We receive a lot of questions revolving around the practicality of Goodyear-welt shoes. The use of high-end leather (versus a man-made material) along with the price point can lead to misconceptions that GYW footwear is reserved for certain occasions. This post stands to refute that inclination and dare you to wear your Grant Stone boots and shoes throughout whatever life throws your way. We will also cover some TLC tips for finessing your leather's character over time.
Wearability in function: the ability of the shoe to endure adverse conditions, over a long period of time, while maintaining its quality. Versatility in style: the ability of the shoe to be worn comfortably for a wide variety of occasions and paired with many different looks.
Customers frequently ask whether Grant Stones can be worn in inclement weather because they do not think of leather (dress) shoes as durable. The answer is a resounding “Yes.” These shoes and boots are made to be worn in everyday conditions. Built to maintain form and temperature control, whether caught in an untimely downpour or navigating the negative windchill of Chicago winters. While water and other elements will affect the way the leather looks, that is the beauty of leather. It collects character through time and wear.
The versatility of a Goodyear-welt shoe is sometimes forgotten. Not all Goodyear-welt shoes are “dress shoes.” While this topic can skew arbitrary, we like to think most of the Grant Stone Collection falls somewhere in the middle, stylistically; a business-casual category. Footwear you can pair with a blazer, a button down or even a t-shirt in the summer.
When traveling, a pair of Goodyear-welt shoes can be your best friend. It’s always great to pack light but this proves difficult when your trip consists of more than just business or visiting family. Very similar to a navy sport coat, GYW shoes can become part of your go-to attire, dressed up or down, and therefore accepted in most settings regardless of the occasion. This is the ultimate luxury: comfort in feel, and in manner.
When it comes to poor weather, a little TLC goes a long way and will allow a shoe or boot to be worn for years if not decades.
The leathers used on Grant Stone shoes are tanned with aniline dyes, which creates a transparent finish and gives the article depth. When soluble aniline dyes are used, natural blemishes and scars on the leather are not covered or pigmented over. This leaves the natural grain exposed.
The transparency is what gives the rich finish and allows a shoe cream or polish to add depth to the leather surface, versus covering up the grain completely. When adding a cream or polish, this will further add to the depth of the leather, creating a glow that few materials possess.
Over time, the leather will build its own character, becoming truly unique. We always encourage customers to wear their shoes even when the skies aren’t clear. Allow them to be your go-to shoe no matter the day of the week. Many are surprised and find themselves with less shoes in rotation over time.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about the practicality of GYW, or would like to share your story of when it’s worked in your favor, reply to the comments or via mail, or share to the social media collection by tagging @grantstone #grantstone.
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I sat down with our Founder & Director Wyatt Gilmore's grandfather, Floyd Gilmore, to hear why after sixty two years, he's still dreaming of shoes.