10 Best leather shoes Reviewed & Rated

Having a pair of shoes is great, but having a good pair of shoes, it’s definitely a bonus. Leather happens to one of the oldest fabrics that have been used in making different types of footwear.

Best Leather Shoes-and belt

Despite many synthetic fabrics being unveiled over the years, leather has still managed to survive the test of time.

Last Updated: September 23, 2017
By Daniel Gonzalez:

Our latest update includes info about the most important aspects of leather shoes, and how to choose quality leather. We also outline the most common types of leather and what to expect from each in your footwear. With this additional info, readers will be able to choose and evaluate the best leather shoes for themselves no matter where they are shopping.

Featured Recommendations

Converse All Star Leather
  • Converse All Star Leather
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Customized Feel
  • Price: See Here
New Balance MX608V4
  • New Balance MX608V4
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • perforated upper
  • Price: See Here
Adidas Samoa Retro
  • Adidas Samoa Retro
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • superior Comfort
  • Price: See Here

Below we have compiled for you the best leather shoes ranging from the Oxford dress shoes to the simple walking shoes.

 

10 Best Leather Shoes

 

1. Converse All Star Leather

Converse shoes are known for their iconic look. What we think of is the rubber toe cap and canvas upper, however, the All Star also comes in a leather variety. This shoe offers a great look and excellent comfort. The insole will form to your feet making the shoe feel quite customized. The rubber outsole is durable and helps provide traction and grip on a variety of surfaces. Overall this is an amazing shoe and an excellent fit for any shoe collection.
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Ortholite Insole
Newly added to its design is the Ortholite Insole. What does this mean for you? Better shock absorption and distribution alongside improved comfort. This type of insole forms to your specific foot and make your shoes feel like they were made just for you.

Medial Eyelets
Converse adds small eyelets to the side of this option. This increases the overall airflow of the shoe. Leather is not the most breathable material and can lead to hot, sweaty feet. The addition of medial eyelets will keep the airflow going to help ensure your feet stay cool and comfortable.

Cost and Value
For an all leather shoe, this one is quite affordable and will fit into most budgets fairly easily. With the genuine leather design, you know this shoe is built to last. In addition, they are very comfortable and will go with any outfit you please.

2. New Balance MX608V4

They are the best trainers for your workout. Over the years, many workout trainers have opted to use more synthetic fabrics instead of leather because they are seen to be more efficient. This trainer from new balance is made of high-quality leather and will offer you the same amount of comfortability that the best trainers used in workout sessions provide. These shoes will guarantee an enjoyable training session with minimal stress.
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Comfort
The shoes have been constructed with a technology that is able to reduce the level of stress that is generated by the weight of the body and the pounding effect when running. They offer a great fit and are also very comfortable. The footbed of these trainers is well cushioned. In order to offer a more flexible fit, especially for people with wider feet, the shoe is made in two shoe sizes. The sole has been made of a thick sole to provide balance when working out and offer the needed amount of traction. The ABZORB foam on the footbed has been constructed to provide an added soft cushioning effect to the feet.

Style and Design
The upper part has been made using leather fabric that has great color variations. The color variations are 19 in number. The collars are dual density and have foam padding, hence no irritation being experienced on one's ankles when working out. The natural movement of the foot is encouraged by the flexible outsoles. The midsole has a construction of EVA foam that has an internal injection of the shank, for providing maximum support. The shoes offer a springy step when running because of the ABZORB foam used in the footbed, which also provides soft cushioning. The collar has a dual density construction with a good tongue padding. The sizes of the trainer are also versatile.

Cost and Value
A great balance of fit and comfortability has been achieved in this trainer, thanks to the technology that has been used in designing this sneaker. You can wear them to your training or just for a casual look and still be able to get great value. They are an investment that every athlete should consider having. They are great for light training.
Pros
  • Perfect Fit
  • Exceptional Comfort
  • Great Shock Absorption
  • Excellent for Long Wear
Cons
  • Durability Issues

3. Sperry Top-Sider

Paul Sperry happens to be one of the oldest shoe making companies who focus on making of boat shoes. These shoes can be worn in literally all the occasions and should be a part of every man’s shoe collection. They have been known to act as a quick replacement to loafers and sneakers, other buyers have even preferred them to normal dress shoes. The Sperry boat shoes have grown in popularity among many buyers both ladies and gentlemen.
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Versatility
The upper section of this boat shoe has been designed to keep the feet dry always by repelling water. The brown shade used means the shoe has very minimal chances of getting and showing any dirt. The heel cup helps in absorbing any shock that can be generated when walking or bumping into something. When it comes to a comfortable fit, you can decide to either wear the shoes with socks or not, though you will find many people going sockless when they wear boat shoes. Those who have sweaty feet can opt for cotton inserts. The 360 degrees lacing construction used guarantees the wearer a great fit.

