them as Beefbeater shoes, LOL. I have had a few of these myself, currently own a couple at least, and I too have used them for casual and somewhat formal wear. I like to buy the older US-made ones. They are great shoes, highly versatile and very comfortable, and they will withstand resoling and re-heeling rather nicely.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
Another nice score today: A pair of chestnut brown Dexter longwings, made in USA. These are not as heavy as Florsheim Imperial gunboats, but made in the same overall style. Solid welted soles, nicely maintained, and not even a tiny scratch anywhere on the uppers. Total outlay: $5.00 and tax.
I brought them home and cleaned them thoroughly, using water and isopropyl alcohol for the insides. After drying, I gave it a good brushing, followed by some nice cordovan color polish, another wait and then a brushing and buffing with one of my trusty old T shirts, perfect for the job. They look terrific.

The older, US-made Dexters are definitely middle of the line, nowhere near as great as Florsheims, but quite serviceable and not bad for everyday wear. I have a couple of pairs I acquired years ago and they are well-made and do the job quite nicely. I know that Dexter fell on hard times, and the quality went south after they were acquired by some other firm and manufacturing went overseas. I don't think they are around anymore, although someone may be using the name to market cheaply made shoes.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
I did not want to start a separate thread for this. I have been checking over my shoe collection and cleaning and polishing, especially after finding a few pairs recently in the thrift shops. I need to take a couple in for new heels. I found that I had forgotten some of the items I had! I had been toying with the idea of buying a new pair of Alden shell cordovan loafers/slipons, to add to the three other Aldens I have, one shell and the other two calfskins, all bought new and in fine nick. This was because I thought I did not have a shell loafer. To my surprise I found a pair of very nice Allen Edmonds Westchester loafers in shell tucked away in a corner of my shoe rack! I still think it will be nice to have a differently styled Alden model, although the price is close to $800 brand new. We shall see, but for now, I am happy I have these Westchester shells.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
I'm getting jealous. I drove past two Goodwill stores today and they are both vacated. I'm assuming due to concerns about the virus.
I am sorry to hear of the Goodwill shops being vacated -- by that, do you mean they are closed as part of the lockdown, or simply empty of merchandise, perhaps temporarily? I wish I could let you have some of my luck! Living out here in the hinterland, it is not often that someone is envious of my luck.

To be clear, the Westchester shell loafers I discovered were bought years ago, not recently. I had simply forgotten that I had them -- my only excuse is that I have almost sixty pairs of shoes, purchased in the last two decades or more, and they often get obscured by the clothes hanging in my closets! And after retirement, I don't wear my nice shoes as often as I did before, so it's not surprising I forgot them.

That said, I have indeed had some good luck in recent weeks, especially with the AE MacNeil shells I found at Goodwill -- although that is a highly unusual find, and it is likely due to the fact that Goodwill have been short-staffed and in a rush after reopening from the lockdown, and so have been under pressure to get merchandise out into the shops.

Where I have really found bargains is in the area of first editions/first printings of collectible books (what we collectors call modern firsts, referring usually to fiction by authors in the last hundred years). For instance, two weeks ago, I found an old and somewhat dusty copy of a classic thriller, Eric Ambler's The Mask of Dimitrios in a Goodwill shop in my area -- a first edition, and as far as I know, a first printing from that specific publisher. I can't recollect if it was a US edition, and if so, the UK edition may have had precedence. But it's still a great addition to my almost complete collection of Ambler firsts. I always point out the value of such books to the Goodwill staff, and they say they don't have the time anymore to put such things out on eBay, so I should enjoy my find! I suppose it evens out -- I donate both material and money to Goodwill as and when I can, so I'll call it a reasonable deal, LOL.

Side note:The Mask of Dimitrios, was made into a B&W film, starrring Sidney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre, both legendary actors, and indeed quite redoubtable in their often oppositional roles, creating a lasting impression on at least an earlier generation of cineastes.
 

mhj

Senior Member
It turns it that the situation isn't as bad as I thought. Later in the evening I checked Goodwill's website and found that the first store that I went to, my usual one, had closed and is moving to a new location which is the second store I went to. Apparently it hasn't opened yet but is much closer to home and in a safer neighborhood.
 
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