Norwegian Welt Vs. Goodyear Welt (In-Depth Comparison)

Norwegian and Goodyear welt sit at the summit of shoe designs. Only a few people would contest that, if at all they do. Premium quality is what drives the popularity of these welts.

The Norwegian and Goodyear welts come from different makers. So, there’s a difference in the design process.

The Goodyear welt is a masterpiece that stems from the British region. But the Norwegian welt doesn’t take its name from the region as you would imagine.

There’s not much to tell the Norwegian and Goodyear welt apart at first. Both have unique applications. But the Goodyear welt has a more thorough design process, so it’s highly durable. But, then, what makes the Norwegian welt stand out is its waterproof feature. It’s an essential part of most waterproof shoes.

Norwegian Welt Vs. Goodyear Welt; Which Is Better?

Norwegian Welt Vs. Goodyear Welt

Being both welts of premium quality, choosing between Norwegian and Goodyear welt presents a daunting task. That’s also tricky because designs have their merits and “flaws.”

Those supposed flaws appear in the application of the user. The Norwegian and Goodyear welt will leave you in a fix if you base the comparison on quality alone.

At first look, one may be swift to say that Goodyear welt is better than Norwegian welt. But, Goodyear welt beats Norwegian welt hands down in terms of popularity.

Norwegian welt is more common in snowy regions than in dry and humid regions. You usually find Norwegian welt on ski or snow boots. It serves as waterproof to keep out moisture.

The Goodyear welt fits more uses than the Norwegian welt. You’ll also find it in more shoes because it’s tough. But even at that, the Goodyear welt has limited uses.

Often, the cost of Goodyear welt is the first hurdle for anyone willing to lay hold of it. So, shoes with Goodyear welts tend to be pricier than shoes with other construction techniques.

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Shoes that use Goodyear welt also become heavy because of the many layers on the welt. So it’s a no-go for lightweight shoes.

But you can’t turn to Norwegian welt as an alternative in that regard. It’s not a lightweight option either, even though it doesn’t end up as heavy as Goodyear welt.

So, shoemakers ditching Goodyear welt for weight would turn to other options instead of Norwegian welt.

The tables below offer an insight into the pros and cons of Norwegian and Goodyear welt.

Pros of Goodyear WeltCons of Goodyear Welt
It’s more durable than other show construction techniques.It’s often more expensive than other shoe construction techniques.
It has a thorough design process.It has low flexibility due to multiple layers.
It links the shoe upper and insole with different stitches.Its multiple layers make it very heavy.
Resoling is easy and can happen many times.The design process is labor-intensive and takes time.
It offers more shoe support with its extra layers.The toughness can limit the comfort of the feet.
Pros of Norwegian WeltCons of Norwegian Welt
It is waterproof for shoes since there’s no space between the welt and the upper.It tends to be bulky.
It’s a great fit for wet conditions.It’s not popular in many areas. Thus doing repairs gets difficult.
The multiple seams on the design make it fit for rough landscapes.It requires a lot of stitches.
It has a unique decorative stitch pattern.The production process is complex.
Shoes with Norwegian welts are comfortable for people with wide feet.Shoes with Norwegian welts require special machines that are hard to find.

How Is the Norwegian Welt Similar To the Goodyear Welt?

The Norwegian and Goodyear welt are similar in quite a few ways. That lies in one aspect of their design. The rest is in their function.

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Below are some of the ways Norwegian welt is similar to Goodyear welt.

#1. Waterproofing

It may surprise you that Goodyear welt also has good water resistance. That feature comes from the multiple layers on the welt.

The bulkiness counts for something, after all. But the stitching on the Goodyear welt is internal.

That’s why it isn’t as waterproof as Norwegian welt. Unlike the Goodyear welt, the stitching on the Norwegian welt is exterior.

The stitching holds together the shoe upper, welt, and insole. It can keep out more moisture, making it the best first for waterproof shoes.

#2. Toughness

Another similarity between Norwegian and Goodyear welt is how they fit rough terrains. Goodyear welt gets its toughness from its many layers.

The design has the welt joined to the upper and cotton rib via stitches. Then, the layers connect to the insole via glue. So, the link between all four layers makes Goodyear welt very durable.

With the Norwegian welt, its toughness is down to its stitches. You will count no less than 300 stitches on shoes with Norwegian welt.

Maybe that’s why there aren’t so many people who use the Norwegian welt technique. But not everyone has such patience for that many stitches.

Shoes that have Norwegian welt also tend to be bulky, but not as much Goodyear welt.

#3. Welts

Both Norwegian and Goodyear welt shoes use a leather strip on the outside of the shoes. The strip goes around the shoe and later joins to the outsole.

The process with the welt is what gives both techniques extra toughness.

Can You Re-sole Norwegian Welt?

Yes, it’s possible to re-sole shoes that use Norwegian welt. But it’s a tricky process, and you may end up on a quest since Norwegian welt is rare.

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As such, cobblers that use the technique are rare. But, then, Norwegian welt requires a great deal of detail, making it unpopular in the mainstream market.

You’re usually looking at ways to speed up production. Sadly, you can’t speed up over 300 stitches and handcraft. So, you won’t find many people that use Norwegian welt.

Another headache is the Norwegian welt sewing machine. Norwegian welt has a special machine for stitching, and you won’t find it just anywhere.

Even if you find someone who knows the technique, they may still need the machine. So, the next solution would be to sew the sole by hand, but that’s another skill set.

Only some cobblers can re-sole Norwegian welt by hand. Either way, the cost of re-soling Norwegian welt is expensive. Also, the cost may beat the initial price of your shoe.

It may be better to ditch your old shoes for a new pair. So, if you must re-sole your Norwegian welt shoes, the best place to start looking is the brand’s customer service.

But brace up to bear the cost you’ll incur because it won’t come cheap.

Why Do People Love Goodyear Welt?

First, Goodyear welt is a preferred choice among many shoemakers because of its durability. Goodyear welt shoes are durable because of how tough they are.

So, they resist the effects of wear better than other construction techniques. The result is that your shoes last for many years without much maintenance.

That’s equally important if you wear shoes at least five times weekly. So, Goodyear welt shoes will stay in tip-top shape for many years.

That’s not remotely possible with other shoes. The soles of other shoe types will make way only after the first few months.

Another reason people love Goodyear welt is in terms of re-soling. Goodyear welt shoes are super easy to re-sole. What’s even better is that you can re-sole multiple times.

That’s as long as the shoes look good. The cost of repair is also inexpensive. It’s also easy to find a cobbler nearby to repair for you. Find a fitting sole for your shoe, and that’s all.

Goodyear welt shoes are sturdy, so you’ll need the least maintenance. You can also be sure your shoes won’t fall apart even on the roughest terrains.

The toughness and durability of Goodyear welt shoes make them very economical. Though the shoes may be expensive initially, you’ll spend less on them in the long run.

That’s down to the low cost of maintenance and repairs. So, any money you have to part with will be well worth it.


Choosing between Norwegian and Goodyear welt is down to your application. Goodyear welt is tougher and, thus, more durable.

Goodyear welt is also a more popular choice for shoemakers. Yet Norwegian welt is the preferred choice for waterproof shoes.

But the technique is rare. That makes repairing Norwegian welt shoes and the resoling expensive.

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