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Cordovan, calf and suede uppers

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kolecho, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. kolecho

    kolecho Distinguished Member

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    Lately I have been thinking about my preference when it comes to shoe uppers material. Here are some characteristics that I consider important:

    - Patina: Except for EG and some Italian makers' calf that comes with antiquing, most calf shoes finished flat. Cordovan develops a very deep natural patina over time which I like. No experience with suede. It does not seem to age as gracefully as calf and cordovan.

    - Maintenance: Cordovan wins hands down. It is so easy to shine - simply use a clean cloth to buff. Special cordovan polish is applied sparingly and very seldom. Suede maintenance seems to be about Scotchguarding and brushing. Also quite simple. Calf is the most complicated - wax, cream, spit shine etc.... I am still confused about calf leather maintenance [​IMG]

    - Longevity: Here cordovan wins hands down. I hear conflicting remarks about suede. Some say it is hardier than calf. Others say it is less so.

    So, my personal preference is cordovan for its patina, longevity and ease of maintenance. To me, cordovan is an everyday shoe for all ocassions. Calf leather shoes, to me, are a bit more troublesome to maintain, and less robust than cordovan. I'd like to try some suede next.

    Most cordovan shoes are made of thick leather. I have on order a pair of cordovan wholecut from Carmina that looks very sleek. In fact the Carmina cordovan shoes I held in Peter Elliot NYC is about the same weight as calf. This might very well be the go-to make for my everyday shoes.

    What is your preference?
     


  2. luk-cha

    luk-cha Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    rain deer skin, i have just had some made in this and it is so so soft and it taking a ok shine too!
     


  3. LabelKing

    LabelKing Stylish Dinosaur

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    Sea turtle is very adventurous.
     


  4. luk-cha

    luk-cha Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    Sea turtle is very adventurous.

    i have thort about that one, the person that makes my shoes has got some vintage stuff (35year old) so i am tempted to get some in british racing green - what do you think?

    it looks a bit like croc too!
     


  5. kolecho

    kolecho Distinguished Member

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    Sounds like some forummers have a preference for exotic skins [​IMG]
     


  6. luk-cha

    luk-cha Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    Sounds like some forummers have a preference for exotic skins [​IMG]

    yep sorry i guess i have too many calf leather shoes but it is the texture i like with them! the way the light changes the look etc!!![​IMG]
     


  7. LabelKing

    LabelKing Stylish Dinosaur

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    i have thort about that one, the person that makes my shoes has got some vintage stuff (35year old) so i am tempted to get some in british racing green - what do you think? it looks a bit like croc too!
    This sounds interesting especially in the racing green. What style shoe would it be?
     


  8. mizanation

    mizanation Senior Member

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    i love my alden shell cordovans. like you said, so easy to maintain, looks great, looks better with time, and durable. it's the winner for me.

    although the aging of calfskin can also be very beautiful.
     


  9. luk-cha

    luk-cha Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    This sounds interesting especially in the racing green.

    What style shoe would it be?


    something like this!

    in fact i am having something like this done now in grained calf but with this kind of finshing
    Attachment 833

    what do you think?
     


  10. kolecho

    kolecho Distinguished Member

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    i love my alden shell cordovans. like you said, so easy to maintain, looks great, looks better with time, and durable. it's the winner for me.

    although the aging of calfskin can also be very beautiful.


    I dislike the way calf creases with all those fine lines. Cordovan ripples in a subtle way. Downside to cordovan is price. It is on average about 50% more than calf.
     


  11. luk-cha

    luk-cha Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    I dislike the way calf creases with all those fine lines. Cordovan ripples in a subtle way. Downside to cordovan is price. It is on average about 50% more than calf.
    i have thort about cordovan but you can not get it HK for custom made! unless you can buy online!
     


  12. kolecho

    kolecho Distinguished Member

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    I do not see the need for custom. Tassels in HK carry Alden. They have some nice cordovans. The slip-ons are American classics.
     


  13. kolecho

    kolecho Distinguished Member

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    I would love to hear some suede shoe owners chime in. Issues that are of interest are durability (how suede ages), maintenance, maker etc.
     


  14. LabelKing

    LabelKing Stylish Dinosaur

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    something like this! in fact i am having something like this done now in grained calf but with this kind of finshing Attachment 833 what do you think?
    That shape would be lovely for sea turtle skin, which does have a resemblance to crocodile. Is the other shoe yours as well? http://www.styleforum.net/attachment...4&d=1155199939
     


  15. luk-cha

    luk-cha Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    That shape would be lovely for sea turtle skin, which does have a resemblance to crocodile.

    Is the other shoe yours as well?

    http://www.styleforum.net/attachment...4&d=1155199939

    yep same shape as my sea turtle idea just no toe cap the design is simular!
     


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