Shoemakers use a range of construction methods to attach the sole to the upper. Over the years, a number of different shoemaking construction methods have been developed. However, there are only two techniques to make really robust and long-lasting footwear: double stitching and the cemented construction. This is why we use these techniques at Hanwag. We are the only German manufacturer of mountaineering and trekking boots and shoes to cement last or double stitch every model we make.
By continuing to use the double-stitched construction, we are also upholding a traditional handcrafted shoemaking technique that few other shoemakers still master. Thanks to their cemented or double-stitched constructions, all Hanwag models are fully resoleable. Resoling boots that are perfectly worn in, which have seen decades of use always makes us feel proud of our handiwork.
At Hanwag, we make all our footwear using either traditional handcrafted double stitching or a cemented construction.
The cemented construction is a complex and time-consuming method where the upper is moulded and stretched over the last and attached (lasted) to the insole to form a unit. The upper and insole are then cemented with adhesive under high pressure. Subsequently, the midsole and outsole are added. This method offers the best combination of durability, high performance and economic viability. The main advantages of cement lasted footwear are their outstanding ability to keep their shape and their superior durability – providing they are properly cared for. We are probably the only manufacturer in the world to make not just all our boots, but also all our low-cut shoes with a cemented construction. The only disadvantage of cement lasting is that the complex production process makes the footwear slightly more expensive. Though, if the outsole wears out, it’s no problem to replace it. We resole all models at the Hanwag headquarters in Vierkirchen. It’s a popular service, after all, these boots are perfectly worn in; people don’t want to replace them. In fact, they’re often long-standing companions and the source of many happy memories. We often receive boots to be resoled that have seen years and years of use. It’s something that makes us proud of our work.
We have been making robust leather boots with genuine double stitching for over 90 years.
We are proud to say that we are one of the few remaining bootmakers still able to master this traditional and demanding handcrafted technique. First, we punch out the insole (the foundation or heart of the shoe that can’t be seen from the outside) and tack it to the last. Then we introduce the first row of stitching. This stitching connects the leather upper and the lining to the insole rib (a rib or lip on the insole used to stitch it to the lasted upper). Once this first row of stitching is completed, we turn the upper outwards. We bend the leather upper and lining at a right angle to produce a projecting rim (flange) that lays flat on the midsole. This is called outflanging. On certain models a reinforcing strip (aka welt) is also added to the side of the boot at this point. Next, we trim any excess material from the heel, toe cap and the lining. The remaining flange, i.e. the turned-out leather upper, is then secured to the midsole with a second row of stitching. This second row of stitching (hence double stitching) joins the leather upper, reinforcing welt (if applicable) and midsole. So, the finished boot has an upper that is secured by two strong rows of stitching. This is what we mean by genuine double stitching.