CREATING THE SOLE
The cavity inside the rib on the insole is filled with soft cork. This traditional filling material provides underfoot cushioning and allows the impression of the foot to be made in the insole. Reinforcement, known as a “shank”, is also added to this cavity. This is positioned between the forepart, at the front of the shoe, and the area where the heel will sit (the “seat”). This reinforcement provides support to the arch of the foot and prevents distortion of the shoe in wear. (All Cheaney Shanks are wooden).
The more a Goodyear welted shoe is worn, the more comfortable it feels, as the leather insole adapts to the shape of the wearer’s foot.
The sole and welt are stitched together, the stitching passing through the top of the flattened welt, through the sole and comes out into a groove made in the sole. The stitch formed is a “lock stitch”. Two hot waxed threads come together and form a lock buried inside the fibres of the sole. As the surface of the sole takes the main force of wear, the position of this lock is important to the longevity of the shoe.
The final stage of making a pair of Cheaney shoes is carried out in the Shoe Room. Many of our styles feature the specialised bespoke shoemaking technique of hand burnishing. This gives an ‘antiqued’ look to the shoe and is achieved by applying coloured wax to a small mop and working it into specific areas of the leather upper. The friction of the mop on the leather creates the heat that results in this very special effect. It is a highly skilled handcraft, ensuring that every pair is unique for that truly bespoke shoemaking finish.