How to Judge Leather Quality of Dress Shoes

This article is closely related to my two hobbies, gentlemen’s clothing and leather goods care.

Leather as the raw material of leather shoes, the price difference can be very large, naturally you buy a pair of shoes, hope that its value is worthy of the price you pay.

I am not in the leather manufacturing industry, so from the consumer’s point of view, let’s talk about some methods that can be used visually.

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If you have seen many high-end and low-end shoes, then your intuition will be accurate, even if your experience cannot be described in words, but the judgment is right most of the time. For example, the following two pairs of shoes.

Boxcalf used by Gaziano & Girling
Unknown brand

You can mainly observe the grain of the leather in the place where the derby is opened. Of course, this comparison is a bit unfair, one is beautiful and the other is low-grade, such external conditions greatly affect the judgment. However, look more and you will get that feeling.

Understand that leather is obtained from different places on the body of cattle

The quality of leather in some parts is better than in others.

The most basic knowledge of the leather industry is this dicing area.

Maybe some shoe factories buy raw materials from the same tannery, but if it is a different part of the leather, the quality and price are much different. More commonly, the shoe factory buys back the whole skin, and then decides what part and what grade of the product.

Where is the best part? It is the central axis, from the back of the neck to the front of the butt, where the leather is the tightest, and then to the sides. Stomach is the worst location as the grain is more and more loose, so the more uneven lines on it.

This leather is near the belly, so the quality of the leather is relatively low.


This is a good point, but there are very stark counterexamples.

The thickness the leather is, the better the shape of the whole shoe is maintained. Leather must be thick (so that the durability is also high), but it cannot be hard, and if the leather is difficult to bend when walking in shoes, then this leather is definitely not good.

As I mentioned earlier, there is a clear counterexample in this matter, that is, Berluti, its leather is very thin.

Berluti Venezia leather

However, his finest Swiss cowhide is strong and, more importantly, offers the finest polished canvas.

Finally, show you this shoe, do you think it is good leather or bad?

Announce the answer, John Lobb.


In the eyes of people in the leather industry, such points are too pediatric, and they can find ways to cover up or confuse everyone, but we, as consumers, this serves as an introduction.

2 Replies to “How to Judge Leather Quality of Dress Shoes”

  1. 好的皮质,才能让人有勤维护的欲望。要看皮质,还是要看旧化后的效果。制皮行业的人有一万种方法忽悠迷惑你,这是真的。

    1. 全新的皮,没有穿过的,我都不敢瞎评论。但是穿过的,我觉得好判断很多了。

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