The Goodyear welt method dates back to 1869 and is named after Charles Goodyear Jr, who invented the machinery used for the construction process.
The Goodyear Welt construction is simply put, a strip of leather that is sewn around the bottom edge of the shoe, attached to both the insole and the upper to hold the shoe together. The welt can then be easily unstitched, which then detaches the sole without damaging the rest of the shoe – meaning it can be replaced over and over again.
This method differs from the most typical construction which is cemented where the shoe is glued/cemented. Again, the bottom line being that once you wear out the soles you can have a cobbler remove the sole and then attach a new one, allowing for many years of wear.
Goodyear welted shoes are made to last. Care and nurture for your shoes and they will sustainably last for decades to come. As long as you take care of the upper of your shoes, then both the sole and the heel can be replaced by your local shoemaker.