Shell Cordovan Leather – Q&A 20 | Kirby Allison

Hi I’m Kirby Allison. Thank you for all your comments and questions that you guys have
posted on our YouTube channel. After reading them all and answering as many as possible. I’ve selected five that we’re going
to feature in today’s Q and A video. Each of these individuals I have
selected will receive a complimentary pair of our Sovereign Grade shoelaces as a token of our appreciation for
their participation in our channel. In today’s Q and A video I’m going to be answering your questions about how to care for cordovan shoes. Remember if you have any comments or questions while you’re watching
one of our videos please ask them in the comments
section below. I tried to get back to as many of
these questions as possible. Our first question today is from
Frederick Hess Fang and it reads. How do you strip clean a pair of Quarterman shoes. Reno’Mat rubbing alcohol. I don’t want to ruin my newly
acquired vintage crock and Joan Bradford so a first Frederich. Congratulations on those new Crocket and Jones Bradford shoes Crockett and Jones as many of you
know is really one of the premier shoemakers operating out of the United Kingdom or Northhampton so absolutely high quality great pair of shoes. If you’re really looking to strip
the shoes you can absolutely use a product like the Saphir renovateur
completely safely without any concern on your cordovan shoes. This is going to be a strong
stripper. It’s not going to take any of the
original finish off especially off then but it will pull anything that’s
been placed on top of that leather off any polishes or anything else. So this would be my recommendation. Now if you’re looking for something
more gentle maybe save for occasional cleaning. You could also use the Saphir
leather cleaning soap without any concern either you just would
shampoo the shoe at the dauber. That’s good for a nice light
cleaning if the shoe becomes dirty. It will take a little bit of the
polish off and it won’t pull as much as the Reno’Mat off of that shoe. Our second question today is from infokids and it reads. How do I distinguish
between a calfskin shoe and a cordovan shoe. So this really gets to the heart of
the question of what’s the difference between
calfskin and cordovan and they really couldn’t be any more
different. Fundamentally, calfskin is a leather It’s a skin of a cow whereas cordovan is not skin. It’s not leather it’s actually a
membrane from a horse from the rear quarters for the shells of the horse itself. How is that different. Well it’s not a skin so it doesn’t
have an open port structure like what you have with calfskin Shoe shoes and it’s a tightly woven membrane that actually during the tanning
process at Horween in Chicago they actually roll and further compress the cord even with glass bottles. And what that does is it further
compresses and tightens that fibrous structure to create a unique kind of Quarterman look and also to create a leather that is just has
incredible longevity and durability and that’s really what Korovin is
known for. So in terms of visually identifying cordovan versus calfskin there’s a few things that you can look out
for first and most easily identify is just that you know kind of iconic Quarterman number eight color. I mean that’s probably what 80 percent of Quarterman shoes are
made out of. That’s a beautiful kind of Burgundy. And so that’s the first thing I look
for second quarter it really has a unique just appearance to it. You know if you’re looking at a Auld
in a Quarterman pair of shoes it’s
treated so it has a high shine. But if you’re looking at say a more naturally finish Quarterman like
something that you would get from Lincoln. Edward Green or George cleverly it’s going to have more of a matte finish. You know the natural finish a
quarter and actually is not very shiny. You know that all day in China I bet you see on their Korovin shoes
is actually an applied finish. And then the most technical way to
really identify cordovan is to really pull the shoe up close and look at it. If you’re looking at a pair of open
green leather calfskin shoes you can actually see small dots or holes in the leather itself and that’s the porous structure if you pull the cord even up really
close you’re not going to see any of those
open pores because Quarterman is not an open or another. Quarterman shoes are incredibly
unique. I’ve got a pair in my wardrobe a pair of my Carmena boots I had
made out a quarter then you know it is kind of a colt leather and has a really loyal followership from people that love cordovan it
Quarterman it’s just a unique and special
material it’s not something that I have all my shoes
made out of that but it certainly is kind of a nice leather or nice material to have at least one shoe. Question number three is from
Simon’s service and it reads Hi Kirby thanks for this great video. I wondered when should one choose says Shell Quarterman shoes and they come in many forms ranging
from the penny loafer to bood is there any advantage to go for this
kind of leather instead of a more
traditional Kaffe leather your insides would be much appreciated. Kind Regards from Brussels Belgium. So thank you Simon for your
question. You know Quarterman shoes you know are really kind of fall
into the category of just kind of the cold classic I mean it’s just
the material that is more rare it’s more expensive than calfskin. Whenever cordovan shoes became
popularized it really was the de rigueur for you know certain classes of lawyers because it was so easily and instantaneously identifiable with that very special kind of
burgundy color that Horween cordovan leather is so well known for. And so. It’s difficult to give a specific
answer in a court of has really
appreciated. In many ways because it’s such and durable long lasting leather I mean it’s incredibly strong and hardy because the membrane. It’s not a scan so it’s just tougher and a pair of shoes can easily last a lifetime if they’re well
cared for or even if they’re not well cared
for quite honestly and so that is one of the things
that really attracts people to Quarterman. Now terms of which style would I choose or recommend you really kind of depends on your personal preference
I mean I have a pair of Carmena Coard of in boots it’s a Cateau about moral Pappe but you know a pair of Korovin loafers is equally iconic so I think it really boils down to how you’re going to
wear the shoes. I mean if you’re someone that wears
a lot of loafers then maybe go for Quarterman penny loafer from Alden. There’s really no style of shoe that
I’d say Quarterman isn’t right for. Our fourth question today is from
our 71 0 6. It’s on our world championship and shoe making. Our interview with Pete Bultitude if Graziano and Gerling and his creation reads Am I naive in thinking cordovan shoes are made from leather of that colour that the colour goes all the way
through the leather whereas the color just applied to the surface during the
shoe making process. So great question. I mean certainly that iconic Horween kind of number 8 cordovan color is what most people associate with Quarterman shoes. But that is actually an applied dye to the leather. I actually had the opportunity to
visit the four wheel factory back in June of this
year and you can see from some of these
photographs of the Quarterman shells drying I bet that natual color of Korovin is actually a light brown. It’s just kind of an untreated
