1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

shoe construction...behind the veil

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by DWFII, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. manasdirge

    manasdirge Senior member

    Messages:
    340
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2014
    Got it, and I will surely check the connection between vamp and sole the next time I buy shoes, you(and others chiming in) are really being helpful here, educating![​IMG] more helpful than any posts I read about shoes!
     
  2. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

    Messages:
    7,321
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    
    Yep, they're very subtle irl. The flash exaggerates contours a bit.

    Maybe these'll be ready for that in a few decades!

    Thanks. They're not real visible by the toe, and there's a short sock-liner covering up any that might be around the heel.
     
  3. vmss

    vmss Senior member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    I think we all can agree that handwelt, norvegese and blake rapid construction methods are superior than Goodyear welt construction.

    Now let's compare Goodyear vs simple Blake and bologna construction. I have read that many members prefer and rate the Goodyear method above Blake and Bolognese as a superior better quality method. Now, my question is superior in durability or the ease to get it resole/recraft are these claims based upon?

    What can we conclude of Goodyear vs blake/bolognese? Which is a superior quality method? Goodyear relies on gemming which the whole shoes relies on cement and blake/bolognese relies on the Blake stitch that holds the shoes altogether.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,238
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    FTFY.

    As a maker...having used and analyzed both over a fairly large period of time and over a wide range of conditions...I'd rely on thread every time. But what do I know?

    IMO, the question really comes down to a variation of that same "factory mentality" of always choosing the cheapest, the most expedient, the fastest, and the most convenient way of doing anything.

    Goodyear is easier and, I suspect, cheaper to get repaired.
     
  5. vmss

    vmss Senior member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    Cheaper to repair than the Simple blake stitch mckay method?

    'cause also gy has to be stitch back at the welt.

    Blake also is a sort of factory mentality right?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,238
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    All things being equal, yes. What's more, with few exceptions, almost every shoe repair in the world has a outsole stitching machine. Not all have McKay machines.

    You've got an outsole and you've got a sewing machine that is used to attach it to the shoe. Same same.

    You said it, I didn't. But in every sense of the word they are not comparable. Blake is a mechanized version of an old and Traditional hand method of making shoes. All other things being equal, there is no significant difference in the results using the machine and doing it by hand.

    The argument can be made that the McKay machine is just another tool, not all that far removed from the awl and bristle. The only thing I would say in that regard is that there are tools and there are tools. The difference...the difference that makes them meritorious or retrogressive...is who is in control--the machine or the human being. Who, actually, really and truly, controls the results, IOW.

    The same cannot be said of GY. Every admirable aspect of handwelted (which GY pretends to be), has been dumbed-down and cheapened in the name of profit and speed and expediency to create the GY process. And...and this is important...to every degree possible, the human factor has been eliminated.

    The results may appear to be the same...just as fool's gold may appear to be real gold...but in fact, much of what makes HW so reliable, so strong, so much the premier means of constructing shoes for the last 300+ years has been lost or...more accurately...forfeited.

    IMO, of course.

    --
    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  7. vmss

    vmss Senior member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    Very interesting read DWFii! Never saw the Blake mckay method as a old mechanized traditional technique until how you described it.
     
  8. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,238
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    See [COLOR=0E1DEF]here[/COLOR]. This is a photo essay on a Traditional hand shoemaking technique--channel stitching, the precursor to Blake. It is not short (25+ posts) although it does have photos.

    --

    edited to fix link
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  9. vmss

    vmss Senior member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    Very interesting read! I will have to read it one more time though as it is very detailed essay.
    I never seen a handmade Blake stitch before.
    I would like to confirm again that you hand stitched the Blake method on the pair of shoes?

    Which was first in history the hand welted method or hand Blake stitch method?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  10. vmss

    vmss Senior member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    "The same cannot be said of GY. Every admirable aspect of handwelted (which GY pretends to be), has been dumbed-down and cheapened in the name of profit and speed and expediency to create the GY process. And...and this is important...to every degree possible, the human factor has been eliminated."

    I agree on this statement, however, would the Blake method also be cheapened in the name of profit and speed and the human factor is eliminated? Or there is still a difference here compared to GYW.

    Also, the McKay machine according to your statement is more a tool than machine, how would that still defer from the machines used in Goodyear method? Can those that are used in this method not seen as tools?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,238
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    I'm sure it would be, if it could be. And often is...in the same way that GY is dumbed down--with fiberboard insoles and pee-poor wax and the rather common practice of stitching aloft. But in the end it's a rather straight-forward exercise in sewing components together. Again, all other things being equal, it's fundamentally a direct leather to leather connection.

    Not quite...I don't think the McKay is more tool than machine. I did not say that. It's a machine...there's no way around that.. But so is a Singer 31-20 flatbed sewing machine. Yes, they are tools but again who is in control? See below....

     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,238
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    Blake is a machine process. The technique of stitching from the inside of the shoe, through the insole and into the outsole, is known as "channel stitching." It is not a machine process. It was described in Art du Cordonnier by M. Garsault in 1767...well before the Industrial Revolution. What I did in the photo essay is the same technique. While the end result looks vaguely like Blake, it is not Blake...it has nothing to do with Blake...it is channel stitching. And yes, I did it by hand.

    I dunno. Welts can be traced back to turnshoes in the mid 14th century. Handwelting...as we know it...dates to the 17th century. In-between, a couple hundred years of evolution.

    If I had to guess I'd say channel stitching is at least as old as the 15th century
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  13. vmss

    vmss Senior member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    "Not quite...I don't think the McKay is more tool than machine. I did not say that. It's a machine...there's no way around that.. But so is a Singer 31-20 flatbed sewing machine. Yes, they are tools but again who is in control? See below...."

