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Sole Welting - Page 48

post #706 of 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post

I have a last (to have and to hold). A last that fits as about 10 pairs of shoes do prove. And on top of it, a last that is aesthetically pleasing.

But the right last, whether it's bespoke or ready-to-wear, is far more important for the satisfaction a pair of shoes will give than the construction method. So, if I have to make a decision between a better construction and an inferior fitting last or an inferior construction and a better last, I would go for the fit any time.

Fair enough. But unless you go through life mindlessly, you don't need to make that choice.

If you're especially parsimonious, you're already buying RTW. That's seldom an ideal fit. It may not even be close when you start factoring in heel seat width and tread width and esp. H-B. AFAIK, none of that is written in the sales literature or provided when you buy RTW. It's caveat, caveat, caveat emptor, all over again.

If you are looking for a bespoke fit...one that ideally comes close to really fitting...you're almost by default looking at HW and good construction at every point.

So...really, the choice you present is somewhat of a strawman.

--
Edited by DWFII - 1/23/14 at 6:04pm
post #707 of 1167
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Edited by DWFII - 1/23/14 at 5:15pm
post #708 of 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post


I have a last (to have and to hold). A last that fits as about 10 pairs of shoes do prove. And on top of it, a last that is aesthetically pleasing.



But the right last, whether it's bespoke or ready-to-wear, is far more important for the satisfaction a pair of shoes will give than the construction method. So, if I have to make a decision between a better construction and an inferior fitting last or an inferior construction and a better last, I would go for the fit any time.

 

I believe the option to have own lasts is out of reach for overwhelming of the shoe enthusiasts.  Even as a bespoke customer to two shoemakers, I do not have access to my last.  Neither do I have access to my bespoke jacket pattern.

 

And I do not believe shoe making factories (lets say 2,000++ pairs of annual production capacity, just to preclude workshops like Vass, SC, or even JL Paris bespoke) can arrange production of shoes using their customer's last.

post #709 of 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post


I do not dress for the average man thinks; I dress for the gorgeous girls, clients, peers, and myself. In my part of the world, they do notice the details. Even if they don't, I do. And I am intellectually honest about what I own and won't pad my self at the back and convince myself that some subpar constructed item as top notch.

Then why would you chose a shoe with inferior leather, inferior quality control and inferior customer service over a JL RTW, whose main weakness is unseen and probably unnoticed by 99.9% of the gorgeous girls, clients, peers :D? I don't know about your clients and peers but the gorgeous girls I am cocksure, will notice the JL more than the Meermins, especially side by side. IMO most people who buy shoes at these prices are not driven primarily by the construction method but mostly by aesthetics, whether it's the shape of the last, leather, finish or worse, name.  If that's not the case, I can point you to a plethora of shoemakers in Asia who can make you a HW bespoke shoe for way less than US$300.  Even with proper bespoke shoemakers, I am certain most of their clientele's main reason for going bespoke is not the construction method but rather for the exclusivity and/or fit but mainly the exclusivity.

 

Here's a slightly exaggerated hypothetical real world situation to put things in perspective if durability of HW is the only criteria.  Let's say for whatever reason, the EG 82/888 last fits someone like it is made for that person and he is really really into English sensibility in shoemaking.  But since EG does not do HW, he goes to see Tony at G&G and have 5 pairs made. For the same outlay, he can have roughly 20 pairs of EG MTO.  Is it more likely that the 20 GY pairs in rotation would outlast and be less to maintain (recrafting and repairs) than the 5 HW?

 

Of course it is not exactly an apple to apple comparison but this reinforce my point that construction method is only a part of the consideration for most people when it comes to shoe buying and it is not the main consideration at that.  Yes, in an ideal world, a HW will triumph a GY in every sense but we live in the real world, not an ideal one. 

 

And one last thing, People who chose GY are not intellectually honest, REALLY? Like many have pointed out many times before, it is exactly this type of attitude that irks the shit out of many.  

post #710 of 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post


And I do not believe shoe making factories (lets say 2,000++ pairs of annual production capacity, just to preclude workshops like Vass, SC, or even JL Paris bespoke) can arrange production of shoes using their customer's last.

That is probably true.

But every shoe factory can run a tape measure over their existing lasts and can tell me whether or not they have any stock lasts that come close to a length of 294 mm (11 9/16") and a girth of 238 mm (9 3/8"). I know Edward Green 202 in 9 C or 32 in 9 1/2 C will be very close (although, of course, not absolutely identical).

Vass will have nothing at all even remotely close. If I were to ask Vass for a last that measures 85 mm (3 5/16") from feather-edge to feather-edge, they presumably will come up with a size 39 or 40.

Who shall I go for, the manufacturer of gemmed footwear that can accommodate my foot or the manufacturer of hand-welted footwear that cannot?

