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Hippo Skin: Style & Durability

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I am considering purchasing a pair of custom-made hippo skin boots in the $400-$800 price range. There isn't a lot of discussion on this forum regarding hippo skin. I wonder why. The boots I'm looking at remind me of nubuck/suede; definitely a casual skin, but it also looks very durable, comfortable, and casually stylish.

Has anyone had experience with hippo skin?
post #2 of 24
I would assume that the skin of any pachyderm would be as tough as all hell.

Hippo skin is one of the preferred materials for making those savage whips variously known as sjamboks, kibokos or kourbashes.
post #3 of 24
Style shouldn't even be a concern if you're ordering boots made from hippo leather, because it looks pretty ugly.

However, it would make for a nice leather to use on a work or field boot.
post #4 of 24
Don't really see the attraction. Exotics have their place but Hippo for a casual shoe? MAybe pictures would help.
post #5 of 24
Paging LK...
post #6 of 24
Originally Posted by Big Punisher View Post
Paging LK...

post #7 of 24
I've seen two versions of hippo leather, a more matte type and a sueded, roughed up type.

Russell has a few swatch photos on their site:

An example of the sueded type:

post #8 of 24
Is this legal?
post #9 of 24
Originally Posted by jhcam8 View Post
Is this legal?
Hippo leather is available through legal channels. So is elephant and other exotic animals.
post #10 of 24
All of the hippo I have seen has been sueded with a short nap - quite attractive in a rustic way, and much more uniform in appearance than the boots depicted. Church's used to make quite a few shoes in hippo, elephant, fighting seal, wildebeast, and other exotics. I suspect that one does not see much hippo because of its price, limited demand, and limited availability. It may also be covered by CITES regs, adding to the trouble and cost.
post #11 of 24
Some exotic leathers I don't mind, but hippo and elephant turn me right off.
post #12 of 24
I could see it work with a chelsea boot.
post #13 of 24
I have a pair of Lucchese cowboy boots in hippo. They are often mistaken for elephant, but have more numerous and shallower burrowing valleys through the leather. They are hardy, though more prone to scratches than elephant. They seem slightly more elegant than elephant, though I suppose neither one is actually very elegant. I don;t think the skin would make a good substrate for a casual shoe - would look more awkward than exotic.
post #14 of 24
I'd like to see some boots made up in it. Possibly motorcycle boots. I think the rugged, beat-up look might work there.
post #15 of 24
I love exotic skins especially croc but i do not remember seeing any hippo before...
I have seen a few elephant shoes but never hippo..
Are they protected?
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