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Sole Welting - Page 86

post #1276 of 1707
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanklebury View Post

Please for the sake of the thread refrain from posting ill-derived opinion, misadvised or misread perception or otherwise entirely inaccurate statement masquerading as fact.
It only further perpetuates the misinformation that is so rife on internet message boards.

Thank you!!
cheers.gif

And, you're right, the shoes you posted are not Blake stitched, hence cannot be Blake-Rapid.

Next comes the malaprop of "handwelted Goodyear."

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post #1277 of 1707
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isbister View Post
 

 

No, it's Blake Rapid - I have a pair from them in fact and the stitching is quite unmissable.

 

There was a little blog on the place a few years back, some nice photos in it:

 

http://loomstate.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/william-lennon-factory-stoney-middleton.html


Maybe I've missed it, but I don't see anything on the web article you cite that suggests that their boots are made using blake rapid. Do you ?

post #1278 of 1707
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isbister View Post
 

 

Suit yourself, but that's what I call Blake Rapid, and I think the blog refers to it as that also. 

 

[edit: Yours appear to be different, can't account for that.]

 

 

Jesus man, I am sorry to say that you are plain wrong!

 

Please demonstrate where either the blake or rapid stitch are?

 

The shoes are made by using a British United Shoe Machinery Co 'standard brass screw' machine, introduced circa 1870 or so by Tebbut and Hall Brothers in Northants.

It is entirely different to the machine demonstrated by bengal-stripe above!

 

If you doubt me, I am happy for you to corroborate this fact with either Libs or Dan.

 

And while Paul knows his LVC, he is only commenting on the similarity of the construction, not that method is one and the same.

 

Please, go back, study your shoe manufacturing, and refrain from further demonstrating your abject ignorance. 

 

Then we can all get back to fact not hypothesis and pure fiction.

post #1279 of 1707
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelonius View Post
 


Maybe I've missed it, but I don't see anything on the web article you cite that suggests that their boots are made using blake rapid. Do you ?


It's been answered already apparently. They're not BR.

post #1280 of 1707

Quote:

Originally Posted by DWFII View Post



Hey, no problem. (and thanks for calling me deedub...seriously)
 
 

In hindsight I actually thought I had been too familiar - if so I apologise - it rather came out through it's use from your forum elsewhere... One that actually is a true wealth of information in which sadly I have nothing ever to contribute (HNW) ..

post #1281 of 1707
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelonius View Post
 


Maybe I've missed it, but I don't see anything on the web article you cite that suggests that their boots are made using blake rapid. Do you ?

It's referenced about half-way down the article, with a photo, although only from below.

post #1282 of 1707

For the sake of clarity, the stitching that you see is to join outsole and midsole, prior to the two soles, as one, then being attached to the insole through brass wire.

 

It's an interesting method, however makes for a rather unyielding feel under foot. Better suited to shepherds tramping over field than anything more town and country - however, this is now my opinion only.

post #1283 of 1707
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanklebury View Post
 

For the sake of clarity, the stitching that you see is to join outsole and midsole, prior to the two soles, as one, then being attached to the insole through brass wire.

 

It's an interesting method, however makes for a rather unyielding feel under foot. Better suited to shepherds tramping over field than anything more town and country - however, this is now my opinion only.

Whatever, I like my William Lennons very much, they are by far the most comfortable hill-walking boots I've had, and there have been quite a few. My view is that for hill walking, you don't want boots to be yielding, just buy half a size large and wear thick wool socks. The Vibram soles provide all the shock absorbency that can reasonably be needed. But they are no good for town at all, not unless you want to look like a complete plank.

post #1284 of 1707

WL don't do half sizes.

post #1285 of 1707
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanklebury View Post
 

WL don't do half sizes.

