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Experience with Blake Stitched Shoes in Rugged Weather?

5886 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Prof Ray

This is my first post, and before I begin, I'd like to thank everyone who contributes to this forum. I've learned a lot over the past few years, and much of my sartorial knowledge comes from the advice you've provided and the experiences you've been gracious enough to share.

I'm currently looking for shoes/boots that will see a lot of use next spring - I'll be doing a lot of outdoor walking in several northern European cities and expect to encounter a fair amount of rain and probably at least a little snow. I have my eye on several candidates, and recently ran across a few pair that are blake stitched. Initially, I dismissed them.

But now I'm really curious as to whether anyone has actually had adverse experiences wearing blake stitched (not blake-rapid) footwear in wet conditions. I own multiple pairs of shoes of varying quality and construction and have never noticed my blake stitched shoes to be less waterproof (at least, my socks never have become damp!), but I also don't wear them for long periods of time in wet or snowy weather. I suspect that the material from which the sole is made (rubber or dainite vs. leather) is the critical factor, but would love to hear about others' experiences.

Am I courting disaster? Should I just move along to a nice, solid, pair of goodyear welted shoes?
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This is a excellent point - I hadn't considered adding a sole guard or something similar.

I still wonder, though, how impractical blake-stitched would be. Given the holes extend all the way through, theoretically water should indeed be able to migrate upwards. But the threads themselves are likely to be nylon (I think - I'm not sure what material is actually used in this context) or something else that is not absorbent. And if the sole is of sufficient thickness and composed of rubber, the material surrounding the threads should be constrictive, leaving little in way of a passage way for water. Poking around the web reveals some support for this perspective - I've encountered several passages like the following: "Cons: Soles are less waterproof because the stitching allows water to seep in and the thinness of the sole wicks water into the shoe. A rubber sole would eliminate this issue, however."

Frankly, I was hoping someone with first hand experience would write in and report definitely that their socks did indeed become damp after tromping around a city on a rainy afternoon in blake stitched shoes. This might have put to rest the part of my brain that wants to buy a new (but unnecessary) pair of shoes!

Thanks all for the comments and the welcomes. I'll try to keep things shorter in the future.
By all means, buy some new boots. But if your use is tromping around in the wet, get storm welted boots.
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