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can you tell by this pic if it is goodyear or hand welted? - Page 3

post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzl View Post


that's quite steep. let alone, that it is pretty fugly, imo.

I handled the shoe and didn't know what to think of it. I believe it had a triple sole. 

 

It's all relative. I guess it depends on whether the price is justified in your opinion. 

 

I stopped by the John Lobb boutique and their bespoke service started at $7,800 wow.gif

post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by n-domino View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I handled the shoe and didn't know what to think of it. I believe it had a triple sole. 

It's all relative. I guess it depends on whether the price is justified in your opinion. 
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I stopped by the John Lobb boutique and their bespoke service started at $7,800 wow.gif

sure, i admit. imo, it is not. no worries. triple sole makes five bucks of the overall costs. go figure.
post #33 of 67

WOW!! Thank you for your very detailed answers.  I looked through the videos included by Mox C as well as looked up some other "hand welted" videos and now understand what you are saying. I obviously don't have the appreciation of the implications (other than based on your very insightful explanations), but do appreciate what hand welted shoes do vs. GYW shoes.   Thank you again for the insight. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


The short answer is that making shoes is a business. And when you start talking about factories, job one is profit maximization and a lot of that comes down to cost control. If they don't need to use high quality materials, it doesn't make economic sense to do so.
Now for the long answer...
The original Goodyear machines did try to come close to handwelted quality.
Handwelted relies on very good quality vegetable tanned leather for insoles and of sufficient thickness that a channel can be cut into the substance of the insole to create a "holdfast"--essentially a ridge through which the awl is driven and on which the stitches are tightened.
So, to begin with, the the original machines used essentially the same quality insoles as Traditional handwelted bespoke makers were using. Two opposing angled cuts..."channels"...were made, by another machine, and the leather turned 90 degrees to the natural "lie" of the fiber mat. These two "flaps" of leather were cemented to each other to create a facsimile holdfast.
But bending the leather like this put a severe strain on the fibers and, additionally, the channels had to be cut so close to each other that the result was often pretty weak.
The solution was to reinforce the leather holdfast with canvas or linen.
Eventually it was decided that the linen all by itself could hold the stitches almost as well as the linen and leather together.
So the machines were redesigned to utilize a linen holdfast known as "gemming." The gemming was manufactured in rolls that could be applied by another machine which positioned and cemented the gemming to the fleshside surface of the insole simultaneously.
About this time it became obvious that a really high quality insole leather was no longer needed...the cement would adhere the gemming to a mediocre insole just as well as to a quality insole. And at the same time, since a channel was not being cut into the insole, a thinner insole could also be used.
All of this saved the factories money. Lots of money--both in terms of eliminating jobs that required skilled shoemakers and in terms of the cost of materials.
And once the shift to Goodyear construction was made the degradation of materials and techniques became inevitable. AFAIK no company that began life as a high quality handwelted shoemaking firm and subsequently shifted to Goodyear techniques has ever reverted to past procedures or materials.
Today, leatherboard and fiberboard---both composites on the order of particleboard or cardboard--are routinely substituted for components that were traditionally made of leather on the highest quality shoes, ie., leather insoles, heel stiffeners and toe stiffeners, and heel stacks.
Finally, it is my opinion...and it is an opinion...that the difference between a $100.00 shoe and a $500.00 shoe is insignificant. In all likelihood the materials used are not substantially better or worse and the techniques of manufacture are for all intents and purposes, identical.
Above $500.00, it is a crap shoot. And above $1000.00 per pair the biggest drawback is probably the Goodyear technique itself. Because when you come right down to it, the basic principle holding the shoe together is adhesive--it is cement construction, for all the misleading hype.
.
post #34 of 67

Hi Reidrothchild,

 

Thank you for your perspective, and I think your explanation put my mind somewhat at ease.  DFWII is likely striving for perfection at a higher end that is likely out of my reach right now, and indeed my GYW shoes do feel sturdier and more comfortable than my previously purchased shoes with flimsy uppers and broken rubber souls (or it may be my mind telling me it better feel more comfortable...). 

