The Shoe Snob Blog

March 26, 2013

Written by , Posted in News

Old School Beauties by Wildsmith

The more that I see shoes from makers that date before the 60-70’s (like these Wildsmith’s) that unfortunately no longer exist, the more that I love them. Right now in the world of consumerism and capitalism I really don’t think that every brand tries their absolute hardest to make the best shoe that they can. I know that some still do and keep hold of a very very high standard of quality but with the way the world has gone, it’s hard for a businesses to justify keeping standards to the 100% highest level, without losing money at some point. This is where I feel that shoes from the old day, where there was a lot of pride in shoemaking, took it to another level and tried their absolute hardest to make the best thing that they could. Every time I see an old shoe, whether or not I feel it to be of my liking (style wise), I at least always appreciate the making of it from the pattern to the stitching to the shape of the last and how the leather hugs it. It’s really hard to explain what I am thinking about without having seen as many shoes that I have, as it’s something that I can put into my mind, but hard to express in words. Nevertheless, this shoe, while being a simple full brogue, blew me away when I saw it in person, as it was flawless in all of those qualities that I just named above…..

  • He Justin , Thanks to persons as your, there are more craftsmen of quality. To form and to report of models, works, brands, it increases the quantity of clients ready to demand quality and to paying it, knowing what they buy.
    Best
    ENRILE

  • Rolf

    Wildsmith was founded in 1848 (or thereabouts) and closed maybe 10 years ago. Although the firm made bespoke shoes for most of the time (most famous is the ‘Wildsmith loafer’ which survives as Edward Green “Harrow”), in the latter years George Wildsmith sold only ready-to-wear and made-to-order produced by either Edward Green or Crockett & Jones under the Wildsmith label.

    I’m pretty certain (although not absolutely sure without seeing sole and markings) the pair featured is the “Malvern” by EG.

    Rolf

  • Jason,

    this is off topic slightly but related to vintage shoes; i’ve noticed that modern balmoral boots never bother to get the inward curve up the back of the ankle that boots of 1900 to 1940 have.

    modern balmorals always fail to bother with this feature and make an uglier boot in my (and several of my vintage boot loving friends) opinion. do you think its a deliberate choice on the part of modern shoemakers to consciously NOT make boots that look too old fashioned in case they put customers off ?

    or are they simply indifferent to this old fashioned feature ?

    the inward curved rear ankle is just so much more elegant.

  • apologies for getting your name wrong in the last comment !

  • This pair has Edward Green written all over it. They seem to be in great condition for their age.

  • Anonymous
  • Antonio – Thanks for commenting my friend!

    Rolf – Thanks for the info…being that as it may be…it would appear then that EG made better shoes then than they do now as the closing/pattern/finishing was all phenomenal. Better than what I see now, evey though they still make brilliant shoes…..for me its a matter of pride. Back then people were proud to work in the factory and that pride came out in the end product. Cant say that I feel the workers think in the same way now as they did then….

    Laurence – no worries about the name error….as per you observation, I can’t say that it’s not something that is not done anymore. For examply my boots have it as I know that Gaziano & Girling’s do too, but it might simply be that it is not as exaggerated as much as it used to be. I don’t think that makers choose not to do it because they don’t like it but that things are different now. People are bigger than they used to be, calves included. And I also believe that many people don’t like the feeling of things being “tight”, of which narrowing the shaft of the boot makes things more tight….it could be a number of reasons really but it is still done, maybe just not as much….

    Ville – they were missing a tongue, but other than that, were in good condition for their age!

    Anon – not much info there….

    -Justin