Those who know, know. Over the many decades of producing Shell Cordovan shoes & boots, we have found that those customers who dabble in this wonderous and curious material, remain absolutely committed to it. Whether it is a new style, a special order or one of our limited editions. If Shell is in the title, they usually get snapped up.
Shell Cordovan is very different to high quality calf or suede. Cordovan is not even the outer layer. It comes from within! An internal, protective membrane that sits between outer skin and the muscle beneath. It is completely smooth and has no grain. The result of millions of years of evolution, Cordovan has a dense fibre structure which in turn results in a high-shine and luxurious finish from those makers who know how best to treat the material during their manufacturing / finishing process… Thankfully at Crockett & Jones, there is no guessing where Shell Cordovan finishing is concerned. Our secrets for finishing Cordovan will be forever guarded.
Thicker in substance than our usual calf or suede, authentic Cordovan (from Horween) does take a little longer to break in. Once that period is handled, it becomes incredibly supple, moulding to the wearer’s feet perfectly over time, rewarding them with decades of enjoyment, if cared for accordingly – For Cordovan Shoe Care tips, see HERE.. In fact, Cordovan is so strong a material, it was originally developed to make shaving strops and even today, Clickers at Crockett & Jones, still use it to finish and polish their blades before they are let loose on leather!
Traditionally, Cordovan styles are born with a double leather sole. Traditionalist at heart, half of the Collection remains in this ‘standard issue’ state. However, all loafers have been reduced to a single leather for comfort and flexibility in mind.
Tradition is key for a successful Cordovan Collection, pin point styles as opposed to a scattergun ‘make all’ mentality. There are few shoes that really warrant a Cordovan make-over. For Crockett & Jones, the Collection is broken down into; a 5 eyelet Cap Derby (Bloucher), Tassel Loafer, Penny Loafer, Full Brogue Derby and a Cap Toe Derby Boot… Other styles have come and gone, but the stalwarts remain. We, at C&J, don’t mess around when it comes to product development, listening to our customers the above about covers it all. That being said, if you, our ‘Cordovan Converted’ have burning desires for a specific style, please do email your thoughts to: email@example.com. There is nothing we love more than a small run of something special, made from this incredible leather…
Bringing us to our latest 25th Retail Anniversary Collection, which see us reimagine two iconic styles, Cavendish and Coniston. Both have been made using Hatch Grain Shell Cordovan. Also from the inimitable Horween Tannery in Chicago, embossed with the famous Hatch grain print.
Cordovan is not for everyone, far from main stream. It never will be. It is a limited material, and thus commands a higher price tag and not every maker is able to get it in the quantities that we are able to, offering a stable and available collection for as long as Crockett & Jones has. It is here to stay, we love working with it, we love working with the Horween family and we are proud to be producing and supplying some of the finest genuine Shell Cordovan shoes the world has ever seen.