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The high end Chinese Shoe Thread

bernoulli

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@Psyko these are all excellent questions. I can't compare to StC, EG or Oct.tenth/Xibao, as I don't own any. What I am going to do is wear the shoes again tomorrow and focus on the areas you highlighted, and will let you know to the best of my abilities. I can compare it to AM, Vass, G&G, and Slimshoes, if that is helpful.
 

j ingevaldsson

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Any way to get closer shots of the waist?

I'm still trying to get an answer from a dealer of Xibao (I think) about what they mean by 'blind waist'. I took delivery of a pair where I can see every single (sloppy) stitch. There is nothing 'blind' about it, if blind means can't be seen.
Blind welt means the welt is covered by the outsole. You don't see the welt, hence "blind welt", not "blind welt stitching". I don't know exactly how your shoes look, but one sometimes can see the stitches if one look close, it's not uncommon with a small gap between the sole edge and the upper, and especially wouldn't expect the most perfect work in this area on shoes at the price they offer, basically among the cheapest blind welted waists you can find. Regarding stitching, when you blind welt you do sparse not that precise stitches, since they won't be noticeable unless looking really up close.
 
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acapaca

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Blind welt means the welt is covered by the outsole. You don't see the welt, hence "blind welt", not "blind welt stitching". I don't know exactly how your shoes look, but one sometimes can see the stitches if one look close, it's not uncommon with a small gap between the sole edge and the upper, and especially wouldn't expect the most perfect work in this area on shoes at the price they offer, basically among the cheapest blind welted waists you can find. Regarding stitching, when you blind welt you do sparse not that precise stitches, since they won't be noticeable unless looking really up close.
Thanks, Jesper. Yes, I've learned about the 'blind welt' but I also thought the sole would cover the stitches, which doesn't seem to apply in this case. I mean, it doesn't appear that they even made an attempt to do that, which makes me think that what they intend to be offering is something different altogether. Or, maybe they are just covering the welt and not concerned with also covering the stitches? I do have blind welts from AM where the stitching is fully covered by the sole, so I can see the difference.

Here's a couple shots in the spoiler.

Right Outside (1).jpg
Right Inside.jpg
 

bernoulli

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What is funny is that I got shoes with blind waists as beautiful as Acme's, bought for less than 150 Euros. Of course, they are blake stitched. We should keep that in perspective and not fall into the blind-waist = awesome trap. A blind-waist in a handwelted shoe is a technical feat that Acme pulls off handsomely, but it is the entire product that makes it worth it for me, not a single feature.
 

boot_owl

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Thanks, Jesper. Yes, I've learned about the 'blind welt' but I also thought the sole would cover the stitches, which doesn't seem to apply in this case. I mean, it doesn't appear that they even made an attempt to do that, which makes me think that what they intend to be offering is something different altogether. Or, maybe they are just covering the welt and not concerned with also covering the stitches? I do have blind welts from AM where the stitching is fully covered by the sole, so I can see the difference.

Here's a couple shots in the spoiler.

Are you sure this is Yeossal's attempt at a blind welt and not a standard one? I'm pretty sure I've seen them execute it better

edit: oops, not Yeossal
 
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j ingevaldsson

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Thanks, Jesper. Yes, I've learned about the 'blind welt' but I also thought the sole would cover the stitches, which doesn't seem to apply in this case. I mean, it doesn't appear that they even made an attempt to do that, which makes me think that what they intend to be offering is something different altogether. Or, maybe they are just covering the welt and not concerned with also covering the stitches? I do have blind welts from AM where the stitching is fully covered by the sole, so I can see the difference.

Here's a couple shots in the spoiler.

That is not a blind welt waist, you can clearly see the welt going all the way back to the heel on both sides. I can't say what was ordered/stated on spec.