 

I am sure (and would hope) that a $2,000 hand welted bespoke shoes would be even more comfortable than what I wear now, but at least I am happy with what I am currently wearing, and have something to aspire to if/when I have the means. 

 

Cheers!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by reidrothchild View Post


DFWII is among the most valuable contributors to SF. That being said, I don't think you should feel that your GYW shoes are crap just because DFWII has really high standards. It can be a bit disconcerting to learn that Allen Edmonds is not the pinnacle of fine shoemaking, contrary to what the JAB salesman told you, but they are still a significant step up from Bostonians. When DFWII says there's no difference to him between a $100 pair of shoes and a $500 pair, I take that to mean that he, as someone with decades of experience making shoes by hand, thinks that all sub-$500 shoes are crap. To the average joe, however, there's a pretty big difference between Alden and Bostonian. Put it this way. DFWII is like the guy who works for Bugatti saying that there's not a significant difference in materials or manufacturing processes in all sub-$100,000 cars. Depending on your perspective, that may be true. But to the guy driving a Hyndai Accent, a Jaguar XJ or Porsche Cayman is a pretty big step up. We can all aspire to hand-welted, bespoke shoes someday, but $2k for a pair of shoes is not in my budget for the forseeable future. So in the meantime, I'll be content with my AEs and Paul Stuarts.

 

WOW!! Thank you for your very detailed answers.  I looked through the videos included by Mox C as well as looked up some other "hand welted" videos and now understand what you are saying. I obviously don't have the appreciation of the implications (other than based on your very insightful explanations), but do appreciate what hand welted shoes do vs. GYW shoes.   Thank you again for the insight. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


The short answer is that making shoes is a business. And when you start talking about factories, job one is profit maximization and a lot of that comes down to cost control. If they don't need to use high quality materials, it doesn't make economic sense to do so.
Now for the long answer...
The original Goodyear machines did try to come close to handwelted quality.
Handwelted relies on very good quality vegetable tanned leather for insoles and of sufficient thickness that a channel can be cut into the substance of the insole to create a "holdfast"--essentially a ridge through which the awl is driven and on which the stitches are tightened.
So, to begin with, the the original machines used essentially the same quality insoles as Traditional handwelted bespoke makers were using. Two opposing angled cuts..."channels"...were made, by another machine, and the leather turned 90 degrees to the natural "lie" of the fiber mat. These two "flaps" of leather were cemented to each other to create a facsimile holdfast.
But bending the leather like this put a severe strain on the fibers and, additionally, the channels had to be cut so close to each other that the result was often pretty weak.
The solution was to reinforce the leather holdfast with canvas or linen.
Eventually it was decided that the linen all by itself could hold the stitches almost as well as the linen and leather together.
So the machines were redesigned to utilize a linen holdfast known as "gemming." The gemming was manufactured in rolls that could be applied by another machine which positioned and cemented the gemming to the fleshside surface of the insole simultaneously.
About this time it became obvious that a really high quality insole leather was no longer needed...the cement would adhere the gemming to a mediocre insole just as well as to a quality insole. And at the same time, since a channel was not being cut into the insole, a thinner insole could also be used.
All of this saved the factories money. Lots of money--both in terms of eliminating jobs that required skilled shoemakers and in terms of the cost of materials.
And once the shift to Goodyear construction was made the degradation of materials and techniques became inevitable. AFAIK no company that began life as a high quality handwelted shoemaking firm and subsequently shifted to Goodyear techniques has ever reverted to past procedures or materials.
Today, leatherboard and fiberboard---both composites on the order of particleboard or cardboard--are routinely substituted for components that were traditionally made of leather on the highest quality shoes, ie., leather insoles, heel stiffeners and toe stiffeners, and heel stacks.
Finally, it is my opinion...and it is an opinion...that the difference between a $100.00 shoe and a $500.00 shoe is insignificant. In all likelihood the materials used are not substantially better or worse and the techniques of manufacture are for all intents and purposes, identical.
Above $500.00, it is a crap shoot. And above $1000.00 per pair the biggest drawback is probably the Goodyear technique itself. Because when you come right down to it, the basic principle holding the shoe together is adhesive--it is cement construction, for all the misleading hype.
.
post #35 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


