In this era of blogs, bloggers and bloggers who blog about blogs there is no excuse for being an uneducated consumer. The plethora of information available online is indeed staggering, but with so much knowledge at our disposal one would think that many of us would be at the top of our game. Ironically enough, I believe there is a misconception when it comes to shoe construction - that is, if a shoe is not Goodyear welted it is a piece of shit. This could not be further from the truth and, while a Goodyear welted shoe is something to look for in an expensive shoe purchase, let us not forget about the other methods used in making high quality shoes. With that being said, I'd like to briefly talk about Blake construction.
Ducal shoes sums up Blake construction as such:
"In the Blake construction the last is removed from the shoe; and the welt, the sole, the insole and the upper are sewn together using a single seam. The last in reintroduced and the workmanship continues with milling, grinding and dying of the soles and heels. The final result is an extremely comfortable and light shoe."
As with any construction, Goodyear and Blake alike, the quality of the construction depends on the factory producing the shoes. At the end of the day, you cannot tell how good a shoe's quality may or may not be solely based on the welt alone. All of that aside, I'd like to dispel any rumors or misconceptions that Goodyear welts are the be all end all when it comes to shoe construction. A high quality Blake constructed shoe will often be sleeker than it's Goodyear welted counterpart due to the simple fact that its stitching is of the interior variety, whereas a Goodyear welted shoe's stitching is visible on the outside of the shoe. It is my personal opinion that Blake construction improves the looks of more "formal" shoes, such as shortwings and double monks. Please refer to the incredibly nerdy diagrams below for more information.
[Diagrams courtesy of La Botte Web.]