I’ve had a few enquiries recently from readers searching for tie up Bass Weejuns – a rare beast indeed and a different shoe entirely to the also rare Sportocasin (whose roots come directly from 1930s golf shoes).
Sometime ago I posted a pair of already well worn 2 eyelet lace up Weejuns that I found in the later 90s in an LA thrift store. I recently sold those on eBay to a good home, the reason being that last summer, with the help of my trusty LA proxy, I’d picked up a pair of almost deadstock ones (worn once on a surface judging from the soles), very similar but without the boat shoe style side lacing of the last pair.
From the plastic plug and leather heel, and leather stamp on the underside I would imagine these are mid to late 1970s. I’ve seen adverts for the Weejuns range that show this identical model, and certainly Bass had one similar as far back as the 1950s.
For some time I’d considered them a bit too dainty, probably I was too used to wearing heavier lace ups or the warm comfort of suede chukkas. However, a recent purge of the inner recesses of the Weejun wardrobes dug this pair up again.
I really must start wearing them, but first I need to make a fix for the front of the soles. I always have a problem with new leather soles wearing up at the front. For heavier soles I always use toe plates, but for thinner soles such as Weejuns, I’ve found a fix that works well and is non-destructive. On eBay there are a ton of sellers selling an egg shaped non-slip urethane stick on patch that is only 2mm deep (made by 3M - search here). Cut down to size and placed at the front of the sole these seem to work really well, and if they start to unpeel at the front some rubber cement seems to do the trick.