Special Materials

Anthony with customer
We use the finest leather for our handmade bespoke shoes and orthopaedic footwear
stock room
Custom Orthotics Materials

At Special Footwear and Orthotics we believe in using only the finest quality materials.

We ensure that the custom made shoes you receive are not only a high standard of craftsmanship, but also shoes of great durability.

Whatever needs you have, we are here to help you choose a material that suits you and your life. You will find a brief description of the most common animals used for the production of leather and also the different finishes below.

There are many different types of leather that can be used in the making of custom made shoes, it is made from different animals and there are many different types of finishes, each with its own characteristics, be it light, heavy or durable.

Types Of Leather

Full grain leather

Full grain leather is produced from the top side of the leather which is the outside. The surface is smooth and polishable

Corrected grain leather

Corrected grain leather has the surface buffed away, taking away any imperfections. A glossy appearance is created by applying a smooth coating of finish colour. Though corrected grain is a less expensive leather it still takes skill to manufacture so as to ensure consistency and durability


Nubuck is produced from full grain leathers. The grain is abraded away to create a slight surface nap. This can be adjusted to be very fine, or a longer softer effect can be produced


Suede is produced from the under side of the skin and has a distinctive nap. The nap can be altered to be very fine, or long and almost hairy in appearance

Laminated leather

Laminated leather has a layer of film laminated onto the surface. Laminated leathers may not withstand wearing conditions in upholstery and footwear and are therefore usually restricted to leather goods and low quality shoes

Printed leathers

Printed leathers can have any kindof pattern or design placed on the surface. The designs are embossed onto the leather surface under pressure and add to the characterof the material whilst structurally the leather remains unaffected


Aniline is the highest quality material. The colour comes from the dying process. The leather is literally ‘naked’ which allows the natural beauty of the leather to show through. All skins will have some faults, even aniline leathers. Slight scratches or surface marks are part of what make up this natural material and should be regarded as such. These faults do not affect the performance of the leather

Oiled and Waxed leather

Oiled and waxed leather has oils or waxes coated onto the surface of the leather to produce a tacky finish that gives improved grip. They are commonly used in many sports like American football gloves

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