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Style Tips

6. What is a Genuine Goodyear Welt - And Why Is It Important?

Here at Florsheim Shoes, we believe in the finest craftsmanship and quality. For years, we have produced our shoes using Genuine Goodyear Welt Construction, a durable welt process that allows pairs of shoes to be resoled repeatedly. It’s the oldest, most labor intensive and long-lasting method of construction and we’re proud to still have shoes made this way! To this day, it is still considered one of the finest methods of shoe construction.

So, what exactly is Goodyear Welt Construction? Let’s start with the welt.

A Goodyear welt is a strip of leather, rubber or plastic that runs along the perimeter of a shoe outsole. The machinery used to produce it was invented in 1869 by Charles Goodyear Jr, the son of Charles Goodyear.

How is it constructed? First, a welt is stitched to the upper. Then, a strip of canvas is cemented to the insole of the shoe as a point of attachment for the sole. After that, the space that is enclosed by the welt is filled with cork or another material that is porous or perforated to allow for breathability. Finally, the outsole is cemented and stitched to the welt to complete the process.

Not only do the extra layers make the shoe more supportive and water resistant, but the two-level stitching makes it very simple to replace the soles. Some of our favorites that were made this way include the Heritage Wingtip Oxford, the Kenmoor and our 125th Cap Toe Oxford.

If you want a pair of classic, timeless dress shoes that will last for years, the Goodyear Welt is the way to go!

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