There are three basic methods of shoe construction: cementing, blake welting, and goodyear welting. We use both, Blake and Original Goodyear production methods. Each of them has its advantages, and defines how the sole is attached to the upper.
Original Goodyear welting is the oldest, most labor intensive, and most durable of the three methods of construction.
For more than 300 years, the Original Goodyear Welting process has been associated with excellence and superior workmanship. More than 60 craftsmen are involved in the process of manufacturing one of our Goodyear shoes, and they use between 25 and 50 different elements and pieces. All this involves a process with more than 120 handcrafted phases, from beginning to end.
The welt refers to a strip of leather that is sewn around the perimeter of the upper of the shoe, onto the insole. The outer sole is then sewn to the welt, as opposed to being attached directly to the upper like the Blake stitch method.
Experts recognize Blake-stitched shoes by their soles: the insole is sewn directly to the outsole. Blake-stitched shoes such as loafers don’t have cork bottom fillers or any additional layers of insulation.
A special sewing machine is used for this shoe production method—this machine directly stitches through the outsole, insole and bottom edge of the shoe shaft, connecting them without using welts.
Cementing is the fastest, and most common method of attaching the sole of a shoe. Once the upper is shaped and completed around the last, the sole is attached with an adhesive, and no welting is used.
Slippers fall under this category, as well as some other Men Dress rubber soles, like the Running and Sportwedge rubber soles.
Choose Between Soles
To alternate between soles, look for the Sole Selection Widget, located on the bottom right of your 3D Designing Tool.
At Bespoke Factory, we construct shoes on a wide variety of Last. Lasts are foot-shaped forms that provide shoemakers with a foundation for building a shoe. The last used during shoe assembly can affect the overall fit of a shoe, as well as the aesthetics and look of the shoe.
Some shoe styles can be assembled using different lasts, and others only with a specific one. For instance, a pair of Goodyear Welted Oxfords can be ordered using different shoe lasts, each one with its own unique characteristics.
When selecting a shoe style on the 3D Designing Tool, you will be asked to choose the Last to be used, if it applies.