What is a welt?

A seemingly unimportant question, but a welt is a big deal in the world of quality shoes and boots.

Our photos show where a welt can be found in many of the shoes and boots we stock. In layman’s terms, it is a leather strip that is sewn around the edge of a shoe-upper to which the sole is attached.

Hardly headline news, but the welt’s existence makes all the difference when ensuring a shoe has longevity and can be efficiently repaired.

To give you a little historical perspective…the welt process we know today was invented in 1869 by Charles Goodyear Jr. He was the son of Charles Goodyear, the inventor of the chemical process to create and manufacture pliable, waterproof, mouldable rubber. The two Charleses has tyres and footwear all sewn up!

What made the Goodyear welt stand out was that it was a machine-based alternative to very labour intensive hand-stitching. They are clever chaps those Goodyears!

This is how a welted shoe is made. The upper part of the shoe is shaped over the last and then the welt strip is sewn to the upper.

Then in a separate operation, the sole is stitched to the same welt strip which holds the material firmly together. The space created by the welt between the upper and the sole is usually filled with cork, which is malleable and comfortable underfoot. The finished result is a largely waterproof shoe. If you look closely at the photo below, you can see the pale stitch linking the welt to the insole of the upper and the dark stitch which links the welt to the sole.

It is true that welted shoes are more expensive to manufacture than other production methods, but they are relatively simple to repair which greatly enhances their value. The welt is the buffer between the upper and the sole meaning that the sole can be cut off and then a new one attached without damaging the upper.

All Goodyear welted Herring Shoes can be repaired by a competent cobbler. We offer an enhanced repair service on styles that have the logo below next to them, this logo means that they can be sent back to the original manufacturer to be re-soled while retaining the comfort of your worn-in upper. Factory repair is the gold standard.

Among our popular Goodyear welted shoes and boots are the Fencote two-tone brogues, the Blair II double monk shoes, the Soho Chelsea boots and many more. Simply type ‘Goodyear’ into the search facility or click this Goodyear welted styles link and it will take you to a full list so you can discover the wonders of welts!

Spring into…well, spring

As spring has officially sprung, we decided to take a look ahead to warmer weather and more daylight hours with footwear in mind.

When I think of spring, I think of two elements. No. not sun and rain…suede and loafers.

Suede is generally forgotten about in the colder months, as are loafers. Instead we reach for weather-proof, sturdy leather shoes or boots with soles ready for any inclement condition.

Herring Matisse

A few rays of sunshine later, and the suede loafers are out. Yes, that’s right, we gloriously combine the two!

Behold the Lecce…this most continental-looking of loafers for those who want to show a bit more flair. This features a leather sole and super-soft suede uppers with leather tassels and comes in three colours.

Herring Lecce

See also the Matisse and Barcelona II if you have penchant for tassels. If not, then James is your man. This brown handcrafted loafer has been made using the highest quality leather. It is made on the 109 last which has a rounded point to make it very elegant. This shoe has the bespoke look of a much more expensive shoe, accentuated by the apron detailing and fine stitching. Lastly, there is the Charlton. A classic penny loafer made from rich calf leather with a full leather lining. This loafer and many others are also welted, which means they are repairable so they should last you for many years to come with care and attention.

Herring James

But if you are not ready to roll up your chinos or jeans just yet, you can start inching towards the suede with light-weight boots or brogues. Our Ilford rubber-soled chukkas and Hockley Chelsea boots both come in a sandy, oiled suede to offer a lighter colour alternative.

Shoe-wise, we have Oxfords, monks and brogues in full suede, while we also blend suede and traditional leather to capture the spectator style favoured by traditional sportsmen. The Fencote two-tone brogue remains one of our most popular styles to date.

To find the suede shoe or boot or loafer you are looking for this spring, select the ‘Suede’ filter in the ‘Uppers’ section on the Herring page on our website…and start browsing.

Herring Fencote and Herring Exford with matching belts


Customer review: Caravaggio polo shirt by David Driegert

First off, let me start this review by saying the Caravaggio is the most expensive casual shirt I’ve ever purchased, so as a Father of, soon to be three, this was an investment for me. Sure I’ve spent good money on my formal clothing for work, as well as many lovely shoes from Herring, but this was a different story, this is a casual shirt, not a formal button down for a suit or sharp sport coat, but one to be worn smartly with slacks, jeans, or khakis on a casual day at work or adventuring out with my family or friends. 

