Shoes - Construction Pictures & Terminology

Rambo

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PTO has a good post on this today so I thought I'd get a nice thread started on it.

Shoe Terminology





Yesterday’s post on shoe construction seemed to be popular, so I thought I’d do something similar by going through some more terminology. Pictured above are three of my favorite shoes, with some labeling of their different parts. Click each photo to enlarge them.

Aglet: A small plastic or metal sheath used to protect the end of a shoestring, cord, or drawstring.

Apron: Some sort of visible stitching or edge that forms a sort of “lake” at the front of the shoe. You typically only see this on derbys or loafers.

Blind Eyelet: See eyelets.

Brogueing: The small perforations and small punches used to decorate a shoe. It’s been said that these were historically done to help country shoes drain out water, but nowadays it’s just for decoration.

Burnishing: A bit of darkening of the leather, usually at the toe or heel. Sometimes it’s called antiquing, especially if it’s done all over the shoe.

Eyelets: The holes through which you stick your shoelaces. Metal rings called grommets are usually used to support these holes. If the grommets are on the exposed side of the leather - the side that you can see - and they’re in a different color than your uppers, then they’re called agatine eyelets. If they match your uppers, they’re called matched agatine, and if they’re on the underside of the leather, they’re called blind eyelets. Generally speaking, blind eyelets are more formal than matched agatine eyelets, which in turn are more formal than agatine. Essentially, the less visible the grommets, the more formal the shoe.

Eyelet tabs: The tabs on a derby that are used to hold eyelets.

Heel cup: A strip of leather on the outside of the heel used to cover the seam joining the quarters.

Heel lifts: Two to four pieces of leather stacked to form a heel. The sides are then usually painted black or brown, depending on the color of the upper.

Insole: The layer of the sole that goes on top of the outsole and midsole. This is what the bottom of your feet touches when you wear your shoes.

Instep: The area of the foot between the toes and the ankle. Much of this is covered by the shoe’s vamp and tongue.

Lining: Most leather shoes have a leather lining that helps the shoe maintain its overall shape. You can see the lining here, and read about unlined shoes here. The lining of the insole section is also called a “sock” and it can be a full length, three-quarters, or just cover the heel section.

Medallion: An ornamental detail at the toe created by punching or perforating the leather.

Outsole: The exposed part of the sole that actually touches the ground.

Pinking: Zig-zag edges on leather, done for decoration. Sometimes this is called gimping because a shoemaker does this with a gimping machine, in which steel tools with various patterns can be fitted to achieve the desired effect.

Quarter: The part of the upper that starts at about the instep and goes back towards the heel. Ever shoe will have two quarters - the parts that cover the inner and outer sides of the foot.

Quarter rubber: A hard, non-slip piece of rubber that’s inserted into the top piece of the heel. Sometimes it’s protected by plastic “heel protectors,” which a cobbler can put in for you.

Scalloping: Like pinking, but instead of a saw-toothed edge, you’ll see a wavy cut.

Sole: The entire part of the shoe that’s below the wearer’s foot. These can be single or double leather, or even HAF (double tapering to a single). The upper and sole make up the whole of the shoe.

Throat: The central part of the vamp that dictates the maximum girth of a shoe. The throatline is the seam that joins the rear part of the vamp to the front part of the quarter.

Toe cap: A piece of leather that covers the toe area of a shoe.

Tongue: The piece of leather that comes between your foot and the shoelaces. When I was a kid, we used to pump these to make our shoes inflate, because it was somehow believed that inflatable shoes would increase our athletic performance.

Topline: The opening of the shoe, where you’d stick your foot in. On athletic shoes, this area is typically padded and referred to as the collar. On women’s shoes, you’ll sometimes see the top most part of the topline decorated with a thin, rolled piece of leather (usually in a contrasting color to the upper). That’s called French binding.

Top piece: The part of the heel lift that actually comes in contact with the ground.

Upper: The part of the shoe that you see that’s above the sole. The upper and sole make up the whole of the shoe.

Vamp: If you take a bird’s eye view of your shoe, this is the center front part of the upper.

Waist: The area of the shoe that supports the mid-section of your foot, where your arch is.

Welt: A strip of material that holds the upper, insole, and sole together. Here we see the welt seam, though it’s important to note that just because you see stitching here doesn’t always mean the shoe has been welted. Sometimes stitches are glued here for decorative purposes.

