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RANCOURT & Co. Shoes - Made in Maine - Page 135

post #2011 of 5239

Hello All:

 

I don't have any Rancourts but am interested in learning more about this fine American brand. Does anyone have any comments about the quality of the construction? When I saw the soles, I noticed that the stitching around the welt was fairly large and did not look to be high quality like Alden or Allen Edmonds. How do these shoes hold up?

post #2012 of 5239
Quote:
Originally Posted by JermynStreet View Post

Hello All:

 

I don't have any Rancourts but am interested in learning more about this fine American brand. Does anyone have any comments about the quality of the construction? When I saw the soles, I noticed that the stitching around the welt was fairly large and did not look to be high quality like Alden or Allen Edmonds. How do these shoes hold up?


They're almost a hybrid of Quoddy and AE I'd say. Rancourt used to sell their shoes to AE back in the day actually. They're on point with the same quality for sure.

 

Here's a article about the history of the brand: http://www.sunjournal.com/node/791254

post #2013 of 5239
It should be noted that for most shoes, the sole stitching is a secondary structural feature. As I've come to understand it, soles are primarily held on by glue. The stitches are there to provide just enough tension so that soles don't start to slowly peel away over time. But without the glue, soles would fall off pretty quickly, since the stitches can get worn through.
post #2014 of 5239
post #2015 of 5239
Quote:
Originally Posted by wdahab View Post

It should be noted that for most shoes, the sole stitching is a secondary structural feature. As I've come to understand it, soles are primarily held on by glue. The stitches are there to provide just enough tension so that soles don't start to slowly peel away over time. But without the glue, soles would fall off pretty quickly, since the stitches can get worn through.

 

There is truth to this.  Both are needed and beneficial, and they act as a support structure for each other.  I would add that the stitching is a "lock-stitch" so even though the visible portion of the stitching eventually wears away fromt he bottom of the shoe, theoretically there should still a secure hold due to the twisted thread loop that is present within the stitch hole. 

 

post #2016 of 5239
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyWellSpent View Post

There is truth to this.  Both are needed and beneficial, and they act as a support structure for each other.  I would add that the stitching is a "lock-stitch" so even though the visible portion of the stitching eventually wears away fromt he bottom of the shoe, theoretically there should still a secure hold due to the twisted thread loop that is present within the stitch hole. 




I learn more about shoe construction every day from you good sir. I always look forward to your posts
post #2017 of 5239
A lock-stitch is very good, but not as good as a hand-stitch (what Rancourt et. al use for their moc-toes). A lock-stitch will stay secure usually, especially on a seam that doesn't have much pull. But, it can run if pulled, since each thread is only being held in place by the friction of the other thread. Hence why the glue is so important, if there were no glue, there would constantly be a pull on the threads, and it would slowly run.

A hand-stitch is much better (but very rare for a sole). It's what Rancourt et al use for their moc-toes (and for the Chromepack soles). It has two threads alternating sides, and if done properly, a half-knot tied on each hole (this feature is hidden inside of the hole, but watch videos of Rancourt stitching their shoes, and you'll see that on every stitch, the guy will do a little movement where he wraps the needle around the other thread. So, if a thread breaks, there's a lot of friction holding the thread in place, not to mention the half-knot.

Very rarely seen on shoes (but I've seen it!) is a chain-stitch or double chain-stitched welt. I've only seen it once, on a 50 year old pair of Wolverine 1000 Mile boots, in their company store in NYC. The welt was actually *two* double chain stitches (an interesting sight) running around the welt. Chain stitches suck for reinforcement, require very specialized machines, and a lot of skill to stitch. If the thread breaks, or the sewer misses a single stitch, they'll just run right out. But they do look awesome.
post #2018 of 5239
I have not found anything to be concerned about with the sole stitching from Rancourt. I believe it is good quality and the soles have worn well for me. The rubber heel tap on one pair wore down quickly I feel, but this pair got a lot of use on concrete and that's an easy fix.

