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types of shoe leather

Types of Shoe Leather: The Ultimate Guide You Will Ever Read

Leather is made out of the skins of different animals. This is commonly used in making shoes because it is a durable material to cover the feet with. As such, the quality and the finish of each of every animal’s skin differ. 

This has been used by humankind to protect their feet for thousands of years. Leathers have different types and different kinds of maintenance depending on which kind of animal’s skin it is made of and which type of leather grade it was processed.

Lastly, it is considered high-quality in shoes, so its types should be determined to help choose which is perfect for every weather and every occasion.

Here are the common types of shoe leathers you should know about:


It is the most common type of shoe leather made from the skin of calves. Its grains are very tight because of the dense fiber structure of 4-5 weeks old calves. As a result, it produces a fine, shiny finish, which is very easy to maintain due to the low maintenance cleaning needed.


It is commonly used in making football but also a popular material in making shoes. This leather is known to be flexible and durable; on the contrary, it requires high maintenance of cleaning. It does not produce a shiny finish and it is not recommended to be used during the rainy season as this is not suitable to be wet.

Shell Cordovan

The Shell Cordovan equates to luxury as it is a very expensive and rare kind of shoe leather. This is not leather as it is made out of the hindquarters of a horse, which are dense. This becomes leather after it is processed. It is water-resistant and crease-resistant if it is maintained and cleaned often.


Unlike other types of leather, suede is made out of different skins of animals. It is known to be the flesh side of their skins. Buffing and sanding are needed to achieve its texture. It does not also have a shiny finish, and it is best to use in summer. Men’s suede shoes have a light material that makes it perfect for walking, but it is very high maintenance of leather to keep.

Rough Out

Similar to Suede, it is made out of the flesh side of animals’ skin, but its inside is made out of grains. It is durable and heavy-duty. This is used as combat boots and hiking boots because of its name “Rough Out” it can withstand heavy use. On top of it, it is a very low maintenance leather.

Vegetable Tanned Leather

It is a light shade of leather because of the vegetable matter and tree barks used in its tanning process. This is the most basic kind of leather. It is also the least durable and least water-resistant as it can wear out easily because of shrinking.

These are just the common types of leather that are used out there. However, these are the common types of leather that can be easily used depending on the weather.



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