It’s not known when leather was first used to make shoes but the earliest find was excavated by archaeologists in an Armenian cave in 2010. Estimated to be 5,500 years old – between the Neolithic and Bronze Age – the shoe is made from one piece of cowhide with a grass lining.
The famous footwear from the glacier mummy Ötzi is about 5,300 years old. This shoe structure was surprisingly complex. The upper (outer shoe) was made of deerskin with hair side facing out as protection against moisture and the sole was made of bearskin with hair side facing inside, offering excellent heat retention properties.
But the earliest representation of people wearing shoes is believed to be the drawings of hunters found in the Altamira Cave in Spain dating back about 15,000 years.
The oldest actual footwear was a pair of sandals unearthed by archaeologists from the Arnold Research Cave in Missouri, USA. Made from plants they are 8,300 years old.
Roman legionary sandal 1st century AD (DLM – German Leather Museum in Offenbach).
Cow’s Mouth shoe 16th century (DLM – German Leather Museum in Offenbach).
Shoes are made from many different materials and in infinite colours and shapes. In the early days, the shape and appearance of a shoe was solely to protect the foot against injuries and the climate. However, in more modern times shoe styles have been heavily influenced by fashion and used to display the status of the wearer. As well as being more comfortable and better suited to the weather, modern footwear is specially designed for specific uses, including women’s and men’s shoes, slippers, sneakers, boots, hiking boots, sandals and much more.
Throughout the centuries, leather has been the primary material for shoes, mainly because it was always available in sufficient quantities. Today, although a variety of materials are used to make footwear, leather is still paramount, for a number of reasons. It can be formed, sewn, and made waterproof without losing its breathability. It is also very robust and offers excellent protection against foot injuries. You will never sweat as much in leather shoes, compared to those made from other materials. While fabric is also breathable, its waterproofing qualities and the level of protection it provides against injuries is significantly inferior to leather. Through these superior properties leather, is still the best material for shoes. Most substitute materials are processed solely for price reasons.
Materials and Figures
A wide variety of leathers are used to make shoe uppers and it’s not always easy to clearly differentiate between the types. The most common types of leather are pigmented smooth leather (pigment binder coating on the grain side), aniline leather (open pore grain side leather), waxed or oiled leather, suede and nubuck. Vegetable-tanned cow hide is commonly processed for sole leather. In Europe, footwear manufacturers are required to clearly state the type of materials and processes.
The shoe industry is the world’s largest user of leathers, manufacturing 14 billion pairs of leather shoes a year. Of these some 11.5 billion are made in Asian factories with 8 billion pairs coming from China alone, making it the biggest producer. By comparison, only 26 million pairs of shoes are produced in Germany and roughly 5 million pairs of shoes are made in the UK (discounting the two main producers ‘New Balance’ & ‘Hotter’ (britishfootwearassociation.co.uk).
Top of the shoe-buying tree is the USA. Statistically, every American buys six pairs of shoes every year. In Europe, Japan and Canada, consumers purchase between three and five pairs per year, whereas the average Chinese customer buys 2.5 pairs of shoes per year.
In Germany, every woman has 17.3 pairs of shoes at home and men have 8.2 pairs (according to a survey carried out in 2014). This statistic is also confirmed by the output behavior. According to a study from 2015, women spend twice as much on shoes as men.
Expensive brand shoes – shoes in the shoe shop – cheap shoes on a market stall.
The labelling requirement for shoes
In Europe, footwear manufacturers must fulfil labelling requirements on all their items: Directive 94/11/EC (European standard): Directive of Euorpean Parliament and Counciel on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to labelling of the materials used in the main components of footwear for sale to the consumer.
They are obliged to state clearly the exact materials used in making the different parts of the shoe either in words or symbols.
The following components of a shoe must be identified in terms of the material used:
Image 1: Uppers: The outer surface area of the upper.
Image 2: Lining and insole: The surface area of the lining and insole inside the shoe.
Image 3: Sole: The outer sole that is in contact with the floor.
