The Ultimate Shoe Upgrade

Male fashion youtubers who are at the top of their game

| James Arthur

Questions that trouble both shoe enthusiasts and novices to a great extent, are usually related to the quality of the shoe. Sometimes with words like ‘genuine’ and ‘airbrushed’, it gets really difficult to know if you’re buying the real deal or not.

So, are you really buying good quality luxury shoes or are you just being fooled by misleading tags. Here are 5 ways shoemakers are fooling you with mediocre standard and expensive rates:


# 1 Glued on soles


The shoe sole should be properly adhered to the base of the shoe. Glued on sole is a huge mark of cheap manufacturing. Good quality shoes will have their soles (most often leather) stitched.

Shoes predominantly have two kinds of stitching : Blake and Goodyear. While Blake is interior stitching and not easily visible, Goodyear usually means double stitching either by hand or by a machine and is easily visible. If the stitching is not mentioned in the shoe description, it is possible the soles are pasted on with some shoe adhesive.


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Cons of glued on soles:

  • Stitched on soles are better resistant to water than glued ones.
  • Resoling is a difficult process and it is most likely that you’d have to buy a new pair.

# 2 Cheap Leather


Too much lusture is not always a good thing and can lead you stranded in a ditch. Shoes made from Polysynthetic leather are really good at giving off a great shine but lack durability.


When buying expensive leather shoes, always look out for words like synthetic, PU, genuine and recycled as these worlds are misleading and not the quality leather you were promised.

While buying shoes it’s always best to ask if the leather is top grain or full grain, shoes with these tags, unmistakably are one of the best quality leathers money can buy.


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Cons of buying cheap leather:

  • Cheap leather will crack,leave multiple creases and peel off from pressure areas.
  • Less durable and not resistant to water.

# 3 Rubber soles


Whatever the sales person says, quality leather shoes will never have rubber soles. At the first glance, rubber soles might seem comfortable and we agree, leather soles require some time to become flexible. But the durability of rubber soles is quite low and they seem to look cheap, while leather after a frequent wear, softens, becomes more comfortable and will last double the duration of your rubber soles.

Leather shoes with a leather sole is a must, but make sure that they have a good arch support.


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Cons of rubber soles:

  • Leather sole will mold to your feet’s shape over time but rubber sole will remain rigid.
  • Looks chunky and may crack easily.

# 4 Not enough cork


It is very difficult to find dress shoes that are actually very comfortable. Cheap shoes have a habit of ending you up with intense heel pain, while expensive ones, even after a long day's wear will leave you mildly inconvenienced.

The main reason behind extended comfort throughout the day is a cork footbed. A cork footbed is generally added in the middle sole to provide comfort even during long days.

Some cobblers don’t add enough cork to the middle sole, hence compromising on ease and comfort of the shoe.


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Cons of thin/absent cork footbed:

  • Non padded footbed leads to foot sores and heel pain.
  • Cork filling acts as an insulator in the cold weather; with its absence, winters can get unbearable.

# 5 Synthetic lining


Another distinctive feature of cheap leather shoes is their inner lining. Poor quality shoes will have lining made from synthetic material, mostly polyurethane. No expense is spared with shoes that have their inner lining made from high quality calfskin or natural leather. It is always better to ask if the inner material is natural or not.


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Cons of synthetic inner lining:

  • Because of polyurethane, synthetic leather is bad at odour absorption and hence can promote bacterial growth and foul odour.
  • It fails to maintain shoe shape.

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