Originally Posted by The Iowan
I'm at work right now so not able to take photos at this moment. What do you look for, I know the creasing gives it away but what exactly about the creasing and the "microcreasing" means its not shell.
Is microcreasing just when you bend a shoe and a bunch of little "cracks" appear in the crease and spread slightly. I'm leaning towards these being shell since it just bends and doesn't have the little cracks that come out from the main bend.
Basically what you're looking for are whether there are lines of creasing within the rolls of the shoe.
Shell will "roll" but will not "crease" - i.e., you should not see individual lines appear in the rolls. From looking at your pictures more closely, it does appear that there is actual creasing in the rolls, which leads me to believe that they are not shell.
Additionally, the smoothness around the eyelets suggests to me that they are not shell. Shell shoes tend to "bubble" at the eyelets, a bit, whereas calfskin shoes are perfectly flat around the eyelets. Yours appear to be nice and flat around the eyelets, without any "bubbling."
Another hint is the heel. Assuming it has not been re-soled/re-heeled, AE shell shoes will come with a dovetailed heel.
If you took pictures with the flash on, especially of the vamp creases and the eyelets, we could figure it out for sure, but right now I'm leaning towards concluding that they are calf, not shell.
Post up some more photos!