Rapid Blake is the construction most used by the Italian shoe industry and is a synthesis of Goodyear and Blake methods. It offers a little more flexibility and is normally lighter than a shoe made using the Goodyear welted method of construction.  A row of Blake stitching along the insole attaches the insole to the midsole.  The midsole is attached to the outsole by a row of stitching which is classed as the Rapid part of the combination, the stitching can be seen running outside the shoe, unlike a Blake stitched shoe where there are no outer stitches.


The first part of the process is preparing the insole for stitching. This is done by creating a perpendicular “rib” that runs across the insole. Some shoemakers create the rib by cutting and sculpting the insole, while others will do so by using a supplementary material like linen tape. The second step is to last the shoe which is done by stretching the outsole over the last and attaching it, along with the insole, to the last.  Part three is the actual welting.  At this point shoe-specific thread is sewn through the welt, the upper, and the insole rib. Through a separate stitch, the welt is attached to the outsole. For both of these stitching points, a lockstitch is used – meaning the chain won’t unravel if it breaks down at any particular point in the shoe. Welts are the pieces of leather where the sole of the shoe attaches to the upper leather.