The advantages of a Goodyear welted shoe

Since the beginning of Shoes & Shirts in 1988, our store has carried an extensive collection of Goodyear welted shoes. Are you curious as to why we do so? Click here to find out more about this one-and-a-half century old shoe construction method that is still regarded as one of the best and most fitting for a shoe of excellent design and material.

The term Goodyear will not only ring a bell to shoe enthousiasts. Charles Goodyear patented vulcanized rubber in the 1800s, laying the fundaments for the tire brand that was named after him later. Charles Jr., his son, seemed to have carried his fathers creative genes, but he invented something completely different. In 1869, a machine for producing shoes with one of the best welting methods to this day was invented, also under the Goodyear family name. 

The 'goodyear welt' is a visible and noticeable feature of essentially any true high-quality piece of footwear. We at Shoes & Shirts highly value the quality of the products we offer, and therefore our shoe collection consists almost entirely of models with this construction. In several steps, we will explain the advantages of owning a pair of goodyear-made shoes over one with a simpler construction method. 


     Blake construction                                                                                    Goodyear construction


As a result of fashion and high levels of consumption, the vast majority of shoes for sale today are designed to wear intensively and to dispose of relatively fast. Also, the lack of resoling options on these shoes will often form a barrier for further wearing. However, the intricate and multiple-layer construction of a goodyear-welted shoe allows for them to undergo a resoling without falling out of its original last shape or affecting the upper leather. Therefore, if the shoe is looked after properly in between, resoling them more than once or twice should not be a problem. The materials and craftsmanship necessary for this construction might result in a higher price at purchase, but this will surely pay out on the long run. After all, looking at your footwear as an investment will most likely ensure you actively maintain them, making you look more dashing than ever. 


Although a goodyear-made shoe might feel a bit rigid at first wear, they instantly ensure perfect support and stability. After breaking them in, the level of comfort will surprise, and the long lifespan of these shoes will ensure that the comfort lasts. The fact that the level of support is significantly higher than that of a pair of blake-stitched or cemented shoes, has to do with the idea of a multi-layered sole, creating sturdiness and the possibility of creating a more refined and foot-like shape in the sole and last. Also, your feet will leave a threedimensional print in the cork filled layer, making it feel like a bespoke pair. Another benefit: the multiple layer construction adds to the shoe's water resistance. 



Because the goodyear construction requires the leather to be stitched to the welt as closely to its edge as possible, working with an inferior calfhide will surely cause it to break along the seam. In other words, purchasing a pair of goodyear welted shoes will ensure you that the upper leather is in excellent condition and ready to be used for an extended amount of time. 

To summarize, the initial price of a goodyear-made shoe is generally higher than any other generic shoe, but the qualities the construction offers will benefit your feet and your stance as well as your wallet. As said, we at Shoes & Shirts offer a more than ample collection of goodyear-constructed models from makers that either value a great price/quality ratio or excel in artisanship and exclusivity.


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