Yep, that's possible as well, though the shoes in the Time photo appear to have a light colored welt from what I can see with a magnifier. Are there versions of the Ludlow like that? (I don't really follow J Crew offerings since I need an E width.) Either way, there is not really any evidence of a black layer in the heel, so it could be entirely something else unless that detail was post-processed.
3/15/14 at 7:24pm