"There are only two factories in Vietnam – our Vietnamese-owned and managed partner factories – that can produce high-quality Goodyear shoes."
Goodyear Welted Shoes
Also known as Blake dress shoes, Classical shoes, Artisan shoes, hand-crafted and hand-coloured shoes, crust leather shoes & stitched soles.
Men’s dress shoes require style, elegance and comfort – as well as sturdiness and durability. That’s where the Goodyear welt comes in.
The Goodyear welt process is a traditional method used in the manufacturing of men's dress shoes. In this process, the upper part of the shoe is shaped over the last and attached by sewing a strip – or a welt – to the inner and upper sole. The welt can be made of leather, linen or synthetic material, such as plastic. A thread is used to hold the material firmly together.
This construction method takes its name from Charles Goodyear Jr, the inventor of the machine that mechanised the process in 1869.
Shoes constructed using the Goodyear process require a longer manufacturing time than those created through less sophisticated methods. They also require a factory with highly skilled operators who understand the process and can apply it to an elegant, high-end design.
Traditional methods applied by skilled artisans
Innolux’s Goodyear and Blake shoes are made in one of our two Vietnamese based factories. Each one employs 60-100 workers and uses traditional Italian methods to manufacture a variety of genuine leather classical dress shoes and men’s boots in variety of styles, including:
Lace up shoes – classical Oxfords, Derbies, hole cuts, chukka boots and desert boots
Slip ons - moccasins, loafers, monks, Chelsea boots and dealer boots
The broguing, zigzag cutting, tassels, and other details are all made by hand using traditional methods.
Our factories specialise in work with crust leather in a natural base colour that, after assembling, is hand-coloured and hand-finished by in-house artisans. (See how our technicians use the hand-colouring technique.)
Wholesalers and retailers can order shoes with their logos from our factory’s private label collection. The factory specialises in custom-made orders, starting with MOQs of 100 pairs.
Bringing high-quality European methods to Asia
Goodyear shoes were traditionally made in Italy, France, Spain and the UK. More recently, the Japanese had embraced their production as well. However, with the rising labor costs in both Europe and Japan, factories that produced Goodyear shoes using traditional methods have almost vanished. Production moved elsewhere, and over the last 10 years, the techniques and know-how were brought to Asia.
However, few in Asia can really make fine quality artisan shoes. There are only two factories in Vietnam – our Vietnamese-owned and managed partner factories that can produce high-quality Goodyear shoes. Both factories are equipped with machines imported from Italy. Most of the process is done using the same methods and techniques as used by traditional Italian shoe makers. Innolux is responsible for the development, last-making, hand-colouring and finishing.
The Benefits of Goodyear Construction
One key benefit of having a Goodyear welt construction is it allows the shoe to be resoled repeatedly, giving it a much longer lifespan than that of an average shoe – in some cases, for up to 20 years, providing the upper part of the shoe is well maintained.
Another benefit of the process is having a shoe that’s relatively water-resistant due to the welt-sole construction.
Some of the top-end brands that sell dress shoes created with the Goodyear welt process include Alden, Church, Crockett & Jones, Loake Shoes, and Wildsmith Shoes.