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The Ultimate Vass (Footwear) Thread (Pictures, reviews, sizing, etc...)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by luk-cha, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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    The issue with gemming can't be brought up to often, since there's still so many people out there who have no clue what gemming is and how it affect a shoe.

    Another thing that happens often, people confuse blake/rapid-construction with blake construction. Sure, both have the blake stitch, but it's two different ways to make a shoe with very different result. This is blake/rapid: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YEgN9qS3YHY/UKT1f2QHMtI/AAAAAAAAAZo/5LS7C4yY30A/s1600/blake_rapid.jpeg
    (small picture I know, but just google it and you get lots of information.) Blake/rapid can be resoled just as easily as welted shoes, and they are equally water resistant, and also often use cork filling. It's basically just using an extra mid sole instead of a welt.
     


  2. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    I believe that actually goodyear welt construction can be and once was done with a leather welt strip instead of gemming. So Goodyear does not really mean gemmed technically. Although in terms of how Goodyear is currently done by the VAST majority of makers the two are indeed nearly interchangable.
     


  3. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    No one is arguing that Goodyear construction is good simply because it has been around a long time. But rather that since shoe production via the goodyear method, including gemming, has produced millions, if not billions of shoes in the past 50 years and yet 'gemming failure' is only even known to some tiny sub specialty of special shoe makers and cobblers it seems completely ludicrous to me that there is much hidden danger to worry of.

    I'm not stating that it equals handwelting, but rather that it is far from something to turned from in fear of buying a less than durable shoe.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013


  4. rikod

    rikod Senior member

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    I disagree, it is brought too often in every shoe thread imaginable, of course there's many people that have no clue and just don't care (like me), its lame, tiresome, not important, etc etc. a goog year welted shoe failure?, I've been wearing those for at least 15 years and never had any problems. I,ve even been wearing a couple of $80 Glued Ecco shoes for 10 years and they are just fine too.
     


  5. mcarthur

    mcarthur Senior member

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    nephew,
    good looking shells, enjoy wearing
     


  6. sstomcat

    sstomcat Senior member

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    I hear you, it is a beauty btw.
     


  7. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    A wonderful collection of shell shoes.
     


  8. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    The fallacy in your argument is that you decline to acknowledge the inferiority and problems of the cost-down construction method when they are not visually identifiable.

    GY construction DOES produce less durable shoes compare to hand welts. It is perfectly fine to cut corners and cost down for mass production, but marketing cost down versions having the same cadence is wrong. Especially in those 'handgrade', 'handmade' claims by some manufacturers. Caveat Emptor.

    That being said, I am not against GY, McKay, or even cemented constructions and I have own shoes in all three. Gunning for bespoke now, but would still buy anything less if the price is right. But, the last should be first, so no U last for me.

    p.s., I doubt GY constructed shoes reached 'billions' of unit volume, especially when the major footwear enablers/shoe producing countries like China, Taiwan and Korea use primarily cemented. Even McKay would be considered as high-end.
     


  9. Roguls

    Roguls Senior member

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    Mac, you need the Vass in your life.
     


  10. rikod

    rikod Senior member

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    Thank you!!
     


  11. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    I was going to say something about the blake/blake rapid thing, but you've probably put it better than I could have. I can't remember seeing a corked blake rapid shoe, but I guess I don't have any made by the better Italian makers, who I believe are the main users of this method. Anyway, good point.


    I agree on your last point - as I said above, those of us who wear our shoes a couple of times a month can go a lifetime without ever experiencing any problems, and might not know exactly why our shoes are looking worn out anyway. But I don't think this issue is raised too much: there are a million blogs and online magazines with people showing off new pairs of shoes, with information on sizing, price and availability. If that were the only shoe talk on SF, I doubt I'd bother reading it so much. It's this detailed, specialist, almost mysterious and frankly self-indulgent bickering over tiny details, that makes it special. I came to SF first because of questions about shoes, and only joined to sell a pair (thanks, whoever bought my oversized blue double monks), and without this seemingly unnecessarily intricate dialogue, I'd never have stayed. So thanks to the shoemakers, shoe repairers, shoe sellers and the serious shoe nerds, for talking about stuff that I can never talk about with real human beings!

    Amen. That saddle shell is something else.
     


  12. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Actually I do care about the 'cost down' construction methods, to any extent that they diminish the user experience or longevity.

    But I don't care a whit if a plastic toe puff performs just as well as a leather one.

    And I do object to claims of 'handmade' if indeed that is not true.

    My only goal here is to keep the information accurate as to the advantages/disadvantages in the final product and what it means to the end user. And since this is on the Vass thread I'll say again that I have tremendous respect for their methods and products.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013


  13. hendrix

    hendrix Ill-proportioned

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    plastic toe puff/heel stiffener is far inferior to leather ones IME. Not sure whether it's just me, but they're fare less breathable, and don't mold at all to the shape of the foot, and sometimes make weird popping sounds when walking. I also have a pair of zip boots where the plastic heel puff caused excessive friction and damage against the inner lining.

    I don't understand why they're so universal. A left over piece of stiff leather can't be much material cost, yet it performs so much better.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013


  14. isshinryu101

    isshinryu101 Senior member

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    Nope. Can't effectively glue leather to leather here. Always some type of textile used. It is what the machine is designed to use. Not sure if you understand 100%. The welt IS leather. The welt is just sewn to a piece of textile that is glued to the insole. The welt IS leather, it's the FEATHER that is textile. In hand welted shoes, the feather is created by scoring a piece of the leather insole and the welt is sewn to that.

    Goodyear just eliminates the step of hand-creating a feather by scoring the insole. Instead, it uses a piece of textile glued to the insole by a machine as the feather.
     


  15. isshinryu101

    isshinryu101 Senior member

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    keep in mind that digital watches have surpassed movements in most watch sales today. In many cases, they keep time just as accurately (or even more so) than their predecessors. Maybe it's not really all about whether the gemming will fail or not. Maybe it is about knowing your shoes are 100% handmade works of art... or not.
     


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