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Thread: blake mckay shoes: probably blake stitched with a mckay machine, right?

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    blake mckay shoes: probably blake stitched with a mckay machine, right?

    This is an answer to one of those questions that nobody asked, but I just saw a linked review of DSW's Blake McKay double monk that speculated that it was probably glued instead of welted.

    I've not seen the shoes in person, but the name suggests that DSW is probably pushing it as their Blake-stitched line. For those who aren't in the know, Blake stitching is a way of attaching the sole that isn't as awesome as Goodyear welting, but still much better than gluing. Goodyear welting is very time-consuming and thus expensive, but allows the shoe to be resoled many times by most cobblers, usually for around 100USD. Blake stitching is another way of sewing the sole to a shoe: it uses a machine to sew through the insole (so you'd look inside, maybe under a lining to see the stitches), so it's faster and thus cheaper, probably less waterproof (but why are you wearing leather soles in the rain?), often allows sleeker designs, and still allows the shoe to be resoled more than zero times (but not infinitely, because machines tend to make new holes instead of sewing through existing ones); you just need to find a cobbler or internet service that has a Blake (aka McKay) shoe stitching machine. It's cheaper, so more likely than Goodyear welting to be found at a lower pricepoint, but it's also the preferred soling method for a lot of sleeker Italian shoes, even luxury brands. Weirdly, a lot of manufacturers that use Blake stitching have started adding fake (non-functional) Goodyear-like stitching on the top of the outsole to make the shoe look like it uses Goodyear welt; I'm not sure whether that's intentional deception or legit fashion (like non-functioning sleeve buttons on blazers), but it's a thing to be aware of, and a likely story when you find a shoe that has actual thread on the bottom, but for some reason doesn't look quite Goodyear welted.

    Anyway, in case you were wondering, it's not just welted vs. glued. FYI.

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    That's really interesting. Thanks!

    Googling "McKay stitching machine" led me to following article, which describes the machine but also the history behind it (need for mass-produced footwear for soldiers during the Civil War):

    http://www.ct-williams.com/blog/2017...tching-machine

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    Most of the shoes in the Blake McKay collection are about $100. I'm not sure how they can do a quality Blake stitched shoe for $100.

    And boy--on the T4i Oxford model, they sure go out of the way to make it look like it's Goodyear welted--have a look at the sole as well as the stitching where the upper meets the sole.

    https://www.dsw.com/en/us/product/bl...ctiveColor=001

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    Quote Originally Posted by mebejoseph View Post
    Most of the shoes in the Blake McKay collection are about $100. I'm not sure how they can do a quality Blake stitched shoe for $100.

    And boy--on the T4i Oxford model, they sure go out of the way to make it look like it's Goodyear welted--have a look at the sole as well as the stitching where the upper meets the sole.

    https://www.dsw.com/en/us/product/bl...ctiveColor=001
    I can't see the stitiching on the top where the upper meets the sole. Maybe I need a higher resolution monitor.

    Also, the shot of the bottom of the shoe...the stitching looks to be too far from the edge of the sole, compared to my Goodyear Welted shoes. That's usually the giveaway to me, when I look at shoes with those stitches at th bottom.

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    Their TI series seems to be Blake stitched, but none of the others. Or at least, they mention it for the TI, and notably don't on any other collection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spex View Post
    I can't see the stitiching on the top where the upper meets the sole. Maybe I need a higher resolution monitor.

    Also, the shot of the bottom of the shoe...the stitching looks to be too far from the edge of the sole, compared to my Goodyear Welted shoes. That's usually the giveaway to me, when I look at shoes with those stitches at th bottom.
    My bad. The stitching on the top is this shoe:

    https://www.dsw.com/en/us/product/bl...ctiveColor=230

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    I have a pair of those double monks and they're not bad, but they're made in China and glued. The blake stitched collection is made in Italy.

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    This post, from r/goodyearwelt, provides a useful guide to identifying a Blake stitch disguised as a Goodyear welt, using a pair of Brooks Brothers derbies as a model specimen. Like the T9 Cap Toe mentioned above, it has a faux-Goodyear welt on top, and the sole shows Goodyear-like stitching that runs all the way back to heel (uncharacteristic for Blake) but is positioned too far from the edge. Removing the sockliner finally reveals the Blake stitching inside the shoe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by guppy View Post
    This post, from r/goodyearwelt, provides a useful guide to identifying a Blake stitch disguised as a Goodyear welt, using a pair of Brooks Brothers derbies as a model specimen. Like the T9 Cap Toe mentioned above, it has a faux-Goodyear welt on top, and the sole shows Goodyear-like stitching that runs all the way back to heel (uncharacteristic for Blake) but is positioned too far from the edge. Removing the sockliner finally reveals the Blake stitching inside the shoe.
    That was awesome

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