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How a Shoe is made

200 steps to finishing a shoe

A typical Ludwig Reiter shoe is made by hand. Principally, the 'shoe production' across all styles is the same: the two essential parts, the upper and the bottom sole are joined. Depending on the style however, more than 200 steps are necessary when finishing a pair of shoes.

Here are the Essential Ones

A shoe is made at Ludwig Reiter in 200 to 300 individual steps. Here are the main ones:

• The best-suited leather is chosen for the respective shoe model and style.

• The separate elements of the upper: toe cap and counter, vamp sections, leather lining etc. are stenciled and cut out of the leather.

• During the stitching process of the leather upper many single steps are required in joining the upper and the lining.

• Lasting is a process whereby a foot-like shape is formed by pulling the upper over the last, which is made out of either wood or plastic.

• Ludwig Reiter uses various techniques, depending on the shoe style, to join the upper and the sole together (see below).

• After joining upper and sole to each other various finishing processes are required depending on the construction technique.

For instance a Goodyear welted shoe needs grinding and trimming of sole and heel as well as polishing. Afterwards the shoe is cleaned, waxed with shoe paste and polished.

THE MOST IMPORTANT FINISHING TECHNIQUES AT LUDWIG REITER

Welting

The highest quality of workmanship especially for elegant, classical men’s shoes is Goodyear-welting.

Flexible sewn

The flexible construction is paramount with all informal models and casual shoes. Here the comfort and fit are deemed more important than elegance and durability.

The upper is sewn on to the leather sole with an external seam (without a welt) providing ongoing flexibility, hence the name of the finishing technique.

With some shoe models the upper is sewn directly onto the outer sole. Other models first have the upper sewn together with a midsole onto which either a  waterproof crepe sole, all-terrain or treaded sole (all made of rubber) is glued.

Sacchetto

This complex technique is used especially for casual sport and leisure shoes whose character is comfortable, flexible whilst remaining soft and light. A good example is the Trainer.

With this technique a soft, comfortable lining is sewn together into a little 'bag', hence the Italian name 'Sacchetto', which is then worked into the upper. Then the upper (without an insole) is glued together properly with the outer sole.

Ago

The advantage of this technique lies in the airiness and refined process of the construction.

The upper is glued to the insole with a lasting machine and the prefabricated outsole is attached.

Galanterie

With fine, elegant women’s shoes that are created of best leather, the upper is carefully glued together with sole and heel. Of course, the inner sole, lining and outer sole of these ladies shoes are made of breathable leather, ensuring a high level of comfort.

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