So, if you watched my channel for sometime or know anything about me you’ll know that I’m absolutely obsessed with Spade soles.

Now when I mention spade soles in posts or in videos, a lot of people aren’t sure what that means since it’s not something you see as commonly anymore.

A spade sole is a fine detail added to shoes that was very prominent in the golden era of American shoe making back in the 1940’s. The sole of the shoe is cut in such a way, that it resembles a spade shovel with sharper lines and a pointed front. If you look at vintage magazine ads, almost every high end shoe was constructed using a spade sole.

Spade Sole

In my opinion, they look very regal and accentuate lines and angles that give the shoe a very dynamic look. In high end shoemaking, dynamic lines and sharp angles are really desired and generally, the clunkier, bulbous, and thicker shoes are less desired by some aficionados.

Spade Sole

My love for this look started when I was a kid. I was a huge fan of Batman The Animated Series and I noticed that whenever Bruce Wayne wore a suit, he portrayed the ideal image of men’s fashion, especially in later team up shows like Justice League Unlimited. He had huge shoulders and a very skinny waists and his shoes looked dynamic and sharp. Now if you look at how the animators drew Bruce Wayne’s shoes, you’ll notice they have a spade shape. It just gives the shoe an incredible silhouette, really the ideal shape of what a dress shoe should look like by narrowing the waist of the shoe and having the spade cut a sharp line by the ball of the foot to the front of the shoe. The elongated front part of the spade gives the appearance of a sharper and more chiseled toe.

Men’s clothes in general seeks to accentuate the positive aspects of the male form and this is especially evident with suits or blazers. slight padding or even heavy padding enlarges the man’s shoulders so they look bigger while his waist appears thinner and tighter overall.

This is also why tailored suits and clothing has become so wildly popular today. It’s just another effort to accentuate the human body in a positive way, whether it succeeds or fails or is a good idea or a terrible one, that’s what it seeks to do. So for example, if you’re Daniel Craig, your suits for amazingly well first and foremost because you’re in fantastic shape but if you’re the average Joe, you can give the appearance that you’re in better shape than you are by making sure your clothing is tailored to fit closer to your body.

Very loose-fitting pants are out, and slimmer more trim trousers are in and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. It follows the pattern set forth by men’s fashion, which began with the European Military uniforms of the British army hundreds of years ago. Men’s clothing today is in homage or at least was inspired and finds its roots in the clothing of the 1700’s and what came and evolved from that afterward, including the button-down white shirt and the suit.

I think a lot of people would be surprised to learn that most of our clothing came from or was impaired by military dress including dress shoes, boots, trousers, bomber jackets, and even aviator sunglasses.

So, when I first saw the spade sole on a shoe, I was instantly attracted to the look and wondered for a long time why this feature was no longer a part of the regular fine details you see on shoes commonly today. I can’t name more than 10 companies who do it when it was a staple back in the day.

So, after years of wondering I finally decided to contact Steve at Bedo’s Leather Works to see it adding this detail on a shoe was even possible and Steve did not disappoint.

I wanted the shape of the spade to be a little more subtle than other pairs I’ve seen just to start off but if you’re interested in seeing how it was done, Steve has the video of the entire process on his channel so I’ll link to it on the description of this video. Without further ado, here it is:

Steve did an excellent job with shaping the spade. I love the contoured line on the inside and outside of the shoe that tapers nicely as it goes back to the heel of the shoe. It really gives the shoe a different look.

Now one of things Steve changed about this pair is that he converted them from a 360 Goodyear welt to a 270-degree good year welt, which allows the heel of the shoe to come in closer to the back here for a cleaner and slimmer profile. If you compare it to this pair of stock Allen Edmonds strands which are still 360° good year welted, you can see what I’m talking about. The heel and welt stick out further since the stitching here has to go around the whole shoe. I prefer a 270-degree welt since it allows for a slim tapering at the back.

Now another change Steve made with this resole is he added a higher stitch density with an impressive 10 stitches per inch while normal stock pairs have about 4-5 stitches per inch. It’s always good to see that personally and he also added some gimping on the welt as well which is always awesome to see.

Now the soles are my favorite part. Steve added beautiful JR soles with blind channel stitching which is already amazing work but on top of that, he added my initials using nails here on the waist of the shoes and added custom brass toe plates to finish it off. Not to mention, he finished the sole off with what I call a spider man blue and red paint job although technically it’s called broken glass if I’m not mistaken, which I actually love like you would not believe.

Overall, I am so pleased with the results. I’m glad I finally reached out and looked around for someone willing to take on this project for me. I really hope the spade sole makes a comeback but if it doesn’t, it’s always going to be a fine detail I absolutely love and appreciate. Specialty thanks to Steve at Bedos leather works for agreeing to take this on.

Here is the before, as you can see it’s the stock Allen Edmonds some and welt and here is the final product. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.