• We would like to welcome American Trench as an official Affiliate Vendor. American Trench is a Philadelphia based outerwear, apparel, and accessories brand, making all of its products in the United States at (mostly) family owned factories. . Please visit the American Trench thread and welcome them to the forum.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

The high end Chinese Shoe Thread

Jmr928

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
2,602
Reaction score
22,718
I missed the stiffeners bit. Is it plastic? I’ve been hurt so much by synthetic stiffeners.
They mentioned elsewhere the stiffeners are celastic. Leather on the premium MTO. This was just cutting the sole off but not a full dissection. In this it looked like a synthetic shank and footbed/insole layer though.
 

Adhazem

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
335
Reaction score
775
They mentioned elsewhere the stiffeners are celastic. Leather on the premium MTO. This was just cutting the sole off but not a full dissection. In this it looked like a synthetic shank and footbed/insole layer though.
Its a hard no then from me.
 

monkey66

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
610
Reaction score
2,354
Dan's a good guy. Did a great job changing the eyelets on my RLPL drivers.

I was a little underwhelmed by this video though. I would have liked mode detail about the construction techniques, materials, spi etc.

So much intangible about shoes but ultimately they are all kinda the same.

It is fair to say once we are beyond a certain point (probably GYW) it is all diminishing returns.

I wonder what a strip-down of £300 Cheaney vs JL would look like?

Anyway I hanker after a pair of JLs for no good reason.
 

prof.contingency

Senior Member
Affiliate Vendor
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
139
Reaction score
197
Thanks @bernoulli, @monkey66, @Adhazem, @Jmr928

Glad to see that the teardown has elicited so much discussion! If anyone had any questions, I'd be happy to chime in, show more pictures, et cetera.

Just to clarify, as is published elsewhere before, the RTW has utilises synthetic heel stiffeners whilst the MTO uses leather stiffeners. So far, our clients have been very happy. Not all synthetic materials are the same in terms of comfort. Choices are made in light of construction methods. Nonetheless, I think that, like any good business, Yearn is striving to bring as much to the market in terms of value, as well as quality.

Finally, someone also commented on the fibreboard reinforcement. I should add that there is actually also a metal shank underneath and, as a whole, these are an added feature to increase the durability of the shoe. I think some good year welts don't have this feature, and this is typically found at the level of bespoke. However, if one is somehow sensitive to this reinforcement, I am sure Yearn and Arterton can oblige with any MTO order. There is absolutely no other synthetic material. Happy to have someone else do teardown v2!!!
 

prof.contingency

Senior Member
Affiliate Vendor
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
139
Reaction score
197
Dan's a good guy. Did a great job changing the eyelets on my RLPL drivers.
@monkey66

Oh, and, Dan is a nice, likeable guy! Glad he did your RLPL drivers.

I'll pass on the points about wanting to hear more about the leather and SPI. I think he had some time constraints in light of his audience. But, in general, the leathers come from reputable European tanneries, and the RTW is stitched to, at least, 8SPI, whereas the MTO to about 12SPI.
 
Last edited:

Jmr928

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
2,602
Reaction score
22,718
I was a little underwhelmed by this video though. I would have liked mode detail about the construction techniques, materials, spi etc.

So much intangible about shoes but ultimately they are all kinda the same.

It is fair to say once we are beyond a certain point (probably GYW) it is all diminishing returns.
I was actually contemplating starting a thread elsewhere on a more broad topic of clothes in general about this but maybe I’ll write some of it here and see if anyone has thoughts and if it’s worth starting a new thread.

It’s not just shoes to be sure but it seems really prevalent in the shoe threads. Sort of a what is interesting vs what matters distinction. It seems like a lot of times on here, particularly in the shoe threads but also elsewhere with putting together our wardrobes we can miss the forest for the trees and sort of get overly focused on spec sheets or checking a box. “What’s the spi?” being a common refrain.

