In 1872 Charles Goodyear invented a machine capable of stitching the welt to the insole, thus revolutionizing the quality of footwear worldwide. His surname would become the name of this system of crafting footwear. Just 5 years later, in 1877, Antoni Fluxà Figuerola founded his footwear craft workshop in the Majorcan town of Inca, importing the Goodyear construction system from England, thanks to the trips that he made at a time when it was not easy to do so. Today, almost 140 years later, Lottusse has become a company of acknowledged prestige, the fruit of combining handcrafted tradition and industrial progress over the years.
One of the main reasons for Lottusse's success has undoubtedly been its use of construction systems such as Goodyear, a method that it previously carried out by hand, but began manufacturing using machines in 1910, along with its decision to use materials of the highest quality, and the creation and development of a team of highly qualified professionals.
More than 60 craftsmen are involved in the process of manufacturing Goodyear shoes from Lottusse. The shoes take up to 4 days to create, and use between 25 and 50 different elements and pieces. All this involves a process with more than 120 handcrafted phases, from beginning to end.
These hundred-year-old machines have borne witness to this process. Over the decades, they have watched several generations of workers and artisans in the same family as they came and went. They, who still have the same passion, calmness and way of creating products as their ancestors did, in spite of the fast-paced rhythm of fashion today.
Goodyear shoes offer many advantages but all experts agree that their secret weapon is durability. The overlap of elements, internal isolation, the double stitching of the sole, and the use of cow hide from the best selection of French and Italian leather result in footwear with unparalleled resistance and durability. Nevertheless, what characterizes Lottusse shoes made with this construction is their flexibility and lightness. Thanks to the study of the lightness of all of the components and innovation in the insoles and welt, the final result is one of the lightest and most flexible Goodyear shoes on the market.
Creating it requires specialist labour and machinery, developed over years, which is why this product is considered an exclusive item and of outstanding quality. Only one out of every hundred shoes manufactured in the world is done in this way.
A thread with 8 interlaced endings coated with resin goes through up to 300 times, gliding stitch-like through the welt and insole, forming a single piece capable of protecting our feet from all external impacts, thereby creating the most robust, resistant and practical instrument for walking that has ever been conceived.
Comfort is guaranteed by the design of modern, comfortable and spacious lasts, as well as by the selection of natural, usually cow leathers tanned using traditional processes, which provide resistance, volume and flexibility.
The rhythm of life today demands that our feet rest in comfortable and resistant shoes that don't lose their shape easily. Thus, the construction and the materials used are the strongholds ensuring the necessary compromise between firmness and comfort. The Goodyear system, compared with other solutions, is the perfect construction for shoes worn for long-term and intensive use without sacrificing the durability of our footwear.
With adequate maintenance, a shoe created using this system can withstand more than 12,000 hours of use, which is equivalent to at least 8 years of habitual wear. That means that if we purchase a good pair of Goodyear shoes, we will not only be acquiring an exclusive and quality product, but also an investment for the well-being of our feet, which, let's not forget, are the base of our whole body.
And that's what Antoni Fluxà Figuerola must have thought when he decided to embark on this adventure, probably not knowing that step by step, shoe by shoe, he would become a leader of the Spanish footwear industry. The company has also expanded substantially abroad.
Traditionally, Goodyear construction has been linked to the classic shoe, perhaps aimed at those customers who knew how to appreciate it. However, as Antonio Fluxà Rosselló, the founder's grandson, said “At Lottusse, we understand design as a constant renewal of the classic”. In this way, it has been possible to lead Goodyear towards a more casual and relaxed style, bringing this type of product and quality closer to customers who were not ready to give up on design and innovation.
If we analyse the Lottusse collections in depth, we will find in most of their models inspiration from and clear reminders of the most classic designs. On the other hand, they remain far from the most negative connotations of the word 'classic' through their use of dyed leathers, mixtures of textures, the inclusion of details or surprising patinas that, taken together, reinvent the model, offering a totally refreshed and modern image, without losing versatility and glowing with the aura of a unique piece. Because behind each Lottusse model are months of design, development, tests and rejections, in order to finally reach the catalogue and form part of the lively history of this firm.
We usually consider the double stitching of the welt and insole to be the signal feature of this system of construction. However, no less important is the inclusion of the wooden midsole, which provides the shoe with the necessary balance and stiffness. The use of the cork plaster is something that, with luck, we will never see in our own shoes, but thanks to which we gain the essential cushioning of our step and protection of our foot from all external elements. There is also the interior finish of the lining and insole, which in addition to improving the comfort and fit, represents the aesthetic completion of all the craftsmanship that has gone before.
These details are of special importance for Lottusse, and to the naked eye are part of that special factor that distinguishes the brand within the industry compared with other footwear companies. Elements that may seem trivial and which most companies would be expected to skimp on, are meaningful at Lottusse, transforming this diverse mixture of leather, hide, cork, wood, glue and threads into a unique pair of shoes that accompany their owner for many years.
Text: Salvador Godoy
Photography: Francisco Fonteyne