A/E are not Goodyear Welted (nor are Alden or many other brands who have employees, and fans, who mistakenly claim they are);
[quote] Another go-round on this topic. Rider, can you provide any specific reference that proves that a gemmed (aka ribbed) insole is not a "Goodyear" welt? I have spent some time trying to determine the accuracy of your assertion, but everything I've seen indicates that this construction still qualifies as a Goodyear welt. The technique of Goodyear welting was developed in the mid-1800's, and the patent on the equipment was held by someone named Goodyear (son of Charles Goodyear of rubber fame); this patent was combined with others when the quasi-monopoly United Shoe Machine was created. Certainly, welted shoes existed before this; I believe the term 'Goodyear welted' derived from the use of the Goodyear welt-sewing machinery, which certainly was used for both the cut-and-turned insole and, shortly thereafter, the gemmed insole. So, why does this construction not qualify as Goodyear welted? (And as used by AE, Alden, Crockett & Jones, Edward Green, Church, etc.) I think your comments are misleading and disingenuous to the degree that they imply that this construction is inherently inferior. In fact, I was speaking just this week with someone who is an industry expert in shoemaking (fwi, he has written a book on pattern making for shoes, and he has given seminars on both factory and bespoke shoemaking all over the world). It is his contention that a gemmed insole is often superior to a cut-and-turned or channeled insole. There are two reasons for this: first, the gemming allows a thinner (and therefore lighter) insole to be used, thereby providing a lighter-weight shoe -- often a desirable characteristic in a "city" shoe. Second, as the quality of insole leather has declined and is often somewhat dubious, the gemmed insole may well have greater strength than a cut leather insole, in terms of resisting the pulling through of the insole/welt stitching. To build on this theme, a discussion amongst bootmakers indicated that they have seen the insole stitching pulled through on cut or skived leather insoles, but not on a gemmed insole. Also, you are wrong about your suggestion that the welt's main attachment is glue; the welt is in fact attached to the gemming/insole-rib via very strong thread, in a lock-stitch fashion. To suggest otherwise is simply incorrect. [Further, in fact the upper comes between the welt and the insole; so how again would you suggest that the welt is held to the insole? Is the upper just glued to the insole, and the welt to the upper?] The glue/cork mixture serves to fill the gap between the insole and the outsole that is created by the rib (or the lip of a cut-and-turned insole); this cork mixture provide cushioning and will over time compress to provide a 'custom' footbed. FWIW, traditionally British bespoke shoemakers did not use cork, but rather a tar-paper similar to roofing paper. They believe this material provides superior water-resistance to protect the insole from getting wet, and also that it will not break-down/degrade as can happen to a cork/glue mixture. I don't know of any factory-made shoe, anywhere, that still uses a cut and turned or channeled insole, other than Vass and Lattanzi, neither of which I think qualifies really as a factory-made shoe. Do you know of any? (Perhaps JM Weston, though their web-site is a bit unclear about this.) The gemmed insole has been around for over 100 years, so it's not as if this technology is anything new. Finally, while it is true that glue is the main adhesive used in shoe manufacturing -- it's almost a tautology, since I don't think they use tape, the other major 'adhesive' I can think of --, I would suggest that the main technique for combining two pieces of material is the lockstitch, used extensively in: creating the upper; creating the lining; combining the upper and the lining; sewing the welt to the upper/insole; and sewing on the outsole to the welt.