At the heart of traditional shoe-making techniques is one known as “Goodyear Welt”.
A welt in general is a strip of material stitched to the shoe’s upper, insole, and an anchor known as the rib, acting as a point of attachment for the outsole. At Bed|Stu, our welt is always leather and the cavity created between the welt and the insole is filled with a leather and cork composite for both comfort and breathability. The cobbler then cements and stitches the outsole to the welt. This nostalgic process is known as a Goodyear Welt Construction, named after the English inventor, Charles Goodyear, Jr., who developed this very unique artisan procedure/technique in 1869 in his quest to give the user a shoe that would last a “lifetime.”
The welt essentially makes the upper and the outsole independent components of the shoe. Practically, this means once the outsole of a boot or shoe is worn down, it can be removed by a skilled shoe cobbler and replaced without losing the overall comfort and fit of the well worn shoe.