How can you be certain, that damage did not occur when sole and cork were removed?
Gemming was introduced into shoe manufacture in the late 50s and by the mid 60s it had been accepted by virtual all manufactures. If the technique is as disastrous as some here claim, why is bonding failure so rare.
For all those who claim the superiority of hand welting, here is hand welting failure:
I don't say it happens frequently, but it does happen if the shoemaker/firm wants to cut corners, by placing the stitches to wide and/or not pulling them tightly enough.
Let the firm who made those shoes be nameless. They had, maybe four years ago, major problems with their (hand) welting. They might have overcome them now. I haven't seen their products (in the flesh) for quite a while.
The top photo, that is totally gemming failure unrelated to the disassembly. Just look at that canvas, it is now brown and green and curled on itself in the failed areas, not white or freshly shredded/torn. This gemming failure probably started a few years ago per the condition that canvas is in.
The hand welt photos show a loose stitching but not failure. Certainly sub standard or not what i would accept.
Quite simply gemming is a factory solution to time/cost cutting and one that is certainly acceptable in mid range $500 shoes. At the $1000 range it is highly questionable to my values. Such a shoe would have to be god damn sublime in looks for me to even remotely consider. I am talking super model sublime.
edit: oops it seems the wrong photo is quoted