leather

Faking it

Whole I admit I have an exceptional love for leather, sometimes its unjustifiable to splurge a triple figure sum on a luxe shoe or perhaps disagree with the use of animal products. So let’s start by playing a game, take a look at the pictures below, can you tell which is the real deal which is the imitation stuff.


A few shoes that haven’t been on the blog, can you tell which of these are real animal skin? Answers below. Hint: two are real animal skin

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Mythbusting: Freezing Shoes

A recent popular trend has been to stretch shoes by putting a bag of water in them and freezing it. Correctly identifying that water does expand when frozen, and when that happens it stretches out your shoes. Leather shoes are meant to stretch a little, and it’s a service most cobblers will offer, so the idea is to save a little money and do it at home.


I will always recommend using professional shoe stretching services and equipment.
Used with persmission ©Bob McInnes

However take a pair of shoes to a good cobbler, and he sometimes says he can’t do it, that’s not because he’s rude, or lazy, I’m grateful to him for being honest. The truth is some shoes aren’t suitable for stretching, and if you try to it’s most likely going to damage the shoes. Plastic, fabric, mesh are materials that have a little give but won’t retain that shape, and will also very easily crack or split, so they’re totally unsuitable for any stretching technique.

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All animals are equal, but some are more equal

We are often told leather shoes are good because they are made of a natural, hard wearing and water resistant material. Traders in the UK are legally required to label the composition of footwear. However in an effort to simplify things for the consumer the system is both unclear and open to exploitation.

Clockwise from top left: Brooklyn in Burgundy Calf by Rupert Sanderson, Nude Peep Toe in Nubuck by Ted Baker, Elba in Python by Rupert Sanderson, Studded Black Court by Dune

If a section of the shoe is made of more than one material, they both have to be labelled, but unlike clothing which clearly defines the composition by percentage, shoes don’t. Potentially a plastic shoe could have a leather trim and still be labelled as being synthetic and leather, without you necessarily knowing which is which.

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