The finest boots we make at White’s are built as true hand-sewn stitchdown boots. This means that each boot is hand-lasted, hand-welted, and hand-bottomed by one of our master bootmakers, a process that involves more than 25 unique stages, each performed by hand.
A hand-lasted boot offers the wearer a truly customized fit, as the leather is stretched and secured around the last by hand, ensuring that the boot provides support to every part of the wearer’s foot. In addition, the leather we use for our hand-sewn stitchdown boots is cut from the best portion of our hides, lending both superior flexibility and durability to the finished product – as this boot breaks in, it molds to fit the shape of the individual foot, just like a second skin, becoming more comfortable by the day.
The hand-welting process, however, is what sets White’s Boots apart. Since our founding in 1853, we have been perfecting and protecting the practice of one of boot-making’s oldest and most technically demanding skills: hand-welting. During the hand-welting process, the bootmaker uses an awl and thread to stitch the vamp (the piece of leather that comprises the toe and main body of the upper) directly into the insole of the boot, 3 stitches to the inch. In addition to removing the need for either the canvas welt strip associated with a Goodyear Welt, or the glue associated with a Stitchdown or clampdown, a hand-welt is by far the most durable construction type available, and is entirely rebuildable.
Buying a White’s hand-sewn stitchdown boot is stepping into a long history of craft, dedication, and old-world quality that is increasingly rare, and enduringly valuable.