I’ve fancied a pair of Cordovan shoes for some time now and after trying a few pairs of Alden Cordovan options on down the years I decided to take a risk and opt for a pair of Tricker’s instead. The reason being I find the American styles are much too long in the toe for my taste. As I have a slightly wider foot I tend to end up with half an inch room in the toe on most shoes, but with Alden styles it feels more like an inch.
I say ‘take a risk’ as Tricker’s don’t have the years of wide ranging experience with this specific material that Alden do. They also don’t use Horween Shell Cordovan like Alden. Again, Horween have such vast experience manufacturing this leather that it seems unlikely others would produce a product to match.
Tricker’s acquire their Cordovan from an Italian manufacturer called Comipel, and while they don’t have the rich history of Cordovan production that Horween do, their leather seems (to my eye at least) every bit as beautiful and is actually offered in a much larger range of colours. While some of Horween’s colours are iconic, the colour range is quite limited and I’ve not been impressed with all the examples I’ve seen in person. I’ve seen shoes made with the Whiskey shade that looked indistinguishable from Calfskin for example.
For my M.T.O shoes I decided to go for the most comfortable style of Tricker’s I’ve found for my feet; the Polo Chukka on the W2298 last. It’s close to Alden’s classic chukka and I prefer Cordovan on simpler shoes such as this as the creases and ripples are more noticeable and highlight the material’s sheen. I find brogueing or any other decoration can detract from the beauty Cordovan (unless it’s Horween’s Colour 8 which seems to have a special richness and luster that is only exaggerated further on Alden’s longwings).
I chose a dainite sole with a Barbour welt and contrast stitching so wetter weather wouldn’t be a problem (more on that shortly…).
I kept the style simple opting for Tricker’s beautiful Mogano brown Cordovan which has a conker like surface and colour. It’s similar to Horween’s amazing Colour 8, but without the redness. The colour and style means this is going to be a good all rounder, working with many outfits varying from smart to casual. The finishing touch is the inside lining in British Racing Green.
As always the order was placed with Stitched & Stitched favourite; The Shoe Healer. Doncaster’s finest gave very sound advice and honest opinions about Cordovan which was all taken on board when deciding the style. I’m going to write a little more about Cordovan in one of my next posts which will hopefully offer up some advice and thoughts for anybody thinking of purchasing a pair of shoes in this unique leather.