or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › How to recognize a well made shoe?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How to recognize a well made shoe?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
What do you look at to know whether a shoe is well constructed or not? Mathieu
post #2 of 24
All I know is that I'm very happy with the Belvedere brand shoes I've purchased from Zappos.
post #3 of 24
Well, the first tell-tale sign is that stitching -- the sole should be stitched, not glued, to either a welt or the upper itself. The former is desired for a couple of reasons, though most mid-range Italian shoes I've seen stitch the sole directly to the upper. How do you tell about stitching? Look on the bottom of the sole. Can you see stitching? If yes, then look inside the insole, around the toe area. If you see stitching in the insole as well, you've got a Blake stitched shoe. This is when the sole is attached directly to the upper. If you don't see stitching in the insole, you either have a "Goodyear" welt ("Goodyear" in quotation marks because many claim that most so-called "Goodyear" welted shoes don't follow the real Goodyear procedures) -- where the sole is stitched to a welt as opposed to the upper directly -- or you have a Blake stitched shoe that has hidden the stitches in the insole. If you don't see stitches on the bottom of the shoe, then you either have a channelled sole (hidden stitching), which can be either "Goodyear" or Blake (see above for explanation), or you have a shoe that has glued the sole to the upper (very bad). If you have a Blake stitch shoe with visible insole stitching, then you can be sure by sight that the sole is stitched and not glued. However, if you have either a hidden Blake insole stitch or you have a "Goodyear" welt, then you can't be sure that your sole isn't glued simply by looking at the shoe. I suppose the best rule of thumb is this: If your shoe cost less than $275 retail and you don't see any stitching anywhere (either on the sole or in the insole), the shoe most likely uses a glued sole. That's the very basic initial point about quality construction. As you can see, it's complicated (I've also been working for 16 hours straight so maybe I'm a bit convuluted).
post #4 of 24
Glued leather shoes are NOT shoes at all. They are hybrids. Shoes should always have the sole stitched to the upper. Prefer a good year welted shoe.
post #5 of 24
I look for a leather lining and something other than a full on center back seam at the heel.
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
1. Stitches are better than glue. 2. How do you recognize a well made (therefore not glued) shoe? Mathieu
post #7 of 24
Quote:
where the sole is stitched to a welt as opposed to the upper directly -- or you have a Blake stitched shoe that has hidden the stitches in the insole.
Not sure what you mean here - are you referring to blake stitched shoes with a full-length insole cover? How to recognize a quality shoe? Take some time examining well made brands, in person if possible. With a little exposure a well made shoe will jump out at you when you see it, and you won't want to wear anything else.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Andrew you're being a bit circular here: to know how to recognize a well made shoe first find a well made shoe... I wish I had access to great shoes... Best I can find in Singapore are Magli, Bally, Ferragamo and mexican J&M (and some crocodile or ostrich Gravati slip-ons in size 4 1/2). Mathieu
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Quote:
where the sole is stitched to a welt as opposed to the upper directly -- or you have a Blake stitched shoe that has hidden the stitches in the insole.  
Not sure what you mean here - are you referring to blake stitched shoes with a full-length insole cover?
Yes -- that's what I mean. I full length insole cover.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
How to recognize a quality shoe? Take some time examining well made brands, in person if possible. With a little exposure a well made shoe will jump out at you when you see it, and you won't want to wear anything else.
Where should I look? What are the parts of the shoe where the difference is noticeable?
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Well, the first tell-tale sign is that stitching -- the sole should be stitched, not glued, to either a welt or the upper itself.  The former is desired for a couple of reasons, though most mid-range Italian shoes I've seen stitch the sole directly to the upper.   How do you tell about stitching?  Look on the bottom of the sole.  Can you see stitching?  If yes, then look inside the insole, around the toe area.  If you see stitching in the insole as well, you've got a Blake stitched shoe.  This is when the sole is attached directly to the upper.  If you don't see stitching in the insole, you either have a "Goodyear" welt ("Goodyear" in quotation marks because many claim that most so-called "Goodyear" welted shoes don't follow the real Goodyear procedures) -- where the sole is stitched to a welt as opposed to the upper directly -- or you have a Blake stitched shoe that has hidden the stitches in the insole.   If you don't see stitches on the bottom of the shoe, then you either have a channelled sole (hidden stitching), which can be either "Goodyear" or Blake (see above for explanation), or you have a shoe that has glued the sole to the upper (very bad).  If you have a Blake stitch shoe with visible insole stitching, then you can be sure by sight that the sole is stitched and not glued.  However, if you have either a hidden Blake insole stitch or you have a "Goodyear" welt, then you can't be sure that your sole isn't glued simply by looking at the shoe.   I suppose the best rule of thumb is this:  If your shoe cost less than $275 retail and you don't see any stitching anywhere (either on the sole or in the insole), the shoe most likely uses a glued sole.   That's the very basic initial point about quality construction.  As you can see, it's complicated (I've also been working for 16 hours straight so maybe I'm a bit convuluted).
jn3-- My Aldens have stitching in the bottom of the sole. This stitching almost immeidately began to break when I wore the shoes. What is this due to? The stitches along the inside of my foot are fine, but the outside stitches are broken. Also, how will this affect the shoe? Thanks, John
post #12 of 24
If it says "Kenneth Cole" on the inside, it's not a well-made shoe.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
If it says "Kenneth Cole" on the inside, it's not a well-made shoe.
Is the Kenneth Cole label blake stitched or welted on there?
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
His shoes look bad anyway. My question is rather about good-looking shoes: will they last?
post #15 of 24
Johnapril, did the stitches BREAK or did they start to fray? Shoe stitching rope is pretty heavy duty stuff -- if it really broke ALL THE WAY through, that's a DEFECT. If it just started to fray (maybe a few broken threads), that's pretty normal for an exposed stitching shoe.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › How to recognize a well made shoe?