Of all the craftsmanship details that have led to Italian men’s footwear maintaining its place at the top of the shoe tree, a blake stitched sole has to be one of the most recognisable – intriguing, given that most of the work is hidden underfoot.
The key difference lies in a blake stitched sole requiring less glue and fewer layers, resulting in construction that’s far simpler and a shoe that’s lighter than the regular cemented (glued) method.
Unlike cement construction where adhesive alone is used, the blake sole applies a combination of glue and a single row of stitching that runs from the sole, through the inner sole to the upper.
You can feel the evidence of a true blake stitched sole by running your fingers inside the shoe along the bottom part of the inner sole.
So, how does a blake stitched sole affect the style of a shoe? The main advantage is that the thinner sole construction gives the shoe a slimmer profile, so designers can create shoes that are more elegant with the style focus firmly on the upper. And because there are no exterior stitches used to join the upper and sole together, you’ll also notice that the sole can be cut very close to the shoe – Aquila Bronson and Aquila Clapton are perfect examples.
Blake stitch shoes can be more comfortable to walk in, the thinner sole being much more flexible underfoot. Plus the combination of stitching and glue makes them more durable. A more stylish, more comfortable, more resilient shoe – what more could you ask?