The short answer is that making shoes is a business. And when you start talking about factories, job one is profit maximization and a lot of that comes down to cost control. If they don't need to use high quality materials, it doesn't make economic sense to do so.
Now for the long answer...
The original Goodyear machines did try to come close to handwelted quality.
Handwelted relies on very good quality vegetable tanned leather for insoles and of sufficient thickness that a channel can be cut into the substance of the insole to create a "holdfast"--essentially a ridge through which the awl is driven and on which the stitches are tightened.
So, to begin with, the the original machines used essentially the same quality insoles as Traditional handwelted bespoke makers were using. Two opposing angled cuts..."channels"...were made, by another machine, and the leather turned 90 degrees to the natural "lie" of the fiber mat. These two "flaps" of leather were cemented to each other to create a facsimile holdfast.
But bending the leather like this put a severe strain on the fibers and, additionally, the channels had to be cut so close to each other that the result was often pretty weak.
The solution was to reinforce the leather holdfast with canvas or linen.
Eventually it was decided that the linen all by itself could hold the stitches almost as well as the linen and leather together.
So the machines were redesigned to utilize a linen holdfast known as "gemming." The gemming was manufactured in rolls that could be applied by another machine which positioned and cemented the gemming to the fleshside surface of the insole simultaneously.
About this time it became obvious that a really high quality insole leather was no longer needed...the cement would adhere the gemming to a mediocre insole just as well as to a quality insole. And at the same time, since a channel was not being cut into the insole, a thinner insole could also be used.
All of this saved the factories money. Lots of money--both in terms of eliminating jobs that required skilled shoemakers and in terms of the cost of materials.
And once the shift to Goodyear construction was made the degradation of materials and techniques became inevitable. AFAIK no company that began life as a high quality handwelted shoemaking firm and subsequently shifted to Goodyear techniques has ever reverted to past procedures or materials.
Today, leatherboard and fiberboard---both composites on the order of particleboard or cardboard--are routinely substituted for components that were traditionally made of leather on the highest quality shoes, ie., leather insoles, heel stiffeners and toe stiffeners, and heel stacks.
Finally, it is my opinion...and it is an opinion...that the difference between a $100.00 shoe and a $500.00 shoe is insignificant. In all likelihood the materials used are not substantially better or worse and the techniques of manufacture are for all intents and purposes, identical.
Above $500.00, it is a crap shoot. And above $1000.00 per pair the biggest drawback is probably the Goodyear technique itself. Because when you come right down to it, the basic principle holding the shoe together is adhesive--it is cement construction, for all the misleading hype.
.

 

This is a fantastic encapsulation of the relevant information that makes the distinctions very clear. Thanks.

post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by reidrothchild View Post

DFWII is among the most valuable contributors to SF. That being said, I don't think you should feel that your GYW shoes are crap just because DFWII has really high standards. It can be a bit disconcerting to learn that Allen Edmonds is not the pinnacle of fine shoemaking, contrary to what the JAB salesman told you, but they are still a significant step up from Bostonians. When DFWII says there's no difference to him between a $100 pair of shoes and a $500 pair, I take that to mean that he, as someone with decades of experience making shoes by hand, thinks that all sub-$500 shoes are crap. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
To the average joe, however, there's a pretty big difference between Alden and Bostonian. Put it this way. DFWII is like the guy who works for Bugatti saying that there's not a significant difference in materials or manufacturing processes in all sub-$100,000 cars. Depending on your perspective, that may be true. But to the guy driving a Hyndai Accent, a Jaguar XJ or Porsche Cayman is a pretty big step up. We can all aspire to hand-welted, bespoke shoes someday, but $2k for a pair of shoes is not in my budget for the forseeable future. So in the meantime, I'll be content with my AEs and Paul Stuarts
.


No, what he's saying is that, once you get up to the point of using welted construction and full grain leather (e.g. Loake 1880, AE etc), what's the point in all the other "expenses" (subjectively nicer leather, subjectively better finishing, closed channels...anything else?) of >$500 machine made shoes? the shoe is still made the same way. The reasons for buying such shoes lies in aesthetic preference and brand cache- there is little "quality" differential here. DWFII, being a craftsman himself, is particularly interested in quality, therefore shoes made to the same quality selling for 5x the price make no sense to him.