 

 I'm a 10.5, I ordered an 11. I do see the problem however ...

post #1286 of 1707
Quote:
Originally Posted by Handmadeshoes View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Here we go again, although this time I am personally staying clear of the gemming issue rotflmao.gif

@DWFII @LA Guy For clarification purposes the retail/wholesale equation is as such:

Cost Price (e.g. 100) = Retail Price (e.g. 350) then wholesale price is (e.g 130). That being when a 'designer' like me or a maker like G&G, EG or any of them create will their Retail price based on the fact of whether or not they wish to wholesale their product
(the only real way to become a proper world recognized brand in less than 50 years). Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
If they decide to, then they need to make room for the wholesale mark up. That being we would look to make between 20-40 units of currency per pair, where the norm is around 30. That is not a lot and we don't earn a lot from it unless the retail shop is purchasing big quantities. (which most dont)

It is mainly a marketing expense in reality (to grow your name in other markets) and only pays off when you start selling to the Nordstroms of the world.... The industry standard mark up for wholesale or retail for that matter is 2.7x. I.E. You sell at retail shop X for 130 for them to sell at 350. That does not mean that if one has no wholesale mark up they could sell for 50% less. That's ridiculous. If the cost is 100, then without the wholeselling mark up the brand would sell at 270. That's 80 difference which is only 22%.

Let's not kid ourselves and think that the 100 is our only cost either. We tend to forget that businesses don't run on thin air. What about the trivial things like a computer, paper, printers, tape for boxes, boxes for shipping, scissors, pens, accountancy, not to mention employees, rent, storage etc. The list goes on and on most people really forget that the hidden costs can add another 25-50% to your business expenditures. Where else are we going to get that money???? Only in the price of our product...... plain and simple

A RTW business (that takes stock) has quite a bit more 'things' to think about with respects to a bespoke one, not only for the way in which the production process works, but also for the sheer volume of everything.... and all of those 'things' have costs...

And in reality the 2.7x mark up is a very low standard. Start thinking about all of the things that you use in your daily life and ask yourself what you really think the "true cost" of them is. How much for toilet paper? How much for a plastic toothbrush that cost $10? People like to moan about shoemaker's mark ups but it is not a get rich quick business. It's a business of passion and love for your product (for many). If I, for example, wanted to get rich, I would be trying to make designer shoes, claiming to be a French brand, using cemented construction, purchasing shoes at 50 and charging 600 for my name alone.....

But yes, all shoe companies are a business and need to make a profit, or else they will cease to exist. Some have higher mark ups then others, but I think that if we really thought about it (by deduction) we could figure out who is charging correctly (as an honest business) and who is taking the piss....

By the way this is simply to correct the idea that RTW shoemakers/designers of the benchgrade/handgrade caliber have as much mark up as one might think they do, especially if they wholesale. In no way am I trying to argue, lay criticism to the two of you, but rather educate on the hidden side of the business, since you both mentioned it. [/B

Glaser Designs has repeatedly been approached by very well-known and well-regarded retailers. The retailers are told that if they are to carry Glaser's bags, they'd have to sell them for the same price Glaser sells them. They could not mark them up. The Glasers and DW share much in common. I think they're both world-renowned--probably not by many, but they're might be happy to be known by those who know them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The evidence says different. If there are better ways and better materials and you're aware of them but don't take advantage of them...or can't, by virtue of "business" consideration... "as best they can" becomes meaningless garble. Public relations-speak. Propaganda.

There is a "decision tree" that results when a company decides to make profit Job One. Any company has to make a choice...and every company does...whether to make shoes or make money.

Because it is not possible to do both. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
It is really as simple as what takes precedence--quality or the bottom line. It is a business decision.

It is a business decision to cut four pairs of shoes from a hide that rightfully would support only one pair--cut only from prime. It is a business decision to use thinner and lower quality insole leather (if leather is even used). It is a business decision to use celastic toe stiffeners because they are easier and faster to mount. It is a business decision to convert to GY because it is faster, cheaper and requires few if any real shoemakers to operate the machines. It is a business decision that makes people as much an interchangeable part as the machines they service. That deliberately...as a matter of policy...gets rid of skilled workers in favour of a less demanding and less expensive workforce (which includes machines).

These are all business decisions and they all serve the bottom line--maximizing profit, making money. Nowhere in any of this does the notion of quality enter in as a determining factor in the decision. It cannot.

