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  • Jeffrey Hilliard from the Armoury writes a thorough primer on what to look for in identifying quality footwear: leather quality, construction, fit & style.


Written by: Jeffrey HilliardThe Armoury
In a sea of well dressed businessmen, it's often brutally apparent when good taste doesn't extend below the ankles. As the late George Frazier once stated, "Wanna know if a guy is well dressed? Look down." But as much as Frazier advocated that shoes make the man, some of us simply don't know how to spot quality in footwear. Although many resources attempt to highlight these features, most of them lack the detail needed to aid informed decisions.
There are three main areas you should focus on when evaluating fine dress footwear: leather quality, construction methods, and design and fit.

Think of leather like your skin. It is a hide and its quality can be most accurately discerned though the density of the fibers in the grain. Very simply put, the higher the density of the fibers, the more durable the leather. For our purposes, we can focus on the processes that produce the 4 main types of leather used for shoemaking - full grain, top grain, split grain, and bonded leather.

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