The material that dreamy shoes are made of. Leather, or raw animal hides that have been preserved, boasts a wide range of positive qualities. These can be moreover be changed in keeping with demands. The higher the quality of the shoe, the higher the proportion of leather used in its construction.
It may sound vulgar, but the fact remains that leather is ultimately nothing but raw animal hides that have been preserved. However, leather is the most important building block of each men's shoe, and its production is a process that requires masterful skill. The following rule of thumb holds true for all quality men's shoes: the more the leather has been processed, the higher it is in quality. And this comes, naturally, at a price. Roughly 47 percent of the production costs involved in making a men's shoe are due to the costly raw material.
Leather offers the shoe a wide range of benefits
The high price of leather is justified. Leather is breathable, elastic, tear proof, abrasion-resistant, heat insulating, and supple. It lends shoes protection with its sturdiness, has a temperature-regulating effect, and lends shoes a sophisticated appearance as well. In order to achieve these positive qualities, elimination is done in the very early stages, as only the best raw animal hides are prepared for tanning. By the way: the distinctive scent and exquisite look of the leather are obtained during the last stage of its processing, in the finishing room.
The animal hides consist of three layers: the outermost upper layer (skin, epidermis), the inner connective tissue (dermis), and the subcutaneous connective tissue. The most valuable layer is the dermis.
Each type of leather is subjected to different demands
However, of course not all leathers are created equal. Men's shoes consist of upper leather, leather lining, and lower leather, all of which differ from one another. Each of these kinds of leather is held to different standards and accordingly expected to have different qualities. Upper leather needs to be elastic yet sturdy, while the leather used to make an insole should retain hardly any water and also be abrasion-resistant. Proper matching is achieved by correctly selecting the raw animal hides and processing them into leather.
By the way, the knowledge behind how to use animal hides to protect from inclement outside conditions is very old. A look at shoe history is enlightening: just as classic types of men's shoes have hardly changed in terms of their construction and production method since the 19th century, only leather of the utmost quality has always been used for the production of quality men's shoes. In order to make it lastingly good looking and durable, it requires careful care. In order to correctly wear men's shoes, you need to have a profound knowledge of the reigning dress code. The wearer is rewarded with a fit, which also significantly contributes to foot health.
On overview of leather production:
Prior to tanning, hair and soiling are removed from the separated animal hides. Thoroughness is given the highest priority. Only the highest-quality hides are processed.Preparing the Hides
The most important process in leather production. Chemical processes are used to procure durable, supple and high-quality leathers from raw animal hides.Tanning
Finishing the Leather
The final processing leather is submitted to takes place in the finishing shop. Here, it takes on a sophisticated appearance and its distinctive smell. The leather is then ready to be used to make shoes.Finishing the Leather
Procuring leather is a centuries-old production process, at the end of which raw animal hides are transformed into a high-quality base material for premium men's shoes.Leather Production
An overview of types of leather:
The majority of quality men's shoes are made from the hides of calves. Box calf is primarily distinguished by its fineness, pliability, and grain.Box Calf
The leather most commonly used in the production of sturdy men's shoes is taken from the hides of cows. Despite its thick structure it always remains flexible.Cowhide
This pricy leather is taken from the hides of horses, and involves an extremely time-consuming production processes. It radiates pure elegance, and lends a particularly special look to Budapester shoes.Cordovan
The leather taken from goat hide is known for being smooth, soft, and supple. The fine look of its grain is one-of-a-kind. Chevreau of the highest quality is taken from young kids.Chevreau
Durable, stable in form and low in price. Peccary, or leather taken from the wild boar, is an established favourite when it comes to producing sturdy footwear. Distinguished by the look of its grain.Peccary
Crocodile skin is extremely expensive, but also decorative. This leather, taken from the hides of young crocodiles, is truly eye-catching, thanks to its distinctive grain pattern.Crocodile Skin
Bred on farms in South Africa and North America. Ostrich leather counts as a type of exotic leather, yet enjoys increasing popularity thanks to its distinctive nubs.Ostrich Leather