After the shoes are lasted the insole and welt are attached using glue. It is after this stage when the customer comes in for a fitting. If the fit is not satisfactory adjustments can still be made. Otherwise, the shoemaker proceeds with stitching together the welt, upper and insole. I wanted a narrow waist on this pair so the welt does not extend to the entire length of the shoe.
A metal shank is then attached to the insole. It acts as a support structure between the insole and the outsole. Once the glue has dried a bit a layer of cork is applied and sanded down. Over time this layer of cork molds to the wearer’s feet.
Then a piece of oak-bark tanned leather is cut and glued to form the outsole of the shoe.
Next the outsole is cut open along the edge to form a channel. This channel is where the stitching that links together the welt and outsole will pass through. The channel is then closed to keep a clean appearance on the bottom of the shoe.
Next: Part 4: Finished Pair