My favorite dress shoes are Goodyear welted shoes. I love the way they look, I love the way they wear, I love the way they last. Aside from their superlative construction, they have a classic, masculine look that works with suits, casual pants or jeans. Sturdy and elegant.

What is a Goodyear welt? It’s a strip of leather that surrounds the base of the shoe upper, connecting the upper to the shoe’s sole. Goodyear welt construction enables the shoes to be re-soled many times over, which makes well-crafted shoes with a Goodyear welt a great value over time.

A closeup of my black Goodyear-welted Alden chukka boots.

A closeup of my black Goodyear-welted Alden chukka boots.

Whether it’s my Alden Chukka boots, my Allen Edmonds wingtips or my Florsheim Kenmoors, I take great care of them with regular shines, cedar shoe trees and, since I use taps, the very occasional re-soling. In fact, I just recently had my plain black Florsheim Kenmoor Imperials re-soled by my guy in the McGraw-Hill building. His work is great, and the shoes look and feel terrific.

A fresh re-soling of my plain black Florsheim Kenmoor Imperials.

A fresh re-soling of my plain black Florsheim Kenmoor Imperials.

Since I started investing in Goodyear welted shoes years ago, covering all my bases with my preferred classic and versatile colors and styles, I haven’t needed to buy any new shoes in a very long time. Nor do I anticipate the need for any new dress shoes for a long time to come.

FUN FACT: As Wikipedia will tell you, the Goodyear welt gets its name from the inventor of its process, Charles Goodyear, Jr., the son of the Charles Goodyear who developed vulcanized rubber.