The specified material must make up 80% of the total materials used. In the event of several materials being processed (e.g. leather and textile as upper material), the main materials must be specified.
The following materials are distinguished:
Image 1: Leather: This is genuine animal hide and skin without any changes to the original structure of the fibre. Materials that consist of dissolved or crushed leather fibres and processed into sheets are not “leather“. Any colour film or layer applied to the surface of leather cannot be thicker than 0.15 mm.
Image 2: Coated leather: This is leather with a painting or film thicker than 0.15 mm, but no more than 1/3 of the total thickness. Anything above this, then it must be described as synthetic leather.
Image 3: Textile: This means all natural and synthetic fabrics.
Image 4: Other Material: This covers all the materials not covered in the upper groups, such as rubber or plastic for soles.
Leather quality of shoes
There are many criteria that define the quality of a shoe:
- Rub fastness (the resistance of the leather surface to mechanical abrasion)
- Water vapour permeability
- Tear resistance (the force that must be applied to increase existing tears)
- Discolouration (the staining of socks caused by the leather lining inside the shoe)
- Adhesion of the leather colour
- Bending behaviour
- Light fastness (resistance of the material’s colour to fading)
Main leather terms for shoes
The upper is leather on the visible side of the shoe. It makes up the bulk of the processed leather for shoes. The variety of processed leathers is unlimited, including skins and hides from many species. It is common for uppers to be made from cowhide, calfskin, goatskin, sheepskin and even horsehide at a premium price. Skins of exotic animals are also used to make shoe uppers, including Crocodile leather, snake leather and many other exotic leathers. Depending on the desired look and finish, leather can be coarse or fine-grained, matt or glossy, metallic or luminous. Most upper leather is chrome-tanned.
Upper leather in many variations: coloured – perforated – carved.
When the sole of a shoe is made of leather, it’s called a leather sole. Sole leather is thick (2.5 – 6 mm) not very pliable and solid vegetable-tanned leather.
Leather soles Made in Germany and Made in Portugal made from cowhide.
Leather sole, made in Spain with a sensitive lightly sanded leather.
Sometimes the leather sole is almost the whole shoe (leather sandals made by Selestudio).
Customer order for COLOURLOCK: Recoloring of a leather sole in blue as a design study.
Not really easy to care: Golf shoes with white suede as sole and rubber studs.vvv
Jackets For Men: Top 7 Styles Of Jackets That Every Guy Must Have To Ace Winter Fashion
Photo: © Instagram/Rohit Saraf (Main Image)
Disclaimer: All products recommended by MensXP are independently selected by our editorial team. If you buy through the links on our website, we may receive a commission.
What’s the best thing about winters? Barbecue nights and bonfires? No, that’s the second-best thing, fashion-forward people would agree that the first best thing about the winter season is an opportunity to dress your heart out every day.
There is no such thing as being overdressed when it comes to the colder months.
Winter fashion is all about learning the art of layering. Whether it is wearing your sweatshirt and hoodies over a warmer or a jacket over a t-shirt, one can’t get through winters without layering properly.
And talking about layering, a good jacket never disappoints. However, the world of jackets runs wide, full of different styles and designs. From the cool and casual bomber and blouson jackets to the always-in-style and utilitarian leather ones, there are options aplenty when it comes to jackets for men. So we decided to break the styles down for you.
Here are our top 7 styles of jackets you really, truly need to add to your winter wardrobe:
1. Bomber Jacket
First up on our list is a bomber jacket. What was once worn by only flight crew members of the US Air Force today is a versatile fashion piece worn by athletes, celebrities and us regular people alike.
The front zip closure, ribbed collar, and elasticated waistband and cuffs make the style perfect to keep you insulated in winters, making you look stylish at the same time.
Pick one up in a classic olive colour with tape detailing to nail that cool boy look this winter.
