The Coward Shoe

In 1866, cobbler James S. Coward opened a store in New York City. He named it after himself, and he referred to the shoes he sold as "Coward shoes".

Despite the odd name, his business did extremely well. In fact, it endured almost to the present. As of 2014, the company had both a twitter and facebook page. But their website now redirects to Old Pueblo Traders whom, I'm guessing, must have acquired them.

The Keyport Weekly - Apr 23, 1892

Boston Globe - Sep 20, 1927

     Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 25, 2020
     Category: Odd Names | Shoes

I'm always looking for a shoe that actually fits comfortably. You may think that I'm describing some guy with a pair of ski sized feet on the end of his legs, but my problem is actually the opposite - I'm six feet tall and need a narrow size 8-ish shoe. It can be tough to find because some shoes are cut too tight and others too loose and many are labelled as size 7 and 8. (How can a shoe be two sizes at once?) I usually end up buying the loose fit type and wear a thick sock.
Posted by KDP on 11/25/20 at 10:25 AM
@KDP -- Back in the late 1960s, early 1970s, several boot and shoe makers in Hong Kong advertised their custom footware in the U.S.. I wrote to one which I found in The Whole Earth Catalog and got a nice little folder with more than a dozen samples of the skins/leathers available along with instructions on how to measure -- no stock sizes for them: you had to have someone trace your feet as you were standing upright, and you had to put a tape around your foot in two places, your ankle, and every couple of inches for as high up your leg as you wanted the boots to go. They were only a little more expensive than so-so, off the shelf boots here.

I have no idea how you'd go about finding any of them now, but it might be worth trying to track one down.
Posted by Phideaux on 11/25/20 at 03:31 PM
Just when I discover, at last, shoes that really fit my foot, the company has to be named after the guy that ran away in a battle. Plus, the company doesn't exist anymore. Just like the original shape of my feet.
Posted by Yudith on 11/26/20 at 04:53 AM
This is just the way shoes are cruel to me. But Sketchers and New Balance 4E's are fine. Leather dress shoes can go back to hell, where they came from. Athletic shoes are excellent these days.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 11/27/20 at 02:54 PM
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