How Different Shell Cordovan Leathers Age

I was very into shell cordovan long time ago as if Goodyear shoes can accompany you for a long time, shell cordovan shoes can last your entire life if not your descendant’s’.

After I owned several pairs, shell cordovan lost its glamour. It is not because the durability disappeared, but I don’t care durability that much and even Goodyear shoes can meet even exceed my expectation.

On the other hand, breaking in of shell cordovan shoes is even bitter than calf shoes. Shell cordovan is not appraised for its close pores and bad breathability.

Till today, I have three pairs of shell cordovan shoes, and they are made of different shell cordovan leathers by different shoemaker, and serviced for various years, and they are all in colour 8, sometimes called cordovan colour. It is a great idea to see how shell cordovan ages.

From left to right, Meermin 102635, Carmina 910 and Alden 2076.

Service time is 9 months, 3 years and 9 years respectively.

Leather wise, Meermin uses shell cordovan from a tannery in South American and gives the name Heritage to this leather. Carmina uses shell cordovan from Chicago based legendary tannery Horween. Alden uses shell cordovan from the long time brother company Horween for sure but applies a patented layer on top of it inhouse.

Colour 8 is what Meermin 102635 shows from the beginning. The fluff of the grinded leather is clearly seen.

When I just bought Carmina, the colour is slightly darker than Meermin, however, today you will call it dark brown if you are not very careful.

I came to realize that shell cordovan ages mainly due to the conditioner, not itself.

I can still see fluff on Carmina 910 after 3 years wear.

9 year service Alden 2076, I feel the shell cordovan is most smooth among three pairs. I think it thanks to the patented coating technology.

This is the age of shell cordovan, I feel the older, the shoes look better, do you think so?