It is universally acknowledged among those who are familiar with the different methods of shoe construction that Goodyear welting is by far and away the best method. However when it comes to repairing Goodyear welted shoes which is preferable: the half sole repair versus the full sole repair?
If you pose this question to the manufacturer such as Loake, Church, Crockett & Jones and Barker they will always recommend returning the shoes to them where they can carry out a full sole replacement and they will certainly do a very good job. However only they have the original lasts on which the shoes were originally made and can therefore ensure that they will come back to you fitting and looking the same as they were when new. Should you however approach your local and perfectly competent shoe repairer he can also carry out the same long sole repair but he will not have the original lasts. The result being that when you receive the shoes back they may well feel slightly different and their shape may also have changed slightly.
The main advantage therefore of the half sole repair is that it is far less invasive and does not require use of the original last to be sure of retaining the original look and fit. You should therefore never allow your local repairer to carry out a long sole and heel replacement. The other advantages of a half sole repair is that it is cheaper and since it will be your local repairer doing the job you shouldn’t lose the shoes for long.