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Reiver

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A short review of some shoes made of Kudu

A few months ago I bought two pairs of two-tone, Kudu leather shoes, by Doctor Marten's, from their Made in England range. Doc Marten's carry a lot of British cultural baggage and most of their shoes are pretty radical. Most, too, are made in South East Asia but the company still makes a small range at their Wolverhampton factory. The pairs I bought were £179 a pair. Both pairs are tan/caramel but in different formats. They won't be to everyone's taste.

View attachment 1316210

Tricker's and Carlos Santos also make - more expensive - Kudu shoes and boots. I am sure that other companies do as well.

Kudu leather comes from the South African animal of that name. The Kudu grazes against sharp bushes which means that the leather from them is seriously scratched. This gives the shoes a particularly different look when compared with calf. The leather for the DM shoes is supplied by CF Stead, who run a world renowned tannery in the UK.

Kudu is a soft leather and is allegedly very strong. The shoes are comfortable from the first wearing. Any creasing across the vamp disappears after shoe trees have been in overnight. They appear to revert to a default setting. Although the surfaces of the shoes are very scratched - for the above reason - the leather does not seem to get very much more scratched as you wear them. I guess that time will tell on this one and I would welcome further scratching. In the rain, the tan leather parts of the shoes show black patches. These disappear completely once the shoes are dry. The surface of the leather is not corrected but bears a faint resemblance to pebble grain.

The leather looks and feels very different to other sorts of leather. I cannot imagine it being used to make formal shoes of any sort. Again, you will either like the difference or you won't. I love it. Another thing that marks Kudu shoes out from others is in their care. After some obsessive searching of the net, I have found that the general consensus is that they do not need any. A wipe with a damp cloth is sufficient. Using this non-routine, I am already seeing a deep burnished look developing - for the moment just around the edges of the toes. I am looking forward to seeing this burnishing deepen and broaden across the shoes.

My one, very slight, concern is whether or not Kudu leather stretches. DM's, while Goodyear welted, also have a very thick, gristle sole. I am a little worried in case the facings of the shoes stretch and lacing them brings those facings closer together. The shape of my feet means that the facings of my shoes are often quite close. Once they touch, of course, it is impossible to tighten the laces any further. Otherwise...if you like the look of Kudu shoes, I would certainly recommend them for comfort, wearability and for being different! They are ideal, knockabout shoes that go well with jeans and casual outfits. And cleaning and care are cut to zero.

Before I bought the shoes, I checked, fairly thoroughly on the net, about the ethics of wearing Kudu leather. I am satisfied that the Kudu is not an endangered species and that is is farmed for its meat and for other products. I think I am right in saying that Alden Kudu shoes and boots are not made from Kudu leather but from calf.

Your international shoe correspondent, Munky.
Great review and I really like the look of kudu leather. The kudu Trickers seem very popular on the Trickers thread also.

I have also heard that it requires barely any maintenance or upkeep. Not sure about stretching but @Crafty Cumbrian may have the answer. I know he has had several kudu models over the last few years.
 

Munky

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Thank you, Reiver. I have three pairs of Tricker's Boughtons and I see they are now offering them in Kudu. With best wishes, Munky
 

rakuskus

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Been trying to get a mirror shine on my captoes. Used Saphir mirror gloss. For some reason I can get a good mirror on the round part of the toe box but closer to the seam I get this crackly wax. Does anyone know how I can fix that?
too much wax applied. to fix just put a bit water and buff with brush. Continue with mirror polish when extra wax is removed
 

Reiver

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Thank you, Reiver. I have three pairs of Tricker's Boughtons and I see they are now offering them in Kudu. With best wishes, Munky
Yes I have an Acorn pair and used to have the zug version (Ilkley) Great shoes
 

BXpress

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I looked this up on their website. I assume this is the oiled nubuck. If so, no need for polish at all. If you want to do anything with them, probably you would use Bick 4 conditioner to spruce up the leather a little. This is clear lotion, and won't darken leather. If you want to get a little more aggressive, use Venetian Shoe cream, which will give a beautiful satin sheen. The only polish you might use would be some light brown polish on the edges of the soles, followed by clear edge dressing, to maintain that rustic look. Again, if you want to be more aggressive with the edges, use Allen Edmonds Chili Edge dressing, which seems to be a little more transparent than other edge dressings.

This looks like a real low maintenance shoe, just wear and enjoy. If they get dirty, a little bit of a wet rag should be able to clean them off.
Actually no. It's aniline soft calf. .
 

BoydsShoes

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Actually no. It's aniline soft calf. .
So much the better. Chromexcel is considered an aniline leather, and most people never use polish with chromexcel. I have several boots in this type of leather ,and have only used Venetian Shoe Cream or Bick 4. If you want to get real exotic, you could use Saphir Renovateur or maybe once every 30-40 wears Saphir neutral cream (I do not do that). I think you can have a lot of fun with this, just using a standard conditioner and no polish.

See:


 

BXpress

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So much the better. Chromexcel is considered an aniline leather, and most people never use polish with chromexcel. I have several boots in this type of leather ,and have only used Venetian Shoe Cream or Bick 4. If you want to get real exotic, you could use Saphir Renovateur or maybe once every 30-40 wears Saphir neutral cream (I do not do that). I think you can have a lot of fun with this, just using a standard conditioner and no polish.

See:


Many thanks. Didn't know that.
 

CWV

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Hi there. The other day I went to my local Loake store and found out they sell shoe creams made by Saphir. The question is, are these of the same qualitie as the saphir medalla de or? Are they as innocuous for my shoes.?
 

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