We sort of miss the more holistic view of them. Dieworkwear has referred to it as shoes as objects culture and buying off a checklist. I don’t think it’s solely limited to shoes and could apply to shirts or tailoring as well. “Handwork” “hand attached sleeves” “hand sewn button holes” etc.

With regard to Spi specifically, I’ve got pairs that span the spectrum. If I told you I had a pair at 8spi,10spi and 12spi which is “better” if I’m buying off specs? If you knew the 8spi were sewn by hand and use a stitch prick and the 10spi and 12spi were machine sewn? If you knew the 8spi that are hand sewn using the stitch prick were a bespoke pair? If you knew the 10spi machine sewn came from one of Japans most famous makers and like the rest of the work on the shoe was flawless? If the 12spi were from one of the better known high end Chinese factories and… less than flawless?

Maybe some of it is because we are buying remotely and don’t have much to go off of other than spec sheets but if we are just chasing specs but my favorite shoes or suits aren’t the ones that check the most boxes on specs. They’re the ones that fit, that get worn most often, that I like the last, that hold up well, etc.

It originally came to mind because I’m trying to decide which of my shirt makers to do what with. What matters? Is it handmade details? Or is really neatly done machine sewing ok? Is it the fabric and flexibility? Is it speed? Is it price? Is it the collar they have for me? Is it fit? It’s pretty apparent to me that the things that I really like in my collection are more than the sum of the pieces. There’s some “X factor” there. Anyways, just a thought.
 

monkey66

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
610
Reaction score
2,354
Yup. I'm not sure I really care about spi. I just want items of clothing I love. On an emotional basis I much preferred the JLs in the video. There is no denying the value proposition of Yearn, as with Oct 10th, Yeossal etc.

Perhaps I am asking too much from such a video, as said x-factor is very personal.

My absolute favourite shoes at the moment is the vintage AS I picked up a few months ago. No idea of SPI or anything else ?.
 

Adhazem

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
335
Reaction score
775
I was actually contemplating starting a thread elsewhere on a more broad topic of clothes in general about this but maybe I’ll write some of it here and see if anyone has thoughts and if it’s worth starting a new thread.

It’s not just shoes to be sure but it seems really prevalent in the shoe threads. Sort of a what is interesting vs what matters distinction. It seems like a lot of times on here, particularly in the shoe threads but also elsewhere with putting together our wardrobes we can miss the forest for the trees and sort of get overly focused on spec sheets or checking a box. “What’s the spi?” being a common refrain.

We sort of miss the more holistic view of them. Dieworkwear has referred to it as shoes as objects culture and buying off a checklist. I don’t think it’s solely limited to shoes and could apply to shirts or tailoring as well. “Handwork” “hand attached sleeves” “hand sewn button holes” etc.

With regard to Spi specifically, I’ve got pairs that span the spectrum. If I told you I had a pair at 8spi,10spi and 12spi which is “better” if I’m buying off specs? If you knew the 8spi were sewn by hand and use a stitch prick and the 10spi and 12spi were machine sewn? If you knew the 8spi that are hand sewn using the stitch prick were a bespoke pair? If you knew the 10spi machine sewn came from one of Japans most famous makers and like the rest of the work on the shoe was flawless? If the 12spi were from one of the better known high end Chinese factories and… less than flawless?

Maybe some of it is because we are buying remotely and don’t have much to go off of other than spec sheets but if we are just chasing specs but my favorite shoes or suits aren’t the ones that check the most boxes on specs. They’re the ones that fit, that get worn most often, that I like the last, that hold up well, etc.

It originally came to mind because I’m trying to decide which of my shirt makers to do what with. What matters? Is it handmade details? Or is really neatly done machine sewing ok? Is it the fabric and flexibility? Is it speed? Is it price? Is it the collar they have for me? Is it fit? It’s pretty apparent to me that the things that I really like in my collection are more than the sum of the pieces. There’s some “X factor” there. Anyways, just a thought.
I totally agree. I think when enthusiasts in general get into a rabbit hole and start reading and searching, Then we commit our dollars to a purchase and probably on a subconscious level are arguing for little details in it at least in part as a defense mechanism to protect and justify your judgement and decision making process by saying “well shoemaker XYZ stitch density is 14 spi” so you feel better about yourself and your shoes. I don’t think the 14 spi make a structural or functional distinction from a 10 or 12 spi. I’m still a relative newcomer and far from a reference on shoes however and open to educating myself everyday.

