Shoemaking Techniques and Traditions--"...these foolish things..."

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by DWFII, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Senior member

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    Thanks a lot for the explanation. There is no doubt in my mind now, what the proper way should be.
    I guess we must still be very discerning and observant even when it comes to handwelted shoes. Sigh.
     


  2. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    While not restricted to, this thread was created to examine techniques such as welt pricking-- "...these foolish things"--a little more deeply. Techniques that the consumer doesn't necessarily see unless they are pointed out to him and which, probably don't affect the quality of a shoe very much but which do tell a story about the dedication and skill of the maker.

    PS...handwelting doesn't really have much to do with pricking up or fudging. And for the record HW is not a panacea for all ills....a good start maybe.

    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015


  3. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    That all makes perfect sense and I completely agree, as DW and I have discussed quite a few times over the past year or so.

    In the end, there definitely is a hierarchy of quality in "high quality" shoes and construction method (GYW, HW, etc.) are definitely a very important part of that, but it is only a part of it. Finishing, last design, etc. are also very important in that last step of raising up the quality. All we can do is educate people the best that we can about the importance of each part, from the raw materials, to the construction methods, to the final little details.

    Then the customer must make their educated decision on what is most important to them and if the shoe has the value that they perceive. For many on here, GYW is more than enough, because they have such a rotation of shoes that it can take 10 years to even need a resole, so the faults with GYW (gemming, etc.) is probably not going to ever be a problem for those people. The finishing and last shapes probably make a much bigger difference to them.

    In the end, fit and comfort are key above all else, but once again, the customer needs to decide what is important to them.

    I can even say myself, who has a few pairs of MTM shoes/boots and even a bespoke on the way, can admit that I love my MTO G&G shoes above all other non-HW shoes. Yes they are much more expensive than most shoes, but the fit is great for me, I love the last shapes, I have a ton of options to design them, the service is great, and they are very accommodating to my unique size so they will do what ever they can to help me. That makes them have great value to me, even when knowing that the fit may not be as close to perfect as my bespoke or MTM shoes. The thing is that my bespoke shoes cost a ton more than my GG shoes so I could buy a few GG for the price of my bespoke and they probably will last just as long with the large shoe collection that I have.

    The bespoke shoes are well worth it to me because I know exactly what I am getting and everything with them is as I design and want to dream about, but my other top quality GYW shoes are a great cost alternative that fit about 90% of everything that I can get in my bespoke shoes for about 1/3 the price.

    I am always trying out new GYW and HW shoe brands as well as am option to bespoke operations if I have the time to visit them, because I want to be able to help as many people as possible as well as myself on making educated decisions on what shoes are "worth" what value.

    But once again I agree with one of my favorite quotes of all time, "
    Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
    And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane."

    @DWFII - Do you mind if I also add that quote to my current signature? It is one that has spoken to me since I first read it from you. I say it quite often.​
     


  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I don't mind. An attribution would be nice...but there's nothing new under the sun and even though I created it (AFAIK) it's more than likely a synthesis of many influences and other quotes from wiser and more literate folks than I.

    and thanks...

    :fonz:
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015


  5. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    BTW...and apropos of nothing...one of my all time favourite quotes is:

    [COLOR=FF0000] "Always carry a flagon of whisky (sic) in case of snakebite...

    ...and furthermore always carry a small snake.[/COLOR]" W. C. Fields
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015


  6. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    I love it because I'm a whisky guy myself and started a whisky society on the East coast a few years back.


    Oh and how is that signature? haha
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015


  7. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    :cheers:
     


  8. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    eventually i'll have to make it out to you in Oregon to have a pair commissioned and then we can definitely get a few drinks of whiskey, unless you make it out to the East coast and can keep me posted or something.
     


  9. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Aye, well, great minds, like great rivers, tend to run in the same direction. :)

    But I'm a scotch man...single malt, no lawlands...pretty much exclusively. Hope that doesn't disappoint.
     


  10. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    haha my favorites are from Islay (especially lagavulin, Laphroaig, and Ardbeg) and Campbeltown (springbank and longrow) but with a lot of Highland malts as well.
     


  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Like I said...

    Lag 16...all time favourite. But Highland Park 12 or 18 comes close esp. for "everday."
     


  12. turkoftheplains

    turkoftheplains Senior member

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    You, sir, need some Uigeadail in your life. Like Lag 16, it's proof that sherried Islay is the best kind of Islay.
     


  13. OzzyJones

    OzzyJones Senior member

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    The Oogey is a fine dram. Caol Ila comes close to the mighty Laga 16 for me, but only close!
     


  14. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    oh yea I love the Laga 16. HP is my favorite for Highland malts (even though it is a northern island and classified as Highland)

    I love Talisker as well!
     


  15. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    True! I love the Uigeadail as well!
    Yea i like Caol Ila as well but if we are spreading out more, then I also love what Bruichladdich has been doing over the past few years with so many variations. And I love the Octomore if you want extreme peat. Yes they are very immature, but that level of peat used actually doesn't seem as heavy as one would expect and adds a lot of complexity to such a youthful and fresh dram!
     


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