Understanding the shoe
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.