(Shoes pictured: Edward Green Malvern in Chestnut Antique calf, 202 last; Edward Green Dover in Dark Oak antique calf, 606 last; Meermin Linea Maestro plain toe blucher in dark brown Annonay naturacalf, Hiro last)



 

Rambo

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New post from the ShoeSnob on leathers:
http://www.theshoesnobblog.com/2013/06/leather-quality-how-it-varies.html
Leather Quality – How It Varies


Perfect leather all the way around....top grade too



Let me start by saying that this is a long, yet informative post.

I made a comment on the blog the other day in reference to one shoemaker’s leather being typically of a lesser quality with respects to another maker. Not necessarily that it was a low quality, only that within the grades of high quality, one was lower than the other. This comment threw off the reader as he was under the impression that leather qualities were of like-quality across the board of handgrade shoes, ranging from brands AS to C&J to EG. Let me first start by saying that this is definitely not the case. They all use different quality leathers and while some might even come from the same tannery that does not necessarily mean that they are using the same leather or rather, using it in the same way, which does make a difference and I will explain it below. Plus there is a reason why some shoes cost more than others and a big part of that is the leather, especially as it is the component that makes up 95% of the shoe. (From this point onwards, let’s start by assuming that we are talking about factories that make shoes that retail for +£300.


Now prior to making this comment, I had an idea about how the leathers differ as I touch them every day, all day long and can feel the difference. Not to mention that I own a lot of shoes from many makers…. But because I did not have a factual answer to give, I had to go ask someone who would know, not only because they currently own their own factory, but have worked for others as well. That being, when a factory buys leather from the tannery, they are usually given an assortment of pieces/hides that come from grades 1-3 (1 being the highest, 3 being the lowest naturally) to then make their shoes with. I was previously under the impression that a factory could simply say, I want grade 1 leather and that is all. But clearly I was wrong. The way in which people then separate themselves is how they use all of that leather, as it greatly differs and here is the secret to why some shoemakers shoes are always brilliant and why others aren’t as prestigious….

A G&G above and a Handgrade C&J below....surely you can see the difference in quality...the G&G's leather is much more taut and smooth, as it should be for a price tag that is £200 more





Now to make things even more confusing, within a grade of leather, say grade 1, there are then around 5 sub-grades within that single grade. That being there are many options to choose from. So let’s assume that we are now talking about factories that are predominantly going to use only grade 1 leather. Now when you get a hide of leather there are certain parts of it that are better than others as there certain parts of the shoe that are more visible/prominent and thus considered more important than the others. For example, the toe box of a shoe is the part that everyone notices and sees and therefore needs to be of the utmost quality, usually the leather that is the tightest. And what part is the tightest? The spine area is, which would be the center of the hide. And the more that you go away from the center and thus reach the belly of the cow, the looser, wrinkly and veiny the leather gets.


An annoying discovery where my factory thought it would be intelligent to use a good piece of leather (the spine of what looks like lower end grade 1) and a bad piece (the belly of what looks like grade 2 leather) to make one pair of shoes.....now I have to send it back as a reject!!


Now assuming that a factory has this slab of leather in front of them and assuming that utilizing one slab to its maximum potential can cut you 4 pairs of shoes. Now the difference is that one factory, may use the center to cut out all of the toe pieces/plain toe vamps etc. and then use the side of the slab to cut all of the heels/quarters/facings and maximize that slab to the fullest in order to get 4 pairs out of it, but still using all grade 1 leather. But then there is the factory that only uses the center of that slab and gets only 1 pairs’ worth. Which shoe is better? So, you see that even though the leather is the same, the factories used it differently and one factory produced a shoe from only the best part of the cow while the other used parts that aren’t as good but put them in places not as noticeable and thus not as important.


A G&G and a EG....nearly identical but seems to be a slight difference in the leather used in the facing (could be wrong though)


That being, you see now how they all vary and how EG’s leather will be different from C&J handgrade, which will be different to G&G and Lobb and Corthay etc…. Plus then you have to factor in that a lot of them then get their leather from different tanneries that produce different types of leather. For example, many English factories tend to source leather from Italian/German/Polish tanneries that produce a thicker, heavier and thus stiffer leather whereas many French makers will get them from French tanneries that produce a typically lighter weight, thinner and thus more flexible leather. Whether one is better than the other is subjective really. I believe that the ones that British makers get tends to hold its shape a bit better where some very high grade French calf skin are so soft that they crease very easily. It does not take quality away from the leather but many people associate the idea of bad leather when it creates a lot of wrinkles. So as you can see, the leather quality to a shoe is a tricky concept grasp as there are so many components that make it up and thus comparing leather qualities is even trickier, but allow me to say that they are all different and some are definitely better than others…..

