• Follow us


Men's Quality Dress Shoe Construction Explained - Ultimate Man's Guide

Men's dress shoe construction. We all wear dress shoes but have you ever wondered what's inside them?

What's the difference between cheap and expensive men's dress shoes? What makes a quality dress shoe?

Goodyear Welt, Blake Stitch, Cemented Soles. We hear these terms all the time. Are they just buzzwords? Is a $500 shoe a sure sign of quality?

Enough's enough! It's time to find out.

In today's article, we take a detailed look at men's dress shoe construction. I cut a men's dress shoe in half with a TABLE SAW and show you what's inside.

Gentlemen, this is men's dress shoe construction explained – the RMRS way!

Click Here To Watch The Video – Men's Dress Shoe Construction Explained – What's Inside Cheap Dress Shoes?

1. Men's Dress Shoe Construction Explained

Ever wondered what the difference between a quality men's dress shoe and a cheap men's dress shoe is?

Take a look at the images below. The first shoes a quality men's dress shoe and the image below that shows you the anatomy of a cheaper shoe with a cemented sole.

Quality Men's Dress Shoe Construction

Men's Dress Shoe Construction – click to check out quality handcrafted shoes by Ace Marks.

And now for the cheap men's dress shoe construction.

cheap shoe construction full infographic

Cheap Men's Dress Shoe Construction. Note the plastic stiffener and cemented construction method.

Before I dive into the anatomy of a dress shoe, I will help you understand the individual components which make up quality men's dress shoe construction.

By the end of this article, you will know how to spot quality men's dress shoes and the difference between cemented soles, Blake Stitch and Goodyear Welt.

Oh – the beautiful dress shoe (it's a Wholecut by the way) I use in today's video is Ace Marks. If you're an RMRS regular, you know I've worked with Ace Marks for a long time. I love their handcrafted Italian dress shoes and I know you will too.

dress shoe construction men

Ace Marks make luxury accessible with their quality men's Italian Dress Shoes.

1. Men's Dress Shoe Terminology – Shoes 101 Men's Dress Shoes – The Upper

The Dress Shoe Upper refers to everything above the dress shoe's sole. The Upper is the part of the dress shoe which covers your toes, the top and sides of your foot. It is attached to the shoe's sole by cement (glue) or stitches depending on the quality of the shoe – we'll come to that in a moment.

The Dress Shoe Upper is commonly constructed from Leather, Suede or Canvas. Depending on the style of the shoe, the Upper is constructed from one piece of leather (known as a Wholecut) or multiple pieces stitched together (for example – Oxford, Derby or Brogue men's shoes).

Men's Dress Shoes – The Insole

The Insole is what you see when you look into the shoe and is what your foot makes contact with inside the shoe. The Insole is usually made from leather and extends from the toe of the shoe to the heel.

Men's Dress Shoes – The Outsole

Turn your shoe upside down – that's the Outsole.

The Outsole is the bottommost layer of your shoe and makes contact with the ground when you stand or walk. It is not to be confused with the Upper.

Outsoles are made from leather or synthetic materials like rubber, depending on the type and quality of shoe.

Men's Dress Shoes – The Welt

What is a welt in a shoe? A men's dress shoe welt is the subject of much confusion.

Only certain types of dress shoe use a welt.

A welt is a strip of leather which is stitched to the top of the Outsole and runs around the shoe's perimeter  – think of it as a leather race track. The Dress Shoe Upper is stitched to the welt.


The welt is around 3 CM wide and forms a cavity which is filled with a cork material.

Welted dress shoes are more expensive to manufacture than those mass produced by automated machinery with molded or cemented soles.

Men's Dress Shoes – The Last

A Last is a three-dimensional model of a foot. It is used in design to create the shape of the shoe and to maintain the form and keep stability during construction.

The Last is also used by shoemakers when repairing dress shoes.

Now let's take a more detailed look at dress shoe construction. We begin with the least expensive type of dress shoe construction and end with the most expensive.

1. Men's Dress Shoe Construction – Cemented Soles

Men's Dress Shoe Construction – Cemented Sole

Cemented Sole Construction Method:

Cemented soles are also known as bonded soles or glued soles (or “stuck on construction” in the UK).

After the upper is shaped around the Last, the sole is attached with an adhesive – commonly known as cement. Think of it as an extra strong glue – made to withstand friction and heat.

This dress shoe construction method does not use a welt.

