Types of Shoe Leather and Why Some Are Harder to Break In


You might think all leather shoes are made equally, but there can actually be a fair amount of difference between pairs. There are tons of various types of shoe leathers, and they’re all unique in their origins, comfort, price tag, and construction. Some types of leather shoes are harder to break in than other types, but with break-em-in, you can avoid discomfort from leather shoes no matter what kind you have! Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the most common types of shoe leather.




By far the most popular option for men’s leather shoes is calfskin. Also called vellum, this material comes from the skin of young calves usually between 6 and 12 months old. Many high-end dress shoes use calfskin, as the grain is very tight and leaves little room for imperfections. The material is durable and pliable, making for a long lifespan, but they can be harder to break in and definitely require regular polishing.




The closest relative to calfskin is cowhide. There aren’t a ton of differences here, but it goes without saying that this material comes from older cattle. It can be thicker than calfskin, making it a superior option for work boots. Apache, bull hide, and deer tanned are a few of the common variations of cowhide.




No, it’s not just for footballs! Pigskin is often used for casual shoes, as well as leather gloves. This material comes from peccary, a mammal of the pig family species that often resides in South America. Pigskin gives an incredibly unique look to your shoes and provides a soft and pliable surface for your foot, so it’s quite easy to avoid dress shoe discomforthere.




Suede is becoming increasingly popular in men’s fashion, particularly for casual dress shoes and sneakers. This material can come from a variety of animals like cow, sheep, and pig. Suede is easy to work with but is quite delicate, unlike many of the stiff leather dress shoesyou might own.


Shell Cordovan


If you’re willing to go through a little new shoe painto get a great quality, you need a pair of Shell Cordovan shoes in your life. The material is cut from the hind quarters of a horse and is one of the most expensive quality leathers on the market. It’s different from regular horsehide leather in that it comes from the rear of the horse instead of the front. Shell Cordovan looks and performs well as a boot or a dress shoe.


No matter which leather you prefer, you’re probably wondering how to make shoes more comfortable. With break-em-in, you can break in any leather shoe you own! Extra cushioning in the ankle, center, and side of the foot makes for a luxurious experience that will have your shoes comfortable in no time. You can trim your product to fit virtually any shoe size and can reuse it again and again! Contact us today to learn more.