LAST SHOES – ITS GOODYEAR WELTED CONSTRUCTION

 

For the menswear nerds who are looking for purchasing a certain style of shoes that matches to their outfits, it is of utmost importance that they should tell the difference between a pair of shoes that costs $100 and those that cost $1000.

 

Apart from elements including brand name, quality of leather, shoe design, the key differentiator comes down to the quality of the construction. Here, the cost and the durability of a pair of shoes are based on their construction method that is of either Goodyear Welt or Blake Stitch or Cementing.

 

Cementing

This method is popularly used in casual shoes such as sneakers, chukkas, bucks and other types of shoes with a rubber sole. As it is a cheap and quick way of attaching the sole, the shoes’ selling price become much more affordable than the ones which are welted. However, the downside of this method is the fact that once the sole is damaged or the upper begins to separate from the sole, the shoes need to be replaced, rather than repaired.

 

McKay/Blake Stitch construction

For a blake welt, the upper is wrapped around the insole and the stitching is done on the inside of the shoe, attaching the upper, the insole and the outsole all together. The blake welt is less expensive than the Goodyear welt as it is a simpler construction. Once the outsole is worn or damaged, the shoes can be repaired by resoling. Most importantly, a blake-welted sole tends to be more flexible as it has fewer layers than a goodyear welt.

 

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On the other hand, this method makes it impossible for us to sew shoe sole by hand as it needs a particular blake machine to get the stitching done. Hence, resoling with a blake welt is sometimes more expensive than that with a goodyear welt. While fewer layers can increase the flexibility for the sole, they also make it less water resistant. The sole can absorb water quickly, which make the shoes become soaking wet on rainy days.

 

Goodyear Welted Construction

 

LAST SHOES are goodyear welted ones that are built for a man who plans to own his shoes for a long time. Out of the three methods of construction, goodyear welting is the top-notch construction making your pairs of shoes become more durable. This method involves multiple steps and it can be done either by hand or by machine.

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First Step: The initial part of the process is of preparing the insole for stitching that is done by creating a perpendicular “rib” that run across the insole.

 

Second step: The second step is of preparing the custom-made lasts for the shoe. This is done by stretching the outsole over the last and attaching it, along with the insole, to the last.

 

Third Step: The final step comes down to the actual welting. At this stage, the sewing thread is stitched through the welt, the upper, and the insole rib. The welt, which is a long strip of leather, synthetic material or rubber, is sewn to the upper and insole of the shoe by using a chain stitch. Before the sole is attached, the outsole is attached separately to the welt by a lock stitch.

 

Goodyear welted construction makes it easy to remove the old sole and attach a new one once the outsole is worn or damaged, and the extra layers make the shoe more supportive and water resistant. However, a goodyear welted shoe is more expensive than the others as it requires the additional materials and labour.

 

Reference

Guzy, T & Snavely, A 2014, ‘Understanding shoe construction: Goodyear welt, blake stitch, cementing’, Primermagazine, viewed 10 February 2020, <https://www.primermagazine.com/2014/spend/understanding-shoe-construction-goodyear-welt-blake-stich-cementing>