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How to choose a good pair of leather shoes

The choice of high-quality leather shoes or any leather products is a complex and relative issue. For many, a good pair is soft and comfortable, like slippers. So often today we praise a good purchase. But are soft shoes always of high quality and durable? And what should you pay attention to when buying from a leather shop in Singapore, if you liked it in appearance and price?

Composition and types of leather.

Shoes are a rather complex item to assemble, which consists of many parts, and sometimes you don’t even know what. Most of it is hidden from your view. But your comfort, health and durability of shoes depend on the quality and composition of these parts. When making a purchase in a store, be sure to pay attention to the label indicating the composition of the upper, lining and sole. It is unfortunate that, under the law, manufacturers must indicate the composition of only these three parts of the shoe.

Today there are a huge number of varieties of leather for shoes that have certain characteristics of quality, price and purpose. So, some types of leather are short-lived, but soft, others are more rigid, practical, but require breaking in. Elastic and wear-resistant natural-coated leather costs a lot of money.

The most expensive (and high-quality) grades of smooth leather are made from the skins of cattle (calves). The skins of sheep and goats share second place in the leather industry. Goatskins are stronger and more elastic than sheepskins. Pigskin is perhaps the cheapest of all. This is explained by the presence of wide and very noticeable pores. It is used mainly for the manufacture of insoles and internal parts of inexpensive shoes.

Pressed, regenerated, reclaimed leather is a separate type of material obtained from the remains of natural leather products. Small leather scraps, leather dust and crumbs are collected and mixed with special polymers. Then, by pressing, an analog of real leather is obtained. It turns out a rather cheap material with low air and moisture permeability, but the production is waste-free. Interestingly, pressed leather can be referred to simply as “leather”, and sometimes even as “genuine leather” / “real leather”, if the legislation of the country of origin allows it.

At the same time, not every buyer can visually distinguish pressed leather from natural leather, since the smell and appearance of pressed leather can be very similar to the smell and appearance of natural leather. To check the naturalness, you can drop water on the surface of the shoe. If the leather has absorbed water and darkened, then it is genuine leather, if not, it is leatherette or pressed leather.

Top of the shoes.

In addition to understanding what raw materials the upper of the shoe is made of, it is very important to evaluate the quality of the stitching of the product and the processing of the edges. Inspect the evenness and correctness of the lines: decorative and utility lines should be parallel to each other and have the same tension. The lower the number of lines per centimeter, the higher the class of shoes. If glue was used to create the shoe, then there should not be any excess glue on its surface. The edges and cuts of the parts must be even, primed and painted over.

Lining and removable insoles.

Pay attention to the lining material. Ideally, it should be leather, but natural textiles such as linen will also do. This is an important nuance – the lining should breathe and also partially absorb the moisture released by the foot, making the shoes comfortable.

Socks and backs.

These parts are not visible to our eyes, but they can be felt – these are intermediate parts of the shoe, which are a frame that retains its shape, and also protects the foot from shock and mechanical damage. Heel and toe seals are made of thermoplastic, granitol, leatherboard and genuine leather. It is easy to understand what the toes are made of – thermoplastic and granitol easily flex when pressed with a finger.

Thermoplastic and granite internal parts are used to save on materials and negatively affect the breathability of the shoe. Leatherboard layers are short-lived, natural black leather is much better in this regard.

Internal main insole.

The inner main insole is also often hidden from our eyes. But this is a very important part of the shoe, to which the top and bottom of the shoe are attached (it is not found in all types of shoes – for example, it is not in sandals). It is located under a removable insole.

The main insole (outsole) is made of genuine leather and is usually two to four millimeters thick. Sometimes this part is made of leatherboard or insole cardboard. At the same time, it is worth noting that the inner outsole made of leatherboard does not yet indicate that the shoes are of low quality and will quickly fail. Another thing is cardboard insoles: they can be called a sure indicator of the low level of shoes. This pair will not last long.

Sole.

Classic sole – leather, made of genuine leather. It is the leather sole that is the standard for high-quality shoes. It is very difficult to find shoes with leather soles in the budget segment. Usually, such a pair will cost more than 20 thousand rubles.

Pros of leather soles: noble appearance, excellent breathability, which is important in summer. Cons: capriciousness, water permeability, not the best thermal insulation, can wear out quickly enough. To do this, you need to set the reel (prevention) and change it as it wears out in the workshop.

Pressed leather soles are often found, this material is quickly erased, and it is highly not recommended to walk on such a sole in wet weather. There is also a modified version of pressed leather for the sole – tunit, rubber with the addition of sawdust from the skin. This material is durable and wear-resistant, but in wet weather, leather filings gain moisture, swell, and the sole can simply fall off.

The sole is considered optimal for wet frosty weather in a combination of rubber knurling and an EVA layer. Ethylene-vinyl acetate is a polymer with a porous structure that allows shoes to be lightweight. And since air is a heat insulator, it retains heat and does not let the cold through. This material withstands extremely low temperatures while maintaining elasticity, providing warmth and comfort, and does not absorb moisture.

Heel.

An important detail of shoes that is responsible for our spine and comfort. I want to remind you that it is useful to wear shoes with heels from 18 to 40 millimeters high. Shoes with flat soles or high heels are harmful to wear for more than two to three hours a day. Pay attention to the fact that there are no folds and wrinkles in the heel part, and crevices between the sole and the heel.

The optimal material for the heel is, of course, again genuine leather, as it perfectly cushions when walking and does not respond to vibrations on the spine.

Very often you can find heels made of wood or plastic. As a raw material, these materials are cheaper, but they are quite easy to break. They can quickly crack and make shoes unusable.

At first glance, it is quite difficult to distinguish the composition of a heel today, because among shoe components there is a leather tape on sale, which outwardly imitates stripes of leather flicks. This material is used to cover heels made of pressed leather, plastic or wood.

 

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