Menswear

Goodyear Welted Shoes

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.

4 Comments

  1. It must be nice to be male and not have your fashions change by the minute. 🙂

    And be able to wear shoes you can actually walk in. According to the ads, we females are supposed to be doing all our activities in 5″ heels, even when walking the dog. 🙁

    LOVE the Chukka boots; I need to get some for my hubby!

  2. I could not agree more. I have several pairs of Allen Edmonds McNeil Wingtips, Black, Pebbled Tan and Cordovan (actual cordovan not just the color). The Cordovan pair is the oldest at about 15 years, the black about 10 years and the pebbled are only about 6 years old. ALL of them still look brand new. Shoe trees and regular shining have kept them looking great all of these years. The first pair I bought I could not believe I was spending almost $500 on a pair of shoes but it was well worth it. I have learned that shoes are one of the first things people (especially women ) notice about a man, so I always try to rock cool kicks!

  3. Excellent recommendation on the style. We have a great cobbler on the west side of Cleveland that does an awesome job re-soling/fixing/etc and I’ve kept multiple pairs going for years (not that they are all Goodyear-welted).

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