11 . 1 . 2022
What makes for a good pair of quality shoes? Is it mainly the materials used? The construction system applied? The design alone, maybe? Or does the brand by itself ultimately tip the balance?
Acquiring a pair of luxury quality shoes is never an impulse buy. They are meant to last. And although it is possible to find many brands that make fine quality shoes, the price tag attached is seldom reasonable.
At Carlos Santos, we believe quality shoes are a product of detail and passion.
In the end, it all matters to our customers:
Quality shoes should make you feel comfortable. They should adapt not only to your feet to many occasions as well. They should resist the effects of time but maintain their aesthetic appeal throughout the years.
In this blog post, we will share with you our thoughts on what makes a good pair of quality shoes, so you can also be better informed on the subject.
So read along, and then feel free to share your thoughts with us. Let’s begin with the construction system.
There can be a lot of confusion when it comes to understanding how the process of constructing quality shoes is made. This happens for two main reasons.
First, there may be a lack of knowledge concerning the subject from retail salesmen and women. This is particularly true in big retail stores, where many brands and models are made available to the public.
There are exceptions, but the fact remains. Parallel to this, we must account for the inexperience of new enthusiasts, which can lead to the belief that their newly acquired pair of quality shoes may actually be less than what was expected.
After all, we have all been there. It is a part of the process, right?
Footwear construction is dependent on a number of constructing systems used worldwide. These include the Goodyear Welted construction system and the Blake Stich, but also the Norvegese or the Veldtschoen.
At Carlos Santos, our quality shoes are constructed according to the Goodyear Welted construction system and the Blake Stich construction system.
Below, we will briefly explain each of these construction systems, as well as share a glimpse of our Handgrade line collection.
Quality shoes built according to the Goodyear Welted construction systems are more expensive than those mass-produced by automated machinery.
This is one of the oldest construction systems in existence: a very labor-intensive process invented in 1869 by Charles Goodyear Jr.
The “welt” is essentially a leather strip that is stitched around the perimeter of the shoe, between the insole and the outsole. This gives quality shoes two benefits. First, they become more resistant and waterproof.
But the major benefit is comfortability.
The “welt” put between the two layers creates a void between them that needs to be filled. At Carlos Santos, this space is occupied with cork, which adapts to your feet even after years of wearing.
Like most high-end shoe construction, so too does the Blake Stich Construction System use a “welt”. However, there’s a difference when compared to the Goodyear Welted Construction System.
In this case, the “welt” is stitched to the insole using a unified stitch pattern (the Blake Stitch) that then holds it all together with the upper. However, this does not diminish the quality of the shoe by any means. Instead, it removes sturdiness and makes it more breathable.
Blake stitched footwear is known for its elegance and slimmed lines, with many followers around the world, particularly in Italy.
Handgrade quality shoes receive an extra layer of finishing touches.
These are handcrafted and are the result of the experienced Portuguese artisanship in shoemaking.
Furthermore, the material used for their making is more exclusive and carefully chosen. The outcome is pair of quality shoes that adjusts better to the feet and is more resistant.
The finishing touches applied also offer them a unique characteristic: like wine, quality shoes should age well, building a natural patina unlike any other.
Only after choosing the construction system and the materials to be used do we arrive at the production line of quality shoes. This is also where the concept of handcrafted gains prominence.
Handcrafted means some machinery is used to craft a pair of quality shoes. However, these machines are somewhat old, which is why “handcraft” and “handmade” are often seen as synonyms.
At the Carlos Santos production line, some parts of the process are handcrafted, while others require the use of special machinery. However, it is important to underline that to be ‘handcrafted’ means no automation processes are used.
Experienced artisan hands are present every step of the way. From the moment the leather is first cut, until the finishing touches are applied, more than 200 manual operations go into every pair of Carlos Santos quality shoes.
The benefits of this dedication to detail and passion, are then yours to enjoy.
There really is no need to be an enthusiast to benefit from quality shoes. Even someone who has bought from the mass-produced market their entire life will immediately understand that the investment more than justifies.
Just a few steps are enough to appreciate the adaptability, comfort, and resistance of a good pair of quality shoes.
Quality shoes boast many advantages, with adaptability – or adjustability – to be one of their main benefits.
Since materials used for their production are of the utmost quality, they simply adjust better to your feet. Take the cork used with the Goodyear Welted construction system, for example: the more you wear them, the more they adapt to you.
As they adapt to you, the more comfortable you will feel with a pair of Carlos Santos quality shoes. These are handcrafted with acute attention to detail that will not only look good but feel good.
When everything described in this article comes together in a pair of quality shoes for men, you can be sure they will last for a long, long time.
Therefore, we spend many hours thinking of how we can improve on these unique gems. What you find today at our online store is the end result of decades of history, pride, and dedication. We hope you enjoy our quality shoes as much as we enjoy designing them.