We are often asked the difference between the different types of leather so here are the definitions for the types used for our footwear:

Smooth Leather

The majority of Solovair boots are made using ‘Smooth’ leather, this is a corrected leather. The Class 8 Eye Derby Boot was originally a work boot and has always had all of its imperfections sanded smooth, and then a man made coating placed over the top, giving it a shiny appearance and a ‘smooth’ finish.

Full Grain Leather

Full grain leather is higher quality leather, it is selected because it has no imperfections and the full-grained surface of the leather can be seen, along with the original hair cells. As this leather still has the original surface, it can be nurtured, polished and waterproofed by the owner. The leather will become softer over time with no chance of the surface becoming brittle and peeling as some ‘smooth’ leathers do.

Greasy Leather

This leather is full grain leather but impregnated with oil that gives it a supple and waterproof quality. The leather trend to be thicker too, taking a little longer to break in. Due to the ‘greasy’ finish you cannot get a shine on this kind of leather, it just needs to be fed with more wax balsam, oil or grease.


This leather is the same as Greasy Leather (see above) the difference being that the same technique is applied to a lighter leather so every time the leather creases it leaves a mark/impression which gives it a great distressed quality. All marks are removed by a new application of wax balsam or grease.


This is a technique applied to ‘Smooth’ leather products. The initial colour (e.g. Burgundy) is placed on the leather then a second colour is applied over the top (e.g. Black). The topcoat is then ‘rubbed off’ to reveal the initial colour below.

Haircell Leather

All leather has fine hair cells that are visible to the naked eye (the pattern left by the hair follicle cells from the animals hide). When leather is ‘corrected’ (sanded smooth) to remove imperfections the hair cell pattern is also removed. Haircell leather is corrected smooth leather with a haircell impression print applied.