A classic topic of discussion is the difference between Goodyear welted and hand welted shoes, and the function and importance it has. Usually the sustainability in terms of numbers resoles and so on is highlighted as the main difference, and there is of course a difference there, but in most cases there’s nothing that affects the actual life for the owner. There are many other aspects of the difference between the construction types that in my eyes are more interesting, and here I highlight several of these in the form of a series of pictures that compare shoes from Gaziano & Girling and Hiro Yanagimachi.

 

A canvas strip called the plot tape glue there on the insole to a couple Gaziano & Girling Deco shoes. It is in this strip stripe seam then sewn in. The solution is known as gemming.

A canvas rib is glued on the insole to a Gaziano & Girling Deco shoe. It’s in this rib the Goodyear welt seam is then sewn in. The solution is known as gemming.

Att notera här är dels tjockleken på bindsulan, som för Goodyear-randsydda skor brukar vara kring 3-4 mm ungefär. Här ser man också hur kanvasremsan är relativt hög och innebär att det blir ett ganska stort hålrum i skon som behöver fyllas, ungefär 5-7 mm hög brukar plirbandet vara.

To note here is the thickness of the insole, which on Goodyear welted shoes tend to be around 3-4 mm approximately. Here you can also see how the canvas rib is relatively high and will make a rather large cavity in the shoe that needs to be filled, the rib is usually about 5-7 mm high.

Here we have a sock on a made to order shoe from Hiro Yanagimachi, made to the same standard as their bespokeskor. The bonding soles cut from a larger piece of leather, which is generally the shoulder of cattle, have good fiber composition to keep the cutting and sewing in a lip in it. The thickness of this type of insole is usually about 8-10 mm, which is more than twice as thick as an insole for Goodyear welted shoes.

Here we have an insole on a Made to Order shoe from Hiro Yanagimachi, made to the same standard as their bespoke shoes. The insoles are cut from a larger piece of leather, which is usually the shoulder of cattle, which have good fiber composition to withstand sewing in a lip in it. The thickness of this type of insole is usually about 8-10 mm, which is more than twice as thick as an insole for Goodyear welted shoes.

On the one hand stripe sewn shoe fittings to the lip of the thick insole, that boundary seam is then sewn in (there are exceptions with the soles where the lip are finished cut as some "factory-made" hand-welted shoes use).

On a hand welted shoe you cut out a lip of the thick insole, which the welt seam is then sewn in (there are exceptions with soles where the lip are pre-cut which some “factory-made” hand welted shoes use).

Here, a stripe attached to the upper leather and canvas strip with a chain stitch sewn with the Goodyear machine, and you can see here also a heel wreath located as a base for klaken and shank-support and the piece of leather that is to build the fiddle The waist.

Here the welt is attached to the upper leather and the canvas rib with a chain stitch sewn with a Goodyear machine, and you can see here also a heel wreath located as a base for the heel and shank-support and the piece of leather that is to build the fiddle waist.

The large cavity filled by a mass consisting of cork and glue. It is relatively porous and collapses more and more over time, which means that it often replaces it at omsulning.

The large cavity is filled with a mass consisting of cork and glue. It is relatively porous and collapses more and more over time, which means that it often is replaced when the shoe is resoled.

ere are the brink ditsytt with a hand randsöm, which is a kind of "lock stitch" where every stitch hang separately. Here you can also see that the cavities are on the shoes with this construction method becomes very small, it is about a few millimeters.

Here are welt is sewn on with a hand seam, which is a kind of “lock stitch” where every stitch can hold separately. Here you can also see that the cavity on shoes with this construction method becomes very small, it is only a few millimeters high.

ro Yanagimachi cut out pieces from a thin cork plate that is placed under the forefoot and rear are the shank-support and the leather is to build up the waist. Cork plate also falls together some time, but more limited, and it can then remain unchanged throughout the life of the shoe so the footprint is quite persistent, so to say, in both the insole and filling. Pictures: Hiro Yanagimachi

Hiro Yanagimachi cut out pieces from a thin cork plate that is placed under the forefoot and in the back are a shank and leather pieces to build up the waist. Cork plate also is compressed some with time, but more limited, and it can then remain unchanged throughout the life of the shoe so the footprint is quite persistent, so to say, in both the insole and filling. Pictures: Hiro Yanagimachi

The sole of a finished Gaziano & Girling Deco shoe.

The sole of a finished Gaziano & Girling Deco shoe.

The sole on the finished shoe by Hiro Yanagimachi. Both are excellent, and you can't see from the outside the quite large differences inside.

The sole on the finished shoe by Hiro Yanagimachi. Both are excellent, and you can’t see from the outside the quite large differences inside.

 

Goodyear welting is an excellent method of construction, no doubt about it, but it is produced and adapted for mass production, not to do as good shoes as possible, quite frankly. The thick insole, the compact construction without large voids and so forth on the hand welted shoes are things that are considered “objectively better”. For the sake of making a point I have taken shoes that are similar in price range, Gaziano & Girling’s regular series is about €1 200 for RTW (Deco costs, however, around €2200, then MTO including lasted shoe trees). Hiro Yanagimachi’s hand welted MTO start at about €1 300 in Japan (lasted shoe trees about €230 extra).

The idea is to show reasonably factual differences between the construction types. There are also other aspects that distinguish the two methods, for example that things are more prepared for factory-made shoes, like if you have ready-made welts bought in large rolls and you have pre-built heels, while a workshop likeHiro Yanagimachi cut out the welts themselves from leather hides and build heels layer by layer on each shoe, and although there in many cases is a big difference when it comes to craftmanship the impact on function etc is rather small plus it is not necessarily associated with it Goodyear or hand welting, therefore, I do not mention it closer in this post.
For your information, there will be more pictures from the production of Hiro Yanagimachi’s shoes in a buyer’s guide published soon.