I have a thing for black boots.
A cautionary tale: I previously mentioned I was in the market for shell cordovan and various shoes pop up on Ebay for consideration. I first noticed a number of individuals describe a shoe with "Cordovan leather" and yet the shoe looks like calf. It seems these people use "Cordovan" as a description of the color as opposed to the leather. Be careful when only reading the description.
I then found a site that claimed to contain the official shell cordovan model numbers for all makers who order from Horween. It is a great site with lots of information, but the buyer still must beware. For example, the model number for shell MacNeils are listed as "MacNeil: 9097/9147/9187 (#8, burgundy); 9177/9107 (black)." As a reference, they even show a page from a 1968 AE catalog.
This shows 9107 as black cordovan and 9147 as Cordoba shell cordovan. Perfect. That's straight from the manufacturer and one would think it was gospel, but it is not always so. Style numbers may continue to be used but the materials may change. The 1998 catalog, for example, shows the 9107 and 9147 are both "polished cobbler" or corrected grain. While some like this I do not even raise polished cobbler to calf level, much less cordovan.
So, one should use caution when evaluating a shoe such as this:
One may think this is a vintage Cordoba shell MacNeil, especially with the 9147, but a closer inspection of the vamp reveals the fine spider lines that look like a calf as opposed to the wavy appearance of shell.
The seller of this last shoe was not making any claims about the type of leather and some ambitious supersleuth may go only by the style number and decide it was cordovan.
While I'm waiting for the arrival of my new oxblood Dalton on next Tuesday. I was looking around on the pictures of different shines of the oxblood Dalton.
Some have strong shines, while the others kept their oxblood matte/lack of shine. Since it will be my first time owning a pair of fine leather shoes.. I wonder what do I have to do to get it shine like the first picture? But since I wear kilts means my boots will be open exposed. Is it better for me to keep them matte instead of shine them up enough to make them look like Ronald McDonald's shoes? I'm open to the suggestions.
Dear Filthy Barnweasels,
I can't take it anymore. This is the end!
Nothing currently catches my eye in the AE catalog. I'm going back to shopping at Kohl's for my shoes. With brands like Nunn Bush, Chaps, and Giorgio Brutini (Italian!!!) to choose from, how can I go wrong?
Good luck with your crazy shell addictions...