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Leather Upper Material

Leather upper – the hiking boot from the past?

Another question you should ask yourself is “what kind of material do I want for the upper?”

We offer both leather and synthetic uppers. Synthetic has become extremely popular over the past few years and is now used on most models. These shoes and boots are easy-care, breathable and also durable – but does that mean the traditional leather hiking boot is a thing of the past?

No, not by a long shot! After all, no other material has the outstanding properties of leather. As a natural fiber, leather is extremely comfortable; it’s breathable, adapts to the shape of your feet and is also waterproof if properly cared for. Especially for people with feet that are more “problematic” or prone to pinching or chafing, leather can often offer a much better fit in the long run than synthetic upper materials alone. The same of course applies to the lining of the shoe, here too we offer leather finishes.

We use different types of leather for our footwear:

Genuine leather

Cowhide and pigskin are very stable, durable and tough types of leather which is why they’re the most common types used. Pigskin is more often used as lining material while cowhide is more likely to be used as outer material.

Nubuck leather

Nubuck is leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side. This gives it a soft, velvet-like surface and increases its breathability. Nubuck leather most often comes from fine calfskin and cowhide.

Suede

A collective term for leather types with a napped surface. The underside of the leather is buffed and has therefore a somewhat rougher nap.

Hydrophobic leather

During the tanning process the leather is treated with water-repellent substances that bind to the leather fibers and increase the surface tension. This decreases or fully eliminates water absorption and the leather remains dry while retaining its water-vapor permeable qualities.

Terracare®

By the way, we are very picky when it comes to selecting the right leather… That’s why we only use sustainable Terracare® leather from Heinen Leder, which is produced in Germany. The high level of environmental compatibility has been honored multiple times by the Leather Working Group guaranteeing a natural wearing comfort along with resource-conserving and environmentally friendly manufacturing.

If you would like to learn more about Terracare®, you can find additional information about leather in our Sustainability Report.