Shell Cordovan vs. regular leather

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by laxexquis, May 16, 2009.

  1. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Based on the responses here I've come to conclude that shell cordovan is not even close to being worth the 2x to 3x markup from calfskin..

    Does it last longer? What am I missing here?


    It's a much rarer material, particularly if you want high quality pieces. I've heard it does last longer, but I think that may be incidental to the fact that they require less regular care. Also, shell doesn't scratch nearly as easily as calfskin.
     
  2. Tarmac

    Tarmac Senior member

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    Based on the responses here I've come to conclude that shell cordovan is not even close to being worth the 2x to 3x markup from calfskin..

    Does it last longer? What am I missing here?


    Yes they last longer, in general. I have never seen cordovan crack or crumble, even 50 years old.

    And they aren't 2-3x the cost. They are more like 1.5x
     
  3. Chips

    Chips Senior member

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    Shell should last longer, as its a thicker and more durable material.
     
  4. Shoe City Thinker

    Shoe City Thinker Senior member

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    I find my shell cordovan AE's to be softer than my calfskin shoes. They're more comfortable.
     
  5. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    Shell should last longer, as its a thicker and more durable material.
    I would think so, but I haven't seen any data on it. I do think they age better than calf.
     
  6. navysuede

    navysuede Senior member

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  7. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    Shell used to be used for servants' shoes, as it was tough and durable and thus would last long.
     
  8. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Shell used to be used for servants' shoes, as it was tough and durable and thus would last long.

    So, perfect for a lawyer then?
     
  9. HORNS

    HORNS Senior member

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    Shell used to be used for servants' shoes, as it was tough and durable and thus would last long.

    I could see servants, wearing their shell shoes and eating that lobster that no one else wanted!
     
  10. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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    It's a much rarer material, particularly if you want high quality pieces. I've heard it does last longer, but I think that may be incidental to the fact that they require less regular care. Also, shell doesn't scratch nearly as easily as calfskin.

    They absolutely last longer. 20 year old calf shoes worn frequently will eventually crack. Shell WILL NOT.
     
  11. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    So, perfect for a lawyer then?

    I could see servants, wearing their shell shoes and eating that lobster that no one else wanted!
    I see we all understand one another then. [​IMG]

    I like my shell shoes.
     
  12. NHorween

    NHorween Active Member

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    Shell Cordovan also wears differently because it has a much finer structure. Meaning, the break across your foot will look great almost indefinitely (in some shoes), compared to any other leather.

    Cordovan develops an excellent patina over time, as most know, so lighter colors are fantastic because they really show the leather's character.
     
  13. DandySF

    DandySF Senior member

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    I'm impressed to see a posting from the main (only?) cordovan supplier in the US. Straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.
     
  14. Siggy

    Siggy Senior member

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    I am also happy to see Horween on the forum. Horween is generally recognized as making the best shell cordovan in the world. Welcome!

    In my experience, cordovan is tougher and warmer than calf, and will always quickly buff to a nice shine even though I have never used any polish or products on my cordovan. I like it, especially in brown and burgundy, but prefer calf for the summer since calf is more supple and breathable.
     
  15. laxexquis

    laxexquis Well-Known Member

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    So, perfect for a lawyer then?

    Hahaha, I am a criminal attorney.

    I guess shell would be good for me.

    I have decided that I only want the shell in burgundy and not black. Though shell is tougher (which is useful for me considering I run around courthouses all day) I feel black cordovan almost looks fake, like vinyl or some type of composite.

    My decision may change and I still want to think about it a little more before I pull the trigger, butwhat do you think about my decision?

    Thanks
    John
     

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