Types of Construction
Shoes that are extremely comfortable, sturdy and built to last.
The Goodyear Welt is referred to as a hallmark of well-made shoes and allows manufacturing highly robust and long-lasting footwear.
A Goodyear welted shoe is obtained by stitching a strip of leather (known as welt) to the upper structure of the shoe (leather plus lining) and to the insole along the entire perimeter of the shoe using a specialized machine, which was invented in 1869 by Charles Goodyear Jr. This process is known as Goodyear Stitch.
This process creates a cavity between the insole and the middle sole, which is then filled with cork to enhance the comfort of the shoe. In Portugal, we call this the "soul of the shoe". The welt is then sewn to the middle sole and the outsole using a technique known as Rapid Stitch, which makes the shoe much more resistant.
Resistant and durable footwear.
The Norwegian construction is very similar to the Goodyear Welt. The footwear is equally resistant, but visually more robust, while the process is more time-consuming.
Compared to the previous method, the welt is inverted. It is stitched first to the upper (leather plus lining) and to the insole, and then a second stitch sews the welt to the upper, middle sole and outsole - the two stitches are visible on the outside of the shoe.
The Veldtschoen construction is extremely tough, with a highly-resistant shape that does not deform with use and is built to be waterproof.
In this method, the Goodyear Stitch is applied to the welt, lining and insole. A second stitch, known as Rapid Stitch, is applied to the upper, welt and middle sole. Then, a third stitch is applied to the upper and outsole.
This process is also similar to the Goodyear Welt and the Norwegian Goodyear, as the only difference is that the upper sole turns outwards instead of turning underneath the insole, like in more common constructions, and the use of a third stitch.
Twice the resistance.
The Blake Rapid is a type of construction which derives from the Blake construction mentioned above. Despite being very similar to the latter, this process is more time-consuming.
In the first step, the middle sole is stitched to the insole. This stitch is visible on the inside of the shoe, making it necessary to use an insole to "hide" the stitch and for increased foot comfort.
The cavity between the insole and the middle sole is also filled with cork (as in the previous processes) to even the foot support and achieve greater resistance. The outsole is glued to the middle sole and a second stitch - known as Rapid Stitch, which is visible in the outsole of the shoe - connects the middle sole to the outsole. This construction is also known as Fake Goodyear because its final appearance is very similar to that of the Goodyear Welt.
The Blake or McKay Stitch is a construction method invented by Lyman Reed Blake.
It has only one stitch, which is visible on the outsole of the shoe and connects the insole, upper and outsole. The cavity between the insole and the outsole is also filled with cork.
This construction allows for a very thin outsole, a sleek look and a flexible shoe.
Flexible and practical footwear.
In the Cemented construction the outsole is glued with a waterproof adhesive directly to the upper, which, in its turn, is attached to the insole. This, unlike the previous processes, has no rib, which means the insole is flat.
This attachment method creates a cavity between the insole and the outsole which is then filled with cork to even the foot support.
This method is simple and quick, enabling the manufacturing of more affordable footwear, but it is less resistant than the types of construction mentioned above.
Quick and cost-effective.
The Side Stitch or Lateral Stitch has two characteristics that distinguish it from the other constructions. The upper is pre-prepared and the outsole is shaped like a “box”, i.e., it is higher on both sides. The upper (leather plus lining) is placed on the inner side of the "wall" of the outsole and then they are stitched together – this technique is known as Side Stitch.
This construction method is cost-effective and often used in sports shoes.