And something exceedingly well engineered—and, like ways, exceedingly well built. Built to last even as the miles pile up and soles want replacing. Something that speaks both of art and of craft. And, because we are, after all, Paul Stuart, something unfailingly stylish.
An old saying goes that if you really want to know if a man is well dressed, you need but look down for a quick assessment of his footwear. For our part, and with a few notable and noteworthy exceptions, we generally believe that in terms of the cobbler’s art, elegant understatement rules the day. Shoes should metaphorically and literally ground one. However, from the most elegant cap-toe to a favorite driver, it is a measure of the fine craftsmanship and exceptional quality lavished on every pair of shoes we offer that describes not only our footwear, but the entirety of the Paul Stuart product line.
A welt is a strip of leather that runs along the perimeter of the outsole and is stitched to the upper and a strip of canvas (known as “gemming”), which is in turn affixed to the insole of a shoe. The upper part of the shoe is shaped over a last and fastened to the sole by sewing a leather strip—the “welt”—to the inner and upper sole.
The welt forms a cavity that is then filled with a cork material to make an impression of the wearer’s foot. The outsole is then both cemented and stitched to the welt. The sole is then attached to the welt of the shoe by stitching along the edge of the welt and sole.
Among the many reasons that the Goodyear welt is so highly regarded includes it’s being relatively waterproof by not allowing water to get into the insole due to the
welt-sole construction, the relative ease in which the sole can be replaced, and the fact that the shoe can last up to 20 years or longer depending on the treatment and condition of the upper.
The nature of this shoe construction means that Goodyear welted shoes take longer to manufacture than lesser alternatives, and requires the use of skilled labor. Well before the phrase “the best tires in the world have Goodyear written all over them” was part of popular advertising’s lexicon. Although considerably more time-consuming than other manners of construction, the Goodyear welting process helps assure that a shoe not only lasts longer, but that can also be re-soled time and again.