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Barrett shoes?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by T4phage, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. T4phage

    T4phage Well-Known Member

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    I've checked out the website of Barrett shoes: Barrett shoes A lot of the styles are quite pedestrian, but there are some nice gems there. I remember a while ago that Robb's Report included them in the "Best of the Best" list. Now I know that list is questionable to many, but has anyone tried/own this brand?
     
  2. RIDER

    RIDER Well-Known Member

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    Barrett is one of the better factories in Italy. Excellent quality with a fairly traditional pattern presentation. They take some extra steps in the finishing process that gives their shoes a unique patina that approaches EGreen, IMO. Otherwise, nothing fancy, just an honest shoe. As an aside, I visited with them last week in Italy with the full intention of opening an account for my shop (we have talked for a few years now) but I just did'nt see enough uniqueness to bother. Also don't like the new lasts, with the longer, narrower toe box. Great quality though -
     
  3. jcusey

    jcusey Well-Known Member

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    What construction methods do they use? One of the pictures on the website looks like a Goodyear welting machine, but I'm not sure.
     
  4. RIDER

    RIDER Well-Known Member

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    good question - I believe everything is Blake, but I could be corrected. It's very easy to add a rim to make the Blake virtually indistinguishable from the Goodyear. BTW, Goodyear Welting is a term that is used in error most times now. It's like calling a photocopy a 'zerox'. Technically, Goodyear Welting is when the insole is carved and a stitch runs through the upper/insole and then the welt and outsole are stitched again with lockstitches. Virtually all 'welted' shoes now are made with a glued on welt and then the obvious stitch thru the outsole. True goodyear welting is rare and expensive. Take for example JM Weston - the Hunt shoe is true goodyear welted and that is why it is so much more expensive than the rest of the collection.
     
  5. shoefan

    shoefan Well-Known Member

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    Rider: Your note re: Goodyear welts seems to connote that most shoes that are marketed as goodyear welted are misrepresented. Clearly, shoes such as Alden, AE, C&J, Green, et al are welted. They do not have a glued on welt; the welt is stitched to the feather on the insole. Now what they do have, and what perhaps the Weston Hunt does not, is a glued-on linen feather on the insole, to which the welt is sewn. This is in contrast to the skived feather that a bespoke shoe (and a Vass shoes) has, and to which the welt is stitched on these shoes. My impression is that the term goodyear welt comes from the machinery developed at the end of the 19th century by US Shoe Machinery that enabled the automation of the welting process; I would assume that this machinery required a glued-on feather, rather than a skived one. Do you know if this is correct, or whether the original equipment used a cut or skived feather? If the former, then as far as I know the "goodyear welted" shoes are correctly named.
     
  6. T4phage

    T4phage Well-Known Member

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    Originally posted by RIDER:
    I disagree with this statement: the Hunt is of Norwegian construction, and has a hand stitched apron which makes it more expensive than the rest of the collection. As for the construction method of Weston, please see the thread: J.M Weston Question As for Barrett, they also have their Norwegian line on top of the Blake shoes. I kind of like the Model number 321007.
     
  7. RIDER

    RIDER Well-Known Member

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    GOODYEAR maybe this will help explain. True Goodyear Welting always has a carved insole to receive the welt stitch. Period. A/E and Alden both are welted, but not Goodyear Welted. A/E uses a glued on fiberboard (covered with cotton) wall while Alden I'm not positive about. [/quote]I disagree with this statement: the Hunt is of Norwegian construction, and has a hand stitched apron which makes it more expensive than the rest of the collection. The 'Hunt' is "traditional, true Goodyear Welt" (Weston's description) while many of their other models are simply described as "Goodyear Welt" construction. The 'Norweigen', or "Swedish" as Weston declares, go thru the cut wall of the insole. Yes, the vamp is skin stitched (by hand) which also greatly increases the price.
     
  8. A Harris

    A Harris Well-Known Member

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    Wilkes Bashford (Wilson & Dean shoe concession) in San Francisco carries Barrett, although I think they are phasing them out. They are nice shoes. I'd say the quality is in line with Tanino Crisci, and somewaht better than Testoni's Blake stitched shoes. Most all the Barrett shoes I've seen were Blake stitched, although, as you mentioned, there are some Norwegian models.
     
  9. A Harris

    A Harris Well-Known Member

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    You are right, there are some gems on there: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. shoefan

    shoefan Well-Known Member

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    The Charles Goodyear Jr. 1871 patent was for a welt stitching machine that enabled the use of a machine-stitched rather than hand-stitched attachment of the welt to the insole. I don't believe that there was anywhere specified that the feather on the insole needed to be cut from the insole rather than an attached rib glued to the insole. The continued use of these Goodyear stitching machines is what has yielded the term "goodyear welted." One can certainly argue about the relative qualities of a glued-on feather vs. a skived feather vs. a cut and turned feather, but just because one web-site defines a goodyear welt as one of the above does not make it so.
     
  11. RIDER

    RIDER Well-Known Member

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    It's really not a big deal, but my knowledge comes from being in the shoe business. I simply gave the site for information. But it's fine - just trying to pass on the proper information, take it or leave it.
     
  12. spalla

    spalla Member

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    I was under the impressiont that Barrett shoes were made by Alexander in Parma. Is this true?
     
  13. RIDER

    RIDER Well-Known Member

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    Not as far as I am aware. You know as well as anyone that the industry in Europe is not dissimiliar than the industry here in the States. The work force is shrinking, the costs are rising and the orders are not what they used to be. In Italy now, the 'premium' for employees is 30% to the government. If you want to survive, you pretty much have to have a core group of workers and the flexibility to farm out production as the orders warrant. Fortunately, there are still so many family factories that it really does'nt matter as far as the final product is concerned - quality is their overwhelming concern.
     
  14. A Harris

    A Harris Well-Known Member

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    Rider, did you get to visit Il Riccio yet? And if so, what did you think?
     
  15. RIDER

    RIDER Well-Known Member

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    A Harris - Unfortunately, no. I had planned to go on Friday, but we ended up tending to business in Lucca and could'nt make it down to Grosseto in time. I have inquired a bit and can't find anyone I know that has any knowledge of them, so that scares me. I still want to find out what the deal is. They sent me their information last year but have'nt responded lately at all. Sorry.
     
  16. RIDER

    RIDER Well-Known Member

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    A Harris - BTW, why aren't you there? At MICAM I mean.
     
  17. A Harris

    A Harris Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know about it. I do now though.

    I'm so new to the industry that I have a LOT to learn...
     
  18. T4phage

    T4phage Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the replies on the Barrett topic.

    A.Harris, the top three shoes are the ones I like, especially the 2nd: model number 321007. I have to check it out, but from looking at it, Euro 350 is not too expensive.

    Originally posted by RIDER:
    According to the current Weston catalogue pg.23 "Derby Chasse::
    "The Hunt style is a jewel in the crown of craftsmanship. The Norwegian construction of the sole is entirely hand-welted, a rare technique that shoemakers usually only use for custom-made orders."
    That says the shoe is Norwegian welted, not Goodyear.
     
  19. RIDER

    RIDER Well-Known Member

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    This is exactly the point - the construction details of this shoe show that any technique where the welt is attached thru the cut wall of the insole is considered Goodyear Welted. This is a fact, not an opinion. The information I quote comes from the JM Weston factory who has been trying for some time to sell me their shoes - not from a PR catalogue. But the best way to get your answer is simply to contact the factory. I am sure they would be happy to describe the details of construction.
     
  20. A Harris

    A Harris Well-Known Member

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    That derby is a nice shoe. I like the boot best though.
     

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