Back in the day, shoemakers were solely responsible for each stage of the shoemaking process. Today, quality shoes are made using a nesting manufacturing process. This involves dividing tasks among several departments within the factory.
A quality men's shoe undergoes numerous stages of production before it is completed. The precise number of steps involved varies drastically, depending on the selected production method and the shoe manufacturer. It can take from 68 to 390 different steps. In the past shoemakers were responsible for the entire process, top to bottom.
Quality shoes are manufactured using a traditional nesting process
Today, specialized departments within the shoe factory handle the various stages of production. This method of division of labor is known as nesting. As soon as each division is done with its respective tasks, the men's shoe is sent on to the next step in the production process.
Generally speaking, the types of tasks—each of which is the responsibility of a single specialized department—are as follows: designing (sketches are drawn, shoes are designed, shoe lasts are prepared, and a punching tool is used), stamping (the pieces of leather needed to make the shoes are cut and/or stamped), sewing (the pieces composing the shaft are sewn together), die assembling (the shoes are assembled), and the shoe room (finishing touches are added and final quality controls are conducted). The links below will direct you to pages where the various steps are explained in greater detail, using Goodyear-welted shoes as an aexample
Shoemaking practices are steeped in tradition
All this being said, even the finest manufacturing process is not worth much if the materials being processed are insufficient in quality. Good leather is indispensable to making a premium shoe. Our predecessors were well aware of this, as a look back at shoe history reveals. In fact, shoes in general are deeply rooted in tradition. Most of the types of men's shoes on the market today hearken back to the 19th century, and their construction has hardly changed since that time. To a lesser extent, this also applies to reigning dress code. A shoe that is truly high in quality deserves to be treated with care. After all, quality shoes lend their wearer an elegant appearance and support fit by providing an ideal foot health. By regularly practicing careful shoe care, you will be sure to enjoy your shoes for many years to come.
A look into shoe history shows that some traditions continue to this day. In terms of their construction, classic types of men's shoes have hardly changed over the last 100 years. Premium leather remains to this day an important prerequisite for making premium men's shoes. When treated with the proper care, quality men's shoes can even improve in appearance over time. They promise a perfect fit, which elevates wearing comfort and contributes significantly towards maintaining healthy feet. The particular qualities of a given shoe, by the way, are largely determined by the production method used to create it.
An overview of shoemaking:
Designing entails sketching shoe models and shoe lasts. The resulting templates are crucial to the later stages of the shoe production process.Designing
The completed shoe is only as good as its last. Shoe lasts simulate the form of the human foot—with all of its idiosyncrasies—during shoemaking.Shoe Lasts
The pieces of leather required for shoemaking are cut out and marked during the stamping stage. This ensures against confusion later on when the pieces are stitched together.Stamping
During the sewing stage, leather pieces are stitched together. First the upper, then the lining. The shaft is reinforced with a toe cap and counter.Sewing
The core component of the shoemaking process. During the assembly stage, high-quality, Goodyear-welted men's shoes are made from a number of different materials.Assembling
Before shoes land on store shelves, they receive finishing touches in the shoe room. Here, shoe laces are threaded through, shoe polish is applied, and the shoes are polished to a high shine.Shoe Room