We are the last French manufacturer to master this type of sole assembly. In that respect, La Botte Gardiane is recognized and certified as a Living Heritage Company *. The mixed or joint assembly give the shoes a long lasting impermeability.

Indeed, 14mm stainless tacks (or nails) are placed every 5 mm on the sole and riveted one by one on a steel shoe form. This enables the four layers of the sole to stay tightly packed and never loosen.

In other types of sole assembly (Goodyear, Norwegian, etc ...), the sewing thread can be elastic, and tends to loosen with use. Our Camarguaise boots are well known for their solidity.

The insole, the sole, and the leather layers between them, are made of full grain naturally tanned leather. This plants tanning process is made with barks of chestnut, oak, and rosemary. Unlike chromium-based tanning, much cheaper and which represents 99% of the leather shoes on the market, 100% plants tanning does not contain chromium. You should know that chromium is an aggravating factor of mycoses; it can be damaging for your feet health and hygiene.

Please find below more explanations on this type of assembly, as well as a cross section image.

The first assembly insole is stapled to the form, also named articulated and hobnailed patron. This defines the style of the shoe. The upper of the shoe, which is the upper part covering the shoe, is placed over the form and stretched on it, using a specific machine to assembly the front of the shoe. The mounting part of the upper is then folded under the form and glued to the first assembly insole.

Blisters or thicker parts are then abraded, in order to make the underside of the shoe perfectly smooth. This also makes it easier to place the different layers of the shoe sole. The first insert part of the sole is made of 2 thick layers (numbers 4 and 5) which are glued and stitched together. This part is then nailed together with the upper and the assembly insole, using 14 mm stainless steel nails. This is how 4 thick layers are bounded together with stainless steel tacks. The whole assembly is then hammered, to squeeze and nail further the different layers.



It is an easy assembly, fully stitched, with a rugged durability and a great flexibility. This type of assembly is characterized by the way the upper (upper part of the shoe that covers the foot) is pressed over the form. Indeed, the mounting part of upper is not folded under the insole, as in a standard assembly, but it is rather pulled to the side:

The upper is held tight to the form and the first insert part of the sole, thanks to clamps (clips) and glue. The most important step in the process is to sew “with small stitch”. This is a specific way of sewing, which bounds together the upper and the thick insert layers of the sole.

To ensure comfort, we place a 3mm microcellular midsole, between the assembly leather insole and the outside sole. This midsole absorbs shocks and guarantees a great thermal insulation. The upper, the microcellular midsole and the first assembly leather sole, are sewn with a rot-proof thread.

Eventually, the outside sole can be made of: 

  • Airlite, a real foamed rubber, which is not slippery, and has a great resistance to abrasion. This is the traditional sole for this type of assembly.
  • Vibram built-up sole
  • compacted rubber with studs
  • naturel crepe rubber (there is no microcellular midsole with this type of sole) 




This a more simple assembly. The shoe is immediately comfortable, being much lighter and supple than with a mixed assembly. The stuck assembly is as solid as the previous type of assemblies. However, as the sole is thinner with that kind of assembly, it is important to protect the sole and watch its wear. This is why we recommend to have rubber pads put under your leather soles.

This is the same assembly process than in the mixed assembly: a form or articulated and hobnailed patron is used to give the arch and design to the shoe (round or pointed shape…).The upper is pressed over the form, the mounting part of the upper is then folded and glued to the first assembly leather insole.

The blisters or thicker parts appearing on the leather during assembly, are then abraded. This improves the comfort of the foot (no embossed design) and optimizes the adhesion of the glue, especially on greasy leathers.

The outside sole is then glued under the first assembly leather insole.



The sandals assembly is entirely handmade. All the elements constituting our sandals are made by us, from leather cutting to stitching, from heels to leather soles. 

We use forms or patrons, shaped like children, women or men bare feet, to tighten our sandals straps. The upper part of the sandal is glued and pulled over the form with a clip. The mounting part of the upper is then folded under the first assembly leather insole.

This first assembly leather insole is cut, pointed (to define where the perforations will be made to pass straps), abraded (to improve glue adhesion), and branded. The size is marked manually. The ornamental stitching is then made around the rim of the assembly leather sole. The first assembly leather sole is eventually perforated according to the marks made with the right width.

Thus, 30 operations, covering the entire expertise areas of the workshop, are required in the process of making a pair of sandal (cutting, preparing, stitching, assembling, finishing). It takes not less than 1h20 to make a pair of sandals.

The sandals can also be tailor-made and adapted to the shape of your feet. 


3- Walking outsole :

La Botte Gardiane soles are mostly made out of leather. The leather is a “croupon” 100% naturally tanned leather, which is 4.5 mm thick.

La Botte Gardiane is also the last manufacturer using traditional real foamed rubber, called Airlite, for its soles. Airlite does not become distorted, it is not slippery, and has very good resistance to abrasion. The part of the sole in contact with the ground is a grid of small and not deep studs; therefore, soil and sand can’t be stuck in the sole.

For their walking soles, many manufacturers usually use highly foamed rubber soles, which become distorted with time, are slippery, and wear out very quickly.

Every sandals can be made with leather soles or Vibram rubber soles.

We can also increase the height of the Airlite heels, from 20 to 30 mm.


* Entreprise du patrimoine vivant (EPV) est un label officiel français délivré sous l'autorité du Ministère de l'Économie, des Finances et de l'Industrie, afin de distinguer des entreprises françaises aux savoir-faire artisanaux et industriels d’excellence.Il est attribué pour une période de cinq ans.

* Living Heritage Company (EPV) is a French official label of excellence, issued under the authority of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry, to distinguish French companies with the higher level of traditional crafts and manufacturing skills. This label is awarded for a five year period.