Cementing is best when used with a rubber sole. Shoes such as sneakers, chukkas, and bucks employ this method of shoe construction.

Cemented Sole Construction Advantages:

Cementing is quick and inexpensive meaning cemented dress shoes are priced more aggressively their Blake Stitch and Goodyear Welt cousins. Cementing is great for certain types of shoe.

Cemented Sole Construction Disadvantages:

The speed of attaching the sole via cementing can negatively affect the permanence of the bond to the sole. You can not repair a cemented sole once the sole starts to detach. If this happens, it must be replaced.

While we're talking about dress shoes – check out my video: 3 Amazing Dress Shoes That SCREAM For Attention (and not because I'm sawing them in half this time!).

3. Men's Dress Shoe Construction – Blake Stitch

Men's Dress Shoe Construction – Blake Stitch

Blake Stitch Method:

The Blake Stitch method is a huge step up in quality from the cemented method. Instead of glue or cement, it involves stitching the upper to the sole.

Italian dress shoe manufactures used Blake Stitching because it enables them to create a very sleek-looking dress shoe of high quality.

Blake Stitch Advantages:

Blake Stitching is less expensive and just as durable as the Goodyear Welt.

Some men find Blake Stitching advantageous for the following reasons:

They find Blake Stitching more comfortable than the Goodyear Welt – which we come to next.

They prefer the look of a Blake Stitch sole. Due to the absence of exterior stitching, The Blake Stitch enables shoes to have a closer-cut sole, meaning the body of the Outsole can be cut closer to the upper.

Finally, it's Blake Stitching is flexible which is beneficial for movement, comfort, and durability.

Blake Stitch Disadvantages:

The Blake Stitch sole has fewer layers than the Goodyear Welt which reduces water resistance (although depending on the types of material used this issue can be remedied).

Depending on your cobbler, resoling can be difficult because a specific Blake machine is needed to do so – but if your cobbler is skilled, this is an easy process.

Do you like FREE stuff? Thought so! We've just updated the RMRS Ultimate Men's Guide eBooks. Click to check out Ultimate Guide To Men's Dress Shoes. (Did I mention that it's free?)

3. Men's Dress Shoe Construction – Goodyear Welt Dress Shoe Construction - Goodyear Welt

Men's Dress Shoe Construction – Goodyear Welt

Goodyear Welt Method:

A shoemaker uses a Last to shape the upper and fasten it by sewing a leather, linen or synthetic strip (“welt”) to the inner and upper sole.

The dress shoe's sole is attached to the welt by a rapid stitch and a high strength adhesive like contact cement or Hide glue is used to attach the sole to the welt.

Click Here To Watch The Video – Men's Quality Dress Shoe Construction – What's Inside $500 Shoes?

Goodyear Welt Advantages:

The Goodyear Welt is relatively waterproof and minimizes water penetration into the Insole.

Resoling is simple if the upper remains viable and Goodyear Welts have been characterized as the most durable (although a Blake Stitch is just as durable).

Additionally, the shoe welt forms a cavity that filled with cork which can make a good mold for your foot after years of wear.

Goodyear Welt Disadvantages:

Welted shoes are more expensive to manufacture than those produced by automated machinery. Some gentlemen find the interior stitching less comfortable than the Blake Stitch method of shoe construction.

mens dress shoe guide

Like FREE stuff? Check out our updated Ultimate Men's Guide eBook series – including The Ultimate Guide To Dress Shoes!

Men's Dress Shoe Construction Explained – Summary

So which dress shoe construction method is best?

There's no simple answer to that question. Each construction method has its advantages and disadvantages.

If you're looking for a quality men's dress shoe which will last you year after year, go for a Blake Stitch or Goodyear Welt. But a cemented shoe will do the job for a year or so and you'll save money initially.

Understanding shoe construction helps you make an educated decision when you come to buy a pair of men's dress shoes – ultimately this decision rests with you and depends on your circumstances.

Whatever type of construction you choose, make sure you know how to clean, condition & polish your dress shoes and build this into your daily routine. Even the most expensive shoes won't last if you don't look after them properly.

I've shown you the anatomy of a men's quality dress shoe and now you understand the differences in quality shoe construction.

But maybe you're starting out and you don't know the difference between a Chelsea Boot and a Chukka; an Oxford and a Derby. Or a Brogue and a Double Monk Strap.

It can be confusing. But don't worry, I've got you covered with this article – everything you need to know about men's dress shoes –  The First 5 Dress Shoes Every Man Should Buy.

