Choicetively high price and a designer label do not necessarily guarantee shoe quality. Below we have included a few tips for separating the wheat from the chaff.
The shoemaking process can involve up to 390 steps. It takes a number of shoemaking experts and a great deal of time to complete a shoe. Qualified shoemakers are well-compensated for their efforts, and additional expenses are incurred for premium shoe materials. Because of this, quality shoes are costly. However, it stands to reason that inexpensive shoes produced from cheap materials are not nearly as well-made.
The inside of the shoe indicates overall quality
How can you distinguish a quality men's shoe from a cheap one without having to compare their wear over time? Unfortunately, for the untrained eye, shoe quality can be difficult to immediately ascertain. Too many of the details that constitute a quality shoe are found on the inside, and are therefore invisible upon first glance. Is the filler between the soles made of felt and cork, or is it made of cheap cardboard, scraps of rubber, or sawdust? How thick is the filler layer? A chrome-tanned welt is far more long-lasting than a vegetable- tanned welt. Is the welt made of dyed synthetic material instead of leather? Even the goodyear-welted label is not an infallible guarantee of men's shoe quality. This is due in part to the fact that a manufacturer can use the term "Goodyear-welted" even if the shoe is actually just glued together. This is an unfortunate loophole occasionally used to deceive unwitting customers.
There can even be subtle, though significant differences in quality among shoes that are actually Goodyear-welted. For example, a quality shoe will feature thread condensed with pitch? Thread treated in this way keeps the seam holes firmly sealed. Moreover, the adhesive effect of the pitch keeps the seam from unravelling if part of it becomes damaged. Waxed thread can also be used to achieve the same effect. There are also different classes of thread. When stitched onto the shoe, twisted thread is tightly and securely embedded in the shoe upper, whereas plaited thread, a more flexible variety, merely rests on top of the upper and is thereby left vulnerable to wear.
Recognizing shoe quality can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, there are a few helpful rules of thumb you can use to identify a quality shoe. If you use these you will not have to wait for time to tell.
A high price is not a guarantee of shoe quality
The simplest yet least reliable way to recognize men's shoe quality is to check a shoe's listed price. When it comes to designer shoes, remember that you are paying for the brand name. High prices on non-designer shoes may be a mark of quality. Sometimes, men's shoes made of the same material are priced very differently. In this case, the higher price of one pair is due to the comparatively greater amount of manual labor involved in the shoemaking process. This does not necessarily mean that the end product is of a higher quality.
Looking at the welt of a men's shoe can also provide clues about the shoe's overall quality. If the shoe is of a high or very high quality, then the welt will be nearly invisible. On these kinds of shoes, the welt circumscribes the entire shoe a single time; the two strong, thin ends of the welt lie on top of one another in such a way that they are hardly visible after finishing. Quality shoes feature precisely-stitched seams. The threads of these seams are knotted and cut by hand, rendering their ends completely invisible.
A visible glued seam is a sign of poor quality
There is another way you can use the welt to recognize shoe quality. Use your thumbs to push the upper away from the welt; if the shoe is truly Goodyear-welted, a few welt stitch threads will be visible. If you see a glued seam instead, you can take it as a sign of inferior quality. If, even when applying pressure, you cannot see welt stitch threads or a glued seam, then your men's shoe is of a very high quality—it is either Blake-stitched or constructed with a perfectly placed insole and very tight welt stitch.
Further Criteria for Quality Men's Shoes
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