I’m a bit of a car guy and the same thing I’ve seen over the years on car forums. Corvette used titanium rods in this engine, or Porsche is fitting this car with a titanium exhaust. Does any of that change how the car feels or accelerates 30-90 mph on the on ramp? Probably not. But by golly enthusiasts will keep arguing about it till the end of days.

Sorry didn’t mean to derail the thread but it’s a very poignant and nice post you made and I had thought about those things and the mental state the accompanies being an “anything” enthusiast.

Now back to the tear down of Yearn. I’ll admit after acquiring some high end Chinese shoes last year like Yeossal and Graziat I’ve been intrigued by the country and their fine shoe products more. So Yearn has definitely been on my radar. My comment about celastic stiffeners is from my experience getting some awful heel blisters from shoes with those types of stiffeners. I’ll admit the confounder is probably more related to poor fitting shoes, either too small or too roomy with bad heel slip. It’s just that nicer made shoes I’ve found more comfortable and usually not kicking my butt to break them in.
 

prof.contingency

Senior Member
Affiliate Vendor
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
139
Reaction score
197
Very interesting discussion. I think the over-reliance on quantitative or, at least, denotable features is an effect of both human psychology -- i.e. the need to be able to discern whether something is better than some other thing -- and retailers/manufacturers in the marketplace hoping to market some kind of edge.

I find that SPI is analogous to the megapixels of a camera. Over something like 16 MP, it doesn't make much of a difference to the quality of the images, but retailers/manufacturers will still do the utmost to advertise that something is 30 MP, just because consumers can readily identify that 30MP>16MP. However, the reality is that there are hard-to-denote features like lens or sensor quality (that is almost impossible to describe and, furthermore, be subjective) that surely matter more to the performance of a camera. However, it still remains true that if all else is equal (ceterus paribus), then a higher MP camera must be better or equal to a lower MP camera.

Back to the beautiful Yearn shoes (@Adhazem), feel free to give them a try sometime, if you would be so inclined! Arterton has a generous return policy to make sure that people are happy with their purchases.
 
Last edited:

ajay199127

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
347
Reaction score
524
Pu is by far my favorite last. Tight heel, waist, roomy toe box.

I will definitely commission one more with instep and vamp reduced, but probably with bw instead, as she has the same lasts.

Helen’s amazing too, you should give it a try.

Thanks and yes sir
 

ajay199127

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
347
Reaction score
524
I personally like 8-10 and almost 12, giving a clear stitch detail and strong fudge pattern.
 

ajay199127

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
347
Reaction score
524

looks like bw is the maker before graziats finish

Finally here! Pardon the pictures taken with a potato by a sleep deprived post night shift man. Also I just slipped them on with my scrubs on to see how the fit is. They felt really nice for the 5 minutes I had them on. Did in deed feel like a wetsuit from heel to ball. Or as close to it as I’ve ever known. This is officially the highest end I’ve acquired and the most $$$ I’ve spent on a pair.
View attachment 1745117
View attachment 1745118 View attachment 1745119 View attachment 1745120 View attachment 1745121 View attachment 1745122 View attachment 1745123 View attachment 1745124 View attachment 1745125 View attachment 1745126 View attachment 1745127 View attachment 1745130
 

Featured Sponsor

What's the biggest deciding factor for you when making a clothing purchase?

  • Style of an item

  • Price of an item

  • Material of an item

  • Brand


Results are only viewable after voting.

Forum statistics

Threads
476,964
Messages
10,186,046
Members
214,133
Latest member
MrsBryant
Top