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Your experience with AE's polished cobbler leather?

NukeMeSlowly

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I got a pair of Allen Edmonds's Strand model (burgundy color) on eBay recently for a nominal amount. I mailed them right off the AE and I did not realize they were polished cobbler until today when they arrived in the mail after be recrafted. They came out of the box looking perfect - too perfect. I called AE directly and gave them the interior numbers and they confirmed that they are indeed polished cobbler or corrected grain. I feel like I kinda blew it in that I always only buy calfskin since becoming aware of the differences in leather.

How does the AE corrected grain stack up to the likes of Cole Haan and Johnston & Murphy? How will these hold up? Are they wearable (long term) or should I donate them and write it off as bad luck?
 

grimslade

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Originally Posted by NukeMeSlowly
I got a pair of Allen Edmonds's Strand model (burgundy color) on eBay recently for a nominal amount. I mailed them right off the AE and I did not realize they were polished cobbler until today when they arrived in the mail after be recrafted. They came out of the box looking perfect - too perfect. I called AE directly and gave them the interior numbers and they confirmed that they are indeed polished cobbler or corrected grain. I feel like I kinda blew it in that I always only buy calfskin since becoming aware of the differences in leather.

How does the AE corrected grain stack up to the likes of Cole Haan and Johnston & Murphy? How will these hold up? Are they wearable (long term) or should I donate them and write it off as bad luck?


I hav eno experience with that model, but there would seem to be no harm at this point in just wearing them a while and seeing how they hold up. you bought them used enough to have them recrafted, and if they look OK now, that implied some degree of durability, right?
 

NoVaguy

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there's bad corrected grain, and good (or at least better) corrected grain. AE uses the later version. grain calf is better, but the AE's corrected grain isn't a disaster. just less ideal.

Kenneth Cole uses the really bad version. i'm still pissed off about my $200 (ok, i only paid $75) KC oak streets which started flaking after 4 or 5 wears.
 

jester

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I have a pair of AE polished cobbler (in black) that I've had for years, and they're holding up just fine. I love them.
 

Charley

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Originally Posted by NukeMeSlowly
I got a pair of Allen Edmonds's Strand model (burgundy color) on eBay recently for a nominal amount. I mailed them right off the AE and I did not realize they were polished cobbler until today when they arrived in the mail after be recrafted. They came out of the box looking perfect - too perfect. I called AE directly and gave them the interior numbers and they confirmed that they are indeed polished cobbler or corrected grain. I feel like I kinda blew it in that I always only buy calfskin since becoming aware of the differences in leather.

How does the AE corrected grain stack up to the likes of Cole Haan and Johnston & Murphy? How will these hold up? Are they wearable (long term) or should I donate them and write it off as bad luck?


Just MHO, but the AE version of "corrected grain" is, as pointed out, a better version. It does hold up a bit better. However, the problem with all of it is that the surface does not age as well as untreated calf. Wearing shoes over time will cause some creasing in any leather. With the corrected grain, this usually leads to a cracking in the "corrective" surface covering. Further, the corrected surface will not take on the effects of whatever polish you apply over time - no patination. Additionally, I'm not sure how conditioner can be applied to a shoe leather that is sealed at the surface.

All of these should be somewhat minor issues if the expected life is three or four years of heavy regular wear. The shoes would not last 20 years anyway with that wear schedule. And the "corrected grain" will require less maintenance to look acceptable for that period. However, the regular calf can be expected to somewhat improve in apperance over time as the wear and maintenance develop the patina of properly cared for leather.
 

NukeMeSlowly

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Originally Posted by Charley
However, the regular calf can be expected to somewhat improve in apperance over time as the wear and maintenance develop the patina of properly cared for leather.


This "naturalness" is what I have come to appreciate with calfskin. It makes the shoes real, so to speak. That's why I was bummed out about finding these shoes to be CG. It is really frustrating because the shoes looks so damn good right now (albeit off my feet with shoe trees inserted); the recraft was excellent. They look brand new but I fear what they will look like in a couple of months if/when the painted-on color starts to flake away.
 

well-kept

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There has to be a solvent for the coating. Every paint, varnish, wax or shellac has a solvent. If you find out what it is (perhaps AE will tell you) you'd do many people a favor. Then, if I were you and from what you're feeling, I'd strip them down as far as necessary. What's underneath will probably be more interesting. Begin to polish and wax it and see what you end up with.
 

grimslade

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Originally Posted by well-kept
There has to be a solvent for the coating. Every paint, varnish, wax or shellac has a solvent. If you find out what it is (perhaps AE will tell you) you'd do many people a favor. Then, if I were you and from what you're feeling, I'd strip them down as far as necessary. What's underneath will probably be more interesting. Begin to polish and wax it and see what you end up with.
That doesn't sound like a great idea. Corrected grain has usually been corrected for a reason. I'm pretty sure that, whatever is underneath, you don't want it exposed.
 

well-kept

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Between that experiment and giving them to Goodwill there doesn't seem much to lose.
 

grimslade

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Originally Posted by well-kept
Between that experiment and giving them to Goodwill there doesn't seem much to lose.


True. But I stand by my original proposal. If they look good now, wear 'em.
 

Roger

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There's no reason that corrected-grain leather shouldn't wear for as long as full-grain leather. And, judging from the picture of these shoes on the Buy & Sell forum, they look awfully good for CG leather. In fact, they don't look CG at all (although I guess if A-E says they are, they are). They look damn nice, with the appearance of full-grain leather. I'd keep them if they were mine. Any differences in appearance that you'll notice from full-grain will be so miniscule as to be completely irrelevant. I definitely would not try to cut through whatever is applied to the leather to get down to the grain leather underneath; chances you'll just end up ruining the leather. Having invested in the recrafting, you have a lovely pair of shoes there.
 

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