The methods of construction of Handcrafted Men’s Leather Dress Shoes, Goodyear welt and Blake Welting; the Pros and Cons.
As a gentleman and a procurer of fine handcrafted leather dress shoes, it is essential that you acquaint yourself with the various methods used in the construction of these precious items. Shoe construction might sound like some feat of architecture and it is just that. However, put plainly, shoe construction is the method through which the upper section of a shoe is joint to the sole of or the shoe.
In this article we will be discussing the two most popular and highly acclaimed methods of leather shoe construction which are Goodyear welting and Blake welting.
First the welt is a strip of leather stitched with thread that goes all around the shoe binding the upper section of the shoe to the sole. A welt allows for the shoe to easily be repaired by removing the current sole and add a new one. As mention above they are 2 main types of welts Good year and Blake, no one is essentially better than the other, it however just a matter of who you are and what you want out of your shoe. At Le Ruux we offer both and the choice is yours.
Goodyear Welt (Classic, Durable and Stylish):
Goodyear welt is known as a classic method of constructing men’s dress shoes because it has been around for more than three hundred years. It is very labor intensive since it takes a very high amount of skill, time and attention to detail in order to perfect it. The advantages of the good year welt includes:
Durability: Goodyear welt is typically done with 100 percent leather soles which means the soles are very durable and will last the test of time. Also as good year shoes get older they turn to look nicer. The stitching provides high durability and performance of the shoe.
Easy to repair and re-sole: Goodyear welting uses a two level stitching technique which makes the shoe very easy to repair and replace a worn out sole.
Comfort: With good year welt there is a cavity that stands in the middle of the inner and outer sole that is filled with cork. This cork over time morphs in to the shape of the wearer’s feet allowing of remarkable comfort. In addition, this cork provides perfect heat insulation as you wear the shoe and helps to reduce the shock from uneven surface that you might step on as you walk.
Finally the only disadvantage of Goodyear welt is the fact that it cost a little bit more because of how intricate and labor intensive it is.
Blake Welt (Slick, Light, and Comfortable):
Blake compared to Goodyear is an easy method of shoe construction, that entails stitching the sole from the inside of the shoe attaching it to the upper. A single stitch is used to the upper and the sole, without the welt and cork cushion that is used in Goodyear. The advantages of Blake include:
It can be easily repaired however a specialized machine is required for that and not every cobbler would have that machine.
Light weight and comfort: Since Blake uses fewer layers in the soling process, it is a lot lighter weight than Goodyear.
Flexibility: It is also more flexible and slick looking, since it lacks the welt.
Slick Look: Blake welting give the shoe a clean, slick and modern appearances that is pristine to look at.
To conclude, neither method of construction is practically superior to the other, however it is up to and your personal preference which one you think is best for you, because all feet are not the same and no one knows your feet better than you.
Please feel free to post you thought, opinion, experiences and suggestion on this topic below.