What is funny is that I got shoes with blind waists as beautiful as Acme's, bought for less than 150 Euros. Of course, they are blake stitched. We should keep that in perspective and not fall into the blind-waist = awesome trap. A blind-waist in a handwelted shoe is a technical feat that Acme pulls off handsomely, but it is the entire product that makes it worth it for me, not a single feature.
I don't know what the term "blind waist" means, it's not an established term. A close cut waist on a Blake stitched or cemented shoe really doesn't have anything to do with a close cut blind welted waist on a welted shoe, except for similar appearance.
 

acapaca

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Are you sure this is Yeossal's attempt at a blind welt and not a standard one? I'm pretty sure I've seen them execute it better
I have one other pair from the same maker, and it's also executed better (worlds apart, really). That shoe has a black welt/midsole and black thread, so even if they were exactly the same there wouldn't be the contrast of black stitching on light brown welt, but on the other pair the stitches do disappear throughout most of the waist. I'm wondering if quality may be going downhill as they grow, or if it's just a one-off thing. (Yeossal is not the retailer, though, for either pair.)

I'm curious, though, what 'standard' would look like, if 'blind welt' is meant to be a separate option. The stitching seems pretty rugged, which I thought indicated it was meant to be covered up.

That is not a blind welt waist, you can clearly see the welt going all the way back to the heel on both sides. I can't say what was ordered/stated on spec.
Thanks, Jesper. I was under the impression that the spec was 'blind welt', but I do wonder if this is one of those cases where the same terms mean different things to different people. (I remember the recent discussion about beveled waists!) Though it's been quite a while, I imagine that eventually I'll hear something back from the vendor who is checking on it.
 

bernoulli

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You are 100% correct.

Let me rephrase my point. The appearance or the aesthetics of a blind welt can be (easily?) replicated in a blake stitched shoe. If my goal were to get a shoe with the most beautiful waist possible, I would probably go for a shoemaker that uses a blake construction. Don't get me wrong, I am mightily impressed by the abilities of Acme's workers and I quite enjoy the blind waist in my Acme's pair. However, Acme's shoes offer much more than that. Otherwise, it would not be a worthwhile proposition, IMHO.

All of that is to say: blinds waist can be quite beautiful and desirable, as long as we have some perspective.

That is not a blind welt waist, you can clearly see the welt going all the way back to the heel on both sides. I can't say what was ordered/stated on spec.



I don't know what the term "blind waist" means, it's not an established term. A close cut waist on a Blake stitched or cemented shoe really doesn't have anything to do with a close cut blind welted waist on a welted shoe, except for similar appearance.
 
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deadfisheyes

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I think the term "Blind waist" is a misnomer, a neologism. It is not very logical. For the waist to be "blind", the entire waist area has to be unseen.
Blind welt makes sense, it is the welt that is unseen.
If I'm not wrong, blind waist is used to refer to the look of a blind welted waist, with unseen stitches at the waist and the sole being close to the upper. However, what makes a "blind welt" is unseen welt, not just unseen stitches. When you hide the welt, the stitches are hidden along with it.
No idea where the term blind waist came from. I think West end guys and Japanese use the historical term "Blind welt". When the waist is blind welted, it is a blind welted waist.
 

bernoulli

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Makes sense. As far as these things go, three-word terms will contract to two-word terms eventually. But even if that happens, blind welt would make more sense than blind waist. I stand corrected. Since I like being precise: The blind welted waist of Acme is superb and if people are into that, they will greatly enjoy a pair from the company. However, personally, that feature is a nice bonus but it is not the main reason I ordered a pair.