Read More

Leave A Comment

More News

Real Men Real Style

10 Signs You’ll Be Successful (Do YOU Have 2019-03-07 07:55:42The post 10 Signs You’ll Be Successful (Do YOU Have Them?) appeared first on Real Men Real Style. Related posts:Dressing Sharp When NO ONE Else

Dining Etiquette Rules EVERY Man Must Know – 2019-03-03 07:55:59The post Dining Etiquette Rules EVERY Man Must Know – How To Have Good Table Manners appeared first on Real Men Real Style. Related posts:How T

Men’s Colognes That Will Make You More 2019-03-02 07:55:18The post Men’s Colognes That Will Make You More Confident appeared first on Real Men Real Style. Related posts:What’s In My Dopp Kit? |

Style More Important Than Education? Law Of Diminishing 2019-02-28 07:55:24The post Style More Important Than Education? Law Of Diminishing Returns & Men’s Fashion appeared first on Real Men Real Style. Related pos

English Vs Italian Style – Who Wins? 2019-02-26 07:55:43The post English Vs Italian Style – Who Wins? appeared first on Real Men Real Style. Related posts:Harvey Specter Suits Seduce With Style | Se

These 9 Secrets Will Make You A Style 2019-02-24 07:55:36The post These 9 Secrets Will Make You A Style EXPERT appeared first on Real Men Real Style. Related posts:11 Tips to Buying Quality Luggage | How T

10 Side Effects Of Looking Good – DANGERS 2019-02-23 07:55:37The post 10 Side Effects Of Looking Good – DANGERS Of Dressing Sharp appeared first on Real Men Real Style. Related posts:5 Ways To Feel Confid

11 Men’s Success Principles You Can Master TODAY (Easy & Powerful!) 2019-02-21 07:55:36The post 11 Men’s Success Principles You Can Master TODAY (Easy & Powerful!) appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

Bad Cell Phone Etiquette? Modern Man’s Manners Guide 2019-02-19 07:55:19The post Bad Cell Phone Etiquette? Modern Man’s Manners Guide appeared first on Real Men Real Style. Related posts:A Smile That Attracts Women?

Men’s Quality Dress Shoe Construction Explained – Ultimate 2019-02-17 07:55:06The post Men’s Quality Dress Shoe Construction Explained – Ultimate Man’s Guide appeared first on Real Men Real Style. Related post

The Devil Is In The Details: 30 Finishing 2019-02-16 07:55:07The post The Devil Is In The Details: 30 Finishing Touches To Look Sharp appeared first on Real Men Real Style. Related posts:Match Shirts & Neck

The Style Pyramid | Fit, Fabric, and Function 2019-02-14 07:55:27The post The Style Pyramid | Fit, Fabric, and Function appeared first on Real Men Real Style. Related posts:How a Suit Should Fit | Buy a Proper Fitt


Rolls-Royce's Phantom Tranquility celebrates the celestial with a 2019-03-07 05:46:20Rolls-Royce is finding inspiration in the stars for its latest limited edition and we're not just talking about their trademark fiber-optic headliner

Tesla's new V3 Supercharger can cut charging times 2019-03-07 04:04:25Tesla's Superchargers will soon be getting an upgrade that will let their cars charge faster than ever before. The new 1MW power cabinet will su

Land Rover introduces the latest version of its 2019-03-07 03:04:48Land Rover has debuted the latest version of its Range Rover Sentinel, an armored version of their flagship Autobiography SUV that is developed in-hou

Hook & Albert introduces its lightweight take on 2019-03-06 21:40:20Garment bags can be a bit of a hassle to travel with, but this new bag from Hook & Albert addresses that with a clever weekender that can hold up

Morgan's next-generation Plus Six is powered by the 2019-03-06 20:53:03Morgan is introducing its next-generation Plus Six for the 2020 model year and it will boast an all-new aluminum bonded platform and BMW's turbocharg

Persol revives the Key West 2019-03-06 18:30:33Persol's take on the Mad Men-era classic returns to its collection this year and we hope it never leaves again. This timeless gold and green lens col

G-Shock's new Gravitymaster features a carbon monocoque structure 2019-03-06 18:01:55Casio is taking a page from the supercar world with G-Shock's new Gravitymaster. The watch will feature carbon monocoque construction, which allows f