    But wouldn't the people that are using the machines in GYM be in control of the whole process? Like for example what AE says 212 step process?
     
  14. vmss

    vmss Senior member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    "Blake is a machine process. The technique of stitching from the inside of the shoe, through the insole and into the outsole, is known as "channel stitching." It is not a machine process. It was described in Art du Cordonnier by M. Garsault in 1767...well before the Industrial Revolution. What I did in the photo essay is the same technique. While the end result looks vaguely like Blake, it is not Blake...it has nothing to do with Blake...it is channel stitching. And yes, I did it by hand."

    ok I'm getting a good picture of what your are saying, that basically McKay machine helped ease the process of the channel stitching, and not changing the dynamics or making it a product seem to appear as something that is not. It's just the same process, but helped ease the productivity of channel stitching. As in Goodyear its more making it appear as something like gold, but its a whole different process that is plastic spray painted with gold to let it appear to be gold. Like you mentioned in previous old posts there is deception massively involved.
     
  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,238
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    No they are not. It isn't up to any operator where the gemming is placed...how far from the edge. A machine decides that. It isn't up to any one person how much or what type of cement is used to bond the gemming to the insole. A machine decides that. The operator does not control or decide how far apart the stitches are in the waist or around the toe. The machine only has one specific stitch length at any given time. As the shoe is stitched around the toe the stitch will tend to shorten up, no help for it.

    And so it goes from start to finish.

    In any kind of manufacturing, most--as many as possible--of the processes are automated. The lasting machine has a limited stroke. If a piece of leather requires a bit more pulling in this one spot, too bad, the machine cannot compensate simply because it cannot see, evaluate, and adjust.

    Even with a simple sewing machine there is some of that. Sewing up and over an additional thickness of leather will tend to make the stitches shorten up. Making a turn around a fairly tight radius will cause the stitches to shorten or lengthen depending on the direction of the turn. To some degree the person sewing can ameliorate these effects by pulling the leather or retarding the feed. But it is one thing to make those kinds of adjustments on a machine as small and lightly built as a flatbed Singer and another thing to try and manually (and with a fair amount of unplanned for force) control the feed on a machine weighing half a ton or more.

    --
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  16. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,238
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    The deception is only in allowing, or deliberately misleading, people to believe that:

    1) GY is a Traditional, or the Traditional, technique;
    2) the very best way to construct a shoe;
    3) GY welted shoes are the finest made shoes in the land;
    4) GY is the best way to make shoes using only the finest of materials and techniques
    5) etc.;
    6) etc.;
    7) yada yada;

    NOT!!

    GY is what it is. Like the human beings that produce it, if it can't be what it is...authentically...and proud of what it is without pretending to be something else, it is nothing...and nothing if not deceptive.

    GY is a good solution to getting massive amounts of cheaply produced shoes out to the public in a big fat hurry.

    Introducing the concept of "quality" in conjunction with GY welted construction...esp. when superlatives start getting flung about...is indeed deceptive.

    --
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
    3 people like this.
  17. vmss

    vmss Senior member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    Complete agree with your views, especially when deception is involved. I can still accept at least the $300-$500 price range for Good year construction method (even in this price range I have trouble paying that amount for a shoes that relies on cement), but certainly not above $500 for basically a cement construction shoes.

    I have read over the web where people claimed that their AE or other Goodyear brand shoes have lasted more than 10-25 years which for me still sound like a lot of years for wearing shoes.

    What can be said about those statements? Does it say at least something about the quality of the good year method to be considered or does something else play a role in these proclamations?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  18. hendrix

    hendrix Senior member

    Messages:
    9,452
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    

    Durability is not the same thing as quality.

    Examining the durability thing - I can get Chuck Taylors to last 10 years if I only wear them once every couple of weeks. It's a completely different thing to wear shoes into the ground wearing them every day for a month - which is something I'm told you're not meant to do but I do with all my shoes - the sneakers, the GY welted and the handwelted. That's just the way I like to wear my clothes.

    The sneakers - no matter how expensive and nice the leather is (I'm talking Common Projects and other designer sneakers which use good materials) - end up with holes in the leather upper where it meets the insole because the construction of sneakers fundamentally is not conducive to longevity. The flexibility of the rubber sole eventually causes tearing in the upper where it connects to the sole.

    The GY welted ones - the presence of a shank means they're not subject to that same constant tension from motion but I had a pair re-soled 2 months ago and they're write-offs. As soon as the cobbler took off the outsole the upper and welt detached from the insole on one of the shoes. He glued it back down as best as he good and put on a new sole but the shape is gone. To re-last them would be almost the same as making a whole new pair of shoes. There's the fundamental flaw in the construction - almost as bad as sneakers. Waste of his time and my money. I had him topy them. There's no point in ever re-soling them. I've had them 6 years. You can see something similar in Simon Crompton's blog post on a pair of Edward Greens.

    Gemming failure is an inevitability. The reason people don't see it is because they seem to never get their shoes re-soled, probably because they have lots of shoes and barely wear them.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,238
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    Thank you.

    Yes, it's almost the hallmark of conspicuous consumption...and perhaps vulgarity...to have so much money (or spend it so profligately) that you can own or wear the most flimsy things and never concern yourself with durability or even function and never, ever blink an eye when they fall apart.

    All my career I have been dealing with footwear that is worn daily--"ridden hard and put up wet." Nothing will test the durability, quality and appropriateness to function as well as using a shoe or boot for that which it was designed.

    "If you claim to respect the form, you must respect the function."

    --
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  20. vmss

    vmss Senior member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    Was this the first re sole job for this pair of shoes? if you send it to the shoe manufacture would they be able to re-craft. It is my understanding that they can glued attach a new canvas strip?
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by