The Little Details: Goodyear Welt

If you’re reading this, you more than likely appreciate well-made products; and you understand that you get what you pay for. Back in the good ol’ days, the hard-working men & women who built our cities from the ground up, made our railroads go on for thousands of miles, and made America what it is today understood that concept as well. They were willing to pay for a boot or shoe that would last more than a single season, and understood that you do indeed get what you pay for. Workers used to count on their boots to last them for awhile, and thanks to the Goodyear welt – this was the case. Putting welts on shoes was around long before the Goodyear welt, but it was an extremely long process that was done with hand-stitching and abandoned due to the time it took. Fast forward to 1869 – machinery was invented to speed up the process of welting a shoe by Charles Goodyear, Jr – the son of Charles Goodyear (you know, the guy who revolutionzed the process to vulcanize rubber and what not.) This dramatically shortened the time it took to apply a welt to a shoe, and earned it the title: Goodyear welt.

“A welt is a strip of leather, rubber, or plastic that is stitched to the upper and insole of a shoe, as an attach-point for the sole. The space enclosed by the welt is then filled with cork or some other filler material (usually either porous or perforated, for breathability), and the outsole is both cemented and stitched to the welt.” Wikipedia

With the use of a welt, the shoe becomes resoleable – since the outsole can be removed from the welt and replaced with a new one. As long as the uppers of a shoe or boot are intact, it can be resoled over & over again. A welt also protects water from getting in through the outsole – so you’re getting another layer of protection from the elements. It’s just another reason why it is worth paying good money up front for a nice pair of boots that can be resoled for the years to come.


Filed under Boots, Red Wing Boots, The Little Details

6 responses to “The Little Details: Goodyear Welt

  1. Thanks for the education. One of those details/things that I knew about, but didn’t know the whole story. And as always, nice photography.

    • No worries man – thanks for reading! Tryingto keep it interesting, but this is definitely an area where I feel like I NEED to get into details and let people know the reasons why stuff costs what it does. I hate the “throw away” fashion trends, and I just hope more people start to realize there is some awesome brands out there.

  2. So true. Really makes you re-think a lot of clothing in my own wardrobe…….and order a pair of Wabasha Red Wings. Win/Win.

  3. The indigo ink on your boots is great, one of those happy accidents that adds character to an already great pair of shoes.

  4. Dope Nixon

    Have you tried the Thorogood Moc Toe Boot? It looks awesome for the price (about $120)

  5. mat

    ah you may be able to help me here actually. how can you tell if your pair of boots does in fact have the welted sole? is there some big clues, i’m trying to figure it out on a pair of new boots. or in fact it’s just a mock look

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