A Guide To Leather Shoes (B)

Today leather is seen as a sign of quality and durability, which is why many men always look for leather shoes when they go shopping. Leather can be incorporated in many ways in a shoe: for example a shoe that has a leather sole will be a lot more resistant than a shoe with a non-leather sole. Of course, a shoe with a leather sole can get quite expensive.

We recommend that you invest in a quality pair of shoes (leather sole or not) because leather is qualitative, durable and comfortable. There is a massive difference between how you feet feel in a leather shoe compared to a synthetic shoe.

In this guide, we look at the different types of leathers, how to maintain them and how to pick the right pair.

 

Types of leather

  • One of the most high-end material used to make leather shoes is calfskin. This one is very fine and usually reserved for high-quality dress shoes and is one the more expensive side.
  • On the not very expensive side,a very common type of leather used to make shoes is actually pigskin. Machines today can work with it easily. Pigskin accepts dyes very easily, which makes it great for producing colorful shoes. In case you did not know, footballs are also made out of pigskin.
  • If you wish to stay between calfskin and full-grain side leather, you can opt for kidskin. Kidskin (as weird as it might sound to some) comes from young goats. It is mostly used for women’s shoes, but this does not mean that it won’t be an important part of the male shoe industry as well. A  very common type of kidskin leather is that what we call “suede”. This is created by using a range of chemical and natural treatments.
  • And then there are the more exotic leather types, obtained from a diverse palette of animals such as lizard, shark, ostrich or crocodile. If you want to know more about these, we can tell you that crocodile leather originates from animals legally farmed in the South Pacific but also in South Africa. Generally, ostrich leather comes from farm raised animals as well. Ostrich leather is usually soft and easy to shape. The leather made out of sharkskin is extremely resilient and resistant .
  • Full grain leather is the most natural leather you can wear since it undergoes minimal treatments. This leather is usually made from cow skin, but it can be also obtained from other animals. Because full grain leather is not sanded, it can have minor flaws, but it’s the most natural and breathable shoe one can wear. This leather uses the whole animal hide.
  • Top-grain leather is also a great fabric that can go a long way. It’s quality is incontestable, but it is not as durable as full-grain leather because it uses just the top layers of the animal hide.

 

Choosing leather shoes

Deciding to get a pair of leather shoes is a a good choice in our opinion. Here are some tips on what to look for in a leather shoe while you’re at the store.

  • First, you can check if it’s too thin. If it looks like rice paper, it’s probably very thin and can easily break. You want to feel that the shoe is strong, even though it’s flexible and comfortable.
  • The second thing you can check is the sole and the heel. These need to be well stitched (we’d prefer) or glued. If the stitch seems to be sloppy or easily breakable, then it can very well be.
  • When trying them on, make sure they fit you right. If they are a little too rough, don’t worry, they will adapt to your feet in time, so there is no need to buy a bigger or a smaller size in the hope that something will change. Quality shoes usually feel right from the beginning.
  • Think of how to invest in the shoes. If you are buying your leather shoes in order to wear them a long time every day, you can opt for a shoe with a leather sole, since these can be repaired or replaced, so the shoes will last a longer time, making the price/wear ratio really worth it.

 

Caring for leather

Making sure you take good care of your leather shoes will most likely make them last longer and look better.

  • It’s important to shine them after you wore them and not leave them dirty, as the dirt that comes in contact with them will have an impact on them. {Read our guide on shining shoes}
  • Make sure your shoes are moisturized, polished and waterproofed!
  • When they get wet, it’s best to let them air dry.
  • Suede and nubuck shoes need special care. Don’t use products made for general leather shoes.  If they have spots, try using an art gum eraser. As an alternative, you can use undiluted white vinegar on a soft cloth. The rule is to never rub suede. What you have to do is blot! After removing the stain, brush the shoe and let it dry.

 

In this guide we’ve learned that leather is really diverse and that there is something out there for everyone: whether you prefer the classic leather that needs to be polished or the fancy suede that needs to be brushed. We learned that the stitch of a shoe is one of the key things when it comes to shoes and that sometimes, leather shoes come in the forms of slippers.

 

Fraquoh and Franchomme

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. What type of leather do you prefer? What tips do you have when it comes to leather? Share your thoughts below!

9 thoughts on “A Guide To Leather Shoes (B)

    • Yes, they definitely are! Shoes with leather soles are also more expensive, but they are long-lasting and very strong, so they are definitely worth investing in!

    • That is good, but we can tell you that the vinegar works only if used in small quantities – never overdo it ;)!

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