Exactly correct. And apparently speaking inside the business and outside the business while using this term gets very different reactions. Folks, the vast majority of black calfskin on the market now (and for the last 5+ years) has to be corrected.....or there wouldn't be many black shoes on the market. And despite the call for various brown shoes in places like this, shoe factories need to sell a lot of black shoes to stay in business.
Thank you for your contribution in this forum. Things like most black shoes corrected grain is actually mind blowing information. With the inferior research that I have done, it seemed like corrected grain = bad. I was hoping if you could elaborate on why that is specific to black shoes and not brown. Also, I was wondering if there is something you look for in determining the quality of leather. Many times, shoe makers may not disclose the source of the hide, and any techniques to judge leathers would be valuable.
I know your probably short on time and the subject is quite broad so, if you could just direct me to a website, that would work.
I'm not trying to start the next "firestorm" or trying to be argumentative. I know my experience is quite trivial compared to yours, Ron. That said, this is quite surprising to me, since I too am generally unable to find any sources that state that true corrected grain leather isn't atleast second rate. Does second rate = bad? Not necessarily. It might be a necessary evil for people to have a good looking product that they demand. However, second rate does mean that it isn't the best.
This same type of concept has been beaten to death as you well know amongst the gemming discussions with DWFII. The arguement being that gemming is a perfectly acceptable and durable construction method according to one side, while it inflames anger from others who are trying to make the point that it simply isn't the best. The point that kept getting lost in translation was that DW was not trying to say that gemming doesn't have a perfectly logical place in RTW shoe construction, and that it isn't durable for what it is. He understands the economics of the shoe industry and why gemming has become a necessary evil. He regrets and laments the course that the shoe industry has taken in the last 150 years or so, which has made the cheapening of shoes seem normal to the masses. His campaign has been to educate people on why gemming is inferior to hand-welting, and remove the wool from people's eyes that Goodyear-welted shoes are the absolute best available as many manufacterers would have us believe. He isn't saying that owners of Goodyear-welted shoes should toss them in the trash and start all over with bespoke hand-welted shoes. He has said recently that even in the heat of those old gemming threads, he never had any misconception that high quality Goodyear-welted dress shoes which are in a proper rotation, kept on shoe trees, cared for properly, and worn in city/office environments will outlast a cheaper cemented shoe any day. He is just sick of people spending over a grand on shoes under the impression that they are getting the very best available, when they aren't. People who can afford multiple pairs of shoes that are over a grand each could likely afford a couple of pairs of hand-welted bespoke shoes just as easily, and they would be getting a better and more durable product.
Now, I may be mistaken, but this new topic of corrected grain leather sounds like it has the potential to be the same tail chasing discussion. Goodyear-welting is the gold-standard in shoe manufactering in that it is what all others are compared to quality wise. For something to be the gold-standard doesn't mean that it has to be the best or most ideal. It is simply the standard that has been pegged as the basis for comparison and you can either get better or cheaper from there. Saying that most black leathers out there are corrected grain doesn't negate the fact that it is still considered second rate. Full grain calf-skin is the gold-standard and is considered the best for making shoes. I assume that you are including all shoe manufacterers in your group when you say that the vast majority of black calfskin is corrected grain from the Lobbs, G&G, EG, down to Alden, AE, etc.? Again, I'm not trying to argue, because I fully respect your experience and knowledge. This just sounds like it would be the same surprise that was reacted to when DW started explaining that everyone's Goodyear-welted shoes use gemming, and gemming is attached using cement.... surprise!!! All the articles said that cemented shoes are cheap, which is what brought out the strong response. All the articles also say that corrected-grain leather is second rate, or cheap. So is the same reaction about to happen? SURPRISE!!!! All your high-end black shoes are probably corrected grain!!!