Design
The shoe has been designed with shades of brown color ranging from mid-brown to dark brown on the upper part. Though there are navy blue, black and white colors available. The sole can also be white in color or shades of brown. The upper part has been constructed using the leather fabric. The shoe is hand sewn and the stitching is done on the top. The lacing system of the boat shoe is 360 degrees design with two or three eyelets. The laces are made from leather. The soles have been constructed to make sure they are non-marking, well that’s why they are called boat shoes. Added protection is offered to the foot by the padded tongue.

Cost and Value
The cost of these shoes falls towards the middle of our guide. They offer exceptional durability and a style that goes with almost anything. The overall quality helps the value and if you decide to go with them your feet will be comfortable and supported through hours of long wear.
Pros
  • Many Comfort Features
  • Excellent Durability 
  • Versatile Style
  • Great Shock Absorption
Cons
  • Sizing Runs Small

4. Adidas Samoa Retro

4. Adidas Samoa Retro
These trainers have a very classic flair and have managed to stay in the market for long as one of the best leather shoes in the market. These trainers have been around since the 80’s and have been loved by many for the past decades. It has a toe that is reinforced and it has a low profile. They have managed to enhance the toe with a rubber bumper making it have a much more stylish look.
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Upper
The upper part of the Samoa has a suede fabric combined with stripes made of leather and a heel tab. You will find that some versions of this trainer have the herringbone textile while others have been made from leather that is full grain. Despite this, the trainer offers the needed amount of comfort. The toe box has a signature reinforcement and a rubber bumper. The side stripes are well perforated to enhance breathability. The special edition of this trainer which has a collegiate yellow and navy blue tends to have a toe box that is smaller.

Outsole
The outsole of the trainer is made of rubber and has a logo pattern of trefoil, if you look at the medial section you will find a larger logo pattern. The sole guarantees cushioning that is comfortable. They are good for long hours of standing, light running, or walking. The sole has been constructed to provide ample arch support to the feet. Due to the sole, the trainer has been praised for their durability.

Cost and Value
The Samoa Adidas are very affordable and the best value in our guide. You will definitely find some of these trainers for sale at very affordable prices. It’s a classic trainer and offers style and comfort at the same time. They are ideal for light workout sessions or just for a simple casual look. Either way, they will provide good value for your money.
Pros
  • Very Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Classic Style
  • Good Traction
Cons
  • Narrow Fit

5. Rockport Eureka

5. Rockport Eureka
They are among the best walking sneakers from Rockport. They are not only affordable but then they also have great features that many walking shoes tend to miss out on. With great shock absorption and a variety of comfort features, you are sure to love this choice by Rockport. They are the best casual shoes and will give you an appearance that is perfect.
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Breathability
The breathability of the shoe has been enhanced by the mesh lining which also helps in sweat absorption. The mesh helps to ensure your feet stay dry and cool. Wet feet lead to fungal and bacterial growth that can not only cause itching but also pain. With the overall breathability of this shoe, you won't have to worry about those pesky problems anymore.

Rubber Sole
Wearing these shoes to an outdoor event or to the office will be perfectly fine. With the rubber sole, you gain good traction on a variety of surfaces. In addition, rubber is exceptionally durable. This will allow you extended and comfortable wear for years to come.

Cost and Value
These shoes have great comfortability and support. They are fairly costly, but then when you look at the features that they have, you will notice that they offer so much that the cost is lessened by the value. They are the best shoes for walking and many buyers love them because of the comfort features they have.
Pros
  • Very Supportive
  • Excellent Grip
  • Little Break-In Time
  • Great for Long Wear
Cons
  • Costly

6. Bostonian Bolton

6. Bostonian Bolton
These dress shoes are very traditional with a design that is both sleek and traditional. This loafer is handsome and adds up a classy style that is also great for casual wear. The shoe’s profile is polished and has a ride that is similar to that of a sneaker. The slip-on style of this shoe makes them have great versatility.
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Look
The upper section has been constructed with the full grain leather material combined with articulate stitching. The stitching on this dress shoe is double needled which gives an amazing look. Whether going to the office or a casual event you can't go wrong with the awesome look of this option by Bostonian.

Sole
The shoe’s sole is very flexible. The flexibility of the sole happens to be this shoe’s A feature that many buyers look for. The sole is able to offer ample comfortability to the feet despite the different walking terrains. The sole is manmade and has many more great qualities compared to the commercial soles that are used in other dress shoes. This means that the shoes will make sure that you enjoy the different type of activities. The sole is also lightweight in nature. Hence very easy to walk around when wearing the shoes.

