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The Ultimate Vass (Footwear) Thread (Pictures, reviews, sizing, etc...)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by luk-cha, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. rbhan12

    rbhan12 Well-Known Member

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    Does Vass stitch soles by hand?

    I'm no expert on the manufacturing process of shoes, but I would imagine that if you could stitch a leather sole by machine then you could stitch a rubber sole by machine.
     
  2. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Well-Known Member

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    Handwelting and outsole stitching are 2 different matters altogether.
    A good number of hand welted shoes have their outsoles machine stitched. Even some Japanese makers offer it. It's just a matter of cost. Hand stitching the outsoles are very laborious and some high end makers offer it to customers for a price break.
    Bonafe stitches the outsoles by machine.
    St C stitches the outsole with a hand cranked machine. Except the waist, which is pegged. So yes. The outsole is still stitched (mostly). But not by hand.
    I've heard that Vass stitches the outsole by hand, if I'm not wrong. Albeit at a very low SPI. So it's entirely possible they do not have the machinery to execute a machine stitched (rubber) outsole.
    Carmina, C&J, EG and all other gyw makers all stitch the outsoles (dainite or leather) by machine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  3. Fred G. Unn

    Fred G. Unn Well-Known Member

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    C&J does as well, most certainly by machine.
     
  4. Zapasman

    Zapasman Well-Known Member

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    ^Yes. I do not think Vass has an E-Rapid machine to stitch their outsoles. Therefore they stitch by hand just the tip of the rubber outsole for extra protection. The process to stitch by hand most part of the rubber outsole (270º) even at 6 SPI must demand a great efford and has to be time-consuming. I never heard of any complain though.
     
  5. peppercorn78

    peppercorn78 Well-Known Member

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    AndCarmina as well. Although I'm not sure it's actual Dainite brand that they use.

    There's no logo and it feels slightly softer and grippier (which I prefer)
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  6. rbhan12

    rbhan12 Well-Known Member

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    Seems like every brand with a machine stitched sole can stitch dainite. I personally wouldn't buy a cemented sole shoe, regardless of make.
     
  7. Zapasman

    Zapasman Well-Known Member

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    But Vass has not machines. 100% Hand made. I have not Vass rubber soles but no one here commented any issue.
     
  8. rbhan12

    rbhan12 Well-Known Member

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    Uppers must be stitched by machine, yes?
     
  9. peppercorn78

    peppercorn78 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they use sewing machines for stitching the uppers, but that's it as far as machines go.
     
  10. jssdc

    jssdc Well-Known Member

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    Seems a bit too categorical, since the construction in this particular instance is, somewhat anomalously, different from the way the outsole is put on. Seeing as the outsole is probably the least important part of a shoe following the lace, I wouldn't write off something that's otherwise well constructed.
     
  11. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Well-Known Member

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    The notion that the outsole, or the way the outsole is attached to welt, is unimportant, is quite untrue.
     
  12. rbhan12

    rbhan12 Well-Known Member

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    "Otherwise well constructed" is exactly my point. Don't half ass a job, no half measures. Do it properly.
     
  13. Poshak Man

    Poshak Man Well-Known Member

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    Are there any markings on the Vass shoes or the box to indicate the shoe width?
     
  14. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Well-Known Member

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    If you have ever bought a Goodyear welted shoe, you have already done this.



    VASS shoes are arguably better constructed than most shoe brands we talk about on this forum. It's interesting that you would suggest the opposite because their old school techniques limit the way they can attach rubber soles on their shoes. The shoe orthodoxy considers rubber soles a half measure, which is probably why they are not set up to "do it properly".

    As far as their construction being half assed or not done properly, that is a bad argument. A better one would be that they should not offer rubber soles, if people are not happy with how they apply them.
     
    5 people like this.
  15. Notch

    Notch Well-Known Member

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    Allow me to chime in on this discussion. I have visited the Vass workshop a couple of times myself, and can say the following about hand/machine sttiching.

    There are no stitching machines at the Vass workshop (apart from, obviously, some singer machines used to stitch the uppers).

    As already said, there is indeed a difference between the welt stitching, and the sole stiching. At Vass, both are done by hand. The welt stitching is done the traditional way, and is what makes Vass able to say they make handwelted shoes.

    The sole stitching is also dnoe compeltely by hand. The leather soles are glued to the shoe, then hammered. A channel is cut with a shoemaker's knife, and the sole edge stitching is stitched inside that channel, completely by hand. The channel is then hammered close, so the stithcing is invisible from the outside.

    For a Dainite sole, the sole is glued to the shoe as with any other maker, and instead of stitching it all the way round, Vass only stitched the toe area. This is because the glue is strong enough to hold the rubber to the leather, but since the tip area undergoes a lot of stress, they stitch it by hand to ensure the tip won't come loose. Could they stitch the entire Dainit sole by hand? Sure.. They just decide not to since the glue used makes for a strong enough bond.

    I have attached a couple of pictures to show the process.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
    2 people like this.
  16. SteveL91

    SteveL91 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My first (but definitely not my last) pair of Vass. F-last in Cognac museum.
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. jssdc

    jssdc Well-Known Member

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    Out of curiosity, which makers in your view do Dainite properly?
     
  18. rbhan12

    rbhan12 Well-Known Member

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    Anyone that does or has the capability to fully stitch a rubber sole. Since we're talking about a hand welted maker, Bonafe can do it and I plan to have StC do it for my next MTO.
     
  19. NYDRH

    NYDRH Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I've never owned or ordered Bonafe but most of the StC examples I have seen do not appear to be stitched through the Dianite and are most likely glued, please correct me if I am wrong as I am no expert on technique. I do recall someone mentioning that Vass will do a complete sole stitch if requested.
     
    2 people like this.
  20. rbhan12

    rbhan12 Well-Known Member

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    You're correct, StC does cement a dainite sole on. When I asked my retailer if they could stitch it on they said something along the lines of "I don't see why not." I opted for a leather sole with a Vibram topy so I didn't explore the option.
     

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