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Is cordovan all that?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by pocketprotector, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. pocketprotector

    pocketprotector Active Member

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    Cordovan is rare. If it was all that great, wouldn't it be more popular?

    They tell me 1) it doesn't crease 2) scuffs buff out far more easily than with leather 3) they last forever and keep looking new blah blah.

    How much of this is legend vs reality?
     
  2. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    I've had a pair for over 2 years that are holding up very well. I really do my best to beat them to death and they dont even flinch.
     
  3. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Is cordovan all that?

    It's all that and much more.
     
  4. musicguy

    musicguy Senior member

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    It's not rare... it's just expensive.

    I know I'll get hate for it, but it almost always look plasticky to me. Who knows, maybe it'll grow on me later.
     
  5. phoenixrecon

    phoenixrecon Senior member

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    Cordovan is rare. If it was all that great, wouldn't it be more popular?

    They tell me 1) it doesn't crease 2) scuffs buff out far more easily than with leather 3) they last forever and keep looking new blah blah.

    How much of this is legend vs reality?


    it takes 6 months to tan the hide that makes 1 pair of shoes.
    they could tan a calf leather hide that makes like 4 pairs of shoes in an hour.

    what makes more financial sense?
     
  6. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    I know I'll get hate for it, but it almost always look plasticky to me.
    To appreciate it as it should be ... it takes a degree of sophistication some lack. [​IMG]
     
  7. upnorth

    upnorth Senior member

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    I've seen some cordovan shells listed on ebay that cracked around the opening of the shoes. They are not all that die-hard fans have made it out to be but I certainly wouldn't do without them. Popularity is a tricky word here, they appeal to some people but at the same time, because as you say, they are rare and difficult and expensive to acquire, that surely has some effect on how "popular" it is.

    Some like their distinct charateristics such as the "ripples" instead of microcreases on calfskin but to me, I prefer a buffet of various uppers, with calfskin, suede and cordovan in the top 3. I know their advantages and disadvantages and I find no need to lean to any single choice.
     
  8. pocketprotector

    pocketprotector Active Member

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    Well, it is certainly refreshing to hear that it is indeed good stuff. Most of the hype I've heard is from AE salespeople; naturally I'm reluctant to believe such a personally interested party [​IMG]
     
  9. chasingred

    chasingred Senior member

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    I was skeptical until I handled some at a store.

    I'm in the minority on this, but I think shell looks best when it's on boots. The ripples look off on "smaller" shoes such as loafers, and sometimes even overpowers oxfords and derbys. On boots, however, they can look just right.

    Aside from construction and toughness, #8 shell cordovan really just has an incredibly, incredibly rich color in real life. You really ought to check them out at least.
     
  10. Metlin

    Metlin Senior member

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    Can't speak for boots, but I love them on monkstraps. They can instantly dress "up" an outfit while looking cool.
     
  11. phoenixrecon

    phoenixrecon Senior member

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  12. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Shell cordovan is alpha as fuck.
     
  13. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Cordovan is just another type of leather. The only diff is that it is more porous making it more durable and softer

    less...

    Yeah, it is less porous.

    I remember when I first got into shoes and heard about cordovan I thought it would be the only kind of shoes I would ever buy again. For me its novelty as slightly worn off and I realized that it is best suited for certain applications as people mentioned above.

    I think it looks great on boots, but if you really want a dressier shoe the pull up effect can be a little much, even in black, although adding character. It is also a chunkier leather and can be a bit inconsistant with ripples, and bubbles in certain areas. I just don't think it looks as sleek as calf and while producing its own kind of "glow" it doesn't shine up like calf does.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke Senior member

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    Cordovan is rare. If it was all that great, wouldn't it be more popular?

    They tell me 1) it doesn't crease 2) scuffs buff out far more easily than with leather 3) they last forever and keep looking new blah blah.

    How much of this is legend vs reality?


    Well, the average person looks to spend $50-$100 on shoes. The cheapest new Shell Cordovan shoes are ~$500. To me, that explains why they are not popular amongst the general population.

    I personally only like shell on wingtips, but that is just me. When the shoe is relatively plain, I find the rippling draws too much attention. On a wingtip, there is a lot going on design wise, so the creasing is less noticeable.
     
  15. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    Shell cordovan is alpha as fuck.

    [​IMG] the new SF mantra
     
  16. otc

    otc Senior member

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    I have never been that interested in shell on normal shoes...I'd love to find a pair of dusty, tried-on-once florsheim longwings on a forgotten shelf somewhere but its not like I would prefer all of my shoes to be shell.


    This morning however, I started wishing I had shell boots. I was brushing the fuck out of my sno-sealed boots that had gotten some bigger scuffs and nicks on them and I realized that I could be doing the same thing to a pair of shell boots. I wouldn't pick very dressy ones but I think it would be a great material to replace the boots I am wearing right now (can I get a cobbler to do a reverse resole? Sew new shell cordovan uppers onto my current boots? [​IMG] )
     
  17. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Shell cordovan is alpha as fuck.

    +1
     
  18. MalfordOfLondon

    MalfordOfLondon Senior member

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    When I first started reading the forums and finding out about shoes I thought Cordovan was quite ugly - what with the creases and rugged appearance of the leather.

    It really grew on me though over the last couple of years. I love it on rugged boots and shoes. Definitely the go-to choice for jeans. I don't think you can beat a pair of Shell chukkas with dark denim.

    Also - Cordovan is best at what it was originally designed for. Harsh use. I don't think anything of going out wearing shell. Come rain, sleet or snow - they always brush up looking like new (well as new as shell can look!)

    To reiterate - It's definitely "Alpha as Fuck" [​IMG]
     
  19. makewayhomer

    makewayhomer Senior member

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    I love shell b/c it wears super hard, is incredibly durable, and requires minimal upkeep. if you are lazy, want to keep your shoes for 10 years, and live somewhere with rain/snow, I think it's an awesome choice.
     
  20. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Shell cordovan is alpha as fuck.
    You have a good sense of humor.
     

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