So after clicking that purchase button on my computer I waited with some hesitation, with one big question in mind, “Is this shirt really worth it?” Well, spoiler, yes…yes it is!
The very first thing I noticed about the shirt was the smell, which is quite odd, who purchases a shirt and the first thing you say is, “wow, this shirt smells like a lovely Spring morning.” It really does have a fantastic, fresh, clean, and beautiful smell to it. I immediately wanted all my shirts to smell like this. 

Detailed cuff shot

The next thing I noticed is the fabric, it’s a perfect weight, not too heavy as to be worn only in the depths of winter, and not too light as that summer linen shirt I love to wear sipping cool cocktails on the beach. It’s a shirt that can be worn year round, wear it by itself, or layer it under a cardigan. The stitching is all very straight, refined and unobtrusive in light wearing areas, and robust in harder wearing areas like the cuffs. Oh, and those cuffs, they are a beautiful heavier weight with lovely cut corners adding a very sharp touch to the shirt. 

A detailed shot of the collar and buttons

The buttons, they are beautiful mother of pearl with a lovely shimmer that adds a bit of life to this dark navy blue polo. I really like the five buttons across the top that create a sharp contrast and provide a visual center cue for the shirt that your lady, or gentlemen friend won’t take their eyes away from. 

Lastly, the fit. I’m 5’10” 190lbs and went with the large and it fits perfect. Fitted around my chest and waist without being overly snug. The sleeves are a great length and provide for easy range of motion without fear of the cuffs riding up my arms. 

David Driegert sporting his Caravaggio Polo

This shirt has met and exceeded my expectations and its certainly worth the price, a statement even my wife agrees with, and if she agrees, I know I’m right. Quality and style are exemplified with this shirt and I’d gladly have another in a different color…just waiting on you Naked Clothing

To view the full range on our website please follow this link.

Repair to extend the life of your shoes.

In an increasingly environmentally-conscious world that is trying to move away from the throwaway society’s habits of recent times, having the ability to repair or restore is important.

As consumers, we have got into the habit of buying items at a lower price to simply replace them when they break or wear out. That has encouraged some manufactures to produce goods that only have a short lifespan and cannot be repaired.

Herring products take a different, long-term approach. Most of our shoes are made using Goodyear Welted construction which is expensive but gives a shoe the best long-term repairability. They are always repairable by cutting the old sole off, through the welt, and attaching new one by a competent cobbler. This process can be repeated three or more times giving many years of service.

The welt makes repair easier

The image below will show next to factory repairable shoes indicating that they can be resoled using the original lasts at the original factory, so they come back almost as good as new but with the benefit of the uppers being worn-in to your individual shoe shape. In some ways this is even better than a new pair! Imagine sending your car back for a new engine and transmission, for a fraction of the price of a new car – how long would you be able to keep it instead of buying a new one?

As long as you look after your shoes (see our helpful guide here), repairs can ensure your favourite pair of brogues, Chelsea boots and so on are good to wear for at least 10 years. What’s more, whenever they are repaired, they will still fit you the way they always have as you will not have to break them in again.

Whether you return them to us to send back to the manufacturer or use a high street cobbler, your shoes will repay your investment over many years and will undoubtedly work out more cost effective than replacing your shoes several items with cheaper versions.

Furthermore, you will serve to contribute to a global need to drive down waste and the carbon footprint of production.

If you have purchased a pair of shoes from Herring Shoes and you are uncertain as to whether they can be repaired or not, please get in contact with our customers services team on +44 (0)1548 854886 who will be able to advise you. 

Herring Shoes adds boutique workwear clothing to online store

Renowned for their pedigree in British quality men’s footwear, Herring Shoes has added a range of stylish workwear to its online store. Designed by Italian Filippo Matera, the Naked Clothing range applies an artisan attitude to shirts and jackets.

Botticelli jacket, Leonardo Polo, Tintoretto Tee Shirt

In 1995, Matera realised there had been a shift in men’s fashion towards informal wear. Ever since then, he has been using stone-washed cotton jersey, denim and piquet to create fabrics that feel more like luxury materials, such as cashmere, to create classic garments that feel super soft yet maintain a smart appearance.

