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It's all in the construction

See the seam?
See the seam?

I had a lovely conversation with a dear friend the other day and she pointed out something very important. Why is it that buying cheap shoes seems like a good idea at the time? Why do cheap shoes seem like a Modigliani painting? They look good from far away, but when you get up close there's something not quite right about them.

The difference between a high quality pair of shoes (side note: I'm not talking about designer shoes, per say. Lots of designer shoes aren't high quality, they're just cheap shoes with a designer label on them. I'm talking about well made, italian leather, hand stiched shoes) and a cheap pair of shoes is all in the construction. Bet you never thought about that! It makes no difference what the label says. Once the label goes on, a cheap pair of shoes is still a cheap pair of shoes. Just with a designer label.

High quality shoes are made from one continuous piece of material (ie: leather, suede) and wrapped around the sole and heel. Cheap shoes are made in pieces and stiched together, producing that unwanted seam on the instep of the shoes. That's the key to finding out how well your shoes are made. Do they have a seam somewhere? On the side, the heel? Or are they seam-free, guaranteeing a high quality product that wasn't machine made.

The reason that designer shoes are so expensive has more to do with label than quality, yes. But it's not just about the trademark red sole, or the gold wrapped logo. It's craftsmanship. So here's my challenge for you this week: Go into your treasure trove of shoes and take a look at them. Find your favorite pair. Never mind where you bought them, check them for seams. And next time you're shoe shopping, splurge a little and buy a high quality pair.


  • your friend 5 years ago

    well said, and so true. Keep on giving us all your insights into the never-ending world of shoe fashion.

  • AB 5 years ago

    Okay - you made me go into the closet and check my shoes. Some surprised me with seams and some surprised me without!

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