I hope your Holiday Season is going well! Now that the snow is falling and weather is turning, you want to make sure you have the best footwear for battling the elements. But how do you determine basic characteristics of a well-made, classic Goodyear welted boot?
When it comes to functionality, a boot needs to have high quality major components to it. Did you know most inexpensive Goodyear welted boots don’t use real leather on the most important parts of their boots? For example, we see many boots get sent to us to get fixed which don’ have leather welts, midsoles or heels. If you are going to invest in a pair of high quality, Goodyear welted footwear, I would say the following 4 basic components need to be made from leather as it will hold up the best over time.
Heels – Stacked leather provides the best in natural external heel cushioning support. While there are many companies out there who design a heel to look like stacked leather, we have received boots where the heel base was either made from painted/dyed plastic or wood – Yikes!
Welt – You’re going to want to make sure you are buying a boot which has a vegetable tanned leather welt on it. It can be easily maintained, conditioned and broken in. We have had pairs sent to us, including pairs from made in USA brands, which use PVC or plastic welts. This over time becomes a problem because PVC/plastic cracks. Once this happens, you need to replace the welt whereas with a veg tanned leather welt these don’t crack over time and all you need to do is condition them.
Midsole – A leather midsole will provide another form of natural shock absorption. While providing this, it serves as a higher quality barrier between your outsole and the welt. There is nothing wrong with using something such as EVA rubber or another form of midsole, but leather tends to perform better over time and is much easier to replace/maintain once worn out.
Insole/Inlay – Many people have preferences when it comes to their insole or inlay. As long as it is made from either leather or a sturdy material that is maintainable over time, you will be golden.
When it comes to good shoes, the majority of their build should be maintainable over time. This way they will last you forever! These 4 basic components are the bedrock of any high quality shoe or boot. From our family to yours we wish you a Happy Holiday season and a prosperous 2020!