Belly used on the inside quarter/counter -- not great, but not uncommon for a shoe £200-£300
 

Betelgeuse

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Missed that last post, nice!

So if the leather looks like in the last pic, it's still nice leather but more towards of the belly of the cow. Didn't know that. Nice!
 

walker

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New post from the ShoeSnob on leathers:
http://www.theshoesnobblog.com/2013/06/leather-quality-how-it-varies.html
Leather Quality – How It Varies


Perfect leather all the way around....top grade too



Let me start by saying that this is a long, yet informative post.

I made a comment on the blog the other day in reference to one shoemaker’s leather being typically of a lesser quality with respects to another maker. Not necessarily that it was a low quality, only that within the grades of high quality, one was lower than the other. This comment threw off the reader as he was under the impression that leather qualities were of like-quality across the board of handgrade shoes, ranging from brands AS to C&J to EG. Let me first start by saying that this is definitely not the case. They all use different quality leathers and while some might even come from the same tannery that does not necessarily mean that they are using the same leather or rather, using it in the same way, which does make a difference and I will explain it below. Plus there is a reason why some shoes cost more than others and a big part of that is the leather, especially as it is the component that makes up 95% of the shoe. (From this point onwards, let’s start by assuming that we are talking about factories that make shoes that retail for +£300.


Now prior to making this comment, I had an idea about how the leathers differ as I touch them every day, all day long and can feel the difference. Not to mention that I own a lot of shoes from many makers…. But because I did not have a factual answer to give, I had to go ask someone who would know, not only because they currently own their own factory, but have worked for others as well. That being, when a factory buys leather from the tannery, they are usually given an assortment of pieces/hides that come from grades 1-3 (1 being the highest, 3 being the lowest naturally) to then make their shoes with. I was previously under the impression that a factory could simply say, I want grade 1 leather and that is all. But clearly I was wrong. The way in which people then separate themselves is how they use all of that leather, as it greatly differs and here is the secret to why some shoemakers shoes are always brilliant and why others aren’t as prestigious….

A G&G above and a Handgrade C&J below....surely you can see the difference in quality...the G&G's leather is much more taut and smooth, as it should be for a price tag that is £200 more





Now to make things even more confusing, within a grade of leather, say grade 1, there are then around 5 sub-grades within that single grade. That being there are many options to choose from. So let’s assume that we are now talking about factories that are predominantly going to use only grade 1 leather. Now when you get a hide of leather there are certain parts of it that are better than others as there certain parts of the shoe that are more visible/prominent and thus considered more important than the others. For example, the toe box of a shoe is the part that everyone notices and sees and therefore needs to be of the utmost quality, usually the leather that is the tightest. And what part is the tightest? The spine area is, which would be the center of the hide. And the more that you go away from the center and thus reach the belly of the cow, the looser, wrinkly and veiny the leather gets.


An annoying discovery where my factory thought it would be intelligent to use a good piece of leather (the spine of what looks like lower end grade 1) and a bad piece (the belly of what looks like grade 2 leather) to make one pair of shoes.....now I have to send it back as a reject!!


Now assuming that a factory has this slab of leather in front of them and assuming that utilizing one slab to its maximum potential can cut you 4 pairs of shoes. Now the difference is that one factory, may use the center to cut out all of the toe pieces/plain toe vamps etc. and then use the side of the slab to cut all of the heels/quarters/facings and maximize that slab to the fullest in order to get 4 pairs out of it, but still using all grade 1 leather. But then there is the factory that only uses the center of that slab and gets only 1 pairs’ worth. Which shoe is better? So, you see that even though the leather is the same, the factories used it differently and one factory produced a shoe from only the best part of the cow while the other used parts that aren’t as good but put them in places not as noticeable and thus not as important.


A G&G and a EG....nearly identical but seems to be a slight difference in the leather used in the facing (could be wrong though)


That being, you see now how they all vary and how EG’s leather will be different from C&J handgrade, which will be different to G&G and Lobb and Corthay etc…. Plus then you have to factor in that a lot of them then get their leather from different tanneries that produce different types of leather. For example, many English factories tend to source leather from Italian/German/Polish tanneries that produce a thicker, heavier and thus stiffer leather whereas many French makers will get them from French tanneries that produce a typically lighter weight, thinner and thus more flexible leather. Whether one is better than the other is subjective really. I believe that the ones that British makers get tends to hold its shape a bit better where some very high grade French calf skin are so soft that they crease very easily. It does not take quality away from the leather but many people associate the idea of bad leather when it creates a lot of wrinkles. So as you can see, the leather quality to a shoe is a tricky concept grasp as there are so many components that make it up and thus comparing leather qualities is even trickier, but allow me to say that they are all different and some are definitely better than others…..

