Leather Care and Soles

Leather care

Every Peter Nappi style is crafted with the highest quality leather to ensure they wear well with age.  Our additional investment in this material allows our footwear to not only withstand the scuffs, marks, and stains that happen along the way, but actually allow a life well lived to enhance the character of the shoe.  Following are some of the different types of leather we choose and some tips on how to care for it.

Veg-Tanned leather

Our veg-tanned leathers are typically made of hides that are processed with plant-based tannins resulting in a hardy leather without leaving a negative impact on the environment.  This process allows the leather to retain most of it's natural oils, which protect and add to it's durability.  You'll notice if you scuff shoes made of vegged tanned leather, a vigorous rubbing with your thumb along the scratch with smooth out the irregularity.  Thats the power of veg-tanning.  For additional protection of your leather footwear or bags, we recommend using a neutral shoe creme once or twice a year.  


Kudu leather

Kudu leather comes from a species of antelope native to South Africa, which are harvested to manage overpopulation and balance the natural ecosystem.  It is a beautiful and durable leather that often has natural marking that we feel adds character to the shoe or bag.  We've found it ages especially well over time giving a very unique look to each product. Kudu leather can be cleaned with water and a damp rag.


Peter Nappi styles in “reverse” or “suede” leathers are made with the inside of a hide facing out, or leathers split to expose the fibrous surface.  Contrary to common belief, suede or reverse leather is quite durable with a bit of care.  We recommend protecting with a suede spray (we like Collonil Suede + Nubuk Spray) upon purchase to shield the from water, food, or drink stains.  Again, this may darken the look slightly, so test in an inconspicuous spot before applying to the entire shoe. To apply, hold the spray 8-12 inches away from your shoes in a well-ventilated area and coat entirely. Wait one hour for the spray to hold, then apply again all over the shoe. We typically recommend coating your shoes 3 times to be fully protected.

If any suede or leather product is saturated with liquid, wipe off with a rag immediately. Never use a blow dryer, oven, or radiator to apply heat to leather.  Allow your boots to dry with cool air. 


Washed leather

We have used a special washing process for some of our shoes to produce a vintage or weathered look from day one.  This does not reduce the life or quality of the leather at all--it actually assists in providing a more personalized fit.  In Italy they explain that washing leather "opens the flower" of the leather, allowing it to become even more pliable, conforming to your foot with wear.  At the same time, through the air drying process, the fibers constrict slightly. Think of a newly washed pair of jeans; when you put them on, they feel snug, but then they relax with wear.  We like to think of it as a warm hug.

Washed leather is meant to wear stains and scuffs to tell the story of the places you’ve been, people you’ve met, and the successes you've accomplished.  However, if you want to maintain the way your washed shoes look at the time of purchase, you can use a shoe cream regularly to keep shoes looking fresh.

Cordovan leather

Cordovan leather, some of the most expensive leather in the world, is intentionally finished to look stiff and shiny for years to come.  Cordovan leather traditionally is sourced from the hind quarters of horses. Typical Italian-style dress shoes are constructed with Cordovan due to its durability and stiffness. We strongly recommend using cedar shoe trees with these products as it is essential to re-form the leather after wear.  Also, when used regularly, Collonil Shoe Cream can keep your cordovan products looking brand new for longer.

The soles

Leather is a natural material which will change with wear and exposure to the elements.  Most of our soles are made of the leather.  A typical leather sole should be expected to last about a year, depending on wear and gait patterns.  There will be a point when leather sole shoes will need resoling, which can be done easily and cost effectively at most shoe repair companies.  If you need help or have any questions, email us at studio@peternappi.com.