leather and is really similar in color of the crust. Calfskin so any of the colors of Quarterman that you’re seeing made by shoemaker either be the Quarterman liberate black dark brown isn’t applied dye. And our last question today is really a more generic question and how should Korovin be cared for differently than calfskin. So again cordovan is not a leather it’s totally different. It’s a membrane that is highly compressed and has a very tight poor structure and so it’s important that you care
for your Quarterman shoes differently than you would
care for your calfskin shoes. Now the reason that you don’t want
to use traditional Saphir shoe polish is designed for calf skins is because the solvent of a standard shoe polish is
designed to really penetrate into the leather
to deliver those nutrients. You really don’t want to use a
solvent based shoe polish and Quarterman shoes because you
don’t want those solvents penetrating into the court of
membrane and causing that otherwise tightly compressed fiber structure to expand. Whenever you do that over time you’re actually compromising the
integrity of that core Quarterman skin. And because no longer are those
fibers extremely tightly compressed. So Saphir actually has a shoe polish that is designed specifically for the minister
Quarterman shoe polish and it’s a cream polish. We recommend for the primary care of your cordovan shoes. It’s available in several different
colors because again you can buy several
different colors chorded than leather. I’ve got right here you know the
number eight which again is the most iconic kind of Quarterman
color. Now what makes this shoe polish
different than say the Saphir palm and ear modality or cream polish is that it doesn’t have any
solvents. Actually the basis of this is Neitz food oil which is still going to condition nourish that sort of in leather to keep it soft flexible and hydrated. But it’s not going to penetrate that Quarterman so deeply to cause those fiber structures to expand. So it’s a great Polish staple to
work up a nice soft shine in the same way
that a Quarterman cream Polish would and is absolutely what we recommend here at the Hanger Project for the
primary care Quarterman letter. Now that said a lot of Coard event aficionados really enjoy using the Saphir win of the
tour and the Saphir run of a tour Daoudi or is safe to use on Quarterman
leather shoes. Also because it is a Waterberg and not solvent based. So again the mink coils will help condition and nourish the court and it’s got those soft waxes which is going to provide a nice
soft shine. But it’s not going to penetrate deep into that fiber structure and cause the integrity of that Coartem and leather to degre. Now that said any of these two polishes are going to provide a nice kind of soft shine the natural texture of a Quarterman
pair of shoes actually is not a high shine of the all shoes that you see with that really high glossy finish that’s actually applied finish that all that applies at the factory. This skin is from the Horween
tannery. Even once they’re finished don’t have a super high shine. So if you look at a pair of Anthony
cleverly George cleverly Quarterman shoes or even in Edward Green Quarterman
shoes or Mike Carmena cordovan shoes you actually see that there’s a
really kind of soft finish in the shoe. Now if you’re looking to elevate
that shine even higher I recommend using the sphere mirror glass I mean the
only way you’re going to get the shine higher than with the cream polishes with the wax. And the reason I recommend this if
your mirror glass which is an excellent wax polish for Quarterman is because again the mirrors shine has that lower concentration of those solvents right. So this is safer to apply jerkwater than leather shoes been the Pat deluxe so anyone that’s looking to develop beer
Sheiner a higher shine on their Quarterman
shoes. I’d recommend you know one or two applications mirror glass using our Hengel project by Shine
shammy and a little bit of water and you’ll see that you are able to
elevate the shine of your Quarterman shoes. Now the other item that is essential for Quarterman care which is really quite obscure is the nearby. The deer bone actually is strikingly easy to use and very effective. Now because Quarterman is a membrane you often see enhanced or increased recoiling across the back of the shoe and as that fibrous structure is flexing. Much more so than what you would see on a calfskin pair of shoes. Now Quarterman is a very tough leather and so you can use the deer bone to actually push those creases out of the leather and so you rub this you know apply some pressure we actually have an
entire video showing you how to do this and it’s a very effective at smoothing those creases out and really kind of restoring that natural texture of the court of
leather and the Dearborn has natural oils in the bone itself which is going to help lubricate that bone and then also further nourish the
cord at the level for any questions on how to care for cordovan leather
shoes we have an extensive library of videos showing you exactly how to do that and if you don’t own a pair of
Quarterman shoes you and I recommend at least considering one pair for your collection. All of the products you need to take
care of your Quarterman leather shoes of course
are available on hanger project dot com as well as extensive shoe care tutorials showing you exactly how to use these to ensure that your
Quarterman shoes look great for decades to come. You know once again. I’d like to just take a moment to
thank everyone for their comments and questions. As I always say it’s your engagement on our YouTube channel that make
these CUNA videos possible. Not only do these Kunas give me the
opportunity to answer in greater depth. A lot of the questions that I’m
already answering but they allow me to take a moment
to just acknowledge my appreciation of everyone’s
involvement in this channel. I absolutely enjoy YouTube and how it has allowed us to connect
more directly with all of you. And I really have fun interacting with you and answering your
questions on our channel. If you haven’t taken an opportunity
to ask a question or make a comment I invite you to do so even if you don’t have any questions to ask you just sharing your opinion or your thoughts about our content. Just make this more fun for
everyone. I read all those questions and comments personally and really do enjoy getting back to
as many of them as I possibly can. In today’s video I’m wearing WWE chann Zenia sports jacket WW Chan is a bespoke tailoring house based out of Hong
Kong that travels extensively throughout the United
States and has a pretty good product. Of course I’m wearing it with my trademark wide shot of a
shirt and today I’m wearing a yellow silk drakes of London tie. I’m also wearing a green silk drakes
of London pocket square the trousers I have on today are a pair of khaki chinos made from my tailor or him or Johnny brothers and I have these made with a high waist and tap trousers so that I don’t have to wear them with the belt and wearing a pair of my 7th grade
socks and my beautiful bespoke George cleverly Russian reindeer split toed derbies says today’s outfit is slightly more casual. I’m wearing it with my Rolex Date
just that was a gift from my grandfather. If you enjoyed this video give us a
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  • I'd like to see a video of top 10 style mistakes you've done/common mistakes people do. Would be fun to watch.