Cost and Value
First of all, this dress shoe has been made using leather fabric that is very stylish. They are a bit costly but purchasing these shoes means you will have both an elegant and stylish shoe at the end of the day. With proper care these shoes can last a long time, meaning you will be able to enjoy the investment you made in their purchase.
Pros
  • Variety of Color Options
  • Exceptioinally Versatile
  • Very Lightweight
  • No Break-In Period
  • Easy On Easy Off
Cons
  • Difficult Sizing
  • Squeaky

7. Skechers Citywalk Malton

7. Skechers Citywalk Malton
Skechers has been offering supremely comfortable shoes for generations. Trusted by millions the Citywalk Malton is a perfect example of why. With a memory foam insole and flexible rubber outsole, these shoes are very comfortable. In addition, the attention to detail seen in the stitching and overall look is amazing. If you need a versatile shoe for everyday wear this may be the Leather shoe you have been looking for.
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Oxford Style
The comfort of a sneaker with the look of an oxford is one of the reasons we love this option. When you are on your feet all day but need something that looks professional and polished this is an excellent choice. They are easy to dress up or down and will keep you pain-free for hours.

Lugged Rubber Outsole
Rubber does an excellent job of providing traction and grip on a variety of surfaces. Add to that the luggs and what you have are a shoe that you can wear just about anywhere. This type of outsole will grip slippery or wet surfaces with ease. Whether you want to wear them to the office or out on a trail they won't let you down.

Cost and Value
These shoes fall into the more affordable category of our guide. They are durable and exceptionally good looking and comfortable. These add to the overall value. Most budgets will be able to absorb their cost easily and after many wears, you will see these shoes basically pay for themselves in terms of longevity and comfort.
Pros
  • Excellent Fit
  • Sneaker-Like Comfort
  • Dress Up or Dress Down
  • Fast Break-In Time
  • Rugged Outsole
Cons
  • Seam Durability Issues

8. Clarks Escalade Step

8. Clarks Escalade Step
Clarks have been known to produce some of the best shoes on the market. Just like their other models, the Escalade model meets the standards of first-class footwear. These Clark Loafers are not only comfortable but also trendy. They are the type of shoe that can never go out of style or season. They are comfortable, casual wear shoes. The slip-on design means ease when putting them on and taking them off.
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Insole
The insole is removable and is also made of leather combined with the Ortholite technology. This combination will allow the sole to form to your particular foot which gives it a customized feel. In addition, Ortholite is excellent at absorbing shock and distributing it. This helps keep your feet, legs, and back feeling great no matter how many hours you are on your feet.

Detail
When it comes to the look of these shoes, it is all about the detail. The fine stitching sets the look a notch above others in its class. They will dress up easily but also look great with a pair of jeans. The goring makes them easy to put on but also gives a nice look to the overall shoe.

Cost and Value
Clarks have been known to have very affordable pairs of shoe. These leather shoes give you a classy and dressy look at an affordable price. With their perfect sizing and lightweight nature, they are definitely worth the price.
Pros
  • Easy On Easy Off
  • Removable Insole
  • Superior Traction & Grip
  • Very Lightweight
  • Easy Dress Up & Down
Cons
  • Sizing Runs Small

9. Alegria Debra

9. Alegria Debra
Alegria is a favorite for a vast variety of people. They provide excellent comfort and awesome style. With a variety to choose from you will be able to find the perfect fit for your leather shoe need. They are roomy and exceptionally comfortable. The elastic goring makes them easy to slip on and take off. In addition, this will allow you a bit of stretch for those days your feet decide to swell.
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Comfort
When you spend long days on your feet pain becomes a part of daily life. If you choose Alegria you will find that to be a thing of the past. The toe box offers enough room for your feet to move naturally and will help you avoid ingrown toenails and toe pain. On top of that, they have a memory foam insole and a rocker bottom that allows your feet to move naturally. True comfort is found when you wear these shoes.

Removable Insole
The insole that is used in this option is amazingly comfortable and you may decide to stick with it. However, if you wear a custom orthotic the ability to remove the insole and easily slip yours in is imperative to your overall comfort. In addition, because these are so durable you may find you want to replace the insole with a new set as they break down over time.