And great information wdahab above. Thanks!
post #2019 of 5239
Quote:
Originally Posted by wdahab View Post

A lock-stitch is very good, but not as good as a hand-stitch (what Rancourt et. al use for their moc-toes). A lock-stitch will stay secure usually, especially on a seam that doesn't have much pull. But, it can run if pulled, since each thread is only being held in place by the friction of the other thread. Hence why the glue is so important, if there were no glue, there would constantly be a pull on the threads, and it would slowly run.

A hand-stitch is much better (but very rare for a sole). It's what Rancourt et al use for their moc-toes (and for the Chromepack soles). It has two threads alternating sides, and if done properly, a half-knot tied on each hole (this feature is hidden inside of the hole, but watch videos of Rancourt stitching their shoes, and you'll see that on every stitch, the guy will do a little movement where he wraps the needle around the other thread. So, if a thread breaks, there's a lot of friction holding the thread in place, not to mention the half-knot.

Very rarely seen on shoes (but I've seen it!) is a chain-stitch or double chain-stitched welt. I've only seen it once, on a 50 year old pair of Wolverine 1000 Mile boots, in their company store in NYC. The welt was actually *two* double chain stitches (an interesting sight) running around the welt. Chain stitches suck for reinforcement, require very specialized machines, and a lot of skill to stitch. If the thread breaks, or the sewer misses a single stitch, they'll just run right out. But they do look awesome.

Truly Interesting
post #2020 of 5239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Haines View Post

Truly Interesting

This is actually not unheard of, however, it is only at prices which most of us cannot spend. I believe it was originally developed by the italians to lock water out, but now has become just a stylistic element, as most of us arent going to take our $1500 boots on a mountain hike. If you want a stunning example of this type of stitch, search brioni shell cordovan on eBay and you'll see a beautiful pair. Like Wdahab said, it's just very expensive. Also check out DWF's work on boots.
post #2021 of 5239
Quote:
Originally Posted by wdahab View Post

A lock-stitch is very good, but not as good as a hand-stitch (what Rancourt et. al use for their moc-toes). A lock-stitch will stay secure usually, especially on a seam that doesn't have much pull. But, it can run if pulled, since each thread is only being held in place by the friction of the other thread. Hence why the glue is so important, if there were no glue, there would constantly be a pull on the threads, and it would slowly run.

A hand-stitch is much better (but very rare for a sole). It's what Rancourt et al use for their moc-toes (and for the Chromepack soles). It has two threads alternating sides, and if done properly, a half-knot tied on each hole (this feature is hidden inside of the hole, but watch videos of Rancourt stitching their shoes, and you'll see that on every stitch, the guy will do a little movement where he wraps the needle around the other thread. So, if a thread breaks, there's a lot of friction holding the thread in place, not to mention the half-knot.

Very rarely seen on shoes (but I've seen it!) is a chain-stitch or double chain-stitched welt. I've only seen it once, on a 50 year old pair of Wolverine 1000 Mile boots, in their company store in NYC. The welt was actually *two* double chain stitches (an interesting sight) running around the welt. Chain stitches suck for reinforcement, require very specialized machines, and a lot of skill to stitch. If the thread breaks, or the sewer misses a single stitch, they'll just run right out. But they do look awesome.

 

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought we were just talking about the sole stitching.  You are correct that a hand-stitch is better, if that is performed, but that isn't what is being done on any of Rancourt's soles.  The hand-stitching is limited to the shoe upper for completing the moc-toe construction.  Their soles are attached using a McKay sole-sewing machine.  I may have misinterpreted your post though, so forgive me if I did. 


Edited by MoneyWellSpent - 3/27/13 at 10:42am
post #2022 of 5239
Yeah, I slightly mispoke. I meant to say that it's what Rancourt uses for the *toes* of their Moc-toe shoes, not for the soles. It is also what they use for their Chromepack soles. Hand stitching doesn't rely on the glue as much as the lock-stitch does (which is what Rancourt uses for their normal soles). But, of course, I was just doing explaining some different stitches. Lock-stitched welts are what you'll see on any reasonable quality shoe, and will almost certainly outlast the sole itself, with glue.

