FAQ: Cemented, Fused, or Welted Boot Construction?

FAQ: Cemented, Fused, or Welted Boot Construction?

There’s more to a pair of boots than its safety certifications and waterproof rating. How your boots are built plays a role in their overall functionality and how they feel on your feet.

KEEN Utility boots and shoes feature one of three different types of construction: cement, KEEN.FUSION or welted. Each type of construction fits on a spectrum of flexibility vs. ruggedness and helps to inform a given boot or shoe’s intended use. 

Each type of construction has its benefits and ideal uses. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between cement, KEEN.FUSION, and welted boot construction. Find out which type is best for your application.

What is Cement Boot Construction?

Cement construction is the most widely used type of shoe construction. It involves gluing the outsole directly to the midsole and upper using a strong cement. It’s the lightest-weight method and creates the most flexible footwear. As a result, cement construction is commonly used in a wide range of shoes, including running shoes, hiking boots, casual shoes, lighter-duty work boots, and any shoes where natural flexibility is a priority.

Cement construction doesn’t use any stitching and is characterized by a clean, streamlined look with easy, natural walking flexibility. We use cement construction in multiple KEEN Utility shoe families, including the Arvada, Vista Energy, and Reno families.

For jobs that keep you moving all day, the Arvada work sneakers for men and women balance the lightweight feel and comfort of an athletic shoe with the durable build and safety features that manufacturing and warehouse work require. They’re available in a variety of colors and bridge the gap between weekend wear and workweek protection.

Our Vista Energy family of work sneakers all feature KEEN.ReGEN midsole technology, offering up to 50% energy return with every step. Women’s and men’s Vista Energy styles are available with a range of safety features designed for warehouse and assembly line work, including ESD versions for sensitive electronics operations.

The versatile KEEN Utility Reno family is equal parts athletic and hardworking. Combined with our KEEN.BELLOWS FLEX, the cement construction lets you walk, crouch, and move throughout the work day with a natural, unrestricted feel. When combined with our KEEN.ReGEN midsole, the Reno delivers all-day comfort, no matter how much you move, climb ladders, or rely on your feet at work.

What is KEEN.FUSION Boot Construction?

KEEN.FUSION is our proprietary construction method that uses heat and pressure to fuse the outsole, midsole, and upper together, eliminating the need for glues and solvents. It’s durable and well-suited to boots worn in more varied terrain. KEEN.FUSION is featured on the Fort Wayne and our American Built family, including the Dover, Independence and Coburg work boots.

KEEN.FUSION creates a bond that’s more durable than cement but more flexible than a welt. It maintains a supportive feel underfoot and natural-flexing comfort for jobsites and workloads that keep you moving and bending while negotiating uneven terrain.

The KEEN Utility Fort Wayne for men is a modern take on the classic construction site work boot. It’s lightweight, waterproof, easy to walk in, and jobsite tough thanks to KEEN.FUSION construction, KEEN.TOUGHSOLE outsole durability, and our trademark KEEN.PROTECT toe bumper. Choose the carbon-fiber toe version for work that requires more protection.

All of the KEEN Utility American Built family features lightweight, durable KEEN.FUSION construction. Whether you need the extra support and steel-toe build of the 8” KEEN Utility Coburg boot or the versatile comfort and tough build of the KEEN Utility Independence oxford shoes with carbon-fiber safety toes, our KEEN.FUSION construction maintains a natural-flexing feel for busy days on your feet.

What is Welted Boot Construction?

Welted construction is a traditional footwear construction method. It involves stitching the upper, the insole, a welt (an extra layer of leather), and the outsole together. KEEN Utility uses Goodyear welted construction on a few of our heavy-duty styles. It gets its name from a process developed in the late nineteenth century by Charles Goodyear Jr., son of the famous American manufacturing engineer who developed vulcanized rubber.

Goodyear welted construction is commonly used on dress shoes, handmade custom footwear, and boots meant for tough workdays on rocky or uneven surfaces. It’s considered one of the most durable footwear construction methods, with a side benefit of creating a boot that can be resoled. You’ll find Goodyear welted construction on multiple KEEN Utility work boots, including the Camden and Cincinnati.

The heavy-duty KEEN Utility Camden work boots for men are built for the toughest jobs and work environments where rugged durability and safety features are paramount. While they’re rugged, we’ve trimmed as much non-essential weight from the Camden as possible, making it a fully capable boot that doesn't weigh you down.

Carpenters, landscapers, and road crew workers looking for the durability of a Goodyear welted build should consider the KEEN Utility Cincinnati work boots. Their wedge sole design offers smooth walking and a stable feel for a range of construction work and outdoor jobs. The welted construction means you can count on them for years of dedicated wear.

The Right Shoes for the Job

KEEN Utility uses a variety of boot and shoe construction methods to build durable, comfortable work shoes. 

Those searching for heavy-duty durability should look no further than KEEN Utility Goodyear welted boots like the Camden and Cincinnati boots.

If a balance of flexibility and durability for indoor or outdoor work describes your need, look to our varied collection of KEEN.FUSION boots and shoes like the Fort Wayne or our series of American Built boots.

And if work shoes with a lightweight, sneaker-like feel for indoor manufacturing and warehouse work are what you need, our cement construction shoes like the Arvada, Vista Energy, and Reno series have you covered.

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FAQ: Cemented, Fused, or Welted Boot Construction?
FAQ: Cemented, Fused, or Welted Boot Construction?