Dennis Lingo Men’s Olive Regular Fit Winterwear Bomber Jackets
Brand: Dennis Lingo Product Name: Dennis Lingo Men’s Long Sleeves Solid Bomber Jacket – Mandarin Collar, Welt Pocket, Lightweight, Casual Winterwear for Men About us Dennis Lingo crafts perfectly fitted shirts for the man who makes his style statement with elegance and sophistication. We have more than ten years of experience in Men’s apparel. Dennis Lingo is a men’s casual wear brand, and it is one of the leading players in shirts on Indian marketplaces. Now Dennis Lingo brings long sleeves bomber jackets for men. This fashion and cool varsity jacket is great for spring fall and early winter. These jackets fit all occasions casual/homecoming/party; It is excellent for daily, outerwear, and office. This Jacket is crafted with premium comfort-oriented 100% polyester fabric. This fabric is versatile, lightweight, durable, and low maintenance making the jacket extremely comfortable. This is a regular fit solid long sleeves bomber jacket with zip closure 2 pockets and a hem that makes this jacket look unique and adds elegance to your style. Color: Dark Green
Layer it in style with matching joggers and sneakers to ace the athleisure trend. Cosy, chic and comfortable!
2. Trucker Jacket
Trucker jackets have long been pegged as an iconic element of American fashion. Works perfectly with your workwear, sporty style or a casual hangout number, trucker jackets instantly lend a layer of detail and an oomph factor to any look.
The style has a snug fit and what makes it distinct is its double chest pockets. Adding one in black to your winter wardrobe will provide you with enough styling options to keep your A-game on point this jacket season.
Black Trucker Jacket
Every season is a jacket season! MensXP Trucker Jacket will save you from piling those numerous jackets for every changing season. Works perfectly with your workwear, sporty style or a casual hangout dress code, this black cotton jacket comes with a spread collar, long cuffed sleeves, front zip closure, and 4 pockets. This super comfortable piece is perfect for adding a simple, yet stylish finishing touch to an array of looks. Pair this super-cool jacket the Americana way with a basic crew neck white t-shirt and adorn a fuss-free look.
Throw it on a white T-shirt with a quirky graphic print and style it with distressed denims to work that perfect Americana look. Also, a great look for coffee and movie dates.
3. Denim Jacket
The denim jacket is a timelessly cool piece of winter wear for men that’s not only trendy but also durable, something that looks raw and appealing even after a hundred washes.
So, if you don’t already have one, now’s the time to get one. It is an intelligent buy that will come in handy all year round for layer dressing.
If you are looking for something far more winter-friendly, opt for this colour-block number with a hoodie.
While a denim jacket is almost perfect as daytime wear, you can style them with a black henley t-shirt, black chinos and boots to work a solid evening look in colder months.
MensXP Basics Organic Slub Henley Black
Crafted with care, this henley tee is made using 100% organic cotton. The classic henley neckline with a simplistic placket gives your tee a modern makeover. The premium, breathable fabric ensures extreme comfort throughout the day and beyond. With its versatile color and subtle texture, you get a seamless variety for your everyday wardrobe.
4. Waterfall Cardigan
They don’t exactly qualify as a jacket but their open-front drape style and drip hemline can make them pass off as one.
A flattering winter wear option, waterfall cardigans are great at keeping you warm and particularly good for people who are a little heavy.
Go for something bright with a flowy front to channel a playful airport look or a date night look.
Burgundy Cotton Waterfall Cardigan
Tired of your boring and grumpy looking old cardigans? Well, look no further as MensXP brings you this super-chic and refreshing Waterfall Cardigans. A great addition to your collection, this burgundy piece comes with long sleeves and open-front styling with classic waterfall drop hemline. Be it the airport look or a date night, layer this piece effortlessly and keep your color-coordination game on point. Thank us later for giving you this multi-functional piece, so that you can style the same in countless different ways.
Next up on our list are Parkas. They are casual jackets that are often stuffed with synthetic fibre or polyester and sometimes feature a fur-lined hood.
Thanks to their double warm lining and relaxed fit, parkas are great at beating extreme cold at bay.
Pair one with jeans and boots for a stylishly casual look.