Tintoretto Tee Shirt

Herring Shoes managing director Jason Simmonds said: “Naked Clothing is unavailable on the high street and I think the product offers ideal complementary clothing to our quality footwear.  

“I see Naked Clothing being adopted by gentlemen who are not required to wear a suit to work but want to combine a professional, smart attire with elegant comfort. However, the range is equally suitable for casual attire.”

Produced at Matera’s factory in Andria, in southern Italy, the Naked Clothing range is now available online from Herring Shoes.  

Herring’s Naked Clothing range includes polo and long-sleeve shirts suitable for office and leisure wear. They can be worn with a suit, blazer, jeans or shorts, Herring is also stocking a number of Naked Clothing jackets.

Filippo Matera of Naked Clothing


Why we all love boots

Why we all love boots

As the cold snap continues, many of us will be reaching for our boots. But what is your boot of choice?

Boots fall into two categories; the rugged and the refined. Although, thankfully, these days, there is a cross-over between the two.

Starting with the rugged. Historically, these types of boots have been worn as long-lasting footwear for workers or the military with Bluchers and Wellingtons leading the way and lending their names to their respective styles.

While in the refined category, cavalier-style riding boots were prevalent in the 17th and 18thcenturies, followed by buttoned and slip-on ankle boots favoured by Queen Victoria; we would now recognise the latter as the Chelsea boot.

For gentlemen, the rugged boot choice works well in winter when we need extra warmth and rubber soles to keep our feet dry and to give us some grip underfoot. 

Herring Badminton

Boots made to withstand harsh weather conditions are based on the Veldtschoen construction method. The 17th century Cape Dutch term means stitch-down or field shoe. The upper leather flares out and is double-stitched onto the midsole to produce sturdy and waterproof boots that retain their form. 

These outdoorsy boots are perfect for the colder weather and, happily, these days, they are stylish too. Our Windermere rubber-soled boots are an example of these, while we have teamed tweed with our Exmoor rubber-soled brogue boots and grain calf textures in our Coniston two-tone rubber-soled brogue boots for extra options. 

Within the rubber-soled boot range, you will find there is a choice of sole. The Commando sole is thick and has deep cleats, but don’t walk into the house with these still on…you will bring all the mud in with you! The Dainite rubber sole is pimpled and gives great grip in all weathers. A Diamante offers a diamond pattern welted version that is more suited to the Chelsea boot.

Ah, the Chelsea boot; the boot of the moment. Described as “the most versatile stomper in the menswear jungle”, it is suitable for work and weekends with their easy-to-wear pull-on functionality. 

And Chelsea boots have come a long way. They are not just plain, shiny, black and 1960s-esque anymore. They come in all colours and choice of rubber and leather soles with a touch of brogue thrown in for good measure.

Herring Wilson

If you still want casual but prefer laces, the Chukka or desert boots could be for you, while if you like laces but lose the will to live by the time you get to the top eyes, there are boots that come with speed-lacings too.

Then there are the sleek and oh-so refined Stirrup two-tone bootsSalamanca Chukka boots or the Orwell boots. All have leather soles, and all are super-smart and stylish.

Writing this though as most of the UK shivers under a blanket of snow, warmed lined boots feel like they could be the way to go! 

With so many boot styles to choose from, it almost makes you appreciate winter.

Traditional shoes for short trousers and tartan at Pitti Uomo fair 2019

With all the great and good of the menswear fashion scene at the biannual Pitti Uomo fair in Florence, Italy, we are delighted to report Herring Shoes footwear was sported by certain members of the distinguished guest list.

Designer Filippo Matera, menswear consultants Guillame Bo and fashion blogger Nicola Radano have all been seen wearing Herring Shoes while enjoying the oversize suits and colourful hoodies from Pitti’s guest designer Glenn Martens of the Y/Project amid the street-style luxe outerwear, retro logos and gender-neutral accessories that have dominated this year’s fair.

It seems an unlikely scene for the traditional gentlemen’s shoe, but models and guests have been sporting long overcoats, scarves, ankle-skimming or turned-up trousers and even plus-fours, culottes and long tunics with broguesmonk and Derby-style shoes.

