There are many reasons for preferring high quality shoes. The two most important are that they last much longer and they are way more comfortable to wear (and won’t affect your feet and back health in the long term).
But while it’s definitely true that a very cheap shoe cannot be good quality, a fashionable name or a high price alone are not necessarily a guarantee of excellence.
So how can you tell a good quality from a bad quality shoe?
As for the materials, you should definitely avoid all the footwear that doesn’t disclose the kind of material used.
Leather is a renowned number-one high quality shoe material, since it’s resistant, durable, breathable and soft. But not all the leathers are created equal. Beware of definitions such as “bonded leather” or “corrected leather”, since it is made of leather leftovers mixed with plastic and other chemicals. Cheap leathers will leave creases, discolour with age and peel over time. Good quality leather instead gets better and better as time passes, gaining charm and personality.
Some high quality leathers, such as the Vachetta, RUBIROSA Centravo or the Full grain are more resistant and flexible than others. Shoes made with those premium leathers have a very peculiar character: as soon as you start using them, they adapt themselves to the specific form of your feet, for an incomparable comfort.
You can also tell a shoe is made in good leather if the little scratches on the surface have the same colour as the rest of the shoe, that is a sign that it has been tanned properly. The same goes for details such as the brogue or other decorative punctures: if the sides of the little holes are in a different colour than the leather around, probably the shoes are not very well made.
The sole of the shoe can be stitched or glued to the upper. If properly done, both these methods can be valid. But in neither case there should be excesses of leather or other materials anywhere. If the sole is stitched, it’s preferable that the stitches are waxed in order to be more resistant and waterproof. If the sole is glued, there should be no visible glue anywhere.
Lightly – not too much – flexing the shoe, you should see the sole following the movement, without risking detaching from the upper.Pressing the shoe on the sides, it should also show some flexibility sideways, in order to adapt to the natural fluctuations in the foot’s width during the day.
If there’s a heel, it shouldn’t wobble or shift at all.
As for the inside of the shoe, it should be smooth and without any parts coming out or collapsing, in order not to bother the foot. Looking at the inner sole you should be able to see a full lining all the way down to the toe, without any interfacing. An incomplete or uneven lining is a sign of poorlymade footwear and can cause discomfort to the feet.
It should not feel like there is nothing between the sole and the inner sole. Once you start wearing a pair regularly, if there’s nothing between those two layers, you’ll have sore heels and balls of your feet and your shoes will wear out faster. In the long term this can also cause feet’s, legs’ and also lower back’s pain. That’s why some kind of insulation or a small layer of padding, especially on the heel and on the ball of the feet, is essential for an optimal fit.
All RUBIROSA shoes are hand made in Italy by expert shoemaker artisans combining premium quality materials with crafty balanced structures and attention for every detail, so to grant the greatest comfort to the feet. All this while staying classy and stylish.