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History

In 1892, Milton Florsheim began producing shoes in a small factory located in Chicago, Illinois.The first pairs of Florsheim shoes made by Milton and his father, Sigmund, were a remarkable combination of style, comfort and high quality workmanship.

But shoes were not the only things Milton was building. He realized from the very beginning that a high quality product was only one of the factors necessary for success. A strong distribution network would be essential in making certain his exceptional footwear found its customers – entrepreneurs and self-starters in big cities and small towns across a fast growing nation.

As a new class of working men and professionals emerged, Florsheim shoes came to symbolize success. They also signaled a deep respect for yourself as well as for those with whom you did business. The tradition continues to this day. Though the specific shoes may change from season to season and year to year, all Florsheim shoes are designed for The Man Who Cares.

Timeline

1892 Milton Florsheim starts The Florsheim Shoe Company in Chicago. The first Florsheim retail store opens shortly after. As the shoes gain popularity, they are featured in magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and The Cosmopolitan.

1896 In an early example of brand-building years ahead of its time, the Florsheim name is added onto the pullstrap and inside every shoe to let consumers know that they are purchasing a "genuine Florsheim."

1898 Florsheim supplies boots to American soldiers serving in the Spanish-American War.

1900 Florsheim introduces the Flor-Scope to its retail stores. In the early 1900s, it was common to use a fluoroscope to x-ray a customer's foot to ensure a proper fit.

1908 Florsheim becomes a household name across the country thanks to a successful advertising campaign, and to word of mouth about the quality of the shoes.

1917 Florsheim, famous for their durable construction, becomes one of the principal manufacturers and suppliers of boots to American soldiers fighting in World War I.

1922 Fresh on the heels of Gene Sarazen winning both the US Open and the PGA Championship at the incredible age of 20, the sport of golf experiences a surge in popularity and Florsheim introduces a line of golf to meet growing demand.

1926 Launching a new trend to appeal to an ever more style-conscious consumer, Florsheim introduces the nation's first square-toed shoe.

1931 For ladies in search of the same level of quality and style they observed in Florsheim's men's shoes, Florsheim produces its first-ever line of women's shoes.

1933 From 1930 to 1933, Florsheim becomes the title sponsor of Florsheim Shoe Frolic, a radio show on NBC featuring bandleader Guy Lombardo.

1935 Florsheim designs a line of custom golf shoes for the United States' Ryder Cup team, which played to a comfortable victory in the competition, held at Ridgewood Country Club in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

1937 Who else but Florsheim could make a custom pair of size 37 boots? Robert Pershing Wadlow, who grew to be 8'11" by the time he was 22 years old, spends much of 1937 promoting Florsheim shoes across the country.

1941 America enters World War II and, eager to do their part, Florsheim begins producing shoes for our troops. In fact, before long, half of all the shoes Florsheim makes go toward the war effort.

1949 The Florsheim Shoe Company unveils a gleaming new, state-of-the-art factory in downtown Chicago.

1952 Between 1952 and 1971, fueled by a reputation for quality construction and classic styling, Florsheim continues to grow, expanding to 14 factories and 500 retail stores nationwide.

1958 Never afraid to challenge convention, Florsheim retail stores begin bringing shoes out of the back rooms and onto the store floor for customers to browse freely. This practice revolutionizes the way shoes are sold and the rest of the industry soon follows Florsheim's lead.

1959 Florsheim sponsors two major golf tournaments—the Bing Crosby Pebble Beach Classic, popularly known as the Crosby Clambake and the Thunderbird Invitational, which went on to become the Bob Hope Desert Classic.

1966 By 1966, a pair of Florsheim shoes is sold every 4 seconds.

1979 The Riva slip-on dress shoe is introduced and becomes Florsheim's top selling shoe, a distinction that it has held ever since.

1984 The Florsheim Express Shop is introduced to all Florsheim retail stores. The first of its kind in the world, this innovative computer kiosk allows customers to order any shoe from the entire Florsheim line, rather than rely on what the physical store has in stock.

2002 In May of 2002, the Florsheim trademark returns to its roots when purchased by Weyco Group. Weyco Group, located in Glendale, Wisconsin, is currently the headquarters of Florsheim Shoes. The senior officers of the company are fifth generation Florsheim and proud to carry on the family tradition. They are committed to creating shoes that embrace Florsheim's heritage of quality, craftsmanship and timeless styling.

2010 Florsheim introduces two new additions to its portfolio of shoe lines. Florsheim by Duckie Brown, a partnership between Florsheim and the fashion-forward menswear designer, and Florsheim Limited, a premium collection that features modern reinterpretations of timeless classics.