Myself, being interested in the art of shoemaking, interested in value for money, and interested in supporting businesses that maintain high standards, am inclined to agree with his line of thought.
Edited by hendrix - 8/13/12 at 8:33pm
post #37 of 67
I must've misread his post then. I read that small portion of his his post as equating $100 shoes with $500 shoes. You can't find either full grain leather or GoodYear welting for $100, so those are objectively low quality shoes. You'd have to step up to $200 to even get Meermin's lowest line/made (partially) in China shoes. And my response was more to the guy who expressed concern over the quality of his GYW shoes after reading DFWII's post. I don't disagree with his line (or yours) of thought.
post #38 of 67
^Ah, I didn't read that properly.

I should probably let DW speak for himself.
post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by reidrothchild View Post

I must've misread his post then. I read that small portion of his his post as equating $100 shoes with $500 shoes. You can't find either full grain leather or GoodYear welting for $100, so those are objectively low quality shoes. You'd have to step up to $200 to even get Meermin's lowest line/made (partially) in China shoes. And my response was more to the guy who expressed concern over the quality of his GYW shoes after reading DFWII's post. I don't disagree with his line (or yours) of thought.

I'm sorry, but I don't believe that's true. Many shoes in the $50.00 price range are full grain leather. It may not be calf skin but technically speaking a lot of the supposedly premium leather used in higher priced shoes is not calf either but closer to veal. All "full grain" means is that the hair side of the hide is still attached and hasn't been scoured or replaced with a bonded, synthetic layer.

As for the Goodyear construction, I've seen shoes with plastic welt made using Goodyear construction.

I don't want to be a cipher but I have to say that Hendrix pretty much gets it. I was startled at how cogently he described it, as a matter of fact.

The bottom line is that I'm not against $100.00-$500.00 shoes. There's a place for everything...obviously--the demand indicates it.

But as I said, I don't see the difference that commands the higher price. I don't see how shoes costing $1000.00 can be said to be worth that much more than the $500.00 shoe. Again, the construction techniques are virtually identical. So...all else being equal, do you honestly believe that there is $500.00 more value in the leather? The pieces are all going to be just about the same size and shape for any given size. So price per square foot...??!!

Given access, I can buy the best leather in the world, import it from abroad, pay shipping, customs, and brokerage fees and not feel any real pressure to charge significantly more. And I'm not at the top of the price ladder by a long shot. But then I don't sell "blue sky" either.

Brand name is what sells the $1000.00+ shoe, not a significant difference in quality. Hell, according to some here, the box itself is worth the extra $500.00. What sells is superficiality--finish, lasts shapes (as if that had any direct bearing on fit or functionality), fashion and bragging rights. Those willing to pay for those benefits are welcome to them, including the box. All I'm doing is pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes. Perhaps not a great way to win friends at court.

All that said, my perspective is as a shoemaker, not a customer...or a groupie, or a brand or nationality whore. I don't recommend or diss any brands...deliberately...for that very reason. It isn't about the price or the cachet, or the superficial appearance for me. It's about the objective quality.

Sorry to disappoint.

PS..."crap" is relative.

--
Edited by DWFII - 8/14/12 at 6:11am
post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

. . . lasts shapes (as if that had any direct bearing on fit or functionality) . . .

Didn't you once mention the benefits of a conical last better matching the contours of the foot?
post #41 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by poorsod View Post

Didn't you once mention the benefits of a conical last better matching the contours of the foot?

I suspect you're thinking of my preference for a last with an "inside cone". But this is not what I was referring to above.

Of course, "shape" has something to do with fit. The last must embody the foot. An inside cone last more closely emulates the natural contours of the foot.

But square "edges" on the sides of the forepart or round toes or chisel toes, etc., don't have any direct bearing on fit. And these are characteristics that people obsess over.

