The #8 (King) PTBs I just bought from TSM....well, they look so great I don't think I can wear them.
I suppose I'll get over it, but does anyone else ever have this problem?
I've experienced that sentiment, but it has never prevented me from wearing them.
Ease in to it by wearing them around the house a few times before taking them for their "Maiden Voyage" "In The Wild".
This is actually absolutely false. I can't speak about camel hide (because I know nothing about it), but the tensile strength of cordovan is far less than regular old calf skin. I am not trying to be condescending, but respected members DWFII and dibadiba have both stated such, and also have proffered data from leather tanneries that state that cordovan has a far lower tensile strength.
To everyone else, thank you for your input, but showing pictures of old eBay shoes that probably have never been worn does not really answer the question either way. I think the best piece of evidence given, so far, was from englade, who presented his pair of 1980s PTBs that had undergone two full resolings and still looked great.
Also, I want to be clear that I personally love cordovan, however, I am just curious as to whether cordovan is indeed superior to calf or is just a clever marketing ploy. While I do not doubt that the quality of cordovan is good, I still have not found and have not been presented with hard evidence that suggests that cordovan is all that everyone says it is. Cordovan is beautiful (I own 3 pairs of alden cordovan and 3 pairs of AE cordovan), but having spoken and listened to cordwainers on this site, the debate just does not seem to clearly fall in cordovan's favor. Steerhide and horsehide both are stronger (tensile strength-wise), and at least the people who actually make shoes seem to think that cordovan is overrated as a material. Now, that being said, I am not saying that cordovan is necessarily better or worse than calf skin, however, I have not been given and cannot find any data that suggests that it is stronger or lasts longer (and is therefore worth the extra $300).
In the end, if you want to spend a lot of money on cordovan instead of calfskin, that's fine-it's your choice. I was just curious as to whether the money I have spent on cordovan will actually go the extra mile versus calf.
Edit: for the record, horsehide ≠ shell cordovan.
My friend, I agree with most of what you said. My only issue is with your assertion/assumption that people buy shell because "it will go the extra mile." I don't think people necessarily buy shell for its stronger more durable quality (at the very least I don't). Good year welted shoes calf or shell can last a very long time when cared for properly. As I said earlier, the way in which it creases and develops its own characteristic patina plays a large role for me. In any case, one does have to wonder why some of the best shoe makers in the world (J.Lobb, E. Green, etc...) produce so little of it, or none at all.
Keep that pair for your "unworn" collection and buy another for use in your rotation. problem solved.
They look more like ravello... does the lighting make them look lighter? In any case, fabulous looking shoes my fellow Star Wars fanatical friend!