There's lots of ways to make shoes
We're into traditional techniques that result in beautiful, comfortable shoes that last. We could nerd out on this stuff all day, but instead, here’s a short explanation of how our shoes are made.
Shoe Making Basics
The skill of shoe making is taking flat materials and creating a 3D product with a specific amount of volume to comfortably fit a foot.
Simplistically, a shoe is comprised of an upper, a midsole and a sole and there’s a choice of techniques available to a shoemaker as to how to attach the 3. The shape of a shoe is created by wrapping the top part that goes over your foot, the Upper, over a foot-shaped mould called a Last.
The measurements of the last are crucially important because they determine the fit of the shoe and the ability to get your foot in and out of a shoe.
The Kennedy Parker lasts are fit-refined and market tested and have proven themselves to a comfortable fit for most customers when worn at the correct size.
Goodyear welt is still considered a premium shoe construction method, a tradition dating back to the 1800s and a technique that our partner factory in India has specialised in for more than 30 years. A quality Goodyear welted shoe requires a process of more than 100 steps.
The Goodyear ‘Welt’ refers to the raised piece attached to the midsole. It allows the upper and midsole to be stitched together at the same time with a special stitcher, resulting in a firm hold which enables the shoe to last. The welt creates a cavity which is filled with cork that provides rebound underfoot, is lightweight and has natural anti-fungal properties, a handy detail in a shoe that’s worn for years.
The outersole is then stitched and glued to the midsole, which allows for resoling because the shoe can be unstitched and then stitched again. For those who like to keep their shoes for years instead of discarding them each season, this is The Business.
The end result is beautiful, with a signature welted band around the top of the sole, which frankly, we just find sexy.
The shoemaker takes the upper and the last and uses heat, cold, adhesive and pressure to apply the sole. Pretty simple, but it’s tried and true and allows to us to offer you a broader variety of great styles.
Every shoe has an air-blown EVA footbed, lined with fine leather for underfoot softness and moisture absorbency. A shank is placed inside the midsole underneath the arch, in order to supply support and flex in the right places and reduce foot fatigue.