A Female In Dress On Which Animals May Be Seen Types of Leather Used to Make Shoes and Boots

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Types of Leather Used to Make Shoes and Boots

Traditionally, leather is the preferred material choice for shoe or boot uppers and has been for thousands of years, with the first known leather shoes dating back more than six thousand years. To this day, most high-quality shoe brands continue to follow the wise use of leather by our ancestors, as it offers many qualities that are often left out of other materials.

  • The shape of a shoe can often be kept more easily in a leather shape, while still having the ability to take small adjustments in order to accommodate the particular shape of one’s feet.
  • The properties of leather allow it to absorb and transmit sweat and heat away from the foot.
  • Leather can often be restored by polishing as it has a good surface abrasion.
  • It is a comfortable material that can be worn in both hot and cold temperatures.
  • Bends easily with the foot and does not weaken significantly with folding or wrinkling.

The skin of most animals can be treated in such ways as to produce leather and can be found in the following different types of leather:

  • French beef – these calves are usually aged up to 10 months, providing a thin premium skin that is quite strong. Therefore, this leather is often used as an upper material in many high-quality men’s and women’s boots and shoes. This skin will always be aligned.
  • year – this leather comes from the skin of an older animal, up to 2 years old. The grain is stronger than in beef, but stronger. This leather can be found in men’s, women’s and children’s shoes and as a dress leather is always lined.
  • deleted – made from the hide of a fully grown cow. Again, this hide is even softer than any yearling calf, but it is much stronger and tougher. It is normally called a “leather side” due to its being cut from the spine for ease of handling. This leather is very suitable for both work boots and sturdy shoes. Because of their strength, these leathers are usually too thick to be used on shoe uppers and are split into layers. The outer layer (hair follicle side) is used for the top, and if this outer layer is stained or scratched in any way, the surface can be blotted to remove any imperfections before the finish is applied. The leather is then known as ‘corrected grain’ leather. Boots that are made of leather/cowhide/willow leather are made as unlined boots due to the thickness of the leather.
  • Goat or kid – this type of leather is much softer than that of a calf, but at the same time it is more likely to scratch and be subject to wear and tear. Buckskin, taken from the youngest animal, is finer in grain and has a glossy appearance. Goat and kid leather are used in fashion and comfort shoes for men and women and are especially popular in good quality moccasins. In each of its forms, be it kid or goat, this skin has a very special grain, which is found around the follicles. For example, RMWilliams uses children’s leather only for its heeled boot and hosiery and is distinguished by its distinctive buttery yellow color.
  • KANGAROO – this is a light elastic leather, soft and supple to wear. It’s also surprisingly strong for its weight and is often found in both fashion and sports shoes, as well as casual clothing and boots. This skin is always lined.
  • Buffalo – this leather has an attractive and unique grain pattern; coming from the water buffalo. When used for shoe uppers, most of the buffalo hide will have come from young animals and is often used in casual and dress shoes and sometimes for clothing.
  • camel – a heavy grain finished natural leather that is both strong and durable. This leather originates from Australian camels that are either from farmed or wild, sheared stock found in Central Australia. One of his most distinctive features is found in the healed wounds that arise from life in the wilderness. Again, this leather can be used for both clothing and work shoes.
  • Pig skin – makes an excellent dressing material as it is a soft and loose fiber leather. Usually seen in pairs, the follicle pores are deep and quite distinct. It is sometimes possible to have the head side of the hide dipped to produce a pig suede.
  • Sheepskin – another soft and loose fibrous skin. This type of leather is not as strong as the others and is therefore usually used with the fur still intact as a lining for slippers or cold weather shoes.
  • Deer skin – often used in very high quality shoes for men’s and women’s shoes. This leather is a strong, soft and very comfortable leather to wear and has a light surface texture.
  • Exotic skin – other creatures, such as lizards, snakes, crocodiles and ostriches, have skin that can be tanned for the uppers of shoes and boots or as panels and decorative trims for other shoes. Because they have a very distinctive look and are difficult to work with, these leathers are expensive and require a strong backing material.

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