And every decision made in the service of maximizing profit, evokes and calls forth another decision just like the previous one--the conversion to GY dictates that a high quality insole is no no longer needed. And there is no way to justify "better than necessary" if it increases the cost of production. Any insole used can be, and will be, thinner and of lower quality than the comparable insole in a bespoke shoe. Ultimately thinner leads to even thinner and lower quality leads to leatherboard. Celastic toe stiffeners lead to celastic heel stiffeners. Cheap, pre-stacked heel blocks leads to even cheaper stacks that combine leather with leatherboard. And eventually, entirely leatherboard heel block.

And the manufacturers know all this. They know that the quality has been dumbed down to "adequate." "Good enough for government work." They'd be poor businessmen if they didn't.

But once you know, it is pretense and self-deception to suggest that you are "doing the best you can." Or that you make "the finest shoes in Elbonia...."

At every turn the choices come down to quality or cost, and the manufacture will always choose materials and techniques that maximize profit--it's a business decision. And the business of business is to make money.

Ideally...when a bespoke maker understands his market, the choices being made are starkly different. The decision tree of the shoemaker is starkly at odds with the "business model." At every turn the choice comes down to quality or cost. And the bespoke maker will always choose quality. Because the business of the bespoke maker is making shoes.

You can parrot the company line about "finest leathers" all you want but in any given true calf skin there is no more than one pair of prime vamps quarters and counters. It bears repeating that "finest" and "quality" are about more than where the leather was produced or what was paid. It is about recognizing what is prime and what is not and never deceiving yourself into thinking that placing and clicking just one corner of one quarter in the shoulder is best practices.

You have much more experience at this than I do, but I'm not sure it's impossible. Tremendously difficulty, I have no doubt, but perhaps not impossible, though I'm happy to be corrected. Patagonia seems like a good example of a company that makes excellent products while also making good money and doing good things for their workers and the environment. Their founder has written some books on it, including Let my People go Fishing. (I believe he's also written a book on fly fishing.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
@Handmadeshoes
 @DWFII
 - My experience on the business side of things is in the wholesale and retailer model, and of course, in the much maligned, but nonetheless important, marketing!  The direct-to-consumer model I have very limited experience of, and bespoke shoes, I have no experience in - I don't even own a pair, though, maybe I will sometime.
I've always been an advocate of RTW for one very important reason that has nothing to do with quality (though that is important to me), or value (also, important to me.)  It's in the design.   Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I am an indifferent designer, and very often, I see something that is pretty amazing, that I would not have thought of myself.  And I think that it's fair for me to pay for that wonderful surprise.  Most recently, I bought a pair of deadstock Visvim mocassins that are unlike anything else I've seen.  And before that, I bought some Heschungs which marry a mocassin casual ankle boot in a way I would not have thought of.  Even for Viberg Boots, with which Styleforum business arrangement, I often see other retailers do makeups that blow my mind.  This benefit may not be as evident in someone with more conservative, classic tastes, but it is nevertheless there.  There are regularly Edward Green Galway makeups that I would not have thought of, and which I think are really excellent.  

In my experience, no retailer sells at less than keystone, which is a 100% markup.  This low of a markup really only works for items that don't go on discount, or don't generally make it to discount, and have a high sell through rate.  I've seen markups creep up in the last decade or so, from a 110-120% markup, to a 120-150% markup. ime, a lot of this has to do with the increasing uncertainty of the market, a large fraction of consumers trained to wait for ridiculout seasonal markdowns, and the increased overheads from webstores, or at least a website, which are, for many businesses, now a necessity rather than something optional.  And yes, someone is paying for free shipping and free returns - you the consumer.  And it doesn't take too many exchanges for a transaction to become unprofitable for a retailer.  I laugh everytime someone complaints that 20GBP high shipping cost for a pair of shoes from the UK. Try shipping a big box holding a shoebox from the UK using DHL, and you'll see why.  And you have to be doing pretty good volume to get the shipping discounts.  So, just to do some quick arithmetic, that means that a pair of $1K shoes, retail, costs the retailer about 450 wholesale.  The wholesaler also has to make a living.  I'm going to guess that those shoes cost, maybe $300, to make, total?  Does that seem about right, @Handmadeshoes
?  Also remember that a wholesaler has a ton of overhead which which to contend, with employees from sales reps to production managers to the costs of manning a booth at tradeshows.  I know a fair number of niche designers, and while some of them are comfortable, none of them are balling it up in private jets with the Cristal flowing, and quite a number of them do side gigs (designing house lines for department stores, for example) in order to make ends meet.

