In a modern house all the electrical wiring is buried inside the walls and all you see are sockets and switches to show that electricity is present. In an old house (or in utility areas) all the cabling might run on top of the wall, visible to everybody. What's the difference in practice? None, it functions just as well, but the first method looks neater. Just the same with the Goodyear-welted soles. Channelling is neater and a few more steps are involved in the production of a channelled sole vs. one stitched aloft. This will increase the cost of the finished product and when price is an important consideration you wouldn't channel the soles. With wear the leather covering the stitching will wear off and after a while, will have gone, exposing the stitching just the same. I don't even think that channelling produces more durable soles, but as this technique is employed only with top products, the raw material that goes into these shoes will be chosen for quality and not for price. It's a bit like that holy grail of British shoemaking: the fiddle-back waist. It serves no purpose but is nice to look at and takes great skill to produce it. What I just said, that there is really no practical advantage, applies to Goodyear-welted shoe only. In a Blake constructed shoe, stay clear of a fully stitched-through sole. Every stitch is a perforation and will lead right inside the shoe (unlike Goodyear where the welt is outside the shoe). In wet weather, the stitching will act as wick and will lead the moisture straight inside the shoe, for your feet to experience it.