**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    The Blake stitch is definitely inferior to a welted shoe for the reasons you just mentioned. Essentially, you have a shoe that bears all the problems I described in my post from earlier today when Munky asked about cemented shoes. The only difference being that the stitching will prevent the sole from falling off over time. However, the rest of the construction between a Blake and a cemented shoe are much the same. When the sole is taken off, there isn't anything holding the shoe together. This can open up a real can of worms when repairing a shoe.

    A Blake/Rapid, however, is probably near equal with a Goodyear-welt in my opinion, but I would still go with Goodyear generally. There are pros and cons to both, but I think the scale tips in the Goodyear-welted's favor. Blake/Rapid shoes almost always use fiberboard insoles rather than good quality leather ones, unless you are buying the obscenely expensive ones (in which case I'd just put my money towards a hand-welted shoe). With Blake/Rapid, you still have the annoying stitches inside the shoes that your toes can feel. Also, if you tend to wear into the welt on your welted shoes and thus into the midsole on Blake/Rapid shoes, then when it comes to resoling, you really aren't saving the uppers from any more wear and tear during the recrafting process by going with Blake/Rapid. In other words, if they are replacing the midsole on your shoes at each resoling, the uppers and insole will only withstand this for so many occurrences before it's integrity is shot, just like a Goodyear-welted shoe when replacing the welt. However, with a Goodyear-welted shoe, only the upper is taking a beating during recrafting, while with Blake/Rapid, both the insole and upper are. Finally, if you are looking for a flexible shoe, then a Blake/Rapid is a bit stiffer than a single sole Goodyear-welted one. A Blake/Rapid is closer to a double soled Goodyear-welted shoe in regards to stiffness.
     


  2. kentyman

    kentyman Senior member

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    Awesome information as usual.

    I will say I was under a different impression regarding stiffness; I thought Goodyear was always stiffer for some reason. Perhaps I'm remember Goodyear being compared to a non-Rapid Blake?
     


  3. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Yes, a Blake stitched shoe only has a single sole (frequently thin) stitched directly through the upper and insole. A Blake/Rapid has a midsole that is around the thickness of a welt stitched on in the same way, and then a full outsole stitched to the midsole using a welt stitching machine. Since the midsole is a full size sole, it contributes more to the rigidity of the shoe, whereas a welt is only around the perimeter. Also, with the prevalence of fiberboard insoles that are used in Blake/Rapid shoes, that is a factor as well. The leather insoles that are used in Goodyear-welting are less rigid than fiberboard ones.
     


  4. kentyman

    kentyman Senior member

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    Is there any technical reason they chose fiberboard over leather, or is it more just what those brands traditionally decide to pick?
     


  5. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Cost and availability. More cost.
     


  6. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Blake machine constructed shoes has insole as well. So technically a single sole isn't correct.
     


  7. BootSpell

    BootSpell Senior member

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    Thanks for the thorough explanation, MWS (as usual). Knowing all that, I still enjoy my Italian Blake/Blake rapid boots, which may disintegrate well before my Aldens, AEs or C&Js, because I enjoy the variety and rugged/worn look some of them offer. Having said that, I'll only buy them when they're well discounted from their overly inflated retail prices.
     


  8. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

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  9. joiji

    joiji Senior member

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    Crat, is this your picture?

    [​IMG]
     


  10. kentyman

    kentyman Senior member

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    Hah, Google images search for "crat carmina" confirms it's from here:

    I don't know if I'm more impressed with the shoes, or the fact that you recognized them.
     


  11. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Impressed that the shoe mart stole those pictures...
     


  12. joiji

    joiji Senior member

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    Those cobblestones are hard to forget, we have little to nothing like that in Australia. :)
     


  13. justinkapur

    justinkapur Senior member

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  14. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    He's got a very mean shine but the location is just too hard to beat.
     


  15. kentyman

    kentyman Senior member

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    I'd be worried about that incoming car...
     


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