Originally Posted by mfais so this is wrong
It's mistaken. Somewhere in the not too distant past, Goodyear construction became so pervasive a method for producing shoes...even expensive shoes...that in the minds of those not intimate with shoemaking techniques "Goodyear" came to mean any method of construction that employs a welt.
Goodyear invented the machine that stitches welt and upper to a ribbing called gemming...usually made of canvas...which is cemented/glued to the insole (often a synthetic composite or a very low grade of leather) . The glue is the binding agent and, as with any seam, it is only as strong as its weakest component.
Hand stitching the welt and upper to a canvas rib can be done by hand, but the work involved is not significantly less that stitching the welt and upper directly to the insole.
Since the whole point of Goodyear construction and the gemming is to reduce cost and time, it makes no sense, financial or otherwise, to do it by hand. Nothing is gained in the way of quality (much is lost, in fact) and the extra labour to do it by hand would not be justifiable.Edited by DWFII - 1/30/12 at 8:08pm