How to identify cordovan leather?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by GimpArm, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. GimpArm

    GimpArm New Member

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    I've seen numerous posts about people asking whether a shoe they post a photo of is cordovan leather or not and people can identify them. How are you magicians doing this? Is there some kind of a definitive way to tell or are these just very informed guesses?
     


  2. Achilles_

    Achilles_ Senior member

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    I am by no means an expert, far from it. But from what I understand it doesnt crease like leather, and it looks almost plastic like compared to regular leather.
     


  3. Chris Waffles

    Chris Waffles Senior member

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    I am by no means an expert, far from it. But from what I understand it doesnt crease like leather, and it looks almost plastic like compared to regular leather.

    Achilles is right--shell cordovan leather does not form creases (or microcreases) like calf does, instead forming ripples. If you are able to handle the leather, one way to identify shell is that scratches that would leave a permanent mark on calf are easily removed with a quick polish on shell.
     


  4. GimpArm

    GimpArm New Member

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    Can someone post a side by side comparison so I can see what you're talking about?

    Thanks!
     


  5. Chris Waffles

    Chris Waffles Senior member

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  6. commodorewheeler

    commodorewheeler Senior member

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    I am by no means an expert, far from it. But from what I understand it doesnt crease like leather, and it looks almost plastic like compared to regular leather.

    I wouldn't say that it looks "plastic-like" at all, but it does have more of a shine than most leather does.

    The best way to tell is to look where creases form on the upper of the shoe. If there are micro creases, than the upper is definitely leather. If the creases look like ripples, with no micro creases, then it is shell cordovan.
     


  7. Larson McCord

    Larson McCord Senior member

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    These are shell cordovan, notice the humps. You can't see it exactly but there are no creases which appear in calf. [​IMG]
     


  8. Superfluous

    Superfluous Senior member

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    when you'll see it, you'll know. It's pretty obvious.
     


  9. Stylego

    Stylego Senior member

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    I'm fairly new to high end shoes. I knew nothing of shell cordovan prior to when I started nosing around here last winter. When I finally found a cordovan shoe (KC isn't a hot bed of footwear fashion) it jumped right out at me. Almost can't miss it.
     


  10. GimpArm

    GimpArm New Member

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    Ok, I see the difference and I think I'll be able to spot them in the wild now.
     


  11. Reevolving

    Reevolving Senior member

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    The leather is hard as fuck. If you hit your face with it, there would be as much "give" as a plank of wood. It is almost like hard plastic. You could almost hammer a nail with it. Almost.
     


  12. miurasv

    miurasv Senior member

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    The leather is hard as fuck. If you hit your face with it, there would be as much "give" as a plank of wood. It is almost like hard plastic. You could almost hammer a nail with it. Almost.

    Does the hardness make it uncomfortable?
     


  13. Prada_Ferragamo

    Prada_Ferragamo Senior member

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    I'm fairly new to high end shoes. I knew nothing of shell cordovan prior to when I started nosing around here last winter. When I finally found a cordovan shoe (KC isn't a hot bed of footwear fashion) it jumped right out at me. Almost can't miss it.

    Obviously you haven't met me yet.
     


  14. Chris Waffles

    Chris Waffles Senior member

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    Does the hardness make it uncomfortable?

    Only if you smack yourself in the face with it.
     


  15. miurasv

    miurasv Senior member

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    This video, shown on Put This On, should give you a better idea of what to look for. Watch the first one and skip to around the 8:00 mark.

    http://putthison.com/post/5219725232...thers-are-made


    Thanks for posting the above link to www.putthison.com videos. I enjoyed watching them all. Shell Cordovan has got to be the leather in my next shoes.
     


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