    BTW I love the tie. It pops in a surprisingly elegant manner.

  • I would love to watch a Q & A all about cigars and/or Scotch whisky! Thanks for all the great videos Kirby. They've improved so much since the beginning, and Hanger Project had become one of my favorite channels.

  • Love that sportcoat and tie Kirby. WW Chan really has a flattering cut.

  • I was wondering about all the shoe shiners you see on YouTube that are applying waxes and polish with their bare fingers instead of a chamois. Is there any benefit to doing it this way or the other. I feel like you would apply too much polish with your bare hands compared too a chamois.

  • I was given a pair of shoes that I was curious if they are made of cordovan. There is a lot of creasing on the vamp and some cracking as well.
    Any way to repair the cracking if it cordovan?
    Or if it’s calfskin for that matter?

  • You read my mind, thanks for the video. I will go to buy the George Cleverley Toby boots now!

  • Great video! I find all of your productions to be well thought through and in this particular case, you articulate some very useful information on how to identify cordovan membrane as well as how to care for cordovan shoes. Thanks for the info.

  • Kirby, I just left a comment, and jumped the gun, as I had not yet seen your great looking Russian Reindeer leather shoes. I merely want to let you know that your Russian Reindeer shoes are outstanding and truly a piece of art. I learned a bit of the history of Russian Reindeer leather in one of your interviews of a U K based bespoke shoemaker. Can’t remember who you interviewed, perhaps the owner of George Cleverly? Anyway, your Russian Reindeer shoes look great and guessing/wondering if they might be a “favorite” in your collection of footwear?

  • Hello Kirby love your videos, I was wondering if you wear undershirts and if so do you have any recommendations.