Harry's x Heyday's new Detoxifying Face Mask gives 2019-03-06 17:38:57If you haven't added a face mask to your skincare routine, it might be time to add that extra (yet easy) step. Harry's x Heyday have teamed up to cr

Salt Optics releases its Spring/Summer '19 collection 2019-03-06 08:35:58Salt Optics approaches its latest season with another collection of timeless silhouettes. On the sunglass side, Salt has two new aviators that ar

Breitling helps celebrate Bentley's centenary with a new 2019-03-06 07:57:15Breitling is helping commemorate Bentley's 100th anniversary with the limited edition Premier Bentley Centenary. Available in 18K red gold or stainle

Lagonda reveals its All-Terrain Concept 2019-03-05 22:14:16The production version of Lagonda's All-Terrain Concept is still a ways away, but this week the company offered up a better look at their plans with

Audi previews its upcoming Q4 e-tron 2019-03-05 21:01:45Audi's big reveal at this year's Geneva Motor Show is their next addition to their EV lineup, the Q4 e-tron. Shown here in its concept form, the com

The Good Men Project

Love in the Time of Social Media 2019-01-17 15:00:55How can a couple navigate social media? The post Love in the Time of Social Media appeared first on The Good Men Project.

Recipients of 20 International Men’s Day L.T. Henry 2019-01-17 14:30:23As disclosed by united states international men's day team. The post Recipients of 20 International Men’s Day L.T. Henry Awards appeared first

The Powerful Connection of Entrepreneurship and Spirituality 2019-01-17 14:00:51Entrepreneurial motivations including personal satisfaction are a basis of our spiritual sense of purpose. The post The Powerful Connection of Entre

Grief & Money Go Together Like Flies & 2019-01-17 13:30:51In other words, they don’t. The post Grief & Money Go Together Like Flies & Honey appeared first on The Good Men Project.

When Surrounded By Darkness, You Must Learn to 2019-01-17 13:00:00Confusing times can be tamed by the clarity you provide for others The post When Surrounded By Darkness, You Must Learn to Shine Your Light appeared f

Better Than Loved 2019-01-17 12:30:07Better than loved is the never-ending hug with your 7-year-old daughter at home, prompting her to say “Daddy, I never want this moment to end.&r

Find What You Love and You’ll Never Work 2019-01-17 12:00:20Don’t live a life avoiding or dreading work. Instead, find YOUR work. The post Find What You Love and You’ll Never Work a Day in Your Life

Darlene Gives Ben a Test on ‘Do not 2019-01-17 11:30:27Things don’t go as planned in ‘Do Not Shoot the Piano Teacher’ Last time on The Conners, DJ wasn’t feeling well so Dan decided

Here are 19 Ways to ‘Relationship’ Better in 2019-01-17 11:00:26While you're focusing on stepping up your game, make sure you don't leave your relationships behind. The post Here are 19 Ways to ‘Relationshi

You’re Not Apathetic, You’re Depressed 2019-01-17 10:30:35Depression has many faces: Could your apathy be one of them? The post You’re Not Apathetic, You’re Depressed appeared first on The Good Me

Are You a BLT Dude? 2019-01-17 10:00:57Why do some men think their job is to "help" at home? The post Are You a BLT Dude? appeared first on The Good Men Project.

Some Things I’ve Learned About Brave, Big Changes 2019-01-17 09:40:19Image courtesy of Pixabay Work life balance is a catchphrase that has kind of come and gone over time. Sure we strive to achieve it but for many of us


Omega Celebrates New York in its Latest Addition 2019-03-06 18:32:25In an edition of only 399 pieces, the Omega Seamaster Exclusive Boutique New York Limited Edition watch is a slim, sophisticated 39.5mm classic that p

August Upgrades Their Smart Security Doorbell with a 2019-03-06 18:00:43The battery-powered smart security doorbell from August monitors your home’s entry with a 1440p camera and streams the hi-resolution footage dir

Pour-Up & Stay Cool with this Big-Boy Mug 2019-03-06 17:35:58The 24-ounce Rambler Mug puts the power of a YETI in the palm of your hand. It’s made with 18/8 stainless steel and features double-wall va

Adidas Originals Has You Laced with Two New 2019-03-06 15:21:51Blending retro styling and classic materials with their modern Boost technology midsole, Adidas Originals now has two new colorways of its Nite Jogger

The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and 2019-03-05 15:27:29We hope that by now you’ve seen the Academy-Award winning rockclimbing documentary Free Solo. This book digs a bit deeper into the story of Yose