I suspect that bespoke prices would go up significantly once a bespoke shoemaker decides to do any trunk show tours at all.  The cost of hotel suites for trunk shoes start at around $1K (USD) per night, and go up from there, precipitously.  Event spaces are even more expensive, particularly on weekends.  And I suspect that most bespoke customers are accustomed to high quality, easily accessible hotels, nice whiskey, etc..., and that a Quality Inn near JFK would not really cut it for them.  And then there is the publicity that is needed in order to make the tours worth the while.  A bespoke shoemaker might not be able to split his time between actually making shoes, and calling his client list, getting into local periodicals and blogs, fielding questions on social media, etc...

Anyway, like @Handmadeshoes
I just wanted to provide a little context about all that necessary stuff that you are paying for other than just the product and the labor, when you buy anything.

I value RTW for the same reason: designs I would never have thought of.
And I value custom because of the fact you mention at the end: I prefer not to pay for advertising, expensive real estate, flights, fancy hotels, or nice whisky. I just want a great product that was made responsibly and that I will enjoy for a long time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isbister View Post

If only you would restrict yourself to fact rather than self-serving opinion.

QFI
post #1287 of 1707
These pretzels are making me thirsty!
post #1288 of 1707
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

These pretzels are making me thirsty!

Best remedy...

cheers.gif
post #1289 of 1707
Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post

You have much more experience at this than I do, but I'm not sure it's impossible. Tremendously difficulty, I have no doubt, but perhaps not impossible, though I'm happy to be corrected. Patagonia seems like a good example of a company that makes excellent products while also making good money and doing good things for their workers and the environment. Their founder has written some books on it, including Let my People go Fishing. (I believe he's also written a book on fly fishing.)

I use Patagonia products but what do they make specifically? Sure you can make a list but it's kind of eclectic. Do they have a focus like the Shoe Trade does? Which leads me to believe that although they may make fine products and treat their employees well, their main focus...their Job One...is making money.

Regardless...let's say they are everything you say they are and believe they are, is true...that's a far cry from the shoe manufacturing trade if only because Patagonia's market niche is so limited and lacking (relatively speaking) in competition. It's similar to my market niche...I don't compete with the RTW boys; I have no desire to be world famous. I just want to make fine quality shoes and boots. Period. In order to survive all I have to do is offer something that is...at least for the discriminating customer...recognizably better than a manufactured shoe.

But it begs the question doesn't it? Is Patagonia a good model? Would you want to see more companies like that...or fewer?

I get accused now and again of attacking shoe manufacturers. It's not true. I don't have anything against them except that they tend to squeeze out the "patagonias" of the shoemaking Trade and promulgate erroneous and misleading information about the Trade.

Bottom line...I'm an advocate for smaller is better. More humane. Better attention to detail and quality. If the RTW guys fall short that's their lookout, I'm not particularly interested in draining the ocean one teaspoon at a time...or tilting a t windmills. I'm an advocate in every sense of the word...just not an advocate for blind consumerism.

--
Edited by DWFII - 8/5/14 at 3:30pm
post #1290 of 1707
Sounds good. I guess I'd say they make gear for enjoying the outdoors. I've read a few articles and part of his book, and I remember that they've turned down quite a few ways to make money that they thought weren't socially or environmentally responsible.

They definitely are different from you or the Glasers. Other than scale, use of technology, and something else that I'm forgetting... I think they're very similar though. And I'd prefer to have more businesses like both types.
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