The quality of leather that you decide to go for will greatly determine the service rendered as well as durability. Some aspects to look for when selecting leather are invisible to an ordinary eye. However an expert will take their time to observe a leather shoe, detail to detail until they are convinced that it is indeed of high quality. Did you know that leather has several grades? Footwear might indeed be made from quality leather but it doesn’t mean that it is of high quality.
When spread out, leather has various areas for instance; the belly, butt, spine, fore and hind shank shaft, cheek, face and the bend. These different areas produce varying qualities of shoes hence the need to know which part to go for. The leather around the spine is always the best. The top area is always tough but the quality reduces downwards towards the belly. The belly hide is soft, saggy, wrinkled and has vein. Leather footwear made from this area is likely to be more susceptible to wear and tear hence less durable.
1. Quality of Leather
On the other hand, different leather shoe makers produce varying qualities. Some are strictly focused of producing quality while others mix it all up to maximize on the number of shoes produced from a single stretch of hide. The latter means that quality will be compromised. However at times, it might be difficult to detect high and low quality. The fact that both instances produce leather shoes is likely to confuse you. Some factories tend to also throw you off by using the spine high quality leather to make the toe yet use lower quality to make the side and totally different leather for the back. If you are the kind to check the front toe area and get convinced then you are likely to fall for this one. A great example of a brand that produces high quality footwear is Gipsy Dharma.
2. Price of the Leather Footwear
The price tag on the leather footwear might also give you an idea on what you’re dealing with. There is a reason as to why some shoes have a higher price tag than others. A pair of shoe made purely from the spine area leather will likely fetch a higher price than the one made from other areas. In this case the higher the price, the more higher the quality of leather footwear. The kind of shoes made from bits of leather from varying parts of the hide are likely to be the ones with a middle ranging prices; not too high nor low.
3. Origin of the Leather
If you are looking to buy some quality dress shoes, go for the type that is made from calf skin. This is because calf skin is made in high quality brands. This kind of leather is soft and the grains are fine. Calf skin is also flexible which translates to more comfort for your feet. You can also tell the quality of foot wear you’re going to get by the location of the factory. The best countries to buy leather shoes from are France, Italy, Germany and England. Ensure that the factory you decide to go for in making the leather shoes get their leather from these countries.
4. The Stitching
As much as looking at the top material of a leather shoe is important, it is advisable to go further and check on the soles of the shoes too. What you should be checking for on the soles of the shoes is the stitching. Apart from the top and base leather, there are some other parts that are placed in between the shoes. A high quality leather shoe will have all the pieces stitched together while low quality leather footwear will have the parts glued together. The latter means that the shoe is more prone to damage especially if used frequently.
Sometimes, the quality of footwear does not have anything to do with the quality of leather used. A high quality calf and spine skin on an amateur’s hands will not do any good. There are some details on the shoe that will give away an amateur all you need to do is to take time in observing the shoe. The threading in this case is what you should be looking at. One that looks like it was done by a 10 year old is a red light alert. An expert’s threading will clearly show and even convince you that you are looking at a master piece.