Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Shoemaker's Story #07|About the manufacturing method

Blue over sample craftsman. The shoes are made by hand, from the pattern to the sewing and shoemaking. We also handle factory arrangements and material setup.

This series is a compilation of several notes I wrote in order to explain my work, namely making shoes, as clearly as possible.

<About the popular manufacturing method, cemented>

Hello, this is zucco from the blueover team.
Today I would like to talk about the manufacturing method of shoes.

What is the manufacturing method for shoes?

When I heard about the manufacturing method, I thought, ``What do you mean? ”There may be many of you who think that. There are many ways to sole a shoe, and each method has a name.

Cemented manufacturing method, Mackay manufacturing method, Goodyear manufacturing method, stitch down manufacturing method, vulcanized manufacturing method, opanke, moccasin, there are many. Broadly speaking, it can be divided into ``methods that sew the bottom'' and ``methods that do not sew the bottom.''

The majority of shoes are made using a method that does not sew the soles (here, cemented and vulcanized).

Today I would like to introduce a little about the cemented manufacturing method , which is the most popular manufacturing method.

Cemented manufacturing method

Regardless of the type of shoe, most shoes are now made using the cemented manufacturing method. When it comes to women's pumps, the shoes are said to be delicate and beautiful due to their thin soles, so I think they are made using the cemented manufacturing method, which makes up about 99% of the shoes (this includes my personal impressions).

blueover uses it in "Mikey", "SHORTY TR.", "kopori", and "Okappa".

History of cemented manufacturing method

It seems to have been invented in the 1850s, and a machine for attaching the bottom was also developed in the late 1920s. (Is the machine for attaching the bottom a crimping machine?)

When I heard that it was 1850, it didn't ring true to me, so I looked it up and it was during the Edo period, when Perry came to Japan! Kurofune's. If this happens, I see! I wonder if it has been around for such a long time.


(Mr. Perry has nothing to do with the cemented manufacturing method.)

Until then, shoes required a lot of time to make because the soles needed to be sewn.

(It seems that McKay's machine was invented in 1858 and Goodyear's machine in 1874, so if we consider the time axis, we can assume that the bottom stitching was done by hand.)

After World War II, demand for shoes increased. Compared to traditional shoe making, cemented shoes, which could be produced in large quantities, seemed to have developed dramatically along with advances in adhesives .

The relationship between how to make and design

Attach the upper and sole with adhesive and crimp. Since it has a very simple structure, it is possible to produce products with stable quality.
Image 2

When sewing the bottom, a large needle moves up and down making loud noises on a large bottom sewing machine, threading a thick thread through it. In other words, it needs to be thick enough to withstand that .

The cemented manufacturing method does not require bottom stitching, so you can apply thin and light soles without the need for thick needles or threads.
For this reason, it is not subject to design restrictions and is used in a wide variety of shoes, from cheap shoes to high-end branded shoes.

Can it be repaired?

The adhesive used in cementation is very strong. (However, when I was at a repair shop, I saw shoes whose soles had peeled off due to deterioration of the adhesive.)

Blueover's current model uses a processing agent before applying the adhesive, and also mixes a hardening agent called desmodule into the adhesive to make it even stronger.

Death module [Features]
The one-component type has the effect of increasing adhesive performance for materials that are difficult to bond to.
(1) Enhanced adhesive strength (2) Improved heat resistance
(3) Improved water resistance (4) Improved oil resistance
(5) Stability after adhesion

<Quote: Mamoru Online Shop >

When we repair our shoes, we do not repair them because the soles have peeled off, but rather because they have been used regularly and we want to continue wearing them because the soles have worn out. (thank you!!)

Since the adhesive is strong, it is not easy to remove the bottom. Grind the bottom with a grinder to avoid damaging the upper. Clean off the sagging bottom and old adhesive, replace the wooden mold, prepare it again, and apply adhesive (with Desmo mixed in, of course) and press it together, just as you would during production.

Up until now, we have not recommended repairs, saying that ``cemented models are not suitable for all soles.''

There are two reasons.

  • The stress placed on the upper during grinding and re-insertion may lead to tearing.
  • Cemented shoes with no bottom seams do not have the upper fixed to the midsole, so removing the entire bottom may change the feel of the shoe.

