September 17, 2021 3 min read
Goodyear welted work boots are strong, comfortable, built-to-last boots. What is a welt?, you ask. A welt is a specially customized, thin piece of material between the insole and the outsole of a shoe to which these are sewn. A fine piece of craftsmanship that, in the world of shoes, makes all the difference, quality wise.
A salient characteristic of Goodyear Welt construction has to do with one of the most important commodities in life: time! A boot with a welt is a sophisticated boot. A boot that can last you around 20-30 years, if treated carefully. Durability is key here. You don't want boots that suddenly become puppets with big mouths because the glue didn't hold up.
But time plays another role too. When you buy boots you want them to be sturdy, flexible, reliable. These are fundamental accessories of our everyday lives. They take us places. In a way, they become parts of our body. So wearing Goodyear Welted boots means that even though they are made to feel comfortable as soon as you try them on, with time, they will also gradually mold to your foot and work perfectly in tandem with the way you walk. That is, these are boots that become more and more flexible with use. So not only are they long-lived, they are meant to get better with age. Just like aged whiskey.
This happens because when using this method of shoemaking, a layer of EVA (elastomeric polymer) is placed inside the cavity formed between the outsole and the insole of the boots. EVA is a soft material (softer than rubber) that absorbs much of the step impact and introduces a much lighter boot. It also makes for a good cushioning effect when walking and it is particularly resilient to stress-cracks and high and low temperatures.
Moreover, due to the artisanship of this type of construction and the attention paid to this fine detail in the making, not only durability and comfort are ensured, but there is the added feature of being water-resistant. As the welt tightly seals the boot, it protects it better from the elements. So you won't get your feet drenched in a downpour!
Other construction methods fold the upper underneath the insole and then connect the upper, the insole and the outsole by stitching them together on the inside of the shoe (Blake stitch). This means that any moisture absorbed by your feet could get through more easily and affect the stitching, causing real problems in the insole and in the general structure of your boot. With Goodyear Welt construction you'll find the stitches outside, on the outsole, firmly securing the boot. So if your feet take in moisture, this won't affect the whole boot and will help with its longevity.
Granted. Boots made using this laborious method are a bit more expensive. But, as my grandmother used to say, you really do get what you pay for. Plus, one of the greatest benefits of Goodyear Welt construction is that, in case of having to repair them, the whole sole can be replaced without damaging the upper. You can just take the outsole off the welt and resole the boot.
Shoes affect our whole posture, which then affects our mind and body altogether. So getting good-quality boots is of the utmost importance. With Goodyear Welted boots, you are not only getting quality, you are getting an experience. A time-honored tradition of elaborate shoemaking.
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