Cost and Value
Alegria is known for their exceptional comfort and top quality materials. This comes with a pretty high price tag. You may make an adjustment in your budget to afford them but if you do you won't be disappointed. These shoes will be with you for the long haul and keep your feet, ankles, and back feeling great.
Pros
  • Wide Style Variety
  • Supreme Comfort
  • Helps Relieve Foot Pain
  • Great Durability
  • Versatile Wear
Cons
  • Long Break-In period

10. Finn Mary Jane

10. Finn Mary Jane
This classic style Mary Jane gives you a look that is versatile and has been loved for generations. The leather upper is soft and flexible. The outsole provides good traction and is quite durable. In addition, there is a slight heel which will help to elongate the leg. There are also several details that make this shoe very eye appealing, like the decorative perforation on the strap.
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Support
The cushioning found throughout this shoe helps to support every area of your feet. It also offers great support to your arch which helps you when you are on your feet for long hours.

Versatility
A Mary Jane style can be paired with casual as well as dressy outfits. When looking for real comfort and versatility you can't go wrong with this style. Regardless of where you decide where then they will give you comfort and support.

Cost and Value
These shoes are quite affordable and fall towards the low end of our price point. They are great to wear during a variety of seasons and occasions which adds to the overall value. Most budgets will absorb the cost fairly easily and you are sure to be satisfied with your purchase.
Pros
  • Great for All Occasions
  • Awesome Arch Support
  • Wide Toe Box
  • Adjustable Strap
  • Supreme Comfort
Cons
  • Velcro Durability

Conclusion.

 

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Leather Shoes

It’s important to always have the following things in mind when you are shopping for high quality leather shoes:

  1. Full grain or correct grain: what exactly is full grain? This means that a grain hide has not been altered, buffed or sanded while on the other hand the corrected grain might have a few imperfections or rather natural marks (insect bites, wrinkles, scars), which are found on the surface. For grain leather that is top, you will notice that there is consistency in the color. The surface yield is very nice and has a smooth appearance.
  2. Grading of Leather: the best quality of leather happens to be the one that is the tightest. Look for leather that has tannery.
  3. Leather Thickness: never make the assumption that the thicker the leather the better the quality, since many leather fabrics that are top graded tend to defy this notion. You will find a very thin leather that is of very high quality.
  4. The consistency of the color: this should be an important factor when shopping for shoes that have leather fabric that is of medium quality, nevertheless for the top graded ones the consistency of the color doesn’t matter.

Other factors to look at might include the whole cut of the leather and the fit which is normally determined after wearing the shoes for a minimum of 10 minutes.

The type and specific purpose of the shoe

Not all leather’s the same and not all leather shoes are made for the same purpose. Different types of leather can be found on different types of shoes, which in turn affects their effectiveness. Some shoes incorporate lather for a purely aesthetic value, while others serve it for performance purposes. This should be considered, always. For instance, if you see a hiking shoe that is made of suede leather, you want to look the other way. That is an indication the manufacturer has no idea what they are doing. Suede is not a performance leather, and is in a way a sponge for dirt and grime, rendering it unfit for dirt trails. However, a fashion shoe with suede leather is perfectly fine. Then you have full grain leather, which is typically made from cowhide and is perfect for hiking boots due to its natural water resistant properties. Keep in mind what you will and will not be doing with your shoes, and/or using them for and you will be sure to steer yourself in the right direction. Know your leather types and what they can be applied for and you can’t go wrong. Below we outline some common types of leather and leather processing methods used for footwear.

The Types of Leather

Some of the leather types have been mentioned already, but for the sake of being thorough, let’s break it down even more. There are about nine distinguished types of leather used in shoes (depending on who you ask), but let’s go into the most common. Because leather is used as a catch-all term, it’s easy to confuse and mix-up the many different types there actually are, or arent. The type of leather can be differentiated by its processing method, or by the animal hide or raw material in which it was made from.

Roughout – Roughout is an inverted leather meaning it’s flipped inside-out. The flesh side of the leather is on the external, and the flat, smooth side is on the inside. They are somewhat more breathable than standard leather and are favored because they do not need any extra attention when it comes to cleaning. This leather is used for rough-wear and performance rather than looks and fashion.

Vegan Tanned -This is a super simple leather with no special tanning methods or processing done to it. It’s actually made from organic plant material using tree bark for tanning. It usually comes out light in shade, but the shade does not stick around for long. The leather will naturally darken up with use, and should not be an alarm to you if you do notice a darker shade over time. Just make sure not to get this leather wet, or face shrinking and cracking leather as they dry, and over time.

Pulled – These leathers are a group of highly oiled and waxed skins that turns a different shade, usually lighter, when force is put on the leather such as stretching or pulling. Shoes made of this leather are extremely easy to maintain and fair well against scuffing and similar damage. You can find this leather on boots used for work all the way to casual boots because of it’s diverse nature lending a hand in all walks of life.  Easier maintnence is always better.

