Ostrich Skin Shoes--Would You? Could You?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by pejsek, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. pejsek

    pejsek Senior member

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    The title alone may be enough to raise the anxiety level of some members here, but that's not really my purpose. While continuing the cleanup of my storage room I came across this interesting pair of old bespoke Lobb loafers that I honestly didn't even remember buying. They were in a big box of shoes and still had the Goodwill tags on them. I must have bought them right when we moved into this house 7-8 years ago and then forgot about them.
    They were very dry when I pulled them out. At first I thought they were made of some sort of treated or embossed calf--perhaps even the famed Russian Calf. As I cleaned them up and polished them, though, I began to see what appeared to be very faint quill markings consistent with what one sees on ostrich leather. I then went to the Lobb St. James site and was able to find the exact same model also done up in ostrich.
    Anyway, here are the shoes. Lobb calls this a Norwegian Slipper with Laid on Lake and Shaped Two Eye Band:
    [​IMG]

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    This is a really intriguing leather and I wonder if any bespoke makers use this sort of ostrich these days. The quill markings (if that's what you call them) are very faint, almost as if they had been rubbed down, and visible mostly on the lake. While distinctive, it doesn't scream exotic. If this sort of ostrich is still available, I think it could be a great choice for casual shoes--distinctive and tough, yet not too much so.
    What do you think? Would you?

    btw, here's the Lobb link:
    http://www.johnlobbltd.co.uk/history/bwpages/16.htm
     


  2. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Pejesk, you seem to have a cache of interesting finds. If ever you find no use of them, certainly you can send them my way.

    Either way, from what I've seen, ostrich is one of the more common exotic hides used by shoe manufacturers.

    Your examples don't seem to be the Full Quill skin which apparently is the more desirable of the cuts since it shows off the fact that it's ostrich. I'm not familiar with the anatomy of an ostrich so I can't say what the name of the skin is.
     


  3. Miguel Antonio

    Miguel Antonio Senior member

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    Those shoes are elegant and seem to be lacking something. Surely they would look better when you put them on.
     


  4. Kaizen

    Kaizen Senior member

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    When I bought a pair of boots with that skin, it was described as 'smooth ostrich'
     


  5. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

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    I generally don't like ostrich leather. But I did get a while ago two watchstraps from an English firm that had a nice colour and texture (don't have them anymore, could not match them with my pieces).
     


  6. scarphe

    scarphe Senior member

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    smooth ostrich is still availbale and commonly used, but I honestly prefer the ostrich leg skin I find it more interesting.
     


  7. janne melkersson

    janne melkersson Senior member

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    Smooth ostrich it is and it is cut from the belly. In my opinion the belly makes the finest footwear on both crocodiles and ostrich.
     


  8. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    I must say it looks a lot better than full quill ostrich skin, which to me always looks like it has a skin disease. Ostrich leg is nice; sort of an alligator-type effect, but for shoes these look much nicer. Congratulations.
     


  9. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    Great shoes. Very discreet and classy.
     


  10. kitonbrioni

    kitonbrioni Senior member

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    Great shoes. Thanks for the pictures. Ostrich leather is extremely tough and should last for a long time.
     


  11. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    I must say it looks a lot better than full quill ostrich skin, which to me always looks like it has a skin disease. Ostrich leg is nice; sort of an alligator-type effect, but for shoes these look much nicer. Congratulations.

    This is pretty much exactly what I was going to write. I've heard of ostrich belly before but not seen any, and I must say I quite like it for the right shoe -- I'd love to see it on a brogued cap toe blucher. Enjoy your rediscovery!
     


  12. summej2

    summej2 Senior member

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    Does the creasing come naturally or is some form of crossboarding?
     


  13. kitonbrioni

    kitonbrioni Senior member

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    Does the creasing come naturally or is some form of crossboarding?
    Quill-less ostrich has the natural markings of the pictured shoes.
     


  14. von Rothbart

    von Rothbart Senior member

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    I haven't seen any shoes/boots made out full quill ostrich outside of cowboy boots.
     


  15. distinctive

    distinctive Senior member

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    Smooth ostrich it is and it is cut from the belly. In my opinion the belly makes the finest footwear on both crocodiles and ostrich.

    Crocodiles yes, I would have to disagree with ostrich. Certainly a matter of opinion. I would go with sharkskin or even elephant before ostrich.
     


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