Socks are long and on display, so choice of shoe is crucial while tartan is everywhere too – both on the catwalk and in the crowd. Anything goes with tartan it seems!

It’s good to see the traditional shoe still has place among the high-end fashion that influences the high street designs despite the ever-present penchant for sports shoes. A happy harmony seems to exist between the two…and long may they that continue.

For a greater choice of quality British men’s footwear, please see our website where you can filter on style to achieve the look you want you want to achieve.

The difference between F and G fitting

You don’t have to feel the pinch with wide-fitting shoes

In a perfect world, we would all have feet that fit a standard shoe and a standard width…but Herring is fully aware feet come in all shapes and sizes.

A standard shoe width in the UK is called an F fitting. This is determined by the lasts shoe manufacturers use to make their product. Previously made from hardwood or cast iron, lasts are now made from plastic and take the form of a foot. This allows manufacturers to mould the leather around the last to ensure the shoe grips the foot in the right way.

For most people, a standard F width is perfectly comfortable, but people with wider or flatter feet may feel the pinch. One of the many wonderful things about our lasted shoes is the flexibility we have to offer a slightly wider last so that we can accommodate these variations without noticeably changing the aesthetic of the shoe. 

Can you guess which is the G fitting?

The standard UK designation for a wider fit is G. G fits are ever so slightly wider than an F fit. It does not represent a great difference in millimetres, but for the customer, it gives them a choice between a shoe that is just that little bit tight and a shoe that is actually very comfortable.

Herring understands this and we offer both medium/standard and wide fittings for our most popular styles, such as  our Carnaby brogues and Mayfair Oxfords, so our customers can still have the shoe they want but will enjoy a little more wiggle room.

Wider fittings also give customers flexibility of choice. For instance, if your favourite shoe is not available in your usual medium fitting size, you could probably get away with a half size smaller in a wider fitting. 

It is important to point out however that different countries have different measurements for shoe fittings. In the US, an F/standard/medium fitting for men’s shoes would be a D, and a G/wide would be an EE. With the letters being different, confusion should be minimal, but it is always best to check which size scheme your footwear outlet is using to avoid getting the wrong shoes!

Herring is proud to offer a decent range of wide fitting shoes. If you are unsure of what styles are available, please go to the Herring section of our website, filtered for G fits. We currently have 18 classic styles for you to choose from. You are also very welcome to call our customers services team on 01548 854886 who will be able to give you advice on the best shoe for you.

Wedding shoe guide 2019

At any wedding the groom will spend hours on their feet talking to distant relatives and dancing the night away. For comfort purposes and to make sure you look good on the dancefloor, getting the right pair of dress shoes is vital.

With so many different styles and materials to choose from, it can be difficult to know where you should start when looking at the shoes you’ll say ‘I do’ in.

This guide will cover the various factors that will go into forming your decision, the preparation you have to complete before and after you’ve chosen your perfect wedding shoe, we will also break down how appropriate certain styles will be for certain weddings.

There are many factors that will influence the style of shoe you opt for but a good place to start for the majority of grooms having a traditional wedding will be the classic black oxford.

Herring Belgravia

Jason Simmonds, MD of Herring Shoes  advises a ‘safety first’ approach for most grooms. “They may not have have a strong idea of what they want, they just don’t want to get it wrong,” he says. “We would advise keeping it traditional and classic and with that you can’t go wrong.”

Jason describes the black or brown Oxford as a “perennial favourite” with a narrow shape that looks best when paired with a formal outfit. “If you’ve got a traditional suit with full-length leg then you’d want a sleek Oxford to mirror the sleekness of the suit,” he says. Dark colours are still the most popular choice but there can be the option of trying a two-tone combination in a brogue style for something a little different.

Herring Henry II

Herring’s Farnham two-tone brogue in chestnut and navy are a good example of how tradition can be combined with a little more jazz. Jason says they will go well with a navy suit and have a “traditional look with a little more interest rather than just being a simple shoe”.

Herring Farnham

Some grooms may well be inclined to move away from the most formal outfits and this is when there may be more scope for experimentation. “If you’re aiming for a turned-up, chino-style look then going for a boot could be a good idea. This can be quite trendy but is pretty out there,” says Jason.