Filson’s Aberdeen Work Jacket is Ready for Spring 2019-03-05 15:22:02With the weather-resistant Aberdeen work jacket, Filson revives another American-made classic from the brand archives. This lightweight all-condition

Mercedes Rolls Out Convertible AMG GT R Roadster 2019-03-05 15:16:40Summer of 2020 will be pretty cool when you drop the top in your Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster. Powered by a four-liter AMG biturbo V8, it’s a 577

Leatherman Introduces Free Collection Multi-Tools 2019-03-05 14:19:25Effortless, one-handed operation is what makes Leatherman’s all-new Free collection so epic. These new multi-tools use a revolutionary magnetic

Mercedes Gives the AMG Treatment to its Redesigned 2019-03-04 18:46:18For 2021, Mercedes-Benz has created a performance-upgraded version of its mid-size GLE SUV. The forthcoming AMG GLE 53 will debut at the Geneva Motor

The Bajaboard Pantera is an Off-Road Electric Skateboard 2019-03-04 17:04:17We’ll say this: a helmet and a decent health insurance plan would both be great accessories to go with the Bajaboard Pantera. This all-terrain e

The Allman is Another Sweet EDC Knife from 2019-03-04 16:27:24The WESN Allman is a compact, lightweight EDC pocketknife with a locking 2.75” American-made SV35 steel flipper blade & a knurled tab for on

This is the World’s Most Advanced 72-Hour Emergency 2019-03-01 16:38:45Designed to sustain 2 people in any emergency, the Companion Kit from RINO Ready is touted as the world’s most advanced two person, 72-hour emer

Maxim - The Ultimate Guys

Alfa Romeo Debuts Luxurious Hybrid SUV Concept 2019-03-07 08:30:00Alfa Romeo launched their first crossover SUV just three years ago with the Stelvio. Now the luxury Italian automaker already has another in the pipel

Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival Performers Include Chance The 2019-03-06 17:00:47In Watkins Glen, New York, from August 16 - 18, 2019, Woodstock is making a comeback 50 years after the iconic 1969 event. The festival is titled

The V12-Powered Mercedes-AMG S65 'Final Edition' Ends an 2019-03-06 13:57:13Mercedes-AMG's line of flagship S-Class sedans is saying goodbye—or auf wiedersehen—to the V12 with the S65 "Final Edition."  Afte

Here's The Exclusive First Look at The Luxury 2019-03-06 13:33:25In a collaboration with the aptly-named boutique Sneaker, high-end footwear brand Oliver Cabell has created handsome new kicks inspired by E

This Is the Ultimate Bentley Continental GT in 2019-03-06 13:32:40Bentley Motors celebrates its 100th anniversary this year and as we'd hoped they've come out with a special limited edition version of the all-new C

The New Leatherman FREE Is the Ultimate Problem 2019-03-06 13:32:02The Leatherman Tool Group is not content. Their name has been synonymous with multitools for 35 years, but with the Leatherman FREE they decided it wa

Joe Rogan Explains Why Conor McGregor vs Donald 2019-03-06 13:28:27No one's seen much Conor McGregor since his ill-advised title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov in October, 2018. Regardless, the idea he might set up a

Hennessey Performance 'VelociRaptor' Ford Ranger Is An Off-Road 2019-03-06 11:37:09The 2019 Ford Ranger already out-hauls and out-torques everything it its class, but that wasn't enough for Hennessey Performance.  The Texas-bas

Halle Berry Debuts Massive New Back Tattoo In 2019-03-06 11:04:29When it comes to 52-year olds, Halle Berry is one of the sexiest out there, and just revealed an elaborate new tattoo running down the length of

Chicago's Top Chefs Battled For Pork Supremacy at 2019-03-06 10:16:29Presented by Cochon555 US Tour Five renowned Chicago chefs battled it out in a friendly competition for a cause at Cochon555 last weekend to celebrat

Koenigsegg Jesko Is the World's First 300 MPH 2019-03-06 07:00:00If you thought Koengisegg would never outdo its 280-mph Agera RS, aka the world's fastest car, think again.  The powermad Swedish automaker just

Kylie Jenner is Officially the World's Youngest 'Self-Made' 2019-03-05 17:56:28According to Forbes, makeup guru/reality TV star extraordinaire Kylie Jenner is officially the world's youngest billionaire at the ripe old age of 21

Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.