I think the term "Blind waist" is a misnomer, a neologism. It is not very logical. For the waist to be "blind", the entire waist area has to be unseen.
Blind welt makes sense, it is the welt that is unseen.
If I'm not wrong, blind waist is used to refer to the look of a blind welted waist, with unseen stitches at the waist and the sole being close to the upper. However, what makes a "blind welt" is unseen welt, not just unseen stitches. When you hide the welt, the stitches are hidden along with it.
No idea where the term blind waist came from. I think West end guys and Japanese use the historical term "Blind welt". When the waist is blind welted, it is a blind welted waist.
 

j ingevaldsson

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^^^ Yeah, I mean, there's nothing that one hide on a narrow cemented, Blake stitched or pegged waist, so it's not really blind in any way nonetheless. The whole thing that makes a blind welted waist impressive and interesting and all, is the fact that you have a protruding edge - the welt onto which you stitch a sole stitch - which you despite this manage to basically completely hide. If you remove this edge from the equation, one can basically do whatever one want without too much hassle.
 

bernoulli

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I am wearing the pair from Acme again mainly to answer your questions, so let's see if I can be of help:

1) Comparisons are difficult because my pair have kind of a Cuban heel, which I found a bit odd at first but upon further reflection meshes well with the aesthetics of the shoes.

2) Maybe because of this or maybe because I got extensively measured, the shoes' heels wrap around my ankle perfectly and feel 100% comfortable from the get go in that area(unlike, say, my G&G, which needed some break in period). Having said that, the stiffeners do not feel substantial. The shoes are light and wear much softer (I don't know how to put that into words) than my AM or G&G. I would say the heels are the most similar to my pairs from Vass, which also wrap around my ankle superbly.

3) The heel stiffener extends to the same length as my other pairs from Vass. No more, no less. I don't have my G&G with me but I can check it later, if you want.

4) Arch support is good and this is how I would put it in terms of structure: ACME < AM < G&G. With the latter, it feels like I am wearing a tank. The shoes feel heavy, which is not necessarily undesirable. With ACME, I am particularly impressed that the aggressive waist accommodates my wide feet without any issue. Again, the shoe wears lighter and softer, but not weak. They also required almost no break in, overall. My pair from G&G took forever, and my Meccariellos also required a few (2 or 3 wearings). Again, I can compare ACME with Vass. Both required one day before I felt comfortable walking in the shoes for the entire day. I could most likely have walked a few miles with the Acme (or Vass) on the first day but I did not want to risk it.

I hope that answers your questions satisfactorily. If not, let me know how I can remediate that.

Very nice @bernoulli You certainly make a good case for trying Acme.

Based on your comments I assume the finishing and construction technique is far beyond what Oct.tenth deliver. Not unreasonable at all given the price difference!

When it comes to internal components like the heel stiffener: does it feel substantial like stiffeners from EG and StC? I find the Oct.tenth ones less solid, if that makes sense. Also, how long does the heel stiffener extend?

Also, how "stiff" are the shoes compared to Oct.tenth? And the arch support, is it more soft or substantial like StC?
 

CWV

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It’s not quite high end, but is there any kind of consensus of which is better, CNES or Hephesteus? Especially at a GY level
 

acapaca

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It’s not quite high end, but is there any kind of consensus of which is better, CNES or Hephesteus? Especially at a GY level
I think you have to be careful with that because each is a moving target. CNES appears to span a fairly wide range, starting with things that I don't think you'd be satisfied with if you were looking for something along the lines of a Carmina, or maybe even Meermin. But I hear they are putting out some nice higher-end stuff these days. I think they may differentiate things by market, with higher-end things in Singapore and questionable stuff at the outlets in Vietnam. Not entirely sure about how they operate, but I can tell you that I am not particularly impressed by their stores in Vietnam.

Hephaestus aims higher, no doubt about that. But it (he?) is a much smaller operation, so I expect you won't see near the same selection. I know he's working hard and making strides on the handmade side of things, but I'm not sure if there is a constant background level of production for RTW in GYW. I own four pair, from a couple different time frames, and I can tell you that the older stuff is a bit up and down. Not sure that would even apply now, though.

Was there any specific model, or range, you were looking for? You might also consider Fugashin, who I think is similar to CNES but perhaps more reliable in certain respects.
 

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