Shell Cordovan Crease: Things You Should Know

Paul Dudley White says, “walking is easiest; you don’t need a lot of apparatus. Just shoe leather and good feet.” And shell cordovan is one the best and most nonporous leather known to man.

Whether shell cordovan creases or not, we will come to know how to deal with such issues as this article unfolds. Then we will see how comfortable it is for the wearer and how much it costs.

Shell cordovan is a leather that you can get from the rump of a horse, the fibrous flat muscle found just beneath the horse’s hide. The shell cordovan does not crease; rather, it ripples. And this ripple results from a poor maintenance culture and using its leather products wrongly.

Does Shell Cordovan Crease?

Shell Cordovan Crease

Creases occur on leather the outer (grain) of the leather is moving at a distance that you refer to as being slightly off from that of the inner (flesh) leather when you flex the shoe’s vamp.

If the outer portion of the leather fails to keep up with the inner portion, then the grain is eventually forced outward, resulting in the cease (visual break) you see.

Hence, the answer to the question above is No!! Shell cordovan does not crease. And this is certainly because of how tightly you pack the leather fiber, so there is no grain structure.

Apart from the fact that shell cordovan does not crease, it always has a smooth appearance whenever you look at it.

It is a shoe that, due to its good ability to shine, most expensive and military shoes, are made of shell cordovan leather.

As long as you give the care and maintenance required by a shell cordovan, the leather will surely serve you well for an entire lifetime.

Sadly, so many consider associating shell cordovan with just shoes alone. Meanwhile, it is leather you use for also making wallets, belts, and watch straps.

The area or point at which you can locate shell cordovan leather on a horse is at its rump, just in between the flesh and hide (like a sandwich).

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To produce a very smooth leather, you must engage in intense tanning and dyeing. And this is so because it is unlike the others made from hides.

For high-end leather crafters worldwide, shell cordovan is a great choice. It has a nearly perfect surface even after just the first cut.

But unlike the shell cordovan, a typical cowhide has what I will call an appearance, and I feel that it is somewhat like a grain.

The table below shows the pros and cons of shell cordovan leathers.

Pros Cons 
Never creasesVery expensive.
High durabilityNot heat-resilient.
Very lustrousExist odd shapes and varying thicknesses.
Nonporous It can be affected by dents and scratches.
Dramatic patinaYou will never get it in earth tones.

Do the Creases On a Shell Cordovan Recede With Time?

Like I have been saying from the beginning of this article, shell cordovan does not crease. What you see on your shell cordovan leather does not crease but ripples.

Yes, the creases on other leather items recede in time if you follow the guidelines given by the brand to care for the item you have purchased.

Below is a DIY method that can help you remove creases from leather with a flat iron;

  • Fill the shoes with old newspaper so that it becomes very firm. 
  • Store it for later drying; you may want to use the shoe tree.
  • Then ensure you turn it on and set your iron at 60 to 75 degrees.
  • Take a damp towel or cloth, fold it into two, and then place it over the creasing area.
  • Keep ironing over the towel or cloth for a few seconds, and you should keep checking on the leather by raising the towel until there is no more wrinkle or crease. 
  • It will be best to do this cautiously, although you use heat to straighten the leather. It can also cause some damage if you fail to proceed cautiously.
  • In the end, leave the leather to cool with the newspaper inside.
  • Or you can also use a leather-friendly oil to moisten the areas affected by the crease. 
  • Use the oil to massage the crease and put it on a shoe tree. Do this without using strong oils to avoid staining the leather. Then you would have a smooth surface.
  • Massaging should be until the crease disappears; the crease should be fresh and not much.
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How To Deal With Creases On Shell Cordovan?

Dealing with creases on a shell cordovan is not something you should worry about since it will never occur. 

So how do I deal with ripples on my shell cordovan? It should be the actual question here.

For you to handle the issue of ripples on shell cordovan, particularly on shoes, there are two things that you are required to do, and they are;

  • Walking with shoes
  • Maintaining the shoes

#1. Walking With Shoes

To prevent ripples from appearing on your shell cordovan, ensure that you do not engage in toe walking (walking on toes or without your heel touching the floor).

If you avoid this, the upper part of your shoe will be straight and flat. Also, you won’t need to exert much effort that will cause straining of the leg and shoes.

Endeavor to leave only a little space between your feet and the upper part of your shoe. In other words, I am saying you should get a pair of shoes that fits perfectly.

If the space at the upper of your shoe lessons, the feet should be able to support the upper material, preventing ripples from forming.

A continuous struggle to put on the shoe that involves dragging the shoe for the heels of your feet to get in may also create ripples.

If you also have the lazy attitude of treading on the back of your shoes rather than wearing them properly, it can create a ripple effect.

Therefore to avoid this issue, endeavor to make use of the shoehorn so that your feet can easily slide into your shell cordovan shoes. The shoehorn is a spoon-like curve on the shoe.

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#2. Maintaining the Shoes

Even though the shell cordovan is a lustrous and tough leather that doesn’t crease and is water-resistant, it is still not immune from forming ripples.

Below are some things you can do to keep caring for your shell cordovan shoes;

  • Use the specialized shoe cream developed for shell cordovan leather shoes. And saturating the shoe with the cream will make the patina dull.
  • Unlike the other leather shoes, shell cordovan requires just a little application.
  • Since it ripples rather than creases, you could use a deer bone to smoothen the leather since its natural oil can serve as nourishment.

Is Shell Cordovan Uncomfortable? 

The answer to the question that forms this subtopic is a definite no. And this answer is based on the fact that shell cordovan comes from a fibrous tissue containing elastin and collagen. 

Both collagen and elastin give the shell cordovan leather its tight, smooth, and dense attributes. Making it very comfortable to carry as a bag, wear a watch strap, and walk with as a shoe.

Shell cordovan becomes uncomfortable when you use a product that doesn’t fit him. For example, an undersized shoe will not only take your comfort but may end up ruined.

How Long Does Shell Cordovan Last?

If you give your shell cordovan leather the proper treatment, I can assure you that your leather will last up to an entire lifetime.

Constantly cleaning, waxing, polishing, and placing it (for a shoe) in a shoe tree when you are not using it is the proper way to treat your cordovan leather.

Leather crafters, especially cobblers, are very rare these days, but with them, you can keep changing the soles until you get tired of the leather.


Shell cordovan is leather you can get from the fibrous tissues located at the rump of a horse. It is also a leather that does not crease but rather ripples.

To deal with ripples on your cordovan, use its products carefully and have a healthy maintenance culture toward the leather. It is comfortable and can last a whole lifetime.

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