Un­der­stand­ing the shoe

Rules For The Modern Man - - Rules For The Modern Man -

Footwear is more than just a cov­er­ing to pro­tect your feet from dirt and in­jury. Be­cause shoes are such a mat­ter of in­di­vid­ual pre­fer­rence, they in­evitably give off hints about the per­son that you are.

A good shoe pro­vides sup­port to the sole and heel, feels com­fort­able even when worn for an en­tire day, as well as look stylish.

Menʼs shoes are more com­plex in their con­struc­tion. A stan­dard shoe con­sists of the up­per, the back and the sole. Welt­ing, or the seal­ing of the cork mid­dle with the base, can be done in a num­ber of ways, run­ning the gamut from the famed Goodyear welt to the moc­casin.

Whether you opt to buy off the rack or find a solier (also known as a shoe­maker) to get your next pair, here are some terms you will find use­ful when con­vey­ing what you want.

GOODYEAR WELT The Goodyear con­struc­tion or welt refers to the style of English shoe­mak­ing pop­u­larised by Charles Goodyear. Work­ing with leather soles, he in­vented a method of stitching the ex­ter­nal sole to the in­ner sole with waxed thread. Thus, rather than hav­ing to toss out the en­tire shoe when the sole wore out, you could sim­ply re­place it.

BLAKE CON­STRUC­TION The Blake is of­ten seen in loafers and der­bys, and can be dis­tin­guished from the Goodyear by hav­ing no ex­te­rior stitching. A prod­uct of the in­dus­trial revo­lu­tion, it is ma­chine stitched from within the shoe. The Blake al­lows the out­sole to be cut very closely with the up­per, of­fer­ing a more flexible sole than the Goodyear welt.

MOC­CASIN CON­STRUC­TION The loafer made in this con­struc­tion uses a single piece of leather that is cut and joined to wrap around the foot be­fore be­ing stitched to the sole. A dou­ble vamp means two lay­ers of leather in­stead of one, and a triple vamp gives thrice the level of pro­tec­tion from mois­ture.

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