Of course, I am working as carefully as possible. I am working to return the item as it is, but the possibility of the above is not zero.

However, recently, thankfully, we have started to receive feedback from customers saying, ``I still want to request repairs!'', so we consulted with the factory, confirmed the above two reasons with the customer, and received their consent before repairing. I decided to accept it.

(This happened recently, so I apologize to those who have not recommended it until now. If you would like to have it repaired, please contact us for repair on this site .)

Other brands may or may not allow repair. Cemented can originally be repaired, but each brand has different procedures.

This is the answer.


What did you think? Personally, the history part had a great impact on me. It's older than bottom-stitched McKay and Goodyear.

As a small story from the factory, shoe factories in the Kansai region mix Desmo into adhesives, but shoe factories in the Kanto region apparently don't mix Desmo into their adhesives (I don't know if this is true as I have never worked at a factory in the Kanto region) So, I apologize if I didn't understand and made a mistake.)

The reason is that factories in the Kanto region make shoes with the assumption that they will be repaired. If shoes made without Desmo are treated appropriately, it seems possible to remove the soles without having to scrape off the entire sole.

<About light bottom stitching and the Mackay manufacturing method>

I always write at night. It's quiet at night and it's easy to concentrate. Today is a continuation of the recipe from the other day.

What is the Mackay method?

This manufacturing method involves sewing the upper, midsole, and outsole all at once from inside the shoe using a large sewing machine. It is commonly called Mackay ,

It is also called Ariane by some people in the industry.
*If you say Ariane, you might be mistaken for someone in the shoe industry!

There is an insole inside the shoe, right? Beneath the insole is a part called the insole, and with Mackay-made shoes, the seams are visible on the insole.

Image 1

(In the photo above, when you remove the insole, you will see the insole. In the case of the Mackay method, the seams are visible.)

In contrast to the construction method that stitches around the outside of the shoe, this method of sole-fitting allows the seams to be clearly visible inside the shoe.

History of Mackay manufacturing method

A machine was developed in America in 1858, after the cemented manufacturing method that I talked about the other day.

The original technique itself seems to have originated in Italy. It's true that Italian shoes tend to have a one-piece sole, are light and supple, and have the impression of being made using the Mackay method, which has a good bounce sole.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Mackay method


Since there is no need to add stitching to the edges, it is possible to finish the edges thinly and narrowly. *The edge is the part of the shoe that protrudes beyond the periphery of the upper.

There are fewer restrictions on the design and the sole can be sewn with just one piece, making it lightweight and comfortable to wear.

Image 2

(The photo is of shoes I made a long time ago, before I joined blueover.)


When repairing all soles (sole replacement), it is necessary to unravel the bottom stitching thread. The thread penetrates the inner sole and will require re-sewing if repaired.

Every time I repair it, I end up damaging the insole. Therefore, it is said that the soles of shoes made using the Mackay method can only be replaced once or twice.

If you purchase McKay shoes, it's a good idea to have them half-soled at a repair shop! This will prevent the bottom stitching thread from breaking and make it last longer!

(However, it's better to wear them with leather soles. It's up to you!)

Image 3

(Vibram is recommended. 2mm thick half soles are common, but 1mm thick soles are also available. They are stronger than 2mm soles due to their rubber content.)

How to use the Mackay method in blueover

At Blueover, we use the Mackay manufacturing method in our model called "marco." A popular model that can be worn both on and off due to its neat appearance.

Image 4

marco has adopted the Mackay manufacturing method to make it easier to repair all soles.

In the previous explanation, I said that it is not suitable for repair, but at blueover, we prepare a part called ``Ainaka'', and after fitting it, we attach the upper, midsole, and ``Ainaka'' using the Mackay method. Sew.

Finally, the cup-like outsole is glued together using a cemented manufacturing method.

The flow is ① McKay → ② Cemented .

By doing so, when repairing to replace the sole, it is possible to replace only the cemented outsole part ②.

There is no need to unravel the bottom stitching thread sewn on the ``Ainaka'' or the inner sole. In order to ensure that our products can be used for a long time, we use the Mackay manufacturing method in a different way than usual.

The outsole is EVA, so it doesn't interfere with the lightness of the McKay.


How was that? Were you able to explain it clearly? .

