front porch trash

front porch trash

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Shell Cordovan Shoes?

I once had a pair of Allan Edmonds shoes listed as cordovan. Now, I also had them listed as cordovan calf skin, but someone asked if they were cordovan or just cordovan color.  Cordovan color, thank you very much.

I don't think I have ever found a pair of shell cordovan leather shoes before. The description of the feel of the leather is like heavy plastic. That is just what this leather feels like.

I have researched these and they appear to be shell cordovan but the soles are not nailed and the heels don't have a V notch. I think that the nails and V notch are vintage shoes, but I can't get a definitive answer.
Here they are. Can someone tell me if they are really shell cordovan? They are not creased like calf leather, but have waves instead.

 The only thing I have done to these since I picked them up yesterday is wipe them down with a damp cloth. From what I have read you don't polish shell cordovan, just buff and the shine appears.

Also have these shoes that I picked up at an estate sale this summer. Appear to have been worn once, but they have a terrible mildew smell, no visible mold or anything, but smell very musty. I have had them sunning for ages and the smell is getting less and less but I guess I will have to freeze them to see if that does the trick.

These have the same feel to the leather and don't have little creases, same type of waves. I can't find any Bass shoes listed as being shell cordovan leather.

Did you know that shell cordovan is from a horses butt? A thick, tough leather on each side of the tail. And only one pair of shell cordovan shoes per horse hide. You can cut 3-4 pair of shoes from a cow hide. Just so you know.


  1. They do look different than normal leather. I don't know anything about shell cordovan (except what I just learned from you) but I remember that Jay and Ryanne over at Scavenger Life have talked about it in the past. You could ask them.

    1. I checked their store and they have a pair of vtg wingtip cordovans listed and the waves look the same.

  2. Hey you could maybe list them and put it in the title with a ?. Someone might message you with some info.

  3. I dont think I've ever sold shell cordovan leather, and I sell tons of mens shoes. I have sold some regular leather shoes that did ripple like that. Maybe they were cordovan and I didn't know it? Sorry I couldn't help but thanks for the info!

  4. After closer inspection of the black shoes I think they are just cheap leather. There are very minute creases between the waves (could be from age, drying out of the leather) and the soles are molded vinyl. I still haven't find out if
    GH Bass made shell cordovan in the 70's.