Our Materials

We work with the world’s top tanneries to source exceptional materials for our footwear. Whether it’s full-grain European calfskin, supple suede from C.F. Stead in England or the finest shell cordovan from Chicago’s Horween®, everything from our dress shoes to sneakers is crafted with the best hand-selected leathers.

Did you know?

While many shoes today use corrected grain leather that’s made from hides with scars and blemishes that are buffed out, most of our styles are crafted from full-grain leather that’s hand-selected to showcase the natural beauty of the material. This gives our shoes and boots a richer color and more supple surface that’s less prone to cracking than typical footwear.

Find the Leather That Best Suits Your Personal Style

Calfskin Leather

Famed for its refined versatility, this elevated material—that has a finer grained texture than ordinary leathers—has long been used for the sharpest footwear. Its firm flexibility brings a timeless elegance to the graceful curves and clean lines of our most sophisticated designs.

The Feel - Smooth and supple with a pliable structure that will mold to the shape of your foot over time, forming a custom fit.

The Look - From our smart dress sneakers to iconic cap-toe oxfords, its rich range of colors and lustrous finish add unmistakable polish to both formal and casual looks.

Suede

Effortless style and luxurious comfort combine in this material made from the middle of the hide. A soft, finely napped surface and supple structure mean it’s ideally suited to both rustic boots and casual styles. While its distinctive texture might seem high maintenance, it can stand up to both dirt and moisture if treated with our suede protector.

The Feel - Our footwear is made with best-quality suedes with a denser, tighter grain that’s been brushed and treated for a plush, velvety texture that begs to be touched.

The Look - Because of its tactile appeal and responsiveness to color dying, we offer it in a full selection of styles and hues including both bold colors for the warmer months and deep hues in fall and winter.

Kudu Reverse Suede

This exotic material comes from antelopes that are culled by the South African government as part of regular conservation efforts to curb overpopulation of the species. It’s best known for its strength, durability and distinctive texture that give it a more relaxed look as compared to standard suedes.

The Feel - The combination of a soft surface with a hefty, dense fiber structure makes it both incredibly adaptable and comfortable.

The Look - Since each hide has unique markings accrued from a lifetime spent grazing in the wild, kudu is normally used for casual shoes and boots.

Vegetable-tanned Leather

In our quest to create footwear that leaves a lighter footprint on the planet, we use this eco-conscious leather for designs like our Discovery collection. The hides are treated with natural materials including tree bark and other plant matter in place of the harmful metals typically used for tanning.

The Feel - Sturdy and resilient, just like all the full-grain leathers used for our shoes, boots and sneakers.

The Look - Modern advancements in the vegetable-tanning process can now produce a wide variety of hues, ranging from rich blacks to soft, understated earth tones.

Shell Cordovan Leather

Prized for centuries for its incredible durability and glossy smooth finish, this highly sought-after leather is widely recognized as a hallmark of the finest footwear. A lengthy, labor-intensive production process—and the fact that only the thickest rear section of the hide can be used— make it one of the rarest shoe materials.

The Feel - A dense structure gives it lasting strength and a lustrous texture that won’t crack over time like traditional leathers.

The Look - This exceptional material only gets better with age, developing a unique patina and molding to the shape of your foot the more you wear it.

Did you know?

Over time you might notice a cloudy finish beginning to form on your cordovan footwear. This is what’s known as a “bloom” and is actually a mark of the quality of the material. To ensure their leathers won’t dry out, Horween® treats hides with oils and wax which will eventually rise to the surface, creating this particular look. Blooms can easily be wiped off or brought to an impressive shine with a horsehair brush.

Weatherproof Suedes and Leathers

Face every forecast with confidence in our collection of shoes and boots made from these specially treated materials. Protective coatings save the surface of the leathers from damage caused by the elements and ensure your feet always stay dry.

The Feel - Innovative processes give the hides a robust finish that keeps moisture out.

The Functionality - Because of its all-weather capabilities, we use it for our weatherproof boots and shoes that are built with features like fully sealed storm welts and waterproof inner linings.