Saturday, 12 June 2010

Interim Post

Good news! I all but vowed to go on a murder spree in protest at the lack of certainty with which we're able to identify Steve McQueen plimsolls. Fair enough, I'm sure you'll agree, but I can now at least take a break from the killing. Patrick Segui, from the excellent Riveted blog, has provided information on The Thomas Crown Affair's canvas guest stars. The brand, apparently, is Sperry Top-Sider. It's been about for 75 years and US Navy standard issue for 71 of those, so a natural choice for the ex-Marine. It was also, as with Keds, owned by United States Rubber at one time, a company that goes back to 1892. (A business called Stride Rite now owns both Sperry Top-Sider and Keds. Stride Rite also markets footwear for horrid Tommy Hilfiger, but there you go.)

Sperry Top-Sider 75th Anniversary CVO in navy

Sperry Top-Sider has issued vintage pumps to coincide with its 75th anniversary. Patrick says those McQueen sports in The Thomas Crown Affair have missed out on the celebrations. Nevertheless, the navy Sperry Top-Sider 75th Anniversary CVO looks close.

Oi Polloi sells a "clay" colour for £65 and warns that it's "quite a narrow" fit, which is a worry but who knows? Clarks says its desert boots are narrow, and I'm fine with my normal size. Converse, conversely, are strips of torture to me. (I've only recently bought Keds, by the way, and I must say they hurt! Usual enough at first, I suppose. Let's hope they improve over time, unlike the Converse I've endured.)

Bad news! The Sperry Top-Sider website sells navy 75th Anniversary CVO for $75 (about £50) but only delivers to the US. Companies such as MyUS provide a solution. They give you a US address to use, and they forward your packages. It all means, of course, additional effort as well as cost for those of us in the UK, but I might well go through with it. I'll let you know what happens if so.


  1. LL Bean signature has them, and they ship international.

  2. Hello,

    For the sneakers Steve McQueen is wearing in 1968 (Navy Blue), while they might be Sperry Top-Sider sneakers (also worn by the character Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt), I believe they are a different brand / model.

    In 1968 Keds manufactured more than Keds Champions (those seen in this article/blog) for Men and Boys. They also were selling another model called Surfers. (NOTE: Vans later came out with their own Surfer model, but these are not them.)

    I believe the sneakers are Men's Keds Surfer model, which Keds made from the mid 1960's through the early 1970's. They made them in two versions, one with the Keds logo inlaid into the flat gum sole and the other with the logo on the heel. You can see close up of these sneakers (in White, not Navy) in the Hawaii Five-O episode "And They Painted Daisies on His Coffin" (Season 1, Episode 6, 1968). Danny kills a suspect and you can clearly see the sneakers both during the chase and BEST once he's shot, through, the door by Danny. When he's pulling himself along the floor you can see the sole of his shoes and the inlaid Keds logo.

    NOTE: The Keds Surfer model came in CVO, slip-on for Men, Women, Girls, and Boys.

    A Google search for "Keds Surfer" will return both articles and images of these sneakers.