This section is from the book "The Manufacture Of Boots And Shoes: Being A Modern Treatise Of All The Processes Of Making And Manufacturing Footgear", by F. Y. Golding. Also available from Amazon: The Manufacture Of Boots And Shoes.
The parts of a boot or shoe subjected to the greatest strain, either in making or wearing, should be appropriated the best portions of the skin, and the better the judgment of the cutter, the nearer to this idea will his work approach. In very cheap work this principle is often violated, a backing up of canvas easing the conscience of the producer on the score of wear and appearance. The parts of a shoe that are strained most during manufacture are, the top edge, the facing, the vamp, especially over the toe, and the back seam. During wear, across the joints, and at the end of the quarters where it adjoins the vamp, and above the stiffener, are the parts called upon to bear roughest usage. So that the portions of a boot or shoe where the greatest wear or strain devolves, demand the best quality, and the parts where least wear or strain takes place, the lower qualities.
The shading in Fig. 180 shows the portions of a bal or lace vamp and quarter which needs the best material. The same idea is intended in the darkened portion of Figs. 167, 173, 174, 175. The inferior portion may be disposed of in the tops of the legs, and in very cheap work may sometimes be judiciously worked over that portion of the quarter which immediately covers over the stiffeners.* This is a very risky business, and only excusable when the best appearance article for the money is desired. Flaws may be placed under the toe-caps or under the overlays, etc., blemishes immediately under the button piece or fly; but inferior leather should not extend in this kind of boot as far as the adjoining of the vamp.
Facings should be cut from the firmest and best portion, utilizing the lighter portion for the topbands.
The button piece should be thin, pliant, flexible, but tough, to permit of the buttoning and unbuttoning. The flies should be tight in width. For economical reasons, and for the better fitting of the upper, inside and outside quarters should be used, the smaller quarter for the outside, enabling parts too small for the inside quarter to be used.