Rust Quilted Fur Hooded Parka Polyester Full Sleeve Jacket
With unbeatable comfort, total versatility and an increasing acceptance as a perfect smart-casual piece, Fugazee brings you this amazing collection of apparel. Pair this super-stylish piece with classic white sneakers and rock every look.
- Material: Polyester
- Neck: Hooded Neck with fur
- Sleeves: Full-Sleeves
- Longline Parka Design & Elasticated Cuff
- Closure: Zipper closure with snap buttons
- Wash Care Information: Hand-wash
6. Leather Jacket
Raw, rugged and rebellious are the three words that define a leather jacket vibe. They are timeless and a mood in themselves. Often termed ‘biker jackets’, they are perfect for days when you wanna don a rugged look.
Also, you don’t need a motorcycle to rock this style, just a carefree attitude is good enough to ace an edgy leather jacket look.
Black Full-Sleeve Leather Jacket
Every season is a jacket season! Teakwood Leathers brings you this super-cool and smart jacket which will keep you covered and comfortable. This piece works perfectly with your workwear, sporty style or a casual hangout dress code.
Key Features:Material: LeatherNeck: Standing Collar Neck with press button closureSleeves: Full SleevesPockets: a zip pocket on left side of the chest, a zip pocket on either side of the waistClosure: Zip ClosureWash Care Information: Machine-wash
7. Puffer Jackets
Puffer jackets have a quilted design with sections that are puffy between the stitching and they also have a lining, all of which is designed to keep you well-insulated even in extreme cold.
Go for something low-key flashy and fashionable to brave through winters in style.
Dennis Lingo Men’s Long-Sleeve Graphic Puffer Jacket – Water-Resistant, Lightweight, Casual Winterwear for Men (Navy)
Brand: Dennis Lingo Product Name: Dennis Lingo Men’s Long-Sleeve Graphic Puffer Jacket – Waterproof, 2 Pockets, Lightweight, Casual Winterwear for Men About us Dennis Lingo crafts
How are diamonds formed?
Diamonds are formed deep within the Earth about 100 miles or so below the surface in the upper mantle. Obviously in that part of the Earth it’s very hot. There’s a lot of pressure, the weight of the overlying rock bearing down, so that combination of high temperature and high pressure is what’s necessary to grow diamond crystals in the Earth. As far as we know, all diamonds that formed in the Earth formed under those kinds of conditions and, of course, that’s a part of the Earth we can’t directly sample. We don’t have any way of drilling to that depth or any other way of traveling down to the upper mantle of the Earth.
How do diamonds travel to the surface of the Earth?
The diamonds that we see at the surface are ones then that are brought to the surface by a very deep-seated volcanic eruption. It’s a very special kind of eruption, thought to be quite violent, that occurred a long time ago in the Earth’s history. We haven’t seen such eruptions in recent times. They were probably at a time when the earth was hotter, and that’s probably why those eruptions were more deeply rooted. These eruptions then carried the already-formed diamonds from the upper mantle to the surface of the Earth. When the eruption reached the surface it built up a mound of volcanic material that eventually cooled, and the diamonds are contained within that. These are the so-called Kimberlites that are typically the sources of many of the world’s mined diamonds.
One of the things we know, therefore, about any diamonds that were brought to the surface is that the process of the Kimberlite eruption bringing the diamonds from the upper mantle to the surface of the Earth had to happen very quickly, because if they were traveling too long and too slowly they would have literally turned into graphite along the way. And so by moving quickly they essentially got locked into place into the diamond structure. Once the diamonds have been brought from high temperature to low temperature very quickly—and by quickly, we mean in a matter of hours—these eruptions, these Kimberlite pipes moving to the surface, may have been traveling at rates of 20 to 30 miles per hour. Once the diamonds are brought to the surface and cooled relatively quickly, those carbon atoms are locked into place and there’s just not enough energy to now start rearranging them into graphite.
What is carbon’s role in forming diamonds?
