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How to identify cordovan leather?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I've seen numerous posts about people asking whether a shoe they post a photo of is cordovan leather or not and people can identify them. How are you magicians doing this? Is there some kind of a definitive way to tell or are these just very informed guesses?
post #2 of 33
I am by no means an expert, far from it. But from what I understand it doesnt crease like leather, and it looks almost plastic like compared to regular leather.
post #3 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles_ View Post
I am by no means an expert, far from it. But from what I understand it doesnt crease like leather, and it looks almost plastic like compared to regular leather.

Achilles is right--shell cordovan leather does not form creases (or microcreases) like calf does, instead forming ripples. If you are able to handle the leather, one way to identify shell is that scratches that would leave a permanent mark on calf are easily removed with a quick polish on shell.
post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
Can someone post a side by side comparison so I can see what you're talking about?

Thanks!
post #5 of 33
This video, shown on Put This On, should give you a better idea of what to look for. Watch the first one and skip to around the 8:00 mark.

http://putthison.com/post/5219725232...thers-are-made
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles_ View Post
I am by no means an expert, far from it. But from what I understand it doesnt crease like leather, and it looks almost plastic like compared to regular leather.

I wouldn't say that it looks "plastic-like" at all, but it does have more of a shine than most leather does.

The best way to tell is to look where creases form on the upper of the shoe. If there are micro creases, than the upper is definitely leather. If the creases look like ripples, with no micro creases, then it is shell cordovan.
post #7 of 33
These are shell cordovan, notice the humps. You can't see it exactly but there are no creases which appear in calf.
post #8 of 33
when you'll see it, you'll know. It's pretty obvious.
post #9 of 33
I'm fairly new to high end shoes. I knew nothing of shell cordovan prior to when I started nosing around here last winter. When I finally found a cordovan shoe (KC isn't a hot bed of footwear fashion) it jumped right out at me. Almost can't miss it.
post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 
Ok, I see the difference and I think I'll be able to spot them in the wild now.
post #11 of 33
The leather is hard as fuck. If you hit your face with it, there would be as much "give" as a plank of wood. It is almost like hard plastic. You could almost hammer a nail with it. Almost.
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reevolving View Post
The leather is hard as fuck. If you hit your face with it, there would be as much "give" as a plank of wood. It is almost like hard plastic. You could almost hammer a nail with it. Almost.

Does the hardness make it uncomfortable?
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stylego View Post
I'm fairly new to high end shoes. I knew nothing of shell cordovan prior to when I started nosing around here last winter. When I finally found a cordovan shoe (KC isn't a hot bed of footwear fashion) it jumped right out at me. Almost can't miss it.

Obviously you haven't met me yet.
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by miurasv View Post
Does the hardness make it uncomfortable?

Only if you smack yourself in the face with it.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Waffles View Post
This video, shown on Put This On, should give you a better idea of what to look for. Watch the first one and skip to around the 8:00 mark.

http://putthison.com/post/5219725232...thers-are-made

Thanks for posting the above link to www.putthison.com videos. I enjoyed watching them all. Shell Cordovan has got to be the leather in my next shoes.
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