Chamois – This leather is also referred to as “shammy”.  It resembles suede in a way, and because it absorbs liquids it is usually heavily waxed and oiled. On the bright side, the heavy application of the wax and oils makes it so you don’t need to shine very often.

Suede – Just the RO leather suede is inverted but instead applies a sanded and highly buffed out finish making it extremely soft and easy to the touch. Water and muck will easily attach it self to the material, so shoes made of suede should not be worn in rough environments.

S. Grain –  Commonly referred to as pebble grain, this leather is made using barley in order to form the texture. The barley assists in shrinking the leather, which instead of shriveling makes the interesting pattern this leather is known for. You can also find this leather made in an alternative way, using embossing techniques over cowhide. It looks classy and is super weather resistant.

Cordovan –  To many, this is the most favored of all leathers listed here. The leather is extremely durable . It is made using horse hide, and the reason it’s as strong as it is has to do with the area of the horse which the skin used for this leather is pulled from. It is taken from the hind area, here the skin is hardest due to dense pores. This also means it will be a whole lot more naturally water resistant. Another benefits is less creasing. If properly cared for, this leather can last for up to ten years on a shoe, making it very cost effective. You won’t find much colors, and do to the difficult process in working this leather it is costly, but the quality is certainly not contested.

Calf Skin – This is leather made from cow calfs. The young skin means it will be much more thin than normal cowhide. It will also have much less blemishes and natural imperfections then the skin of an older cow. Despite the age of the cow, and less thick skin, it still holds the same durability and strength. The leather polishes up really well and is of the most ideal skins for dress shoes.

Patent – This leather is an extremely polished and shined version of cowhide and calf skin. With methods taken from old Chinese polishing habits, or by use of plastics, an extraordinarily eye catching shine is able to be achieved. It is typically seen in use on formal wear, and is probably most popular for this type of shoe across the board.

The quality of leather

The quality of the leather will usually depend on the brand of shoe you get. If you buy an off-brand or generic shoe, chances are very high that you will get some cheap form of leather. You may even find yourself with fake leather on your shoes, which will typically crack and flake depending on how bad it is. It doesn’t matter which type of leather is claimed for the shoe, or what type of curing method used, if the job is low quality the whole shoe will suffer. We highly recommend not going with any generic brand when it comes to leather shoes especially due to the specific nature that leather has. It is used across the board for it’s durability, regardless of other factors and shoe types. You won’t get the durability, or waterproof desired with cheap or imitation material.

 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is leather made from usually, and what can leather be made from?

A: In shoes, leather is typically made from cowhide or calf skin, but it doesn’t need to be.  Other animal skins used to make leather shoes include but are not limited to buffalo, elephant, kangaroo, ostrich,  alligator, crocodile,  and other reptiles such as snakes.

Q: What type of leather is the most expensive?

A: Out of the common leathers Cardovan will generally be more expensive, but the more uncommon, the more expensive. This is usually the case, and is true with leathers. Leather made from reptiles is very strong, not very common and relatively pricey. Reptile skin shoes are specially made, and are more expensive than any common leather.

Q: Are there shoes that are entirely (100%) made of leather?

A: For the most part, yes, unless you are also including the shoelaces, adhesive and any bonding material. Leather components can consist of the out-sole, insole, inner lining, heel and upper. Leather is such a diverse, durable and useful material that it can be shaped into any and all components as needed, effectively.

Q: How thick does the leather need to be on a shoe to be practical?

A: Thickness is balanced with overall weight and highly depends on it. If a shoe weighs four ounces, the leather upper shoe be in the area of  7/32 of an inch. Let’s say the shoe weighs in the range of one ounce, the thickness of the leather used should be 1/64 of an inch. This is how it’s typically measured.

Q: Both of my shoes have a different shade of leather. Is this normal?

A: This does happen, and usually with low quality manufacturers. Usually a pair of shoes is made from the same sheet of leather, and a good manufacturer would ensure any discoloration of any parts of the leather is not used, or that the shade of one area can be used for both shoes. Unfortunately, to save money, some manufacturers will make two or three pairs out of one sheet of leather that a high quality company would use to make one pair, causing the extra two pairs to have less than ideal leather used on them.

If you need repairs, this may help you.

Here are some easy ways to solve foot odor.

Sources

  1. bestleather, about-shoe-leather,
  2. theshoesnobblog, leather-quality-how-it-varies,
  3. sneakerfactory, shoe_leather,
  4. realmenrealstyle, leather-shoes-bad-weather,
  5. heddels, shoe-leathers-9-common-options,
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