Goodyear welted Oxford shoes have a unique and recognisable design and are made to last over time: traditional stitching makes the shoes both resistant and easy to resole. In smooth brushed leather or suede, you can get lost in their details.
"Goodyear" could make you think of tyres - and you wouldn't be wrong. The same Goodyear family who discovered the process of vulcanizing rubber also patented the shoe sewing machine by their desire to produce high-quality, handcrafted shoes faster. It was the end of the nineteenth century.
Goodyear welting can therefore only be carried out in craft workshops that have the machinery capable of making the so-called "welt stitching". We went to Monte San Giusto, Italy: here we saw the craftsmen at work.
A strip of leather, called "welt", runs around the entire perimeter of the shoe and is sewn to the upper and midsole directly on the shoetree; then it is the sole’s turn. This method makes the shoe resistant and resoleable, even several times, extending its life. During the process, before stitching the sole, craftsmen apply a layer of cork that over time will take the shape of your foot, giving you comfort and breathability at every step.
A shoe like this – you will be able to recognise it everywhere, because the "welt stitching" confines the upper within the edge of the sole. A unique design.