The Handbook - How To Guides
31 Days: Style Tips and Tricks
Volume 4

All the tips and tricks needed to shape up for 2012. Each day brings new, expert advice on how to look your best and live life to the fullest, while having a little fun doing it.


Go Goodyear

You may've heard us talk about Goodyear welted construction before. You've certainly seen the term floating around the web or used as a selling point for a particular pair of shoes. It's the most common construction among well-made shoes. And for good reason.

The shoe's upper and sole are each stitched to a welt—a strip of leather running around the whole shoe—with a layer of soft cork between the insole and the outsole. It's incredibly strong and yet still comfortable. It allows for a constant flow of air, keeping the foot well ventilated and makes it so the shoe can be resoled over and over again.

The process is referred to as Goodyear welt construction because the machinery used to sew the welts was invented in 1869 by Charles Goodyear, Jr. the son of Charles Goodyear (the inventor of vulcanized rubber). A staple among English shoemakers, it creates a handsome and strong finish but it's an elaborate, time-consuming method which is why such shoes cost more than your average kicks.

You will pay more upfront, but you get a shoe that's handsomely made, very comfortable and extremely durable. And even those without a lot of dough aren't priced out of the Goodyear game. Florsheim's archival Veblen long wing features one, which means that the modestly priced shoes will pay for themselves in just one resoling.

Other Sole Jargon

The original lug sole, Italian brand Vibram is known for long-wearing and flexible rubber soles used by the best in the business.

First developed for golf shoes, this English rubber sole is stitched onto the welt and features a dozen raised discs for durability and comfort.

Micro Sole

These thinner rubber soles have air blown into them to make them extremely light and cushy.


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