In regards to the original question, there is a place for both, IMO, in every closet. Instead of considering either 2 shell cordovan shoes or 3 calfskin shoes, why not get one of each and determine what YOU like about them thru time. Comparing the materials, and the price charged for each, is difficult since the only thing in common between the two is that they are used as shoe uppers, in this case. Like comparing steel to aluminum. Calfskin is a hide, and a commodity. The standard material for all dress shoes, calfskin is available in an almost infinite array of colors, finishes, textures and quality levels. It is culled, tanned, split, dyed, stamped, sprayed, waxed, stretched, cut-up, glued together, sanded, skived, waxed, coated, treasured, and thrown in dumpsters from Argentina to Canada, China to Spain, and all points in between. As shoe material, calfskin has the capability to produce museum grade footwear that will outlive us, as well as shoes that will be disposed of in three months. Genuine Shell Cordovan, on the other hand, is not a hide, and is a specialty item. The membrane below the hide, cut from the hindquarters of a horse, shell cordovan is only reliably sourced from one tannery - Horween in Chicago. As such, it's properties and care are very consistent, production methods unchanged thru many years. The supply is miniscule, compared to calfskin, and it's unique features (naturally waterproof, warm, and with a finish that improves, not degrades, with age) and production costs make it suitable for only one level of footwear - 'better'. That's my take, anyway. Oh, and it looks real good in Navy Blue. Not to mention Honey.