Style: High Marks

  • William Kissel

Certain characteristics distinguish quality footwear from lesser pairs.

        · Heels that are stacked leather with a rubber top lift (the second layer from the bottom) will provide greater comfort and will not squeak.
        · Goodyear welted construction (when the upper is sewn to a welt and the welt is sewn to the sole, creating two levels of stitching) is superior for retaining the shape of the shoe. Another quality option is Blake construction, where the sole is stitched directly to the upper. Least desirable are shoes with glued-on soles.
        · Look for stitching that is both consistent and parallel.
        · Insist on full leather linings and midsoles (the piece between your foot and the sole), particularly those made of goatskin or pigskin with deep, open pores to absorb moisture.
        · The fit should be immediately comfortable—the heel should fit snugly but not tight, and toes should allow for wiggle room. Contrary to popular belief, fine footwear does not require breaking in.

        Photo by James Lipman
        Find out how the V-8 stacks up against its V-12 stablemate…
        This race-adapted hybrid generates 86 more hp than its road-going counterpart…
        Porsche 918 Spyder
        See the winner and rankings, as well as exclusive photos and videos of all the cars...
        Caterham Bikes Carbon E-Bike, a brawny carbon-fiber-and-aluminum electric bicycle that looks like a...
        The Stingray is the seventh generation of the Corvette, a model that has been in production since...
        Photo by Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding & Company
        The annual Gooding & Company Amelia Island Auction...
        Chevrolet brought its Corvette Stingray convertible to Palm Springs, a popular location for...
        Photo by Scott Williamson/www.photodesignstudios.com
        Stutz Motor Car of America, produced the Blackhawk from 1971 through 1987...
        Photo by Max Earey
        The new sedan generates 552 hp and 465 ft lbs of torque…
        Photo by Yakima Products Inc
        The company claims its rack is the most aerodynamic on the market…