Originally Posted by Munky
I'm not sure about the degree to which god's dick gets thrown around (or if, indeed, he has one). Also, I am not sure that Money was saying that goodyear welting was a poor substitute for hand welting. It sounds as though you are saying that there is no difference between a 'handmade' and any other sort of shoe, as both involve machinery. Why, then, do some companies claim that their shoes are handmade and others not? It seems to me that a company who claims that their shoes are handmade is claiming that their shoes are somehow better than others.
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
They claim handmade shoes are better, but really it means either they cut the patterns out by hand, hand lasted part of the shoes (even the had parts of $1k+ shoes aren't hand lasted). It is essentially all marketing.
I in no way said that there is no difference between a hand made shoe and a machine made shoe. In fact, I said the opposite. The difference is that somebody who claims their shoe is handmade and it is goodyear welted is misinformed because goodyear welting is done by a machine.
But yes, goodyear welting IS a poor substitute for hand welting. Blake/rapid is NOT a poor substitute for hand welting.
It is true that Goodyear-welted shoes are touted as being the best shoe construction method known, which it certainly isn't.
A hand-welted shoe can not be a Goodyear-welted shoe, since Goodyear-welting is done by machine. Therefore, when you see someone say that their shoes are "hand-welted Goodyear" they are misinformed and are using the marketing hype that Goodyear-welting brings to sell their shoes.
However, I wouldn't go so far as to say that Goodyear-welting is a poor substitute for hand-welting. All shoe construction methods have their pros and cons, and all have their place. It is generally recognized that a hand-welted bespoke shoe that is made to the highest standards is the best shoe one can aspire to. DWF has said that he believes that a hand-welted shoe is better than a Blake/Rapid shoe without question. This is an important consideration that bears being fleshed out. If a hand-welted shoe is better than a Blake/Rapid shoe, then there has to be other benefits that sets a hand-welted shoe above the Blake/Rapid (because neither of them depends on cement to hold the sole on). One of the main differences is in the insole. DWF always points out that the leather insole is the ultimate consideration in the lifespan potential of a shoe (assuming the shoe is made of the best quality leathers). If all else is equal, the shoe with the weaker insole will be the shoe with a shorter lifespan. This is a crucial point to dwell on. Most Blake/Rapid shoes use insoles of lesser quality than Goodyear-welted ones, and certainly lesser quality than hand-welted ones. Even Rancourt & Co. (one of the better Blake/Rapid manufacturers) uses fiberboard insoles wrapped with a thin piece of leather. I can't speak for Rider's boots, as I have no first hand experience, and Aubercy is another extremely high-end Blake/Rapid maker which I have no experience with (but at Aubercy's prices you may as well go hand-welted or even bespoke). However, the stitching of a midsole through the insole weakens the integrity of the insole more every time it is replaced. Now, you can replace the outsole of either shoe without replacing it's mounting point (midsole or welt, respectively), thus prolonging the life of the shoe by not having to restitch the mounting point, but replacing the outsole mounting point requires restitching. For hand-welted shoes, the restitching can be done using the same holes in the bottom of the insole. However, in Blake/Rapid, it will be redone with a machine and is limited in how many times it can be done before the leather integrity of the upper and insole is destroyed.
The traits that set a hand-welted shoe above a Blake/Rapid one are partly present in Goodyear-welted ones as well, in that the insole doesn't have to be tampered with or weakened by the repetitive re-stitching. Now, the problem with most Goodyear-welted shoes is that they replace the welt every time the shoe is sent in for a recrafting, which actually shortens the overall lifespan of the shoe due to the needle perforations weakening the upper. The welt shouldn't be replaced unless it is worn or damaged, that's the point of it. But that is ignored. The question is, do the Blake/Rapid manufacturers automatically replace the midsole every time they are resoled as well? If so, then they are back on equal playing fields.
Bear in mind that these aren't the only things to consider when comparing Goodyear-welted to Blake/Rapid. There are other pros and cons as well. Personally, I'm happy to buy either one, and hold them in about equal standing, with hand-welted/bespoke shoes being better than both. If I can get 20 years out of a pair of calfskin shoes I'll feel like they have lived a good life, and I think you can get 20 years out of either Goodyear or Blake/Rapid as long as your uppers don't disintegrate first.
Edited by MoneyWellSpent - 6/26/13 at 5:35pm