Originally Posted by nohio
There appear to be fine lines across much of the shoe, but not on the toe. Are these cracks of some kind or is it supposed to be that way?
The leather for this shoe has an artificially applied grain pattern; in the tannery the leather gets embossed with that particular pattern. Alden calls it "˜Alpine grain'; I believe your shoes are Florsheim, they call it (somewhat pretentiously) "˜Cashmere calf'.
When the shoe gets lasted (pulled over the wooden form), the great force used in that step will even out the pattern to a certain degree, particular in the toe area.