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Some Of The Most Popular Leather Shoes On The Market Today

Aug 17, 2007
For every fashion and every season, men have been choosing leather as their favorite shoe material. Leather has been a favored material of shoemakers for about as long as there have been shoemakers. Leather is an ideal material for shoes because it is pliable, durable, comfortable, and fashionable.

There are a variety of leathers used for shoes. Most leather today comes from cows but this is by no means the only animal skin being tanned and turned into leather. Ostrich skin has recently become a popular source for leather. Alligator and crocodile skins are another popular choice for the fashion conscious. Even snake skins are used for shoes. Ever seen a pair of rattlesnake skin cowboy boots? Talk about a fashion statement! For those who prefer their fashions from Down Under, there are shoes made from kangaroo skin. Kangaroo leather is, in fact, known to be more resistant to abrasions than cow leather.

Not only does leather come from a variety of animals, there are also a number of forms of leather. The most common form of leather employed for shoemaking is full-grain leather. Full-grain leather has a natural grain and good breathability. It wears better than any other form of leather. This form of leather actually improves with age. Because it hasn't been overly sanded or treated, full-grain leather is the most durable form of leather and the top choice for distinguishing shoe buyers.

Another popular form of leather is suede. Suede starts out similar to full-grain leather, but the upper layers of the material are brushed away, which is what give suede its characteristic appearance. Suede is much softer than most other forms of leather, and for this reason it is also not nearly as durable. Suede is not washable, either. Despite these drawbacks, suede shoes are widely available and always fashionable.

Top-grain leather is somewhat similar to full-grain, except on one side, much of the grain has been sanded away. This is a very common form of leather used in shoes. If you have a pair of leather shoes which feel very rough on the inside and very smooth on the outside, it's probable that they are made with top-grain leather. Top-grain is usually made from a lesser quality leather and is therefore used for less expensive shoes.

A less common, but well-known form of leather is patent leather. This is not as popular in men's shoes as it is in women's but some men prefer it. Patent leather has an extremely glossy feel and appearance. Leather shoes require care that shoes made from other materials do not.

Leather shoes should be cleaned and polished on a regular basis with a natural-based product. These products all the leather to breathe and keep it from drying out and cracking. Also, it's a good idea to waterproof your leather shoes with a leather waterproofing product. Finally, use a leather conditioning product to keep your shoes soft, supple, and comfortable. With proper care, leather shoes will less a long time and gain character with age.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as leather dress shoes at http://www.designershoesplus.com
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