Even the cross section of a last or the depth of the forepart or the girths in the instep or the curve of the heel--all aspects that are rightfully addressed in a bespoke shoe--have no impact on fit when it comes to RTW. They become concessions to fashion...silver tinsel to attract the magpie eye. Simply because they have no direct...repeat, direct...connection to the customer's foot.
post #42 of 67

So, in summary: unless you are going to get a shoe handmade especially for you by a real shoemaker, you should just buy whichever shoe from a reputable manufacturer that you find most aesthetically pleasing, regardless of price, because they are pretty much all the same?

post #43 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I'm sorry, but I don't believe that's true. Many shoes in the $50.00 price range are full grain leather. It may not be calf skin but technically speaking a lot of the supposedly premium leather used in higher priced shoes is not calf either but closer to veal. All "full grain" means is that the hair side of the hide is still attached and hasn't been scoured or replaced with a bonded, synthetic layer.
As for the Goodyear construction, I've seen shoes with plastic welt made using Goodyear construction.
I don't want to be a cipher but I have to say that Hendrix pretty much gets it. I was startled at how cogently he described it, as a matter of fact.
The bottom line is that I'm not against $100.00-$500.00 shoes. There's a place for everything...obviously--the demand indicates it.
But as I said, I don't see the difference that commands the higher price. I don't see how shoes costing $1000.00 can be said to be worth that much more than the $500.00 shoe. Again, the construction techniques are virtually identical. So...all else being equal, do you honestly believe that there is $500.00 more value in the leather? The pieces are all going to be just about the same size and shape for any given size. So price per square foot...??!!
Given access, I can buy the best leather in the world, import it from abroad, pay shipping, customs, and brokerage fees and not feel any real pressure to charge significantly more. And I'm not at the top of the price ladder by a long shot. But then I don't sell "blue sky" either.
Brand name is what sells the $1000.00+ shoe, not a significant difference in quality. Hell, according to some here, the box itself is worth the extra $500.00. What sells is superficiality--finish, lasts shapes (as if that had any direct bearing on fit or functionality), fashion and bragging rights. Those willing to pay for those benefits are welcome to them, including the box. All I'm doing is pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes. Perhaps not a great way to win friends at court.
All that said, my perspective is as a shoemaker, not a customer...or a groupie, or a brand or nationality whore. I don't recommend or diss any brands...deliberately...for that very reason. It isn't about the price or the cachet, or the superficial appearance for me. It's about the objective quality.
Sorry to disappoint.
PS..."crap" is relative.
--

worship.gif

My apologies for misinterpreting your post. I am certainly in no position to argue with you over the merits of $500 versus $1,000 shoes or, apparently, whether $50 shoes use "full grain leather." After reading your post, it appears that I don't know as much about uber-cheap shoes as I thought. To my untrained eye, there is a significant difference between what $100 and $500 buys one in terms of shoes. Then again, one of the main reasons I log on here virtually every day is to learn which of my previously held assumptions about men's clothing is incorrect. Thanks for sharing, DWFII.
post #44 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post

So, in summary: unless you are going to get a shoe handmade especially for you by a real shoemaker, you should just buy whichever shoe from a reputable manufacturer that you find most aesthetically pleasing, regardless of price, because they are pretty much all the same?

Maybe...depending on how you answer the question...

Is ignorance really bliss?satisfied.gif
--
Edited by DWFII - 8/14/12 at 8:01am
post #45 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Given access, I can buy the best leather in the world, import it from abroad, pay shipping, customs, and brokerage fees and not feel any real pressure to charge significantly more. And I'm not at the top of the price ladder by a long shot. But then I don't sell "blue sky" either.
.
--

Let me personally vouch for this. I have recently purchased relatively small quantities of boxcalf directly from Annonay, Weinheimer (Freudenberg) and Ilcea, asking them for their finest quality, as well as sole leather from Baker and was tremendously surprised at how reasonable the costs were. Not really much more expensive than cheaper leathers. Of course in a factory setting these would be far more expensive than bulk synthetics and composite leathers used in bottom quality shoes (think Payless and the myriad of teenage fashion shoes).

In fact we have seen right here on SF some entry level priced shoes using top of the line leathers.
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