  • Found a pair of Vintage Florsheim shell cordovan for $6 last week in a thrift store! I checked the model number to confirm here. Thanks for the great video, Kirby 🙂

  • Let me save you 15 minutes: Why should you own a pair of Cordovan shoes? Because they are special material and they can last a life time.

  • I know I mentioned this on another video but that is an awesome jacket. As always, great video as well

  • Great video Kirby!
    On the topic of shoes: what are the 3 first dress shoes you'd recommend for someone to buy?

    I have a pair of high quality, dark brown jodhpur which is perfect now towards the fall when temperatures drop and the "wet climates" start comming in. I've really come to like the quality and the comfort of proper leather shoes, so now I've made the choise to transition into higher quality dress shoes aswell. For the first one, I will most likely get the classic, black cap toe oxfords but I'm not sure which one to go for as my second shoe. I've been thinking of either a dark/medium brown oxford captoe or a wholecut burgundy oxford but cannot really decide which one to go for. Then I've thought about either monks or loafers for my third shoe since I already own a pair of boots.

    Your tips and ideas would be much appreciated.

  • I have a question. In all your shoe shine videos you carefully explain how to care for the leather upper but there isn't much information on how to care for the sole and to clean it to ensure that it lasts longer. Could you give us some information on caring for the sole of the shoes or possibly do a restoration video where the sole is cleaned up.

  • Hi. Kirby. Good information and another classy video. Love the sportscoat too.

  • Kirby, I have the deer bone but before the bone, I did buy the sleeking bone from Abbeyhorn. Can it be used in place of the deer bone? Thank you.

  • I really appreciate your outstanding videos. From learning how to properly care for shoes to how to be fashionable gentleman, I've really gained a lot of insight from your content. Thanks for uploading!

  • Hi Kirby,

    I'm very happy with all Hangar Project products and videos, however, I didn't see any for cleaning and sanitizing the inside of the shoe. How often should this be done (is this even required if you let them dry/use shoe trees)? What are the techniques? Thank you in advance.

  • Hello Kirby
    I have been enjoying your videos. Thanks for your efforts.
    I have a pair of cordovan shoes which are a size too big and it is too late to exchange them. Do you believe they can be shrunk (eg by wetting them and drying them with a hair dryer or next to a heater? ) Or is this likely to otherwise damage them. I look forward to your reply. Cheers, Lofty

  • So the plasticy shine Alden adds will subside over time, right?

  • My Allen Edmunds Leeds Bucher Oxfords are in calfskin. I went to my local Allen Edmunds store and they had Derby shoes (very similar in style to Buchers). The rep who complimented me on the finish of my Leeds(I gave the credit to this channel) said it's really like comparing apples to oranges. My shoes cost about 425, there Derby in Cordovan was a little over 650. The rep did not try to sell me but instead showed me the difference. He proudly stated how good the quality of their calfskin was and that to go to the same or similar style(they did not have my exact style in Cordovan at this time) in Cordovan was shear taste. Like Kirby said, Cordovan is cared for differently and is intended to have a more Matt or semi gloss finish as apposed to calfskin. The rep kindly stated that a high gloss finish on Cordovan kinda goes against its intended finish. Anyhow…my birthdays around the corner…do I see a pair of Cordovan shoes in my future?

  • Thanks so much my question I guess is very important is it safe to use renovateur or lotion both by Saphir. Thanks kindest regards

  • I have a question about the video. Hi Kirby, I’m thinking about buying a pair of double monk strap and a wholecut oxford from Carmina, beside of the price do you recommend buying them in cordovan leather? Is it worth the extra price? Did they feel different?

  • You're awesome, dude. So comprehensive and understandable. Question: can you tell me about the suit coat you're wearing for The Hanger Project promo shot? What is the fabric? It looks as though there is a bit of a brown cast to it (could be my monitor). -Patrick

  • Hi Kirby, Thanks for the video, very useful information. You mentioned that Alden applies a special finishing to their cordovan shoes so they look more glossy/smooth, can you please share a bit more details about their finishing, I have a pair of alden tanker boots and a pair of carmina 910 whole cut, both are in color 8 cordovan, and I do agree that the pair of alden look more glossy than the carmina, but i don't think alden uses acrylic like those bookbinder leather on some crap italian designer label. it doesn't crease nor crack on the vamp, and i can see the cordovan "bloom" on the surface on both pairs, and polish/water do get absorbed by the leather
    Thanks in advance


  • Thanks Kirby for educating us on the single most important piece of clothing a man can own: shoes.

  • I have a pair of Cordovan shoes from Alden und I have discolored traces in the creases. I used a shoe bone. No dice? What should I do, Doc?

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