Putting on the right footwear improves one’s ability to choose shoes better. To put on the right footwear, start by identifying quality shoes. An Italian leather shoe will have its impact, as it is easy to meet shoemakers able to produce high quality work boots. Yet some prefer that the shoes are in other materials such as leather. What is the best choice?
Are you a busy person who has to work hard and needs a comfortable pair of shoes? If so, then it’s important for you to know the difference between leather and synthetic materials. This article will show you the distinctions between these two types of materials in order to help you make your decision on which one is best for your specific need.
Before we get into that, though, let’s take a look at what makes each material unique. Genuine leather is 100% natural leather with excellent breathability while synthetic one is fibrous. Synthetic boot repels water and doesn’t stain easily while genuine ones can be stained by water or sweat easily since they are not waterproof or machine washable. The main difference is that leather shoes are heavier than synthetic ones. They also last longer compared to the latter; you can use leather shoes for about ten years, while the synthetic ones may only last three years. On the other hand, genuine material is more expensive than artificial ones.
You might be surprised to learn that leather is not the most durable of materials, nor is it the lightest weight. Surprisingly, in terms of lifespan and cost, synthetic material wins out over genuine leather. Synthetic materials are lightweight, repel water and are hard to get dirty. They also have a longer lifespan than leather shoes which can last for about ten years when cared for properly. The only downside is the price tag on these products- they are more expensive than genuine leather by far! If you want something cheap but still want longevity then go with synthetic material shoes or boots instead!
Table of Contents
- Leather VS Synthetic Materials
- Synthetic Upper
- Synthetic Material Shoes
- Synthetic Leather Shoes
- How to Care for Genuine Leather and Synthetic Leather
- What is the Difference Between PVC and PU?
- Final Words
Leather VS Synthetic Materials
Genuine Leather (Natural Leather)
All animal leathers such as cowhide and sheep leather are genuine leather (natural leather). They produced many of the genuine leather bags and shoes handled by Shin fu Life in Europe such as Italy and France.
Unlike Japanese leather, it is deeply rooted in Europe. So, there are many excellent leather producers. Since ancient times, because of the carnivorous culture, the technology to make use of the surplus skin has developed.
Calves within six months of age have thin and soft skins. The older they grow, the harder and heavier the skins become. Adult leather is the cheapest. The shorter the newborn period, the higher the value of calf leather.
The main leather is a cow. But there are many variations, such as horses, sheep, goats, deer, kangaroos, and eels. Each leather has excellent characteristics. In Asian countries, they often use pig leather for bags.
Genuine leather allows you to enjoy the original texture of leather and has unique characteristics such as minor scratches, wrinkles on the skin during life, and differences in color density. These are proofs of natural leather that can only be enjoyed because they were born. Finished leather that leaves scratches and wrinkles before life is prone to aging and changes to a beautiful texture.
Synthetic leather is available by applying synthetic resin to natural fabric and making the surface look like natural leather. Polyvinyl chloride and polyurethane resins are often available as synthetic resins. It is like vinyl or plastic materials. This material repels water and is hard to get dirty.
By embossing this coating agent, artificially created the texture of the leather. So, there is no difference in quality like genuine leather. You can enjoy the texture of leather in appearance. But the smell, texture, and familiarity cannot be reproduced, so it may feel unsatisfactory for genuine people.
Polyurethane, which is often used for synthetic leather, combines with moisture in the air and gradually deteriorates. It is hydrolysis. And deterioration progresses little by little even when not worn. Therefore, the life of synthetic leather is about three years from the time of manufacture. The surface gradually becomes slimy and becomes sticky. If it progresses considerably, the surface cracks and becomes tattered.
The good thing about synthetic leather is that you can buy it at an overwhelmingly cheaper price than genuine leather. It also repels rain. But with shoes, even synthetic leather gets dirty when it gets wet. So if you wear shoes on a rainy day, it may be safer to avoid using genuine leather or synthetic leather.
Genuine leather has a sense of quality that cannot be achieved with synthetic leather. The difference is apparent when compared to synthetic leather. It is strange that if you have genuine leather shoes, a bag, or a wallet, you will look like someone who has a stickiness.
Using cheap synthetic leather shoes and bags gives the impression that you are not particular about what you wear. It is unlikely for young people. But as we get older, the number of people who know good things will increase. So, the more we grow up, the more we want to choose the items to wear by sticking to the leather material.
Synthetic leather is a material that is artificially made to resemble leather. There are various types, such as faux leather and synthetic leather. It contains the words leather, but it is not natural. The fabric is coated with synthetic resin to give it a leather-like texture. And depending on the synthetic resin material, it is PU (polyurethane resin) leather or PVC (vinyl chloride resin) leather. The upper of the shoe has the functions of.
- Suppressing the instep
- Supporting the foot from the side
- Preventing slipping forward
- Bringing the foot into close contact with the shoe.
With this upper, you can step on the slope. In this way, the upper plays a big role in the stability of your foot. Focusing on the material of the upper to make the best use of the function and role of the upper, various materials such as natural leather, synthetic leather, synthetic leather, and synthetic fiber are available.
