The first thing that catches our eye about shoes is usually the design. Once you pick it up and have a look around, the next thing you notice is likely to be the material. The two most popular materials for shoes are genuine and faux leather. While both have their benefits, genuine leather has been at the forefront of craftsmanship for generations. If you’re looking to invest in your shoe collection, genuine leather is always the superior choice. It’ll stand the test of time and give you a more comfortable walking experience. If you’re still debating between genuine leather vs faux leather, we’re setting out the differences between the two.
Faux leather, sometimes known as man-made leather, is created using polyvinyl chloride. PVC is heat-stamped with an artificial leather grain to give the material the appearance of genuine leather. This material is mass-produced with a low production cost, allowing shoe brands to sell their designs at a more affordable price. Most of the shoes you’ll find on your local high street are made using faux leather. While these shoes are cheaper than genuine leather, they’re not necessarily an economical purchase.
With faux leather shoes, you would be lucky if you get a full season of wear. You’ll often find that these shoes have a rubber sole that can quickly start to wear, especially if you intend to wear them every day. The material can also cause odours and sweat to linger and create an unpleasant smell inside your shoes.
The faux leather fabric isn’t as flexible as genuine leather, which means it can start to crease. You’ll often experience cracking and peeling, even with more expensive faux leather shoes.
While genuine leather shoes come with a higher price tag, you get what you pay for. These shoes make more economic sense, as they can last you for decades with proper care and maintenance. Genuine leather starts to look better as it ages. A pair of genuine leather shoes may cost you $150, but you could get 15 years’ worth of wear out of them, while a pair of $30 faux leather shoes may only last for a few months.
One of the main differences between genuine leather vs faux leather shoes is the soles. Your leather soles create a more comfortable walking experience as they mould to your feet over time. The stitched sole of leather shoes will last longer than cheaper alternatives. When the time comes that your soles need repairing, you can easily have them repaired. This process can leave your shoe looking brand new.
You’ll notice a difference from the second you put on a pair of genuine leather shoes. These shoes have more breathability and keep your feet ventilated for extra comfort. The leather absorbs sweat and moisture to prevent any unwanted odour. As you continue wearing your genuine leather shoes, the material will stretch and mould to your feet. The flexibility of genuine leather means it can support your posture to prevent issues with your knees and lower back.