Shoes: Regular ‘lace up’ Pt. 1

What to know about regular ‘high top’ cabbage patch shoes, part 1.

Other Relevant Posts: CPK Shoe Summary, Lacing CPK Shoes

Regular lace-up shoes were manufactured by Coleco throughout the entirety of their production. However, the characteristics of the shoes varied by factory and over time.

The information in this post is chronological. If you don’t ‘recognize’ your shoes, keep going.

Hong Kong Shoes

For a definition of ‘Hong Kong Kids’, jump to the Glossary.

In the beginning, when production took place in Hong Kong [HK], the shoes had a very distinctive look.

In general, they have a number of these features but do not need to have them all.

  • They have a thicker feel to the vinyl. In some cases, the vinyl did not mould well, and they have a runny look to the inside.
  • They have textured bottoms.
  • Not all have HK shoes have black text in the heel, but if it is black, it’s a HK shoe.
  • They tend to look less ‘finished’ than other shoes. The edges look more like they’ve been cut out, or the vinyl around the edges has been trimmed.
  • In some cases, the tongue has not been cut out and is still attached.
Picture with a Hong Kong shoes comparing it to a regular shoes . Both are P factory.
Hong Kong P shoe versus later P shoe. Compare the thickness and edges of the vinyl.
OK  Some have black text. I have found some made with a very hard, almost grey vinyl. The bottom edge can be more rounded than in other factories.
PThe text runs vertical, not horizontal, in the heel. I have not found any P with black text.  
KTIn general, KT shoes have more have black text. There are two versions, one with a font smaller than the other. 

For more information on Jesmar Hong Kong shoes visit HERE

Post HK Shoes – 1986ish shoes

After the ‘experimental’ Hong Kong period, the shoes became more uniform but still had many characteristics that varied by factory. It can be very difficult to ‘match’ shoes. You THINK they look like they should match, but when you put them side by side, they are nothing alike! They aren’t the same shape, colour, texture, etc.

Most of the shoes have the factory indicator and the words HONG KONG stamped on the inside by the heel, on the bottom. The factory indicator can be inside a circle or not.

After production moved to China, the shoes became more uniform in appearance but continued to vary by factory. Indeed, as more factories began production, the amount of variation increased.

Disclaimer: The following observations have been made based on my collection. I welcome any information and will not hesitate to make revisions as needed.

OK Factory
The vinyl feels rather flimsy and thin.
The bottoms are flat.
The text is either raised and clear or very blurry.
The text comes in two sizes, the larger being closer to the heel.

P Factory
The stitching decoration is in higher relief than the OK shoes, standing out prominently.
The text is in relief and very clear to read. The text can include numbers. I have recorded the following: 4, 3, 2, 1, 6, 7 They can develop pox.

KT Factory
They look like a regular white P except: They still have a textured bottom.
The vinyl is slightly thicker and continues to have a slight ‘cut’ or ‘trimmed’ look to it, especially the tongue.
The text is raised and clear.

IC Factory
They have very prominent relief stitching decoration, and the vinyl feels more like Jesmar vinyl. The text is embossed and very clear.
A second type looks like the other but has thicker vinyl, which creates a more structured feel. The laces are a nicer, finer, whiter string.
The text can include numbers. I have recorded the following: 5, 2

PMI Factory
They look and feel like OK shoes.
The text says, HONG KONG PMI, in two lines.
A line (like that below) was created by the mould and is visible in the heel. They can develop pox.

UT Factory
The vinyl is firmer but not rigid, very white, and very smooth (almost glossy).
The stitching decoration is in VERY high relief, and it looks like stitches rather than dots.
There is a line, in a U shape, around the heel section of the shoe, on the back, not the bottom.
It was likely left by the moulding process. There is a pronounced sole ridge.
The text says, Made in Taiwan and has a raised relief, embossed along with a circle with UT inside it.
The text can include numbers. I have recorded the following: 1, 4

SS Factory
There are two styles.
The first feels and looks like an OK shoe but is slightly smaller sometimes. They are softer and more malleable.
The second looks more like a P and has high relief decoration.
There are no words, just the factory identifier, either in a circle or not.
There may be numbers located beside the letters. I have recorded: 1,2

The FD and CY factories do not appear to have produced lace-up shoes.

Continue to Part 2

4 thoughts on “Shoes: Regular ‘lace up’ Pt. 1”

  1. Wonderful info – many thanks. I have just sorted probably 100 pairs of shoes as best I could!
    1) Have you noticed any differences with the actual laces? We have differing lace ‘fabric’ some more ‘knitted’ or ‘woven’ looking. Not sure if this is due to replcement laces or not.
    2) Are foreign factory shoes easier to differentiate?
    3) Do the numbered shoe pairs have matching numbers?
    Best wishes, Eve

    1. Hi Eve, I’m also going to e-mail this as i”m not sure people actually receive notification that I reply to them. Anyway, I haven’t actually studied laces yet. I don’t really have enough ‘original’ sets to do much but I will try. There are definitely differences, not only in material but also in length. As for foreign factories, that’s a complicated question. I’m hoping to do a post on them as part of this series, but it won’t be as informative as you’d like. The easy thing to say is that the Jemsar shoes are the easiest to pick out. Finally, #3. Nope, the numbered shoes do not have to have matching numbers. 🙂

      1. Thanks Pam. Your posts are always so interesting. I look forward to your future posts. I think I have saved all of the emailed blogs since I joined. I hope you will consider combining everything into a PDF book or similar! I, for one, would buy! I know we can reference your site but sometimes it is still nice to just ‘while the away time’ reading! Best wishes, Eve

        1. Hi Eve, sorry about that! My ultimate goal is a searchable website but that’s a few years, and a few thousdands of dollars, away at this point. But that’s what I’m working toward!

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