Diamonds are made of carbon so they form as carbon atoms under a high temperature and pressure; they bond together to start growing crystals. Because of the temperature and pressure, under these conditions, carbon atoms will bond to each other in this very strong type of bonding where each carbon atom is bonded to four other carbon atoms. That’s why a diamond is such a hard material because you have each carbon atom participating in four of these very strong covalent bonds that form between carbon atoms. So as a result you get this hard material. Again where the carbon is coming from, how quickly they’re growing, those are all still open questions, but obviously the conditions are such that you’ve got some group of carbon atoms that are in close enough proximity that they start to bond. As other carbon atoms move into the vicinity they will attach on. That’s the way any crystal grows. It’s the process of atoms locking into place that produces this repeating network, this structure of carbon atoms, that eventually grows large enough that it produces crystals that we can see. Each of these crystals, each diamond, one carat diamond, represents literally billions and billions of carbon atoms that all had to lock into place to form this very orderly crystalline structure.
You mentioned that scientists don’t know where the carbon comes from. What are some possible sources?
In some cases, the carbon seems to have originated within the mantle of the Earth, so carbon that was already in the Earth. In other cases, there’s evidence very curiously to suggest that the carbon may have originated near the surface of the Earth. The thinking there is that this carbon could have literally been carbon that was part of carbonate sediments or animals, plants, shells, whatever, that was carried down into the upper mantle of the Earth by the plate tectonics mechanism called subduction.
How long does it take diamonds to form?
We really don’t know how long it takes. There have been attempts to try to date inclusions in different parts of diamonds, and those have largely been unsuccessful. It may be that diamonds form over periods as short a time as days, weeks, months to millions of years. Typically, as with many crystals that grow on the Earth, it’s not a continuous process. The diamonds may start to grow and then there may be an interruption for some reason – a change in conditions, temperature, pressure, source of carbon, whatever—and they could sit for millions, hundreds of million of years, and then start growing again. That’s part of the problem of trying to put some sort of a growth period on them; things don’t always occur continuously in the Earth.
We can grow diamonds in the lab and we can simulate conditions there. But there are things we have to do to grow diamonds in the laboratory that aren’t obvious as to how it happens in the Earth. In the laboratory, they’re typically grown, but there’s some catalyst. Some metals are often added to cause the diamonds to grow, but these same catalysts are not observed in the diamonds from the upper mantle of the Earth.
How old then are diamonds?
All diamonds, as far as we know, are quite old in the Earth. Most diamond formation probably took place in the Earth in the first couple billion years of the Earth’s history. There are diamond deposits that have been discovered that are younger—the rock itself, the Kimberlite, is maybe just tens of hundreds of millions of years old. The way they date diamonds is typically looking at inclusions of other minerals in the diamond that can be radioactively dated. The diamonds themselves can’t be dated. But if the mineral inclusions contain certain elements like potassium and things that can be used in a radioactive dating scheme, then by dating the inclusion in the diamond you get some sense of the age of the diamond itself. And those dates always suggest the diamonds are quite old. At least hundreds of millions of years old, but in most cases billions of years old, anywhere from one to three billion years old, a time when the earth was probably hotter than it is today and so conditions were perhaps more appropriate for diamond growth.
The Best Men’s Fanny Packs Look Cool As Hell
Listen, we can dance around what to call the fanny pack—a.k.a., the sling bag, crossbody bag, bum bag, shoulder bag, etc. But let’s not kid ourselves about what it is. Even the best men’s fanny packs are, simply, fanny packs. And they’re useful as hell.
Once shorthand for a whole era of ill-advised style decisions, the fanny pack has re-emerged into our good graces, a product of menswear’s gorpy overhaul and the realization that there are many funkier, weirder, wilder ways to dress (or carry a bag) than a buckle-on pocket in 2023.