It's not a question of having one's last, it's a question of knowing one's measurements.
post #711 of 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWraith View Post

DWF may well be proven right. Shoemakers capable of handwelting may disappear all together. That's certainly possible. But they also may not. No one can predict the future. Not even you, emptym.

And, while San Francisco has lost bespoke tailors, there are plenty of them all over the world. The art has not been lost, although I'm sure there are plenty of cities that don't have one, and probably never had one, so that comment doesn't really make much sense in the overall context presented here. Things may change over the years. Of course they will. But the art is still there and still there in great numbers, if not in every city.

In regards to cashmere...you're right, there's a lot of sub-standard cashmere out there. But you can still get the good stuff, too. I haven't had much trouble finding it when I wanted to.

So, my point was...things may change, things may lessen, but I feel there will always be shoemakers capable of handwelting around somewhere. They're already not that common now, but I don't think the art will be totally lost. But, as I said before, no one can predict the future, we're all just guessing.
Certainly, I don't think I can predict the future. By no means did I claim to. My point was merely that it's possible for handwelting to disappear, which you agree with.

And I agree with you that even if one maker in the world remains, the art has not been lost, not globally speaking. But it would be lost to those who wouldn't have access to that maker for various reasons. I would rather it didn't shrink to the point where I didn't have access.

You could be about cashmere. I don't know for sure. But if I understand RJman and co. correctly, there is no cashmere in the world that is a good as it was a few decades ago. The type of goats that produced it simply don't exist anymore. This is not to say that there aren't different levels of quality in cashmere still in existence, just that one level doesn't exist. That's what some claim at least. And they know a lot more about it than I do, so I'm inclined to believe them.
post #712 of 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by barky View Post

 

Here's a slightly exaggerated hypothetical real world situation to put things in perspective if durability of HW is the only criteria.  Let's say for whatever reason, the EG 82/888 last fits someone like it is made for that person and he is really really into English sensibility in shoemaking.  But since EG does not do HW, he goes to see Tony at G&G and have 5 pairs made. For the same outlay, he can have roughly 20 pairs of EG MTO.  Is it more likely that the 20 GY pairs in rotation would outlast and be less to maintain (recrafting and repairs) than the 5 HW?

 

 

The longevity issue really is mostly academic in any event, when you can get decades of wear before encountering a repairable failure.  But it is rendered even less significant when we are discussing a rotation of quality GYW footwear.  My guess is that most people who know or care enough to understand the difference between the two methods of construction - and have an actual awareness of the diverse offerings from contemporary manufacturers - likely own more than one or two pairs of shoes.  I would be astonished if my hand welted shoes exhibited notably increased longevity as compared with my premium GYW shoes.  No single pair is being beat upon, day in and day out, through fields and streams, across deserts, over mountains and along dusty rock-strewn trails.  They are just dress shoes being worn as intended.  I expect all will serve me well for a very, very long time.

 

Bengal-stripe's point regarding lasts / fit is entirely valid.  I would certainly choose a GYW shoe that fits well over a hand welted shoe that does not.  One more example of the welt neither being everything nor the only (non-superficial) thing.

 

TheWraith - spot on as usual.

post #713 of 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post

That is probably true.

But every shoe factory can run a tape measure over their existing lasts and can tell me whether or not they have any stock lasts that come close to a length of 294 mm (11 9/16") and a girth of 238 mm (9 3/8"). I know Edward Green 202 in 9 C or 32 in 9 1/2 C will be very close (although, of course, not absolutely identical).

Who shall I go for, the manufacturer of gemmed footwear that can accommodate my foot or the manufacturer of hand-welted footwear that cannot?

It's not a question of having one's last, it's a question of knowing one's measurements.

Come on...you of all people--you're simplifying things past credulity.

In the first place what manufacturer is going to go through what must be thousands of lasts looking for one that will meet your measurements? Yes, they can narrow it down--to one side of the haystack---but it's still an effort that runs counter to every principle of RTW. If they wanted to put forth that much energy, they'd be doing bespoke.

Second, "a" girth? There are, at least...even for the most casual maker...three girths that are critical to fit--joint, waist, and something called "instep"--although in most cases it corresponds to no actual anatomical feature on the foot.

And the approach to shoe / bootmaking that I learned recognizes six--joint, waist, low instep, high instep (both corresponding to anatomical features of the foot), as well as short heel and long heel and two lengths--length of foot and heel to ball...the latter actually being far more critical to a good fit than the former.

And even knowing those limited measurements from your own foot, it still doesn't address the really critical aspects of heel seat width and tread width. You don't mention your measurements there (and yes, you can run off and take the measurements off your personal last, although that's not correct either--the lasts should model the foot, not vice-versa).

And 99.9% of the people reading this forum, nevermind this discussion, don't know their own measurements. And don't want to know...any more than they want to know how their shoes are constructed where they can't see them.

