Why Leather is Important
Like a lot of investments, you're going to get what you pay for with leather. Not only will a quality leather develop a unique look and feel as it ages, there's nothing more important to the durability of your product than leather quality. Using full-grain leather, widely recognized as the best and highest quality leather, when taken care of properly, should last a lifetime. Read on to learn more about the materials we use, and our construction methods.
- Footwear: for the main part of every pair of HELM we make, we use full-grain side cow leather, meaning we only select the best part of each hide to be used on our products.
- Cow vs. Steer Leather: With a focus on durability and comfort, we also exclusively use cowhides for our core products (unless otherwise specified), as the quality is unmatched with thickness and soft-feel. While steer leather can look shiny, it's much thinner and less durable.
- Leather Lining: To increase the durability and comfort we fully line every product with leather.
- Grain: The outside of the animal hide, the grain side, is typically de-haired, leaving the train exposed.
- Full-Grain Leather: A leather that is minimally processed so that the grain retains all of its natural characteristics and imperfections. The grain is not buffed, sanded, or corrected in any way.
- Pull-Up: A characteristic of high-quality, full-grain leathers where there is a temporary lightening of color when pressure is applied. This is due to the natural oil and wax in the hide moving around.
- Side Leather: Leather from an adult cow, the hide is split into two equal pieces along the backbone, creating two sides to be sold. This is generally the most expensive piece of leather due to the consistency, quality, and thickness.
- Krumenauer Leather: used in all non-suede styles except The Hynes, full-grain leather from Texas hides that is hot stuffed, forcing waxes and conditioners into the leather
- Neymar Leather: incredibly soft leather from Argentinian hides
- Rusan Suede: suede leather sourced from Brazilian hides that is waxed and water-resistant
- Delle Torre "Crazy Horse" Leather: Develops a tough and beautiful patina, sourced from Brazilian and Uruguayan hides
About Footwear Lasts
A "last" is the solid form around which a shoe is molded. The fit of a shoe depends on the design, shape, and volume of the last. The boot or shoe last must represent the anatomical information of the foot, at the same time giving the product the intended finished style and design. Lasts typically come in pairs and are form various materials, including hardwoods, cast iron, and high-density plastics.
The welt is a strip of leather that runs the perimeter of the boot. Its primary purpose is attaching the outsole to the upper, but it affects more than just hwo these two pieces are attached. HELM uses one main method: The Blake Rapid Stitch construction. The Blake Rapid Stitch process is done with a worker-operated machine. It provides a sole that is capable of being resoled and uses fewer layers of leather, resulting in what can be a more flexible boot.
Custom Rubber Sole
HELM's custom-designed rubber sole that runs the full length of the outsole, providing added comfort, traction, and durability.
Rubber Cushion Sole
Our version of a harrier sole, a thick and ultra-comfortable rubber sole.
A rubberized part that covers the leather sole on the balls and heels of your feet, protecting the part of the boot that typically sees the most contact during use.
The Fineline sole is composed of water-resistant leather as well as a textured rubber panel across the mid-section of the sole. The rubber panel provides more traction while maintaining a sleek and elegant profile.
Rubber Cup Sole
A poured rubber sneaker sole with tread on the bottom, created for business casual versatility.
Built with two pieces of rubber on a leather stacked heel, for an elegant and heavier shoe.