The Best Fanny Packs Shopping Guide
- The Best Throwback Fanny Pack: Nike tech hip pack, $47
- The Best High-Flying Fanny Pack: Prada re-nylon belt bag, $1,490
- The Best Budget Fanny Pack: Herschel fanny bag, $32
- The Best On-the-Go Fanny Pack: Lululemon belt bag, $38
- The Best Outdoors-Ready Fanny Pack: 1733 side pack, $180
- The Best Office-Appropriate Fanny Pack: Mulberry full-grain leather belt bag, $655
Its selling point is fairly obvious: the fanny pack is functional and versatile. When a backpack is too sweaty and a shoulder bag of some sort cramps your [pharmaceutical ad voiceover] active lifestyle, the fanny pack steps in to store all your necessities: keys, Chapstick, sunglasses, hand sanitizer, AirPods, backup AirPods, and more. Wear one around your waist like a dad trying to puzzle out where the visitor’s center is on a large map, or sling it over your body in, like, 13 other ways. Any of them beat praying that the tote bag you haphazardly hung on the edge of your bike’s handlebars won’t jam itself into the spokes mid-cruise. (We may or may not be speaking from experience here.)
Point is, the fanny pack is back, though it never left and it does not need your forgiveness. It just wants to serve you, ably and effectively. Like the humble fanny pack, we also strive to be useful here at GQ Recommends, so we turned up 23 of the best men’s fanny packs on the market. You can still grab the durable nylon joints that define the genre, but these days there’s plenty of elegant alternatives stitched from full-grain leather or top-shelf canvas. Your waist deserves so much better—treat it accordingly.
The Best Throwback Fanny Pack
Nike tech hip pack
Nike’s all-killer, no-filler fanny pack is just trying to do its job, ma’am. Its main pocket is spacious but not a black hole, and we appreciate the subtle blacked-out Swoosh, particularly in a sea of fanny packs that like to scream loudly. Think of it as the equivalent of the team captain who leads by example: it gives off a real “first guy into the gym, last guy out” energy—even if your favorite sport is jostling your way through a crowded Whole Foods on a Sunday afternoon.
The Best Museum-Worthy Fanny Pack
Prada re-nylon belt bag
Prada’s history of elevating mundane materials—and nylon, in particular—to the realm of high fashion goes back a long time. In the late ’90s, the Italian brand launched Prada Sport, a then-groundbreaking line of casual-leaning sportswear that presaged the rise of athleisure [shudders quietly] by well over a decade. The brand’s sportier offerings, like this soft-sheen belt bag, remain a hallmark of modern design, particularly for diehard Prada stans who prefer the brand’s simpler stuff over its more look-at-me printed pieces. (Don’t worry, that legendary enamel triangle logo is there!)
The Best Budget Fanny Pack
Unsurprisingly, the brand that does quality baggage at a “wait, that’s all?” price also makes a no-frills, deeply affordable fanny pack. Herschel’s might not come with all the flashy bells and whistles some of its counterparts do, but when it looks this good who really cares? A tumbled gray colorway and hints of black by the strap ensures not a single menswear-loving soul—at the airport, drugstore, or anywhere else you avail yourself of its pocket space—will have a waist as tastefully decorated as yours.
The Best Fanny Pack for the Man on the Move
Lululemon fast and free run belt bag
Not too long ago, Lululemon gave the fanny pack the Lululemon treatment, stripping the bag down to its essential elements and leaving nothing but streamlined design in its wake. Made out of sweat-wicking Lycra that looks like it should cost a lot more than it does, this is the fanny pack you buy if you worship at the altar of near-logoless practicality—and that’s doubly true if you’re an especially cost-conscious believer.
The Best “Protect Your Stuff At All Costs” Fanny Pack
1733 side pack 7 sling
1733’s ridiculously durable, USA-made bag is the fanny pack for your wildest outdoor adventures–or abnormally wet morning commutes. Constructed from water-resistant nylon designed to take more beatings than Rocky, it boasts a hefty interior pocket big enough to comfortably house your nicknacks—along with plenty of extra storage space for easy access to the stuff you don’t want to get lost in your backpack. It’s not cheap, exactly, but when you think about how much time and effort it takes to resuscitate a waterlogged iPhone the sub-$200 ticket price doesn’t feel fair—it feels downright criminal.
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