Originally Posted by benhour
MWS totally agree on the hand welted shoes!!
i think you have had a bad experience on blake/blake rapid shoes and you are a little subjective on your judgment!! i have shoes (blake stitched, hand welted and GY welted) and never had any problem with them!! i cant understand how it is possible to feel the stitching (most of my shoes are blake stitched , more because aesthetic reasons) because if it is well stitched it is submerged in the insole and at the outer part where your feet wont be in contact with if you buy the right size-width shoe!!
specially at the toe if the shoes arent round shaped is quite impossible to touch the stitching even if you want to!
btw most of the hi end-good manufacturers using blake/blake rapid stitching dont use fiber-cardboard insoles but leather ones!(just checked my shoes from curiosity and to be sure)
water coming in from the blake stitching if the shoes are well made is really really rare(the glue applied is filling the holes), if they are closed channel is impossible the water to come through the sole in the shoe!! even some bad weather clarks i have with blake stitching the water never came in!!
i asked a shoemaker-designer friend of mine about the resoling witch were the only thing i could think as a problem!! a good shoemaker-cobbler when applying a new sole in a blake stitched shoe is taking a nail or a leather hole maker and put it in the first hole from the previous stitching and pushing it through the new sole then he aligns the stitching head of the machine with that hole so the machine ll use the same holes(with less than a mm deviation) minimizing the damage! a blake shoe can hold about 3resoles for sure when a blake-rapid/GY welted can hold 1-2 more but i think the upper leather would have been destroyed a lot before than that!! all this without topy or rubber applied( i am sure patrick ll kill me for this hahahaha)!
About the gemming of GY welted shoes i have never had a problem with it (failing or the feeling)!
Thanks for your comments. Don't take my comments from above more strongly than I intend. I haven't ever experienced gemming failure, Blake/Rapid midsole failure, or even cement failure years ago before I got into high-end footwear. I would wear out my cemented shoes, or the soles would crack before they ever separated because of the glue. In other words, the shoe construction method has never been a factor in what led to the demise of a pair of shoes for me. I've never had a pair that I said, "well if they had only been Blake/Rapid, they would have lasted longer", or "if they had only been Goodyear-welted they would have lasted longer." When my cemented shoes from years ago were worn out, they were generally in bad enough shape throughout the shoe to just be thrown into the trash rather than repaired. As you said, Blake/Rapid and Goodyear-welted can both be expected to go through 4-6 resolings, if the shoe doesn't die earlier for other reasons. That's why I hold them in approximately equal regard from a durability standpoint. The other pros and cons have to be taken into account, and some matter more than others to individual people. I can get past the stitches being felt inside the shoe and it never prevents me from considering Blake/Rapid shoes, but yes I can feel them with my pinky toe and the side of my big toe. However, it does drive some people crazy. I personally find Goodyear-welted shoes to be more comfortable with the cork footbed. I know that in some cases the cork can migrate away to a certain extent and DWF has reported seeing this many times, but in my experience, they always retain a nice comfortable foot imprint. With Blake/Rapid shoes, this isn't as much the case since the insole (assuming it is nice leather and not fiberboard) is no thicker than the one in a Goodyear-welted shoe. However, under the insole of a Blake/Rapid you have the hard midsole and outsole. Thus, from a foot molding perspective, a Goodyear-welted shoe will always be better than a Blake/Rapid, because even if the cork does migrate in a few areas, you are still only experiencing the same end result of the insole against the outsole. That's the worse case scenario. As Patrick said, he finds the harder insole against the outsoles to be more stable, and that's great.
Hand-welted shoes with their nice fluffy insole shoulders that create a permanent footbed are a different factor altogether.