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The Official Alden Thread for 2021 - Share Reviews, Sizing, Advice, and Photos.

Crizzlelovesyou

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Oils, waxes etc...
I don't know of any leathers that don't have oils and waxes. All of my veg tan leathers have oils and waxes. The only thing I can think of that doesn't have any is rawhide.
 

BAK

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Oils, waxes etc...
I'm not sure I understand - additives? You wouldn't have CXL, Shell Cordovan, Chamois leather, etc without greases, oils and waxes. It's those additives that give those leathers the specific qualities that make them desirable leathers to use for their intended purposes. Certainly I wouldn't call it a trend - or if it is it's been a Horween trend since 1905.

Regardless, how does that relate to the Arabica Lux we're discussing?
 

DG123

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I'm not sure I understand - additives? You wouldn't have CXL, Shell Cordovan, Chamois leather, etc without greases, oils and waxes. It's those additives that give those leathers the specific qualities that make them desirable leathers to use for their intended purposes. Certainly I wouldn't call it a trend - or if it is it's been a Horween trend since 1905.

Regardless, how does that relate to the Arabica Lux we're discussing?
Obviously a leather tannery treats raw leather so that the finished product is suitable for consumer goods. However, for footwear, if the processing results in the leather having too much stretch then the pair of shoes/boots tends too lose its original shape. One of the primary functions of Goodyear welt combined with shank is that this construction helps the shoe/boot retain its original shape for the life of the pair of footwear.
I understand that a majority of consumers like to purchase the most "comfortable out of the box" footwear, and to serve that demand companies use components such as poron insoles (Red Wing, Birkenstock ) or CXL (Alden) or no shank (Allen Edmonds). Your comments about the accelerated break in period for Arabica Lux have me thinking that product is within this category.
 

chrfi

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Yesterday I put my summer car into winter storage, no more top down driving this year. Today it's first part of shoe rotation, putting summer shoes into their boxes and taking boots out for winter. This is a "job" I always look forward to, it's very nice spending an afternoon doing shoe care when the weather outside is dark and rainy.

 

Crizzlelovesyou

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Obviously a leather tannery treats raw leather so that the finished product is suitable for consumer goods. However, for footwear, if the processing results in the leather having too much stretch then the pair of shoes/boots tends too lose its original shape. One of the primary functions of Goodyear welt combined with shank is that this construction helps the shoe/boot retain its original shape for the life of the pair of footwear.
I understand that a majority of consumers like to purchase the most "comfortable out of the box" footwear, and to serve that demand companies use components such as poron insoles (Red Wing, Birkenstock ) or CXL (Alden) or no shank (Allen Edmonds). Your comments about the accelerated break in period for Arabica Lux have me thinking that product is within this category.
Wait. I'm sorry. Do you think Red Wings are a fast and easy break in? I think you're way off the mark there friend. Steerhide stretches. Period. That has nothing to do with anything. I have CXL horsebutt w/ shell (work shoe butt fyi), it ain't forgiving in the slightest. There is no drop in quality.

I would love to hear what leathers you think are quality and have no additives.

Also as a side note most of the red wing heritage line doesn't use poron. Just an fyi. I'm not a fan of synthetic materials, but they're wholly separate components to the leather uppers anyways.
 

Darkishhaddock

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However, for footwear, if the processing results in the leather having too much stretch then the pair of shoes/boots tends too lose its original shape.
You call it losing the original shape, I call it molding to my feet. 🤷‍♂️
 

DG123

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many, many here know a LOT more about shoe and boot leathers than me. I did read on the Horween site that they have been using natural waxes and oils on CXL for over 100 yrs, and still use the same formula. Oils/Waxes are nothing new.
I think what is relevant for footwear is shape retention. I believe too much stretch comes from lesser quality original leather, or too much infusion of oils/waxes/dyes, or a combination of both. You wrote that your pair of CXL 401's were "loose grain monsters" and others have written that their CXL 403 boots became a :sloppy fit" within a year or two of wearing.
I understand the majority of consumers focus on out-of-the-box comfort and are not particular about longer term conditions, so that tends to be the directive followed by today's suppliers.
 

honestpanda

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Obviously a leather tannery treats raw leather so that the finished product is suitable for consumer goods. However, for footwear, if the processing results in the leather having too much stretch then the pair of shoes/boots tends too lose its original shape. One of the primary functions of Goodyear welt combined with shank is that this construction helps the shoe/boot retain its original shape for the life of the pair of footwear.
I understand that a majority of consumers like to purchase the most "comfortable out of the box" footwear, and to serve that demand companies use components such as poron insoles (Red Wing, Birkenstock ) or CXL (Alden) or no shank (Allen Edmonds). Your comments about the accelerated break in period for Arabica Lux have me thinking that product is within this category.
What do you mean Goodyear welt and a shank helps retain the shape? In what way does that facilitate that?
 

BAK

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Obviously a leather tannery treats raw leather so that the finished product is suitable for consumer goods. However, for footwear, if the processing results in the leather having too much stretch then the pair of shoes/boots tends too lose its original shape. One of the primary functions of Goodyear welt combined with shank is that this construction helps the shoe/boot retain its original shape for the life of the pair of footwear.
I understand that a majority of consumers like to purchase the most "comfortable out of the box" footwear, and to serve that demand companies use components such as poron insoles (Red Wing, Birkenstock ) or CXL (Alden) or no shank (Allen Edmonds). Your comments about the accelerated break in period for Arabica Lux have me thinking that product is within this category.
🤔 Hmm... there's a lot to unpack in your response. Keeping the focus on Lux for the moment, it's a pretty additive free leather - meaning it's veg-tanned using vegetable and bark extracts, plus some dye on top to give it color (without the top coat you'd basically have Horween's Essex leather).

I guess if you believe the real focus of a company is out-of-the-box comfort than you could apply your reasoning to any of the leathers they're using? But maybe I'm not understanding completely your response, so for clarity... if you believe using CXL or Lux for workbooks is somehow cutting corners or only being used for comfort purposes, then what would you deem as an appropriate additive-free leather for boots that are clearly meant to be worn casually and take a beating?
 
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smfdoc

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Behold!! A pair of blue suede shoes that have nothing to do with the CXL/Arabica discussion of the moment. But they are comfy for a blustery fall day.

IMG_0989.jpg
 

DG123

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What do you mean Goodyear welt and a shank helps retain the shape? In what way does that facilitate that?
Goodyear welt constructions provides a tight connection between the upper and the sole. Use of a shank enhances the footwear's support structure so that there is less twisting and, or, stress to the upper material.
There are several benefits to Goodyear welt, shank construction but the above two are directly related to the footwear's ability to retain its original shape.
 

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