Help with dating McHale shoes

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion Q & A' started by laurenm, May 11, 2012.

  1. laurenm

    laurenm Registered Guest

    Hi Everyone,
    In my search regarding this company John McHale I have found several references to the company closing in the 1950s and yet these shoes seem later, partly because the uppers look so pristine.
    Thanks so much,
    P.S. the photos are not great and the colour of the letter is a beautiful, rich ox blood tone, not the orangey shade shown.

    Attached Files:

  2. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    John McHale is originally a Canadian brand from London, Ontario, the company was founded in 1909 as a partnership between two men - Scott and McHale. They produced men's and boy's welted shoes under the brand names Astoria and Liberty, as well as a high end eponymously names line. They were bought out by Florsheim sometime between 1959 and 1963. Your pair are post war, probably early 50s. Its hard to be anymore specific without handling them.

    I don't actually have a pair in my collection, so let me know when you put them up for sale.
  3. laurenm

    laurenm Registered Guest

    Hi Jonathan,
    Thanks for that info.
    I noticed something unusual about the heels. There seem to be two regular 'cuts' on the inside edge of both heels of almost identical size/shape....I've never seen that before.
  4. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    That is a feature you sometimes get on men's shoes. It is to avoid splashing drips onto the pant leg as you walk. As water drains from the heel with each step, the cut off corner avoids a point for the water to gather and drip.
  5. laurenm

    laurenm Registered Guest

    Now that's intelligent design.
    Leonardo Da Vintage likes this.
  6. Colin Carmichael

    Colin Carmichael Registered Guest

    Jonathan, if you're really interested in obtaining a pair of McHale's, then you will be very annoyed that just this week I purchased a very nice pair for $13 at Value Village on Hespeler Road... :)

  7. laurenm

    laurenm Registered Guest

    Ah, my favorite old haunt when I lived in Cambridge!
  8. Colin Carmichael

    Colin Carmichael Registered Guest

    The men's shoes are normally in terrible shape there, but these were just sitting there waiting to be scooped up! ;)
  9. EndlessAlley

    EndlessAlley Trade Member

    I've noticed those little cuts on men's shoes also, but had no idea what they were for. Thanks, Jonathan!
  10. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    Good hunting on the John McHale's! I almost never go to that Value Village, in fact, I never go anymore because I have never pulled anything good out of it.
  11. Colin Carmichael

    Colin Carmichael Registered Guest

    This was indeed a one in a million find. I've had success with a few jackets/suits/shirts, etc at Value Village, though nothing that would be considered vintage.
  12. laurenm

    laurenm Registered Guest

    I find VV around Hallowe'en can be a treasure trove.
  13. Mr.Bwok

    Mr.Bwok Registered Guest

    I am new here and have some information on John McHale shoes. This is some information i have pieced together and please feel free to correct anything if you know mare than I do.
    For the most part the history of the company above is correct, history is a little fuzzy about John Mchale's involvement after 1954. Early John McHale shoes simply say "John McHale" in the interior and only three styles Balmoral, Blucher and a Brogue. All the shoes after the company was bought will say "The John McHale Custom Shoe", "The McHale Shoe" or simply "McHale Shoes". If you notice in the add from 1962 the name of the brand is McHale and not John McHale. As far as I have heard, the company was bought in the 1950's and they continued to make the styles, but with a slight difference in the labeling after Mr. McHale left the company.

    International Shoe Company (now known as Interco Incorporated or Furniture Brands incorporated) had bought Florsheim and a number of brands globally and still own the McHale brand . Much later, stores like Simpsons, Eatons and Sears, simply used the McHale name to lable shoes that are nothing like the handmade originals prior to 1955. You could even find McHale branded shoes into the 1980's,241918&dq=mchale shoes&hl=en however these are not hand made in the London Ontario shop, they where mass produced most likely in Japan.

    Here is an ad from 1959 that shows shoes produced after company was sold.


    This is a shoe made in the 60's, labeled "The John Mchale Custom Shoe" The really late branded shoes only say "McHale Shoes" or "The McHale Shoe" on the inside.
    early shoes just have "John McHale"
    EndlessAlley likes this.
  14. Sbryant324

    Sbryant324 Registered Guest

    So I have a BRAND NEW- never worn set of brogues size 9D similar to those pictured above outdoors. They say John McHale. I'm unsure if I should wear them or sell them. Any thoughts?
  15. EndlessAlley

    EndlessAlley Trade Member

    I've sold a few pieces in the past that caused me to regret my decision months later. I love great shoes! Chances are you will never find another pair like this that are a good fit for you. So, I would suggest holding on to them until you are certain one way or the other. That's what I do now with my tempting "wear or sell" pieces.

    Wonderful find, Steve!
  16. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Trade Member

    If they fit you, wear them.

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