With the launch of our first line of Goodyear welted shoes, we would like to tell you more about the construction and why it is considered to be the most durable shoemaking method. We are also going to take you on a factory tour, showing you exactly how our new line of shoes is made.
The Goodyear welted construction was invented in 1869 by the American Charles Goodyear Jr and is a machine-based alternative to the traditional hand-welted construction used for bespoke shoemaking since the 16th century. It is still considered to be the sturdiest and finest shoemaking methods there is. This is thanks to its durable and sturdy construction, with excellent repair qualities. The welt also works as extra protection between the insole and outsole, which increases its water-resistance. Goodyear welting is time-consuming and an expensive construction that requires skilled craftsmanship, as it is still manual labour.
The construction involves a ‘two-level’ stitching. By first stitching the upper leather, the lining and welt (which is a separately prepared piece of leather) to the ribbing that has already been attached to the insole, you create a unity of the upper part of the shoe. The welt is then stitched to the outsole. This final stitch that holds the sole in place, can be cut through and removed without any damage to the upper, allowing the outsole to be replaced over and over again. Hence, it’s excellent repair qualities.
As mentioned, the Goodyear welt is still very much a hands-on, manual job. It is time-consuming and requires skilled labour. There are quite a few steps involved in the constructions.
In this visual guide, we will cover the steps from when the leather for the upper already has been cut and sewn together and is ready to be lasted.
The first step is lasting, which is getting the upper fitted on the last together with the insole.
This is what they look like lasted and ready to get the welt stitched on to the insole…
Stitching the welt on…
When the welt is stitched on, a metal shank is added then you fill the gap with cork for an even surface.
Then the first outsole is glued on. The glue needs heat and hammering to activate and attach properly.
After the soles are glued on, they’re being shaped and the lasts are taken out.
The soles are then stitched together, which requires some arm power.
After soles have been stitched, the heals are placed, shaped and secured with nails.
Then the soles and heels are painted in the chosen colour.
The shoes are now ready for finishing, but first, our extra cushioned insoles are put in and the plastic that has protected the uppers is removed.
We believe in paying for skilled craftsmanship and sustainable materials, we also believe in fair pricing. Learn more about our pricing.