What an amazing pair of shoes. My friend directed me to them in a London vintage shop, for the princely sum of £20. These A. S. Beck shoes are made in dark blue suede and feature this amazing “spade” sole, one of the prominent obsessions of collectors of vintage American shoes. I’m not entirely sure of the date, but I’m sure the shoe enthusiasts can tell me. I would guess them as being 1930s? A. S. Beck seems to have a pretty big shoe retailer/maker, if the pictures online of their stores back in the day are anything to go by.

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Another pair of spectator shoes. I have little idea on date, but at a guess I’d say from the 50s … someone probably knows more than me. [EDIT] Some folks over at The Fedora Lounge tell me these are probably from the late 1940s or early 1950s. My favourite vintage summer shoes.

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These excellent 1950s or earlier British work boots were found by a friend in a charity shop in the Midlands. The pull tab on the rear says that they’re made of Glacé Kid (goat hide). I would say this applies only to the quarter (ankle/leg) portion of the boot. There appear to be 2 different hides used in the boot – for the cap and vamp, it appears to be calf, and Glacé Kid for the quarter. The vamp and cap don’t have the glassy, grainy look of Glacé Kid that you can see in the quarter. Maybe I’m wrong. But whatever, these are fantastic, functional boots, and very modern looking, despite their age. I really love the hand finish on the heel – very stylish finish. A perfect work/casual boot.

More than anything else, what lets down the modern man of style is his shoes. You spend several hundreds to several thousands of pounds on suits, then go and ruin it all with poor shodding, pairing your beautiful worsted suit with a £25 pair of gunboats from Clarke’s. Not so the 1930s-40s shoe. Typically built along very elegant lines and constructed by hand, if you find a deadstock pair, they will be far superior to a similar priced shoe of today.

For vintage chaps, the Spectator, or Correspondent, shoe is highly sought after. With leather pieces paired with buckskin for the uppers, they are jaunty and sporty. This pair is of the particularly desirable type which has elaborately perforated uppers, particularly in the buckskin parts. Though far from perfect condition, these shoes regularly find their way into my shoe rotation in the summer months. There’s no mark to indicate the maker, but they are American. I bought them from Germany, of all places.

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