Belly used on the inside quarter/counter -- not great, but not uncommon for a shoe £200-£300
what happened to the old fart? he suddenly disappeared a few years ago.
 

walker

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Old fart?
medwards, owner of the burgundy shoe. he was a regular cleverley client and switched to G&G as soon as the appeared on the scene. he never got tired to explain that the G&Gs are superior while it was obviously visible they are not. strange at least ...
 

walker

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from what I have experienced. St. Crispins tend to have a flimsy construction, unfortunately. actually doesn't matter when you are a dwarf, anyway. besides sarto most people have had good experience with Carmina so far. I rate them rather high as some other makers from spain.

http://www.styleforum.net/t/446599/good-article-on-shoes

I was browsing around the interwebs and came across this article from Parisian Gentleman on what to look for in good shoes. See here:
http://parisiangentleman.co.uk/academy/4-things-to-look-for-in-a-good-pair-of-mens-shoes/

I have bought my share of footwear, and more so in the last few years as we are fortunate enough to have a lot of new options come online and in-store in US/ Canada. That said, since but five years ago I don't think there was a range of good, high quality shoes in an "attainable" price range ($500 to $1,000) that had wide distribution. Now Carmina, Scarosso, Left Shoe Company - and of course J. Fitzpatrick's line are all out -- and worth talking about as good quality, wearable alternatives to Lobb, G&G and Berluti. I'm not saying they are as good quality, but it is my sense that there is now a range of good quality shoes that are great value (not cheap, but not $2,000).
That doesn't mean Carmina is Saint Crispin's, but it my sense they are both worth talking about as quality products.

Except I don't actually know that, which is where the article above comes in. Do those here on the SF that know more about shoes than me (that should be most of you...) agree with it? Disagree? What else do I need to know or am missing if I'm going looking for my next pair of dress-kicks?

the article: tldr
 

walker

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decisions ...

#3085 - http://www.styleforum.net/t/257353/st-crispins-appreciation-thread/3075#post_7599112

I feel like a nit picky asshole asking this, but I'm buying a pair of 524 chukkas in dark brown Inca and am wondering what kind of double sole I should get. I think 10mm and 12mm are the options. Anyone have an opinion on whether one is better than the other?

FWIW, I know I don't want HAF or single soles, so it's just between the 10mm and 12mm double. Can't seem to find examples of these two online, so it's hard for me to imagine what either will look like on a chukka.
__________________________________________

his self evaluation is not completely wrong. generally speaking a good shoemaker is aware of the proportions of a certain model and should know what to do ...

personally, I doubt that a simple picture can make the difference that visible. it can look off, though.

imagination is not the strength of the average i-gent. shrug.
 

walker

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Can you point to me what was wrong with that job?
where to start??? actually the poor fit is a bigger concern, anyway.

dude pretends to know everything about shoe care. on the other hand he is a whining bitch how difficult it is. seriously? most of the time he only takes care of the toe(cap) and let the rest of the shoe sit in misery. you can teach a monkey to do a spit shine toe. this sums up my definition of wrong.
 

walker

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I wonder why he is going for a resole? normally these soles can take a lot ...

#1794 - http://www.styleforum.net/t/337243/john-lobb-appreciation-thread/1785#post_7548993

I need to replace some old rubber soles on a pair of Williams. Type SAR. I'd like to use them during the autumn/winter, which means they need to handle rain and some snow (located in Norway). The shoes are in good condition, but pre-owned. Therefore, I would not like to spend a fortune replacing the soles. Any suggestions?
________________________________________________

not much help from his fellow forumites until now ...
 

Thruth

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back to SC. on top of all they replaced the inner lining. tbh, never heard of this before. quite bizarre, imo. the fit is still bad, though.
I read he opted for a thicker insole too, no? Or was that someone else. Could they not during refurbishment relast the shoe to a different size/width?
 

walker

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I read he opted for a thicker insole too, no? Or was that someone else. Could they not during refurbishment relast the shoe to a different size/width?
maybe. he wants to forego the sockliner for some irrational reason.

understood, back in the days I spent some time exchanging pms' on the matter of a good fit and his issues. he is totally resistant to advice and his head is full of weirdness. thats the result what he was capable to accomplish himself. deplorable, imo. nvm.

I assume he is shilling for Leffot, B. Nelson and glen karen. most of the igents do not crossread. so whatever he tells them, they won't question it. crazy world. no one is really hurt, though.
 

