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Welted Shoe?

Sartorially Challenged

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How does one determine whether a shoe is welted?

If one were to see stitching on the bottom of the sole, is this a reliable indication of welting?

What about stitching only on top of the sole (rubber on the bottom)? Is this just decorative, and not actual, functional stitching?
 

Teacher

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Look for stitching on the outter edge of the sole's bottom that is basically parallel to the stitching on the welting, and nothing else. Blake stitching will be "inside" the verticle line of the uppers, if that makes any sense.

Also be aware that, with very expensive shoes, the bottom stitching will be hidden by a flap of leather. This flap can be detected by looking closely at the outter edge of the sole's bottom, where you'll see a seam.
 

Arethusa

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How can you tell the difference between that and faked welting? Does anyone fake it, for that matter?
 

Duveen

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Originally Posted by Arethusa
How can you tell the difference between that and faked welting? Does anyone fake it, for that matter?
A lot of glue-job specials will fake stitching (e.g. around the top on the outside of the sole), which is the visible manifestation of a welt, but I don't think anyone fakes welting on the inside of a shoe - where you'd see Blake stitching. You can usually tell fake stitching on the top of a shoe if you look closely - it is clear that it does not serve a functional purpose.
 

Arethusa

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Does anyone fake stitching under the sole?

I'm curious because I have a pair of boots from J Crew, and I really don't know if the welting's real or not. My suspicion is no, but it'd be nice if it were.
 

Teacher

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I've never seen fake stitching on the undersides. That doesn't mean it's never done, but I don't see that most people who buy cemented shoes would think to check or even care.
 

Sartorially Challenged

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I am still confused.

So if there is stitching only on top, but not on bottom, it's decorative (fake)?

I saw an Allen Edmonds that had the stitching on top, but rubber on the bottom (no stitching). I thought all A-E are Goodyear-welted?
 

Teacher

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If it's leather soled, then yes (unless the bottom stitching is covered by a flap of leather...but you should be able to see that up close). If the shoe is rubber soled, it's not a clear-cut issue. Better rubber soled dress shoes are welted, and the welt is sewn to a thin layer of rubber. That layer of rubber is cemented to the thicker outsole, so there is no stitching visible on the bottoms. Most rubber-soled AE's are like this. You can tell by looking at the area between the welt and the outsole: if there's a thin third layer in there, it's truly a welted shoe. If the "welt" is affixed directly to the rubber outsole (again, with no stitching visible on the underside), then this really isn't a welt at all, but a cosmetic piece, and the entire shoe is cemented.

By the way, cemented shoes can be resoled...buy why would one do that?
 

itsstillmatt

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The best rubber dress shoes actually have the rubber sole sewn on. AE is a bit more mid-market, and is constructed in a less labor/cost intesive way.
 

JLibourel

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Some A-Es of the recent past like the Dellwood and (I think) the Canton did have sewn-on rubber soles.
 

Arethusa

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So, if I have a boot with stitching on top and stitching visibule on the bottom of the rubber sole, what does that mean? I have trouble believing that a pair of boots from J Crew would be extremely well constructed, but I guess it's not impossible.
 

Teacher

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Originally Posted by JLibourel
Some A-Es of the recent past like the Dellwood and (I think) the Canton did have sewn-on rubber soles.

Those weren't full rubber soles, but rather partial soles. But yes, they had stitching visible on the undersides.
 

retronotmetro

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Originally Posted by Arethusa
So, if I have a boot with stitching on top and stitching visibule on the bottom of the rubber sole, what does that mean? I have trouble believing that a pair of boots from J Crew would be extremely well constructed, but I guess it's not impossible.

It could be welted construction, or it could be Blake stitched (hence the visible stitching on the bottom of the sole) with fake stitching around the welt. If it is Blake stitched, the stitches on the bottom of the sole will not line up with the welt. With my Blake stitched shoes, you can look inside the shoe and see the stitching on the inside. Sometimes the sock liner covers the stitches on the inside of the shoe, but even then you can feel them.
 

Arethusa

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The stitches don't line up, so I guess it could be Blake stitching (I have no idea what this is), but I can't feel (let alone see) stitches inside the boots, either.
 

j

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Originally Posted by Arethusa
The stitches don't line up, so I guess it could be Blake stitching (I have no idea what this is), but I can't feel (let alone see) stitches inside the boots, either.
Blake stitching is where the stitches go through the sole on the inside of the upper leather. If you peel up your insoles, you may see stitches around the edge of the front of the boot. That would be Blake stitching.
 

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