Knowing what your shoes are made of is important — it helps you to care for them and appreciate them just that much more. If you’re wondering what Horween Leather is, wonder no more.

What is Horween Leather?

Horween Leather is named after the company that makes it — Horween Leather Company, located in Chicago — and denotes traditionally made, top-quality leather that will stand the test of time. Horween Leather Company is one of the oldest continuously running tanneries in America, founded in 1905 in Chicago by Isadore Horween. Horween makes some of the toughest, most beautifully textured leathers you can buy, including the ones used for professional footballs.

Why It's Great

Horween leather is known for its amazing quality. Around 85 percent of the leather used is carefully treated and finished over a number of days. It’s one of a handful of tanneries in the U.S. where the leather is still developed by hand, and where leathermaking is a true craft, handed down by craftsmen over the last century. Horween leathers are widely considered superior to the leathers produced by larger, mass production leather tanneries— they’ve been made the same way since the early 1900s, and continue to keep the handcrafted tradition alive.

How to Care for Horween Leather

So how do you care for it, exactly? As Horween leather is often made from cowhide, you can use a classic leather cleaner to clean up any spots, scuffs, or marks to bring it back to its shiny, oh-so-new glory.

Product Recommendations

Looking to adding Horween leather into your closet? It’s all about the menswear. The Fairview in Camo features an easy-on back zip (no need to mess with laces) and sports an edge with its camo finish. Our take on the Chelsea boot for men, the Uptown in Smog, is a great wardrobe staple. The Elmhurst, either in Brick or Black, is the perfect upgrade for any outfit with its rugged detailing and wingtip-inspired finish. The Merritt is both durable and stylish, which will quickly make it your go-to shoe. The Harrington is a derby shoe reimagined for the modern man — and will make you look like the dapper gentleman that you are. Lastly, the Fairfax in Black or Brown features a twist on a classic paddock style, and will take you from day to night.

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