Thruth

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maybe. he wants to forego the sockliner for some irrational reason.

understood, back in the days I spent some time exchanging pms' on the matter of a good fit and his issues. he is totally resistant to advice and his head is full of weirdness. thats the result what he was capable to accomplish himself. deplorable, imo. nvm.

I assume he is shilling for Leffot, B. Nelson and glen karen. most of the igents do not crossread. so whatever he tells them, they won't question it. crazy world. no one is really hurt, though.
disconcerting. Both the inability to recognize a poor fit & the possible shilling
 

Thruth

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imo, its frightening and irritating that such a behaviour is tolerated and acknowledged.
Well if he is shilling it is low on the radar.

Surprised no one asks him about his roly-poly shoe creases. Worse yet, I am sure he got fitted at Leffot. Makes me wonder about their abilities. It is fairly simple to get in the ballpark with SC. Same sizing as EG. Of course one may need to play around a bit. Unless he ordered directly from PC at SC. Still, looks like due diligence was not done wrt sizing. Plus he thinks there is nothing wrong.
 

walker

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Well if he is shilling it is low on the radar.

Surprised no one asks him about his roly-poly shoe creases. Worse yet, I am sure he got fitted at Leffot. Makes me wonder about their abilities. It is fairly simple to get in the ballpark with SC. Same sizing as EG. Of course one may need to play around a bit. Unless he ordered directly from PC at SC. Still, looks like due diligence was not done wrt sizing. Plus he thinks there is nothing wrong.
low? well, this pair has been ordered during the trunk show at Leffot, where he was fitted by Phillip Car - the manager of Saint Crispin's.

I wouldn't let this guy "be" an ambassodor for my brand. this makes no sense?
 
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Thruth

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Walker can correct me if I'm wrong but yes The amount and location of creasing especially with a captoe.
 

walker

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Walker can correct me if I'm wrong but yes The amount and location of creasing especially with a captoe.
well, the thing is. I told him not to go with a wholecut and not with a cap toe. the result was not surprising to me. both features do not work with the shape of his feet as he described it to me. he is resitant to advice - fact.
 

walker

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decisions ...

#3085 - http://www.styleforum.net/t/257353/st-crispins-appreciation-thread/3075#post_7599112

I feel like a nit picky asshole asking this, but I'm buying a pair of 524 chukkas in dark brown Inca and am wondering what kind of double sole I should get. I think 10mm and 12mm are the options. Anyone have an opinion on whether one is better than the other?

FWIW, I know I don't want HAF or single soles, so it's just between the 10mm and 12mm double. Can't seem to find examples of these two online, so it's hard for me to imagine what either will look like on a chukka.
__________________________________________

his self evaluation is not completely wrong. generally speaking a good shoemaker is aware of the proportions of a certain model and should know what to do ...

personally, I doubt that a simple picture can make the difference that visible. it can look off, though.

imagination is not the strength of the average i-gent. shrug.
wtf, this reply is just ridiculous and demonstrates the lack of knowledge regarding traditional shoemaking. imo, he should stick with selling luxury items and leave the shoe business to people in the know.

#3087 - http://www.styleforum.net/t/257353/st-crispins-appreciation-thread/3075#post_7601072

Derek, I have a 10MM Goyo on my chukka and I think it's perfect. To me, 12MM should really be reserved for shitkickers. For instance, JB's cordovan boots look nice with the 12MM - they are pretty thick. I don't think we have an example of a 12 in the store or else I'd take a pic for you.
____________________________________

just for his information - sole leather is usually 3 - 5 mm thick this equates into this "formula"

4 - 6 mm - single
8 - 10 mm - 1,5
12 - 15 mm double
 

walker

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experts at play

#13694 - http://www.styleforum.net/t/236162/gaziano-girling-appreciation-shoe-appreciation-theard/13680#post_7600840

Namor - correct me if im wrong but double leather outsoles arent beveled.

Jubei - That is also my understanding, that is why the HAF sole option is available. Even still, the beveled waist is less evident on the HAF sole models I have. Maybe it's more difficult to do on a double sole...
_____________________________________________________

Namor is right. its tacky nuff said.

poor jubei - doing a beveled waist is a manual task and not a particular shoemaking task. a carpenter or any other woodworker comes to mind. actually there is a machine for it and its finished by hand then. every person, who knows how to use a rasp can do it. you could probably teach a monkey to do it. even I can do it and my manual skills are closer to Tim Allen than to Otto Bartkiewicz.
 
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