This custom shoe started with my client’s preference for a specific type of leather. The upper for this boot is Cordovan (also known as Shell Cordovan) from the Horween tannery. The colors are their standard black and the deep reddish brown that is so famous that most people think the name of the color is synonymous with the name of the leather. There is a lot of confusion around what it means when someone asks for Cordovan.
Horween actually calls this reddish brown color Color 8. Maybe this is because in the 1930 edition of “A Dictionary of Color” by Maerz and Paul, Cordovan is listed as a color on page 39, Plate 8, Color Sample H8.
Many people think cordovan refers to the color only, but cordovan also refers to horse leather made from the hide over the horse butt. The upper for this boot is both Cordovan leather and partly Cordovan in color.
I have made some boots and shoes in a similar style, but my client had ideas of his own about combining the two styles. We worked together to adjust the look to his preferences. I made designs for his review. He made suggestions and I made revisions. It was a fruitful collaboration, which resulted in, I believe, a very tasteful design.
Oh yeah, he also wanted to mount some sophisticated clipless pedal cleats to these boots. He didn’t want them too stiff such that walking would be difficult or too soft such that the pedals pushed into the boots. Of course the cleats needed to be recessed so as not to scrape the ground while walking. That engineering on that part was all me and I enjoyed it thoroughly.