Types of shoe Leather We’ve all heard about the advantages of buying leather shoes (and leather products in general), but with so many alternatives available today, what are the many kinds of shoe leathers that we may pick from? In its purest form, leather is a material made from various animal hides that have undergone a process called tanning. Primarily, this procedure halts the aging of leather and allows us to use it as a material. It is regarded as a fantastic by-product of the meat business with many applications in many industries. I’ll break the various types of shoe leather into categories because there are so many to discuss.
Even though they are prone to scuffing and scratching, calfskin leather shoes can survive for years with proper care. Surface wear marks can be concealed with the proper polishing and buffing techniques, and with time, they may also acquire a lovely patina. Although leather doesn’t require particularly intensive upkeep, it is a good idea to polish and moisturize it to prevent drying and cracking. To learn how to accomplish this, you may always go to one of our blogs, such as How To Keep Your Shoes Shining.
After the tanning process, leather is cured but not colored; it is left unfinished with its natural color. This type of leather is referred to as crust calf. This leather is frequently used to create high-end shoes, which are then hand-colored or patinated by a patina artist at the shoe factory or workshop. Most Italian and French shoemakers who have a reputation for gorgeous finishes and colors use this method of shoe production.
Due to its homogeneous and smooth texture, box calf leather, which is the most popular type of leather used in traditional shoes, is a luxury option. This sort of leather has a distinctive luster that ranges from matte to dazzling gloss thanks to the polish (depending on light reflection). Given that it is a delicate leather that is prone to scuffs and scratches, constant maintenance is required.
This kind of leather is polished or shined calfskin, where flaws are concealed with an acrylic coating that gives the skin a plastic-like appearance and feels. This type of leather is coated, which makes it durable, especially in humid conditions. It is also quite inflexible and prone to cracks, which cannot be repaired like in uncoated leather.
Suede is a type of leather made from the interior of the calf’s internal hide. Full-grain suede and split-grain suede are the two varieties of suede leather.
4a. Full Grain Suede
Full grain suede is a more expensive variety of suede that differs significantly in color from light to dark based on the direction of the hair. Compared to other varieties of split suede, the hairs are longer and have a shinier, more brilliant gloss (explained next). Despite being far more expensive than split, it is not as resistant to wear as split since any dirt it picks up is much more obvious and challenging to repair.
4b. Split Grain Suede
Split-grain suede is produced by shaving off the fleshy portion of the skin, which is then sanded and polished to produce a delicate, soft feel. Split-grain suede is more resistant to wear, but not having full-grain suede’s exquisite appearance. To give your suede shoes a longer lifespan, it’s crucial to perform a little bit of maintenance every now and then.
Grain Calfskin is calfskin leather that has been stamped; it lacks a natural grain. Instead, it is frequently stamped at the manufacturer on cheap leather. For shoes that will be used in an active lifestyle, the textured surface is an excellent choice because it effectively conceals wear and tear. The grains are available in a variety of shapes, including the Hatch Grain, the Pin Grain, and the Pebble Grain, which stand out and are frequently designed for shoes worn in arid climates (which is a softer and subtler-looking grain).