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How To Tell If A Shoe Is Well Made

How To Tell If A Shoe Is Well Made

by Sean Scott May 24, 2022

It's no secret that high-quality shoes are worth the investment. Not only do they look good, but they also last longer. But many people don't know how to identify quality shoes. In this article, we'll discuss the key features of a well-made shoe and some tips on how to select quality footwear that will last for a long time.

So whether you're looking to buy your first designer shoes or just want to learn more about what makes a good shoe, keep reading!

Buying a quality shoe involves much more than the looks. You need to consider materials, stitching, etc. The best shoes use high-quality materials like genuine leather or quality mesh upper and so on. Like other handmade products, they will also incorporate quality stitching. Here are a few things to watch out for when buying your next pair of shoes:

Look at the stitching

Good shoes have good stitching. It's that simple. If you're looking at a shoe and the stitching is crooked, messy, or coming undone, put it back on the shelf.

A well-made shoe will have straight, even stitching that holds everything together snugly. The thread should also be strong and durable; you don't want it to break or come undone after only a few wears.

Watch out for glued shoes – even if you're going for flip-flops. These are often less expensive and degrade more easily. If you're unsure about the quality of the stitching, ask a salesperson or look for reviews online.

With a little research, you can be sure you're investing in a pair of shoes that will last. High-quality stitching can either be:

  • Blake stitching
  • Goodyear welting 

Blake stitching

Blake stitching is a hand-sewn method of construction that has been used for centuries to make handmade shoes. The stitch goes through the welt, insole, and outsole of the shoe, creating a durable and secure bond. As a result, shoes made using this type of stitching tend to be high quality and can last longer than those made with other methods.

Blake stitching is typically only found on more expensive shoes, as it is more time-consuming to produce. However, it provides several advantages in terms of durability and comfort. Because the stitch goes through all three layers of the shoe, it is less likely to come undone over time. Also, the Blake stitching can be re-soled a couple of times, but not as much as a Goodyear welted shoe.

Goodyear welting

Goodyear welting is a construction method used in the manufacturing of shoes. It involves stitches that go around the shoe's perimeter, attaching the upper to the sole. This type of welting provides several benefits, including increased durability and improved water resistance.

In addition, Goodyear welting gives shoemakers greater control over the shoe's shape, allowing for a more precise fit that's usually hard to achieve with mass production. As a result, Goodyear welting is often seen as a sign of well-made footwear. While other construction methods may be less expensive or faster, Goodyear welting remains the gold standard for many shoemakers and shoppers.

Check the material

The materials used to make shoes can have a big impact on their overall quality. You can easily tell the material quality by checking the shoe upper (or anything above the outsole). Bad quality shoes often use cheap upper materials like thin suede, low-grade leather, or plastic.

When it comes to leather goods, always remember that not all leather is the same. For quality men's shoes, stick to full-grain leather. Full-grain leather is breathable, durable, and forms contours on your feet after repeated use. More formal dress shoes can use fine leather-like scotch grain, calfskin, or authentic patent leather.

There are a few things to look for when trying to determine leather quality.

  • Check if the leather wrinkles when you bend it. Higher quality leather will wrinkle or crease under the tough.
  • You can also look at the grain. Full-grain leather has had no sanding, buffing, or correction to show all of the natural imperfections on the surface of the hide. Corrected grain leather has undergone a more extensive manufacturing process where the surface has been sanded and buffed to remove any imperfections so that it will have a more uniform appearance.
  • If you're still not sure, try smelling the shoes. Real leather has a natural and musty smell, not chemicals or plastic.

Keep these things in mind, and you'll be able to identify high-quality leather when you see it.

Check the construction

There's more to a well-made shoe than meets the eye.

When evaluating a shoe, it's important to consider its construction. How well are the pieces put together? Are the seams strong? Is the stitching even?

These are all signs of a well-made shoe. Another thing to look at is the sole. A well-made sole will be free of any defects and firmly attached to the shoe.

Similarly, the upper should be free of any wrinkles or puckering. And finally, look at the heel. A well-made heel will be straight and level, with no gaps between the heel and the shoe. By taking the time to assess a shoe's construction, you can ensure that you're getting the right quality.

 

Does it have a leather inner lining?

A good-quality shoe will have a leather or suede inner lining. The lining is a soft and breathable material that helps to keep your feet comfortable throughout the day. The inner lining should also be smoothly finished, without any rough edges. In addition, the stitching should be even and tight, and the shoes should fit well without being too loose or too tight.

Buy quality shoes at COMUNITYmade.com

If you are unsure about the quality of a shoe, it is always best to consult with a salesperson or shoe repair specialist. With a little bit of research, you can be sure to find the perfect pair of durable shoes for your needs. Contact us today for assistance – our sales team is always available and ready to help.




Sean Scott
Sean Scott

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Find Your Perfect Size


We want to help make sure that your new shoes have the best fit possible.  

We have created a separate fit for men and women to provide the ultimate foot hugging comfort.  Our sockliner and upper materials will naturally mold to your foot and stretch out after a short period of time, so do allow for this when trying our shoes on initially.

 

 In general, our shoes are running closer to an everyday shoe fit vs. an athletic shoe fit and can be worn with or without socks - but the socks have to be eye catching for best results.

 

Any variances from this chart will be noted on each individual product page.