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Are these glued or welted?

Jonny Foy

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I have a hard time telling just by looking at a pair of shoes
 

Ecstasy

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I am hardly an expert on this, but I will share my thoughts. Please feel free to correct me.

  1. Check the insole for stitching. If there is, it is probably just Blake stitched, not welted.
  2. Check the outsole for stitching at the edges. Most welted shoes should have visible stitching, unless the soles are channeled or they placed a rubber piece over the stitching. I would think this is unlikely for unfamiliar brands.
  3. Check the upper edge of the sole for stitching. Welted shoes will have visible stitching here no matter what.
  4. If all else fails, just Google the brand. These options may not be accurate if the stitching exists but are fake and for show. A low price (below $200) is also usually a good indicator in ruling out whether it its welted. A high price is no guarantee that it is welted.
 
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Jonny Foy

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Here are the insoles and outsoles. Because they are Brooks Brothers shoes but do not say made in England or made in USA, my suspicion is that they are the glued, sub-$200, Sebago-manufactured BB loafers from the Dominican Republic. But it's always difficult for me to tell with all the variation and diffusion that major brands put into their makes and models these days. Especially in this case when there does appear to be stitching in the outsole (perhaps just decorative?):



That said, if anyone has experience with the quality of the cheaper BB loafers made by Sebago, do chime in.
 

cptjeff

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Those are stitched. And they look like pretty nice loafers.

Brooks Brothers has never put out crap, or shoes that are glued when they're supposed to be stitched.

It's also easier to find stitched penny loafers cheap than any other shoe- Your standard Bass Weejun is stitched. Moccasin construction, which is pretty much blake/rapid (Blake is upper to sole, blake/rapid has a midsole that acts like a welt) but still stitched.
 
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YRR92

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I'm willing to be they're constructed like normal moccasins. Look inside the shoe. Does the burg insole extend the length of the shoe? If it doesn't, and there are stitches visible coming through the bottom of the shoe (which should be the same piece of leather as the sides), then you're dealing with a typical weejun-like moccasin. It's some variation on blake/rapid. The sides/bottom of the shoe are stitched to a thin piece of leather, which extends out from the edge of the upper to form the welt the sole is attached to. I'm not an expert, but that's what I've been able to surmise by poking around at the hole I wore through a pair of Weejuns.
 

Jonny Foy

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Maybe they are blake stitched, then. I looked closer and could discern, very faded, "Made in USA" on the outsole of one of the shoes right underneath the "genuine leather" stamp. Is it odd for an American shoe to be blake or rapid blake stitched? I thought that was a continental European method. Also, if it's a Brooks Brothers Made in the USA shoe, does that mean that it's by Alden or Allen Edmonds? Or maybe their stuff was made by Rancourt or Bass at one time (as you say, it does look an awful lot like a Weejun). Could still be Sebago, I guess, from before they moved their production offshore.
 

bengal-stripe

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Those shoes are moccasin-constructed.

The side pieces go all through under the shoe and form a sole. Then the centre "lake" or "apron" is stitched in place, so it gets the shoe shape. The main construction seam is the one you see running on top of the shoe.

Of course the upper leather forming the sole is not sufficiently hard wearing if you want to wear the shoes out of doors. So an additional leather sole gets stitched under with a Blake machine. This might be a plain sole or a thin middle sole and a heavier outer sole gets stitched to that middle sole, quite similar to Blake Rapid.

So the Blake machine will have been utilized in their production, but still they are moccasin-constructed.

P.S. The Alden main-line (even they might be moccasins by design) are welted, but the Alden 'Cape Cod' line (which are made elsewhere) are moccasin-constructed.
 
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Jonny Foy

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Thanks, Bengal. Didn't know that Alden cape cods were not made in the US...pretty lame. Are shoes constructed like the one above easily resoled by a cobbler?
 

YRR92

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FAIK, the Alden Cape Cods are made "elsewhere" in the sense that Alden subcontracts out to a factory in Maine, which supposedly also makes the (cheaper) Dexter 1957 line of moccasins.
 

bengal-stripe

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AFAIK, the Alden Cape Cods are made "elsewhere" in the sense that Alden subcontracts out to a factory in Maine,

That's what I meant with 'elsewhere' (maybe not the best choice of word). The 'Cape Cod' range (moccasin-construction) is produced in a factory, who specialises in this technique, while the Alden main factory is set-up to produce Goodyear welted footwear and hasn't got the expertise and machinery to produce shoes in moccasin construction.

There shouldn't be any problem to get your moccasins re-soled when the time comes.
 

YRR92

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That's what I meant with 'elsewhere' (maybe not the best choice of word). The 'Cape Cod' range (moccasin-construction) is produced in a factory, who specialises in this technique, while the Alden main factory is set-up to produce Goodyear welted footwear and hasn't got the expertise and machinery to produce shoes in moccasin construction.

There shouldn't be any problem to get your moccasins re-soled when the time comes.
I was clarifying because Jonny Foy interpreted "elsewhere" as meaning "overseas" -- a very common euphemistic use.

I figured you meant "elsewhere" as in a separate factory that makes moccasins, which jibes with what I've heard.
 

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