1950’s work boots – unknown make

I’m a huge fan of old-style boots – whether it be English paddock boots from early 20th century or 1910’s to 60’s American service & work boots.

A big problem for me, in terms of acquiring vintage boots, is the condition of the boots; I can’t really bring myself to buy a pair that has been worn or that has even a tiny bit of grain cracking.

That effectively rules out 90%+ of vintage boots out there…which is good for my sanity 😛

But along came this special pair:

New-old stock, a 1950’s pair of Canadian work-boots, maker unknown.

As you can see from the vamp and the outsole, these boots have not been worn before.

The leather, too, is as perfect as I can expect from something that’s been in storage for more than half a century!

Textbook work-boot design!

6 eyelets, triple-row attachment between the two main pieces of the upper, counter caps.

The tongue is made of a thinner suede, which I think is a great idea – wish more modern boots were made as such!

The leather of the upper is quite interesting!

5.5 oz vegetable tanned leather, with a growth of moderate depth.

The welt-stitch, perhaps for concealment, runs very closely to the upper:

Eyelets have oxidised with time:

Suede backing:

To the inside…where modern bench-made work-boots trumps the old-school work-boots:

Minimalistic in design & padding, not as easy on the feet as modern orthopaedic designs…

But given these boots were made before my parents were born, I can’t really complain 😛

The outsole unit is fascinating – no leather mid-soles or stacks, just a big chunky Biltrite neoprene sole and a Biltrite Imperial full-heel:

Like the vintage Cat’s Paw soles, these older Biltrite soles are beautiful – and easy on the eye too, when the legs are crossed.

I doubt I can find an equally appealing modern replacement when it’s time to re-sole these boots…

If anyone knows a good source for dead-stock soles, let me know 🙂

The Imperial heels too, are a rare find.

Nitrile Imperials were, and AFAIK still are, Biltrite’s hardest wearing heels – more durable than the SBR Cat’s Paws.

Doesn’t really matter now anyway; in the 21st century, Biltrite owns Cat’s Paw.

Further nailing down ensures durability – we very rarely see construct like this nowadays!

Tried on after a layer of my home-made conditioner ~ fits alright!

The length is just right, but the toe-box is on the narrower side – nothing a little bit of breaking in won’t fix though 🙂

After a test walk:

Couple of things I need to do – change the laces and polish the leather.

More updates as I get working on these lovelies!


4 thoughts on “1950’s work boots – unknown make

  1. I have worn these boots for a long time.My Grandfather and all the old tradesmen wore them . They were also know as a police boot.Originals hade leather sole. I cant find a manufacturer but have bought them from a shoe repair shop in Sault STE. MARIE ontario.Thanks for putting them on a site

  2. These are beautiful boots! I love the quality work of the old boots, it’s a shame you can’t really find anything close nowadays, consumerism told us that things don’t need to last if you can just replace it. I’m 17 an have just really been interested for the past year or so. I don’t really know where to look other than etsy or eBay, where do you look for boots like these? ~maxxsomething@yahoo.com

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