How Goodyear welted shoes are made

Making handmade luxury shoes

Crafting Goodyear welted shoes implies a very intricate process that requires only highly skilled artisans. This method originated centuries ago, gives Cambrillón Goodyear welted shoes exceptional strength, durability and comfort for your day to day life.

The Goodyear Welted process spans several production steps, each of them requiring several skills and experiences to carefully perform each of the 174 processes and 210 operations go into the making a pair of high-quality Goodyear Welted shoes.  

Pattern creation and cutting

At Cambrillón we have preserved the traditional process when it comes to creating our shoe patterns.

It all begins with sketching the model, a creative process that once finished, it’s time to “mask” the last. While doing so, we can obtain the inside and outside profiles of what the shoe will look like. The masking tape is then removed, flattened and overlaid to produce the ‘Mean Form’ – a representation of that last. Still seen today, this method has been used by Cambrillón’s pattern cutters for generations.

Once the patterns have been taken from the last, a prototype sample is made and test fitted. After any necessary adjustments to the patterns, a sample pair is produced. It is fundamental to ensure that the patterns fit correctly and that the upper adjusts fully on the last before starting our made to order production.

Customise your shoes, to the last detail

The essence of the Cambrillón Experience is to give our clients all the necessary tools so that they can design shoes, boots, or sneakers as unique as they are. This is possible since at Cambrillón, we have created a curated selection of models that meet the most demanding needs and expectations of the modern gentleman. The first step of the Cambrillón Experience is when our clients select their favourite model. Oxford, Derby, Monk strap, Loafers or Boots. They only have to choose the model that is the reflection of their style and personality and choose the colour of the materials, the type of sole, the decorations, etc. In just a few steps they will design to the last detail a pair of bespoke shoes, thanks to our online 3D configurator.

Once our client has designed to the last detail, a pair of bespoke shoes that is unique and exclusive to his style and personality, it’s time for our artisans to take over and begin with the process of crafting by hand, a pair of bespoke shoes of the best quality.

Clicking, Closing and Lasting

Clicking

Cutting shoe patterns by hand - Leather Clicking Cambrillon

Our Clickers are knowledgeable and highly skilled. One of their main responsibilities is to examine our box calf, full grain and suede for defects and to ensure these are not included in the shoes. An experienced Clicker through his job and passion, is responsible to maximize the usage whilst retaining the utmost quality of our bespoke handmade shoes.

Closing

Closing in handmade Goodyear welted shoes cambrillonClosing in handmade Goodyear welted shoes cambrillon

After the Clicking process, each part of the shoe is transferred to the Closing process. A process that involves many different operations such as, brogueing, raw edge staining, hand-sewing, machine stitching pre-prepared sections together to form the upper. A process that combines eye-to-hand techniques with an ability to use machinery and traditional tools.

Lasting

Cambrillon Lasting handmade shoes

Lasting at Cambrillón refers to ‘pulling the upper over the last’ process, thereby giving shape to the shoes. The last is the essence and soul of any bespoke handmade shoe. The upper of the shoe is tacked to the back of the last to ensure the back height is correct. It is then pulled over at the toe by the lasting machine, before being side lasted by hand.

The Goodyear welted process

The Goodyear-welted construction method ensures strength and reparability are always integral features of our footwear. The welt is a key element in the Goodyear-welted process. The bottoms of the shoes are filled with cork and the soles are then stitched to the welt. This method allows for the soles to be removed for repair without affecting the uppers. After the soles have been attached the shoes undergo a process called Edge Trimming, which rounds the soles to the shape of the last.

Welting

Cork filling

Trimming

The Finishing

The epitome of elegance, excellence and savoir-faire in the making of handmade bespoke shoes. After edge trimming, a process done free-hand, the soles and heels are stained and a special hot wax is applied to the edges to provide a waterproof seal and a good shine. The uppers of the shoes are then Burnished: a process where we hand polish the uppers to create the rich depth of colour in the leather. In some types of leathers, this process has to be repeated multiple times with the shoes being ‘mopped’ in between each colour coating. Burnishing is a process that takes time, care and attention and consists of varying the tones of the upper leather by gently burning (using friction) certain areas of the shoe. Different areas of the shoes are gently ‘Burnished’, giving a unique depth of colour and richness to our bespoke shoes

Hand painting

Burnishing

Patina

After 4 weeks of paying attention to the finer details and investing our artisan heritage, each pair of Cambrillón shoes undergo a scrutinised check for quality before they can be passed for lacing and boxing processes, right before being sent directly to your homes, worldwide.