Leather and Care
Leather and Background
We use premium leathers from world-renowned tanneries including hides from free-range, grass-fed cattle raised in North America and Europe. All of our leathers are tanned in their most natural state from tanneries such as Horween, S.B. Foot, Seidel and C.F. Stead. Coming Fall of 2022, Parkhurst will have it's first very own leathers made to include waxy suede's to start out.
We don't have our hides sanded down, over-dyed or overly processed to cover up leather imperfections. It is our belief that the best leathers are left in their natural state, then tanned by the tannery and cut at the factory. This process as well as incorporating the 200 manual steps in making a single boot, help to make the perfectly imperfect pair.
Our Cutting Process
Leather hides may have some scars and imperfections as well as coloring which may not be perfectly consistent from inch to inch. Leather is an organic material and due to this, these characteristics may be present. Naturally though, we try to minimize the presence of these imperfections on each pair. Our cutting priority is the vamps/toe-boxes of the pattern first. We try to ensure this part gets the cleanest-cut part of the hide. From there we prioritize the quarters, then the heels or tongue. While we monitor these natural imperfections on every hide, there may be subtle, yet tasteful instances of these which may come up on a pair and these are considered part of the boots' overall character for two reasons:
1. Because they represent a story and the environment from which the leather came.
2. Parts of the upper pattern may be too large or too small on any boot size pattern to avoid cutting into an area which may be scarred or have an imperfection, or a group of imperfections. For instance, a quarter panel's pattern size may be so large as compared to the available cutting space on the hide with reduced or no imperfections, that it is sometimes impossible to cut the quarter panel pattern portion without grabbing some of the area which may have a small imperfection. Otherwise, we'd have the discard the rest of the hide, which is still perfectly structurally sound leather. In this case we do our best to limit exposure and if completely unavoidable, areas are matched from boot to boot as best as they can be. The only other option in this case is to discard most of if not all of, an entire leather hide, and cut into a new hide to make a single pair of boots. We are not going to do this as we are not comfortable with simply discarding a large remainder of a structurally sound leather hide. We see ourselves as having a responsibility to the hides to maximize our cutting capabilities, while cutting out structurally unsound pieces of the hide. We don't believe in discarding and ultimately wasting an abundance of leather if there is nothing structurally wrong with it and if it presents zero integrity risk.
Leather is skin. Skin has texture, grain, flex points etc. Therefore you may see this in your leather as well. We cut out structurally unsound pieces of leather such as loose grain and we do not include it in our boots. Upon receiving your pair, it is possible there may be a surface scratch or two on the leather which may take place from transit/shipping conditions. While we do our best to pack each pair well by wrapping in cotton or canvas bags, naturally some of this may occur.
Chromexcel - soft, smooth supple leather tanned with oils and waxes. This leather will have much pull-up to it and exhibit many natural characteristics as a result of the environment from which it came. As soon as it's tried on, you can typically see the pull-up and variations come through to the surface. Some of the variations may include veining and grain and are characteristic of this style of leather. Some CXL is known to have loose grain, we cut around this and it is not incorporated into our boots or shoes. Should we have a pair with loose grain, it will be priced with this in mind and placed into the Sample + Seconds section of the website if it is decided to be sold.
Parkhurst Mahogany - soft but sturdy custom Parkhurst pull-up leather. This article is most similar to Chromexcel in that it is hot stuffed and combination vegetable tanned and chrome tanned. Our care recommendations would be the same as CXL.
Dublin - soft, smooth veg tan leather which can be a bit stiff initially. This leather is a rugged side leather which has much character to it along with natural variations, scars and pull-up. As soon as it's tried on, you can typically see the character and variations come through to the surface. Some of the variations may include veining and grain and are characteristic of this style of leather. The color of Dublin can vary from pair to pair depending on what area of the hide is cut to make the pair. Some may be slighter, others may be slightly darker.
Kudu - genuine antelope leather from Southern and Eastern Africa. Very soft, supple and conforming. The backside is finished with a suede. Expect this leather to have many scars and conform to your foot quite rapidly.
Moose - genuine wild/free-range moose leather typically from the Scandinavian region. This leather is thicker, but has a soft feel to it. Similar in temper to kudu, moose has a more rugged, less smooth feel to it and possesses natural scarring and texture variation.
Waxy Commander - a shrunken fiber, tighter grain heavily waxed suede. A traditional waxed flesh provides wax just on the surface. This article is waxed both on the surface and in the tannage to provide a double barrier protection from the elements. This leather can be re-waxed easily at home with wax and a blow dryer or heat gun. If you prefer, we can also do it for you. Wax content and coloration due to wax may have variances sometimes.
Parkhurst waxed suede - our custom version of waxed suede leather. We suggest the same care instructions as Waxy Commander noted above.
Rough-out - a tighter grain, longer nap leather which is often quite thick and is the reverse side of the hide.
Oil Tans - leathers which have been tanned with mainly oils and a high concentration of them as opposed to waxes. Oil tanning can bring out the natural grain in leather. Like with any of the aforementioned leathers, it can be lighter or darker depending on what area of the hide the leather is cut from and how the hide comes in from the tannery.
Vegetable Tan Leathers - leathers tanned with plant oils as well as different types of tree bark oils.
Care and Conditioning
Due to the leathers we use, our footwear does not need to be conditioned right out of the box but we understand this is subject to personal preference. Some of the brands/items we recommend using are listed below:
Best conditioner for each leather based on our findings (subject to personal preference):