A question that we often receive from customers who are new to high-quality shoes is, "What is the purpose of a welt in shoes?"
The purpose of a welt in shoes, particularly Goodyear-welted shoes, is to provide structural integrity, durability, and the ability to resole the shoe. The welt is a strip of material, often leather, that is stitched to both the upper part of the shoe and the insole. It runs around the perimeter of the shoe, forming a connection between the upper and the sole.
The welt serves several important functions:
- Strength and Durability: The welt reinforces the shoe's construction by providing an additional layer of material that helps to hold the upper and the sole together. This construction method enhances the shoe's overall strength, making it more resistant to wear and tear.
Water Resistance: Goodyear-welted shoes are not completely waterproof but the welt can act as a barrier against water, preventing moisture from seeping into the shoe through the stitching holes. This feature is particularly beneficial in wet or rainy conditions.
In Blake construction, that doesn’t use a welt, the stitches that hold the shoe to the upper are through the bottom of the sole and into the inside of the shoe. As such, with Blake construction, wearer’s experience more moisture if worn in wet weather.
- Resole-ability: One of the significant advantages of Goodyear-welted shoes is that they can be easily resoled. The welt creates a separation between the upper and the sole, allowing the sole to be removed and replaced without affecting the upper. This means that the lifespan of the shoe can be extended, as the sole can be replaced multiple times.
- Flexibility and Comfort: The welt construction provides a degree of flexibility, allowing the shoe to bend and move more naturally with the foot. The construction method allows the shoemaker to add a footbed of cork, which adds cushioning and moldability to the insole of the shoe. This personalized flexibility contributes to the overall comfort of the shoe.
In summary, the welt in shoes, particularly Goodyear-welted shoes, plays a crucial role in providing strength, durability, water resistance, and the ability to resole the shoe, making it a desirable choice for those seeking long-lasting and high-quality shoes.
To learn more about welted shoes, be sure to read our other informative editorials on high quality shoes.