SINGING IN THE RAIN..THESE SHOES ARE VERY FLEXIBLE, VERY COMFORTABLE AND VERY WATERPROOF. DESIGNED IN ITALY, SINCE 1972
Nico Nerini’s Goodyear welted shoes & its construction method, along with the quality of materials We use.
Let us introduce you the inventor of Goodyear Welt – Charles Goodyear Jr. (1833-1896) followed in the innovative footsteps of his father, Charles Goodyear, who invented the rubber vulcanisation process. The younger Goodyear invented a welting process for attaching the heel of a shoe to the sole by machine. The welt works as an attaching point for the sole and shoe, usually leather or rubber lining the outsole, allowing shoes to be resoled when worn down. The process lent each pair of shoes a lifespan of years, if not decades.
Although the resoling process became mechanised with Goodyear’s invention of the “Goodyear Welting Machine,” it was nonetheless time-consuming. The multi-step process required a skilled operator’s presence at the helm of the device.
Every step of this method has to be done by highly skilled craftspeople. It is time-consuming and expensive, but the benefits are clear:
As long as you take care of the upper of your Goodyear welted shoes (use shoe trees and polish them every now and again) then the sole and heel can be replaced by our aforementioned talented craftspeople without affecting the structure of the shoe. Unlike most other things in life, welted shoes actually get better with age; the upper would have taken the shape of your foot, and the new sole will give it a new lease of life. In terms of price per wear, buying good quality shoes will work out cheaper in the long run as you don’t have to shell out for a new pair when they wear out.
Goodyear welted shoes are made to last. As there’s more substance between your foot and the floor, it’ll take longer for any moisture to make your socks soggy. All leather soles will let water in eventually, but with welted shoes you have the added benefit of being able to repair them onto a rubber sole.
There will always be a ‘breaking in’ process for good quality shoes. The upper needs to soften and take the shape of your foot, the cork filler needs to flex and take an impression of your foot, and if you have leather soles they’ll need to be scratched up a bit on a dry, gritty surface to make sure you’re not gliding around your office. Once this is done (roughly 5-6 wears) you will be supported exactly where you need to be and you probably won’t want to take them off to go to bed.
A variation on this construction is called Veldtschoen. This is a lot less common amongst the Northamptonshire shoe makers and lends itself brilliantly to heavier country-style boots and shoes. The principle is still the same as Goodyear Welting, but instead of tucking the upper underneath to stitch through, is is splayed outwards and stitched to the welt. As hard as this is to explain in words, it effectively channels water away from the welt of the shoe, dramatically reducing water penetration. This is as close you can get to a fully water resistant shoe made using natural materials. Leather isn’t waterproof, but this comes pretty close.
A video for Waterproof Test