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Question about finish on cordovan shoes


Distinguished Member
Nov 24, 2007
Reaction score
I recently purchased a pair of cordovan leather shoes (made by C&J) and received them today. I noticed something odd about one of the shoes and wanted to see if anyone knows what is going on with it. The shoes are essentially new (only previously tried on), so it shouldn't be from wear.

On one shoe, the leather appears smooth and similar to my other cordovan shoes. On the other shoe, the vamp is much rougher and grainy, almost like it has been exposed to a solvent or some polish has been stripped off it --- I can't find a better way to explain it. When I looked at the leather really closely, there are essentially a lot of tiny bumps in the leather that is causing this. Also because of the tiny bumps, that shoe does not have the normal luster of cordovan, since it isn't smooth.

Is it possible that this is normal variation in cordovan? None of my other cordovan shoes are like this and the other shoe in this pair does not have the tiny bumps. What might have caused this? I'll try to take pictures tomorrow under natural light but it's really hard to capture what I'm referring to without seeing it in person. Under indoor lighting, the shoes are too dark for it to show.

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