Looked at the Brioni shell cordovan, those are some strong-ass welt stitches. What are they? Two lock stitches running next to eachother, or hand stitches? Don't look like chain stitching to me. The chain-stitched welts I've seen look just like the stitch on the hem and/or seams of good quality denim jeans.
post #2023 of 5239
Quote:
Originally Posted by wdahab View Post

Yeah, I slightly mispoke. I meant to say that it's what Rancourt uses for the *toes* of their Moc-toe shoes, not for the soles. It is also what they use for their Chromepack soles. Hand stitching doesn't rely on the glue as much as the lock-stitch does (which is what Rancourt uses for their normal soles). But, of course, I was just doing explaining some different stitches. Lock-stitched welts are what you'll see on any reasonable quality shoe, and will almost certainly outlast the sole itself, with glue.

Looked at the Brioni shell cordovan, those are some strong-ass welt stitches. What are they? Two lock stitches running next to eachother, or hand stitches? Don't look like chain stitching to me. The chain-stitched welts I've seen look just like the stitch on the hem and/or seams of good quality denim jeans.

 

No worries.  Thanks for bringing up those Chromepak soled shoes though.  I hadn't ever paid attention to those. 

 

I hate to be a bubble popper on those Brioni's.  They are beautiful high quality shoes, it's just that the stitching being referred to is not serving any purpose with holding on the sole.  They are the same as the St. Crispin's seen here: http://leathersoulhawaii.com/2012/11/04/saint-crispins-pc-norwegian-lsw-lsbh/  The sole is still sewn on using normal methods (you can see the slit in the middle of the welt if you look very closely where they covered the stitching up, commonly called a "dress welt"). 


Edited by MoneyWellSpent - 3/27/13 at 10:42am
post #2024 of 5239
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyWellSpent View Post

 

No worries.  Thanks for bringing up those Chromepak soled shoes though.  I hadn't every paid attention to those. 

 

I hate to be a bubble popper on those Brioni's.  They are beautiful high quality shoes, it's just that the stitching being referred to is not serving any purpose with holding on the sole.  They are the same as the St. Crispin's seen here: http://leathersoulhawaii.com/2012/11/04/saint-crispins-pc-norwegian-lsw-lsbh/  The sole is still sewn on using normal methods (you can see the slit in the middle of the welt if you look very closely where they covered the stitching up, commonly called a "dress welt"). 

 

In follow up, that stitching on the Brioni's is purely decorative.  The stitching is going through the shoe upper.  Norwegian welt constructed shoes are a different method of shoe construction, but it is aimed at improving the waterproofing of the shoe rather than being a more secure sole attachment:

The added layer of leather around the perimeter of the shoe along with the leather upper curving out and being sandwiched between the added layer of leather and the outsole, helps eliminate a route for water to get into the shoe. 

 

There is also the commonly discussed "storm welt" but again, it is aimed at improving the waterproofing of the shoe, rather than being a more secure method of sole stitching.  However, many of these are simply decorative.  Read this thread for some detailed discussions about the misconceptions behind storm welts: http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/forum/showthread.php?80069-split-welt-vs-reverse-welt

 

It is apparent through looking closely at the Brioni's and the St. Crispin's that their stitching is simply decorative, because there is no leather being held on by the stitching visible on the outside of the shoe. 

post #2025 of 5239
That
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyWellSpent View Post

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought we were just talking about the sole stitching.  You are correct that a hand-stitch is better, if that is performed, but that isn't what is being done on any Rancourt's soles.  The hand-stitching is limited to the shoe upper for completing the moc-toe construction.  Their soles are attached using a McKay sole-sewing machine.  I may have misinterpreted your post though, so forgive me if I did. 

MSW-you are correct. I was commenting on the collateral matter. Thank you for pointing that out though.
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