Contact Construction - OK
The cheapest, fastest, and most common construction method used today. Once the upper is shaped and completed around the last, the sole is attached withsome sort of glue and sometimes a false welt is used.
Pros – Cheapest and quickest way to make a shoe.
Cons – Contact construction is a cheap, quick way of attaching a sole, affecting the durability of the connection between the upper and the sole. Most shoes made this way shouldn't be resoled. Once the upper begins to separate from the sole or the sole itself sometimes it is almost impossible to reatatch the sole. If you ever left your shoe in the trunk of your car on a hot summer day you know what I'm talking about.
Blake Stitching - Good
Of the 3 construction methods, The blake stitch is the simplest and most common. Impossible to do by hand because it is stiched from the inside through to the outsole. Most of the shoes being produced today that are stitched are constructed this way.
Pros – Much simpler construction than a goodyear welt, it is also less expensive. Blake stitching is also superior for driving loafers and mocasians. Because there are no exterior stitches, the outsole can be cut extremely close to the uppers. Because it has fewer layers than a goodyear welt, a blake-welted sole is more flexible.
Cons – Most shoe repair shops can not repair your blake stitched shoe correctly, it needs a specific machine to do correctly – We are the only shop in the area with such a machine in some cases it is more expensive than resoling with a goodyear welt. Less layers make it less water resistant. Water can wick up through the stitch holes and sole and begin to enter the footbed more quickly and easily. Some people complain about irritation at the bottom of their feet because of the interior stitching.
Goodyear Welting - BEST
Goodyear welting is the oldest, most labor intensive, and most durable of the three methods of construction. It can be done by machine or by hand and involves multiple steps. We have been repairing the same pair of goodyear welted shoes and boots for 20+ years which makes them the longest lasting and best choice.
Pros – LONG LASTING! The two-level stitching makes it incredibly easy to resole a goodyear welted shoe. Because the welt acts as a buffer between the insole and the outsole, removing the old sole and attaching a new one can be done by hand and without a specific machine. The extra layers make the shoe more water resistant and supportive.
Cons – A goodyear welted shoe is more expensive and not as flexible.