What are your shoes made of?
Most high quality shoes are made of leather just as they have been for many centuries. Leather is still the most popular material in making shoes because of their durability and flexibility. And when you say your shoes are made of genuine leather, they will see as one of the leading edge in high shoe fashion.
However, some leathers are more preferable than others and in this post we will have look at some of the types of leathers used to make shoes:
Believe it or not, this is the same type of material that is used in making footballs. Pigskin leather is known for its durability and flexibility, that’s why it’s also popular in making quality bags and shoes. Actually, the use of pigskin as a shoe material has become more popular these days, as the recent development of machines make pigskins in good and proper condition to be chrome tanned. Most pigskins made for footwear are “brushed” on the grain side, or “sueded.” Another factor that makes pigskin a popular choice is that it accepts dyes easily, allowing to be produced in a wide variety of colors especially for women’s shoes and other types of footwear.
This has been one of the more well-known leather used for any kind of footwear. It is made from the skins of the young cattle, generally no more old than three to four weeks. Most people, both men and women, want nothing but the quality grade shoes that should be made of calfskin. That’s why shoes made of prime choice calfskin is usually more expensive, about twice as expensive (or higher) as the price of the regular side leather. Compared to other leathers, calfskin comes off with the finest, firmest and the most beautiful grain when finished. And it’s very easy to clean and shine too.
Another type of leather used to make shoes is the skin of the veal, which is considerably older than a calf (usually three to six months old). Veal skin usually is rich in character, has grain that is coarser than calf’s skin, and has been used mostly in casual footwear.
Full grain side leather is probably the most common and versatile of all the leathers. Besides being durable, full grain side leather is also very malleable and breathable. Full grain side leathers are mostly used to make the uppers for shoes.
Kidskin leather is made from goats, either younger or older. Kidskin is more expensive than full grain side leather, but less costly than calfskin. This kind of leather is usually used for better-quality women’s dress shoes. Suede is one product that has been made from kidskin which has undergone the process of sanding (abrading or scraping), as well as a series of treatments used with either chemical or natural materials and solutions. Kidskins are lightweight yet durable, and is known for its softness and high absorbent qualities.
There are a lot of types of leather that have been gathered from unusual sources. These exotic types of leather have been gaining so much popularity in recent years. Examples of exotic leather made for shoes include ostrich, crocodile or alligator, eel, lizard, snake, even shark. Get to know more details of some of the exotic shoe leathers in a related article: “Exotic Shoe Materials.” In place of natural leathers, synthetic “leathers” are also made for shoes.