Benefits of synthetic upper
Synthetic upper is more resistant to rain, water, and scratches than natural leather. You can see its high practicality because we often use it for school bags and loafers for students.
Compared to natural leather, synthetic leather is more resistant to dirt and rain, so it requires almost no effort. Some people think that you have to apply the cream to leather. But it is unnecessary because it makes little sense to apply the cream to synthetic leather. Many are cheaper than natural leather. Of course, it depends on the item, but it is a big attraction that it is cheap and easy to get.
Disadvantages of synthetic upper
Synthetic leather is a fabric coated with synthetic resin (including vinyl chloride, nylon, acrylic, and polyester). Because of the coating, there is almost no flexibility, so it does not stretch. If possible, instead of wearing the same shoes every day, you can prevent the shoes from smelling by rotating them with several feet.
Related: how to get rid of odor in boots.
Synthetic Material Shoes
Synthetic leather is available by coating a resin layer such as polyurethane on nylon or polyester fabric. The fabric is knitting or woven fabric and has a shape like a resin layer on top of it. It artificially creates the wrinkles found in leather products to resemble natural leather.
The feature of the product is that it has a good fit and has excellent grip compared to artificial leather. In addition, because the base cloth is inexpensive, it is suitable for mass production. They manufacture various products from synthetic leather.
Synthetic leather and artificial leather have different manufacturing methods and structures. But both are much easier to maintain than natural leather. Diluted detergent can be available, and many can be dry-cleaned.
However, it is artificial and uses scientific fibers, so care must be taken when handling it that differs from natural leather. Especially because it uses polyurethane, be careful about humidity and temperature.
For example, for leather, if it is a little moist, you do not have to worry about it. But polyurethane speeds up its deterioration. Therefore, when it gets wet due to rain, it is necessary to wipe off the water diligently or dry it in the shade after use.
Since the resin melts at high temperatures, people strictly forbid it to be placed near a heater such as an oil stove or expose it to direct sunlight for a long time. Similarly, ironing the coated surface directly will also cause the resin to melt.
Also, unlike natural leather, these leathers are materials that deteriorate. It does not mean that the taste will come out after using it for many years. And even if it is used carefully, the surface may become tattered or cracked. It will have a useful life of about two to three years, so pay attention to this point and consider replacing it if we find deterioration.
Synthetic Leather Shoes
We have talked about genuine leather from various perspectives. But let’s talk about the genre of synthetic leather. First, the word synthetic leather is popular. In the first place, synthetic leather is an abbreviation for leather and is a material that looks and feels like natural leather. Woven fabric or non-woven fabric of the base and synthetic resin is coated on it.
Since polyvinyl chloride and polyurethane resin are available as synthetic resins, they are in the same genre as vinyl and plastic. By applying this resin to the surface and embossing it, you can create a leather-like atmosphere. Although it looks like leather, it is impossible to reproduce the unique smell and texture of leather.
Recently, from the viewpoint of animal welfare, some brands have dared to call synthetic leather, fake leather, neo leather, or vegan leather. However, leather is originally a by-product of meat, and there are ways to dispose of it so that they do not waste it.
A quality synthetic leather shoe should not weigh too much because comfort also depends on the weight of the shoe. There are models heavier than others, but try to stay within reason. Another vital step is the finishing of leather shoes. To the touch, be able to feel its quality. Irregularities rhyme with poor qualities and bad finishes most of the time.
How to Care for Genuine Leather and Synthetic Leather
Genuine leather will last for over ten years, depending on maintenance. The longer you use the leather, the more you can enjoy the original texture of the leather. Therefore, take the best care of the leather and continue to use it for as long as possible.
What is the Difference Between PVC and PU?
What is PVC? It is an artificial material that is made by applying vinyl chloride resin to the surface of the base cloth to make the texture resemble natural leather. PVC is a material that can be obtained at a relatively low cost. The surface is harder than PU and is characterized by a smooth feel.
It is durable and stain-resistant. So, we can wipe it with water or a mild detergent, making maintenance very easy. There is almost no mold. The material is easy to process and can be finished in various variations such as colorful colors and embossing.
It is not breathable and has low softness and flexibility. In addition, it is a material that is easily damaged, such as the surface becoming hard to tick and the coating on the surface cracking, as aging deteriorates after a few years of use.
What is PU? It is an artificial material that is made by applying polyurethane resin to the surface of the base cloth to make the texture resemble natural leather. They characterize it by its soft and firm feel, and have a look and feel similar to that of genuine leather. It is often available for synthetic leather jackets, soft bags, and suede-like materials.
It has high elasticity and flexibility and is more breathable than PVC. It is a material that has high water repellency and is easier to clean than leather. It is less likely to deteriorate over time than PVC but is inferior in durability to genuine leather. When used in a humid place, it may undergo a chemical reaction with water called hydrolysis? The surface may become rough and tattered like plastic.
Synthetic leather and genuine leather use the same material. But the method of making the fabric is different. Genuine leather is characterized by having a structure closer to natural leather. However, the handling precautions are the same for both. And the points of deterioration over time are also the same. Be careful when using and storing. If you find it difficult to use because of deterioration, consider replacing it with a new one.