MADE TO LAST
It's all about collaboration. Percy Stride works with craftsmen all over the United Kingdom and beyond, sourcing the best patternmakers, leather merchants, and re-solers to name a few. But what's most important is that everything we provide from our footwear to our business cards tells a story and is built for purpose and with love.
‘Clicking’ or cutting is the first stage of making a pair of shoes. A ‘clicker’ cuts the individual parts that when assembled make up the shoe ‘upper’. Cutting can be undertaken by hand using a knife, or with a hydraulic press using steel cutting stencils. The art of clicking is to minimize leather waste and avoid leather flaws
The next stage occurs in the ‘closing room’ where the cut leather pieces are initially marked to show where the pieces join together and all pieces of leather are ‘skived’ to reduce leather thickness for sewing ease. The upper is now stitched together, eyelets inserted, raw edges strained and excess material trimmed away.
Lasts are wooden or plastic forms in the finished shoe shape and size. An insole or mid-sole is attached to the bottom of a last, and an upper is pulled over it to form the final shoe shape. The upper is then glued and stapled to the insole. The lasted upper is ready for a welt strip to be chain-stitched using a 'Goodyear Welting' machine.
The Goodyear Welt was invented in 1872 by Charles Goodyear. A welt is stitched around the lasted shoe leather and once in place, it's then filled with cork. The sole is then secured in place. Making Goodyear welted shoes incredibly easy to re sole and therefore the most ethical construction of footwear.
Sole and heel edges are trimmed perfectly smooth in the 'finishing' stage using a machine with a blade that revolves at 2,000 cycles per minute. Completed footwear is taken to the last slipping station where the lasts are removed and restored for the next shoe batch production.
In the shoe room, the final product is cleaned and polished, inspected for quality, and finishing touches like heel socks are applied. A final quality inspection is then made before the shoes are laced, wrapped in tissue paper, and placed into a box ready for dispatch to Percy Stride customers.
THE GOODYEAR WELT
Constructing a Goodyear welted shoe consists of running a lockstitch through the upper, insole, and welt. Another stitch is then used to attach the outsole. The double-stitch process is what makes the shoes durable, robust, and long-lasting, making the Goodyear Welted process the most reliable construction method for footwear.
Due to the welt creating a layer between the outsole and insole, a cobbler can easily remove and replace worn soles by quickly detaching certain parts instead of breaking the whole shoe; giving a Goodyear welted shoe a lifespan of over 20+ years.
A Goodyear welted construction also gives you quality waterproof protection too for all those wet and windy days.