Herring Keswick

A lot goes into deciding on a wedding shoe. A groom’s personal preference will certainly play a big role but first and foremost you will have to speak to your partner and find out what sort of style they’d like to see you in. After all, who knows your style better than the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with?

Coordinating with groomsmen will be the next factor for the groom to bear in mind. Sometimes it’ll be as simple as the groomsmen going for the same pair as the groom while there is also the option to “go for a contrast that is still complimentary” says Jason. If the groomsmen do wear something different to the groom, the chosen shoe cannot be more attention-grabbing than the groom’s. “If the groom’s wearing a very traditional style then groomsmen must also have a very traditional style. But if he’s jazzing it up with a black and white two-tone for example, then they might also go for something that has a little more jazz about it.”

Traditional designer styles and colours will be the best option for winter weddings but if you’re getting married in the warmer months then something a little lighter in weight and colour can work well. Jason suggests Herring’s Henley two-tone brogues, a lighter shoe made of leather and canvas that would be “absolutely perfect for summer weddings”.

Herring Henley

Similarly, Jason says a relaxed loafer like the Matisse can work equally well for a relaxed summer occasion (pictured below).

Against all the other things you’ll have to prepare for the wedding, sorting your shoes out may not seem like a high priority but it should be. When you feel confident in your footwear, everything else will seem that much easier.

A prudent approach will be to treat your purchase as a dress shoe investment for the future, not just for the day. Jason describes Herring’s £225 – £275 price point as the “sweet spot” where quality, variety and value for money meet – these are the shoes that will last for years after your wedding is long finished.

To allow for deliveries and returns as you search for the best size and style, try and get your shoes sorted as early as possible once you’ve set a date. Jason explains: “Preparation is key, especially if you want to get your groomsmen tied in.”

It may sound obvious but giving yourself time to wear in the shoes is just about the most important piece of preparation you can do. In a cheap, poorly made pair of shoes, a day of walking, standing and dancing will inevitably end in a blister or two. “A quality shoe will not feel comfortable from the first moment you slip it on,” says Jason. “The quality components that make it last will mean they are fairly rigid so your foot has to break it in and the sole has to mould to your foot.”

Herring Shoes – who offer free UK deliveries and returns – have been in operation since 1966, designing their own shoes that are mostly manufactured by well-respected British factories. Each pair of shoes they produce is a heritage piece. “Getting married is a stressful time and you want to make it as easy as possible,” says Jason. “It’s worth spending that extra bit of money for a quality pair of British shoes as they will be part of a treasured memory for years to come.”

Visit www.herringshoes.co.uk/herring to find the perfect pair for your special day.

Herring Matisse

‘Sneakers’ by Gui Bo

I wore a lot of sneakers when I was younger. Jordans, AND1, Adidas, Puma, LA Gear, Spring Court and so on.

I even used to collect them in the early 90’s, but I’ve never thought they would look nice with a suit or a blazer as a “matter of principle”.

As a matter of fact I do think sneakers are great for… sports. Even so I can wear them with Chinos sometimes, or Corduroys, with white pants during summer – casual styles.

Pembury and Strike

The point is that everybody has been wearing them (and almost only them) for the last 25 years (same thing for denim) and you guys know how much I hate it when everybody looks the same and buys the same, especially when it’s expensive and made in Asia by factories with bad reputations for child workers. They are also now the symbol of the new tribe from the Silicon valley… and we all know they are the perfect epitome of…good taste.

I love nice shoes. Real shoes. They last. They become nicer when they age. We look nicer wearing them.
However I have met a few Gentlemen who wear tennis or basketball style shoes with a jacket or suit, light ones, mostly when it’s hot, and it worked perfectly for them. Their models were nice, very neutral or well mixed with their outfits and it was great. Yes, again, you are going to say it is very “Italian”. Well, yes OK, but if it works, why not?!

Strike

Nowadays we can find splendid pairs of sneakers, with great leathers and patinas for instance. Moreover, it’s a fact that we all agree with – they are comfortable! So choose a bespoke looking pair, don’t follow the crowd, and only wear them with a casual look and maybe you can kill two birds with one stone Gentlemen!