When we talk about shoe construction, Goodyear welt is a name and method of construction that gets thrown around a lot! And, that’s with good reason. It’s a masterful craft that’s been around for more than 150 years… but does it really live up to its reputation? Is the Goodyear Welt just a name, or is it really the gold standard in shoemaking?
Well, in order to answer that question, it’s important to understand where the Goodyear welt came from, and perhaps more importantly, why.
Goodyear welting refers to how the sole is fastened to the shoe. It’s the process of how the shoe is assembled that gives it its name. First the welt is sewn to the upper of the shoe, and then the sole is fastened after. The welt then acts as a sort of barrier between the upper and the sole of the shoe. This allows the shoe to be more durable, waterproof, longer lasting and gives the shoe infinite life with endless resoling potential… and still doesn’t have to compromise on style.
It actually looks a lot nicer than many hand-sewn shoes (and it’s a slightly faster process, although still a masterful craft in its own right). The process is time-consuming and difficult to master, making it the sort of art-based method to shoe construction. Not just anyone or any old factory can do it.
There’s another benefit to the Goodyear welt that’s not very often considered. Because of the barrier the welt creates between the upper and the sole, there’s a space that must be filled in between the sole and the welt, which ends up filled with cork. This is ingenious human craftsmanship because it means the shoe will fit to the foot of the wearer more and more over time.
Ever had that one old pair of shoes that just fits perfectly? Odds are they may have been crafted with a Goodyear welt.
So, what’s the verdict?
Well, due to its sustainability, water resistance, more than 150 years of dedicated craftmanship and the name that has become synonymous with high quality and luxury in the world of footwear… our verdict is: Goodyear welt really is the gold standard of shoe construction.
And, we’re proud that our factories are specialists in this old English tradition for crafting incredible, hard-wearing and long-lasting shoes.