For a quick and dirty analogy, think of the foot as a water balloon. It sits on the shelf and has a certain "footprint." If you squeeze it from the sides, that footprint will be reduced; if you press down from above, it will increase. But the only footprint that is real is the one that you make when you step onto a pedograph with your full, natural weight. The result accurately records where your foot is touching the ground --the shape and width and length of the area that your foot requires to support your weight. Nothing more, nothing less--all fit depends on it.

Too wide in the heel seat and the shoe will never fit correctly because heel seat width is directly correlated with short and long heel girths. And because the heel stiffener forms a rigid frame, it cannot be pulled up tight so that all slack is removed. The foot will have "bounce-around" room--like a handball in a handball court, so to speak.

Same is true of the tread width...it does no one any good and violates all principles of fit to have a margin of insole sticking out from under your foot collecting lint from your socks. It makes the shoe crease improperly and again allows the foot to slide around in the shoe...increasing the chances of walking over to one side or the other.

Having too narrow a heel seat width is the least of these problems but having too narrow a tread width means that the foot is hanging over the edge of the insole and that creates its own set of problems and affects longevity of the shoe.

IMO, it does a disservice to everyone reading this discussion to ignore or diminish these considerations. It's disrespectful of the intelligence of most of the people who look in... and it promotes ignorance.

--
Edited by DWFII - 1/24/14 at 8:00am
post #714 of 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Come on...you of all people--you're simplifying things past credulity.

IMO, it does a disservice to everyone reading this discussion to ignore or diminish these considerations. It's disrespectful of the intelligence of most of the people who look in... and it promotes ignorance.

Silly me, and I thought that thread was about ready-to-wear shoes (which come on RTW lasts), why do you talk about bespoke lasts?
post #715 of 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post

Silly me, and I thought that thread was about ready-to-wear shoes (which come on RTW lasts), why do you talk about bespoke lasts?

Well, in a pinch you can always refer to the title of the thread--sole welting...or better yet the focus of the discussions--ie. inseaming techniques and their pros and cons. Which is why I said that I hope the issue of lasts didn't take root here...but hey! I'm easy. I'll talk about lasts if that's what's wanted.

That said, if you really thought this was about RTW only then why introduce your customized...with-your-name-on-it...last?

Re: inseaming techniques...HW is almost always associated with, but perhaps not necessarily limited to, bespoke work (and bespoke lasts); and GY with RTW off-the-shelf, standard size, uncustomized lasts.

--
Edited by DWFII - 1/24/14 at 8:48am
post #716 of 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post


Silly me, and I thought that thread was about ready-to-wear shoes (which come on RTW lasts), why do you talk about bespoke lasts?

 

Well there can be no questions that the thread embraces RTW shoes.  If it were exclusively a bespoke discussion, we wouldn't be focussing too very much on the issue of Goodyear welting.

 

Your point is entirely valid.  It doesn't fit very well with precepts that some others hold dear, but that doesn't make it any less valid.

post #717 of 1167
Not all RTW shoes are GY machine welted.

And I've seen hand inseamed shoes with gemming...
post #718 of 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

I've seen hand inseamed shoes with gemming...

Maker?
post #719 of 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

Not all RTW shoes are GY machine welted.

And I've seen hand inseamed shoes with gemming...

I understand...I had hoped that I had made that distinction / possibility clear. But if not, thank you.

There is a very well respected shoemaker in Sweden (if I recall correctly) who will...again, for less sophisticated customers...mount gemming and hand sew the inseam. He charges less for this work, of course.

And between you and me, it's about as senseless as teats on a boar, IMO. The work of hand sewing the inseam is still required. The only thing that has changed is that now he has an inseam that relies entirely on cement for its strength rather than the amalgamation / gestalt of good quality insole leather, thread, pine rosin, and a lock stitch. So you retain the time required...except the time it takes to channel the insole (if you were paying a skilled shoemaker, you would gain little by way of wage saving)...and cut the quality of the materials. Perhaps saving pennies on the dime.

Frankly, I don't get it but sometimes those northern winters can take a toll...crackup[1].gif
post #720 of 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

That said, if you really thought this was about RTW only then why introduce your customized...with-your-name-on-it...last?

If I understand bengal-stripe correctly, he's not talking about a customized last, but standard lasts.

Granted, I doubt most factories today would answer any customer's request for last measurements. I also doubt, most customers could even specify what last measurements they would need – in contrast to bengal-stripe who can.

But theoretically, they could.

From a business perspective, this is going to happen sooner or later. In the segment of sneakers and sport shoes, the company shoefitr already has partnerships with some major brands. There's a new generation of customers growing up who will expect this kind of service.

When they will be old enough to look at traditionally-made dress shoes, they will laugh at any company expecting its customers to dig through hundreds of last/width/size combinations.
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