Quality Leather Can Last A Lifetime With Proper Maintenance
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: real leather lasts decades. In a world marked by products that barely survive their 2-year warranty, quality leather shoes - those made of genuine leather - can last up to 2 decades. Owning a quality pair of leather shoes makes sense. Here are three steps on how to purchase the best, ensuring the value of your investment.
Understand The Value of Price
Before we talk about leather dress shoes, however, we must talk briefly about economics. Most people correlate the price of a product with quality. When a products has a high price tag, people generally assume that it is high quality. Many people are willing to spend more on a BMW or Mercedes-Benz than a Toyota or Honda due to perceived quality and brand cache. In some cases, higher prices can mean higher quality, but this is not always the case.
Sometimes there is no real way to determine that one product is better than another even though it costs more due to subjective tastes.
So while price can be used as a quality measuring stick, it is not the only determining factor and this also applies leather shoes. A critical factor to consider is the type of leather.
Differentiating Between Types of Leather
There are generally two groups of leather: full grain and corrected grain. Full grain leather is of higher quality while corrected leather is of lower quality.
But how do you tell the difference? Simply look it up.
High-end manufacturers of full-grain leather won’t hesitate to tell you that they use full grain leather. Some top players in this industry (as it relates to men’s dress shoes) are Floorsheim, Nordstrom, Allen Edmonds, Alden and Loake. You’d be hard pressed to find a faux-corrected-leather-shoe among this elite bunch.
Corrected leather is simple to identify due to its glossy appearance. It looks very shiny to the point of being false. Many a would-be gentlemen purchased shoes made of corrected leather at Prom, and later came to regret the decision. The plastic-like material, which is shiny and monochromatic is not genuine leather; it will crease in time, leaving ugly wrinkles on the surface. You may save some money purchasing this type of shoe at a cheap price early on, but the mistake will catch up with you when, after a night of dancing, or a few months of regular wear, the hard, plastic material starts to either erode away, or irritate your feet.
Corrected leather is oftentimes cemented, meaning it is held together by an adhesive. Higher quality brands will be welted and stitched. Stitching and welting is a far more labor-intensive process, which, accordingly makes a more expensive, and better quality shoe.
Routine Maintenance With Leather Shoe Care Products
Using leather shoe care products will prove to be the deciding factor in whether your shoes can stand the test of time and be passed on to the next generation. Leather shoe care products, like creams, sprays, conditioners, shoe shiners, and dyes can turn back the time on years of damage. No matter how often you wear, use, and abuse your leather shoes, you can always count on leather shoe care products to bring them back to life. Choose from waxes, buffers, moisturizers and sole supports, to make it feel like you are floating on a cloud, even as your heels click, clack loudly behind you.
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- Alex Pop