If you do some research, you'll find many, including Mackay and Goodyear. If you want to know more, please search.

<About the coveted Goodyear welt manufacturing method>

This will be a sequel to the previous episode. Today I would like to talk about the manufacturing method (bottoming).

What is the Goodyear welt manufacturing method?

Goodyear is famous for its method of sewing the soles of shoes. Two types of bottom stitching are required by machine: ``pinch stitch'' and ``seam stitch''.

Image 5

① Glue fabric tape (ribs) around the insole, and then sew this to the upper and welt using a machine (blind stitch) .

Image 3

(The photo shows the cork inserted as a filling after the blind stitching)

② Fill the bottom of the insole with something like leather, felt, cork, etc., and use a machine to sew the welt and outsole together at the edge (sewing) .

Image 3

The materials used are often thick tanned soles and soles called Bens and Shoulders, which require a lot of time and effort to prepare. Therefore, they tend to be expensive.

*In the previous Mackay, you could see the bottom stitching on the insole, but in Goodyear, the stitching is applied to the ribs, so no stitching can be seen on the insole itself.

History of Goodyear welt manufacturing method

A manufacturing method devised by Charles Goodyear Jr. in the United States from 1874 to 1879, based on the hand-sewn welted manufacturing method.

Hand-sewn is the process of sewing ① above by hand.
Rather than adding ribs to the insole, I think the insole itself is often processed using a leather knife or the like. You can easily imagine that it took a lot of time.

Image 2

(The photo shows the hand-sewn welt manufacturing method used in the early PHOLUS.)

The development of Goodyear machinery paved the way for shoe making that made extensive use of machines.

Advantages and disadvantages of Goodyear welt manufacturing method


When you want to repair the sole, just undo the stitching and the upper will not be affected. This means that the sole can be replaced without touching the blind stitched part. It can also be used for a long time.

As you wear it, the cork and felt stuffed into the gaps between the insole, welt, and outsole, as well as the thick leather insole and sole, slowly sink in and adapt to the wearer's feet.

Once you get used to it, it's incredibly comfortable! That's my impression (including my personal opinion). This manufacturing method, which creates a thick sole, seems to be often used in England, where it rains a lot, and it gives the impression of British shoes.


As I mentioned earlier, it takes time and material costs. It is often expensive. The machines are difficult to use, and there are few craftsmen who can use them. There are many people who can do hand sawing but not Goodyear.

Because they use thick insoles and soles, they give a hard impression when you first put them on. Compared to McKay, the return is bad. This means that it is more robust.

It will take some time to get used to it.
However, tastes vary from person to person. I like the firmness of Goodyear shoes and the way they break in as you wear them. I also like McKay's responsiveness and ease of use.

Replacing shoe soles

Even if you are told that the sole can be repaired by undoing the stitching, replacing the sole will be expensive.

As with McKay, it may be a good idea to have a half sole attached at the time of purchase.
At this time, Goodyear does not bounce well, so if you apply a half sole, it may give an even harder impression, so please take this into consideration when considering whether to apply it.

blueover Goodyear welt model

At blueover, we use Goodyear in a model called PHOLUS . PHOLUS was born with the cooperation of the factories that have produced various models over the past 10 years.

After steps 1 and 2, we added an EVA outsole, typical of blueover.

The EVA sole provides cushioning, and even though it's a Goodyear welt, it's not too stiff even when you first walk on it. However, you can feel the robustness of Goodyear, and it feels solid to the touch.

As with marco , which uses McKay, repairs can be done by simply replacing the outsole, making it easy to repair.

Image 4


How was that. The Goodyear welt consisted of two large bottom seams .

Before I started working with shoes, there was a time when I was confused and didn't understand the bottom stitching. That's why I take a lot of photos.

I hope you were able to feel the atmosphere of a shoe factory. Although we use machines, there are many parts that rely on human hands, and shoes are made by human hands.

Read more


Shoemaker's story #08|About materials

[1800 characters] Kobanashi content. “About the core material for the toes and heels” and “The story of finding the core material”

Read more

Shoemaker's Story #03|Making parts, models, and sizes

[2700 characters] Kobanashi content. “Making the upper”, “Behind the scenes of production ~ Sandals “Fosco2” edition”

Read more