Sole Welting

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Quarantanove, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Good point. I would not be surprised if, for example, Vass declined to fix for free some mess that another cobbler made of one of their shoes. Doesn't mean there is some nefarious motivation on their part. Evil and wickedness does not lurk behind every Goodyear welted shoe and those who make them.
     


  2. Exdeath

    Exdeath Senior member

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    I'm not disputing that hand-welting is better than GYW, but just a question of how much better it is in practicality. I mean, look at it this way - we're only on this planet for a finite time, and probably only 50-75% that time will be spent caring about what's on our feet (barring adolescence and extreme old age). In that time, most of us on this forum will already have flipped an alarming number of shoes to not have their extreme long-term sturdiness make much of a difference (and even by some chance they do fail, they can still be repaired after all - just because one method of welting means that you have to get it looked at slightly more often doesn't automatically make it anathema in the long run.)

    The way I see it, statistically speaking, I have a higher chance of getting run over by a car or stabbed by an ex-girlfriend than having my gemming fail (or contracting foot-eating fungus from a used shoe) - in which case I wouldn't exactly be in any shape to get worked up over it. I'll take my chances with those odds.

    Also, a bit tangential, but still:

    - Thanks to our modern age and income inequity, not every single person out there can afford a bespoke hand-welted shoe (or even a GYW one, in severe cases). Nobody will dispute that the craftsmen that built exquisite royal palaces or Faberge eggs were artisans of the highest order, but even back then such levels of workmanship were limited to the idle rich (and if anything, the division between haves and have-nots is even more stark now). Most people don't have the luxury of that extravagance, and I think it's something a lot of people on here fail to realize more often.

    - The welt isn't the be-all end-all of a shoe. As there are GYW shoes out there with extremely high-quality uppers and great construction otherwise, there will be handwelted shoes with average leather and stitching. At the end of the day, it's a big picture thing.
     


  3. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Wrong about that, too. The inseam is the spine of the shoe--the heart and soul. It's where the shoe starts. Everything else is superficial esp. by comparison
     


  4. Exdeath

    Exdeath Senior member

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    So you'd rather wear a pair of Meermins over a pair of museum calf Lobbs, then?
     


  5. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Exdeath - that neatly summarizes why all of this is so much of a tempest in a teapot. And it is what I was alluding to when I said I would embrace the risk of a repairable gemming failure 40 years down the road. So a hand-welted shoe might last 60 - heck - let's say 80 years. Big whoop. I don't have 80 years left. Notional bragging rights aside, the practical benefits are somewhat obscure, to say the least.

    By all means, embrace and celebrate the element of hand-craftsmanship that hand welting represents. It is a worthy end unto itself. But claims that have been made throughout about the weak / doomed to fail nature of GYW are hugely overblown IMO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014


  6. Nick V.

    Nick V. Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'm really enjoying this discussion and the various viewpoints. But it all boils down to some basic, practical, logical, business principles. And the fight for survival and prosperity. Let's face it, we all do what we do to make a fair living. Most of us with integrity. Having said that I wanted to respond to this post:

    No, I said this based on MY experience. And from that they have looked for ways to save money and maintain -or- improve their product. Reaching out to me tells me that they reached out to many others to achieve their goal. The U.S. was built on developing newer faster (and I believe) better machines. When you ask about "fallible" human beings....Are you asking about a company that has been hiring to keep up with their demand and growth? Or maybe another company that's struggling to meet the demands of it's market but can't do so. So not to water down it's product, availability is lessened to the disappointment to it's market.
    Lets be honest and fair here. I respect your knowledge and experience and willingness to share it. However, at the same time it's only fair to compare apples to apples.
    You do one-offs. That's how you survived to feed your family and enjoy your life. Credits to you. The only fair way to compare what you do and all the intricacies is to compete against others that do the same.
    On the other hand is whats considered big business, they do the same thing. If you think about it, for the sake of this forum, most enjoy (or want to build) a nice shoe rotation. Can they afford to have their rotation built by you? If so, can you deliver the demands?
     


  7. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    That seems to be the end result for welt-defines-quality camp. A $300 made in China hand welted shoe is better than the best RTW offerings of Lobb, G&G and EG. The welt is all that matters.

    BTW - I'm trading NIB Meermins for NIB EG, G&G and Lobb for anyone willing to step up. Anyone? Anyone?? Bueller?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014


  8. TheWraith

    TheWraith Senior member

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    Well said, guys.

    You know more about shoemaking, DWF, naturally. On that subject you probably know more than anyone else here. As to what will happen in the future...you're guessing just like the rest of us. An educated guess, I grant you, but it's still a guess. Just like mine. And one neither of us (most likely) will live long enough to see the answer to.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014


  9. Bejarj

    Bejarj Member

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    Great discussion guys, went through a few pages already and its great to read the different viewpoints.
     


  10. Nick V.

    Nick V. Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    How about introducing yourself to this thread? Be real.
     


  11. Bejarj

    Bejarj Member

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    My name is Hovsep Tulekyan and I have been in the footwear manufacturing business for 12 years now. Since the age of 12 I have been working in my fathers footwear manufacturing facility, where we have been manufacturing safety boots for police officers and firefighters for over 25 years in Los Angeles, CA. If any of you would like to check out what products we make please take a look at our website (www.southwestboot.com). Glad to be a part of this great community!
     


  12. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    I have both. Of all the non bespoke shoes I own, JL has the best leather upper by far.

    Every brand wears differently, GY welted or not. But JL is the least pain free to break-in and SC, Vass, and JL both are the most comfortable after the initial process.

    At retail price, I would not buy JL/G&G/EG again. Just because Vass is more bang for the buck and SC has better trees and lower cost of ownership due to low factory recrafting price.

    Nowadays I uses Vass as the benchmark for pricing.
     


  13. barky

    barky Senior member

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    But the question was would you wear Meermin over a pair of JL? [​IMG]
     


  14. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Yes.
     


  15. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Chogall - weren't you the one saying Vass shoes were mediocre and not in the same league as EG, or am I completely confusing you with someone else?
     


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