Are wallets made from thinner, softer, more flexible leather than shoes? Come to think of it, what about gloves? I have some gloves and mitts that are decades old, treated with Snoseal to protect from water, and no cracking. Never polished or stripped, of course.
How does leather in other applications hold up? Bookbindings live their lives indoors, no exposure to the elements, indoor dust, gentle handling, etc. But eventually they crack.
Could much of the difference...