What Kind Of Leather Do I Have?

Bryan Byrne July 26, 2010 24

You might have noticed several types of Leathers being used on some of the latest soccer cleat releases that you haven’t heard of before. For the most part, Adidas are the ones with the strangely named new materials, making the market a little more interesting (some say complicated). We have already covered how to take care of leather cleats, so here is a breakdown of whats what in terms of the leathers you are likely to see, in order to help you out when choosing new cleats.

Kangaroo Leather (K-Leather)

K-Leather

Pro’s: Offers a lightweight, glove-like fit with excellent touch on the ball. Stretches and molds to the foot after wearing several times.
Con’s:
Not waterproof and it lacks durability seen in other leathers.
Interesting Fact:
K-Leather has 10 times the tensile strength of cowhide and is 50% stronger than goatskin!
Found on: Adidas adiPure III, Nike T90 Laser III, Puma PowerCat

Calfskin Leather (full-grain)

Full Grain Leather

Pro’s: Very durable and comfortable when they are broken in, helps develop a great touch.
Con’s: Not as soft as K-Leather and takes a little longer to mold to your feet.
Interesting Fact:
Full grain is the most common leather found on mid to high-end boots.
Found on: Under Armour Dominate, Adidas adizero

Synthetic Leather (man-made)

Synthetic Leather

Pro’s: Durable and retains its shape well. It is stretch and abrasion resistant, waterproof and breathable.
Con’s: Less feel and natural touch, it is slightly thicker and a little stiffer than K-Leather.
Interesting Fact:
Synthetic leather is a man made fabric that is designed to look like K-leather.
Found on: Nike CTR360 Maestri, Nike Vapor VI

Know Your Adidas Leathers

Galeo is a soft, lightweight and breathable leather that has been specifically treated at a tannery to allow for a glove like fit. (Adidas adizero)
Taurus is a full-grain calf leather that combines unsurpassed softness with a lightweight feel. It is durable and weatherproof. (Adidas Predator X)
Ult-K Leather is a soft, quick drying and breathable full grain leather that is designed to feel a lot like K- leather. (Adidas F50i TUNiT)

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Bryan Byrne

Expert Boot Reviewer

The mastermind behind the revolution that is SoccerCleats101. Bryan started this website back in 2008 and has been testing boots on a daily basis ever since.

Check out our About Page for more details on Bryan and the website.

24 Comments »

  1. Tasos July 27, 2010 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    Great article Bryan!

    What do you think about preds going from k-leather to Taurus? Was that a right decision or not?

  2. hani July 28, 2010 at 5:50 am - Reply

    nice on bryan!
    But there’s something strange, how come the synthetic leather of the ctr360 is written as very durable but gives a weaker feel and touch while u said that the Maestri isnt durable and it gives great feel and touch which is the reason the boot is designed for! This is confusing…

  3. bryan July 28, 2010 at 6:18 am - Reply

    Tasos,

    I think Preds going from K-leather to Taurus was a bad move, it lowered the cost for Adidas but ultimately, I have seen the skin peel off the boots over time!

    Hani,

    Very valid comments…I lowered the score for durability because they scuff easily and I have heard many comments from players about slight rips and tears. In terms of touch, they have control pods with dampening foam that help with touch. It varies by boot, but for the most part you need a little more protection to strike the ball.

  4. hani July 28, 2010 at 9:06 am - Reply

    Okayy thanks!

  5. george July 28, 2010 at 11:08 am - Reply

    what leather is on adizero (leather) cleats? and do they offer a good touch? and if im size 13 should i get 13.5? i need them to last close to 9months-1year. and is the leather durable? also were your shots good when you tested them? thanks.

  6. Old US Goalkeeper July 28, 2010 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    Actually, as a leathercrafter for the last 20 years, there IS a difference between calf leather & full grain leather. Calf leather is just that-the skin of a young cow (calf). It is softer & stretches easier because the skin hasn't toughened up yet. Full grain leather is the skin of a mature cow, one that has had time for the grain of the hide to get tighter & thicker. It is common for hides of full grain leather to have scars from barbed wire in various areas. Calf leather can be softer than kangaroo, but does not have the tensile strength of kangaroo. It is an inaccuracy that I noticed in the adidas catalog stating that calf is full grain.

  7. fido July 29, 2010 at 3:55 am - Reply

    its mentioned that k leather lacks the durability seen in other leather and yet it has 10 times the tensile strength of cowhide and is 50% stronger than goatskin.. im a material engineer and from my understanding, if i say e.g. material A has higher tensile strength and stronger than material B and C, i would say, material A is more durable/tougher than B and C.

    this isnt a case for leathers? im no leather expert so am i right to say, the abrasion resistance of k leather is somewhat not as good compared to others? can someone clarify this =) I always have the impression k leather is the best in terms of durability and comfort.. if it isnt the case, then perhaps i shouldnt have gotten the adipure but rather adicore or adinova.

  8. hani July 30, 2010 at 10:54 am - Reply

    yeah fido you are absolutely right! But this whole leather stuff is soooo much confusing! :S

  9. Dnavarro April 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Which predator material is the best for a midfielder?
    The adipower SL , the adipower leather, or the DB s with the synthetic leather ?

  10. Dnavarro April 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    I mean with the microfiber^^^*

  11. martin November 27, 2012 at 5:16 am - Reply

    Hi. Would like to help with some comments on the leather differences. Full grain terminology has nothing to do with the age of the animal. Full grain leathers are the ones which surface is good and does not need to be modified. Most of calf leathers are full grain, since the animal is young and the skin is beautiful, no imperfections, like a baby skin. The skin is FULL.
    Some leathers, usually from older animals, are not so good, and need some make up, they need to be modified to look nice, and, after this make up process leather does not look so natural. These are not full grain, but CORRECTED grain leathers.
    On the Taurus leather I can say that being made with calf skins, it’s resistance is better than other leathers, since the fibers of a young animal are stronger, making this leather very durable, comfortable, and it is also lighter since it absorbs less water during the game.

  12. justin April 15, 2013 at 3:35 am - Reply

    You can wear every kind of classic and elegant black or brown leather shoe to an office where a sort of dress code is required. Best Football Gloves

  13. vin April 28, 2013 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    This is a very poorly written article. Don't mean to be harsh but this article leaves more questions than it gives answers.

    • soccercleats101 April 28, 2013 at 10:44 pm - Reply

      What is missing that you are looking for? I think the article is pretty straight forward…..

  14. justin May 4, 2013 at 4:13 am - Reply

    its mentioned that k leather lacks the durability seen in other leather and yet it has 10 times the tensile strength of cowhide and is 50% stronger than goatskin.
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  15. garmin electronics May 8, 2013 at 7:56 am - Reply

    What do you think about preds going from k-leather to Taurus? Was that a right decision or not?

    • soccercleats101 May 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm - Reply

      Wasn't a fan of the change – but ultimately it allowed Adidas the opportunity to drop the overall weight of the boot and improve performance.

  16. white hat SEO May 20, 2013 at 5:56 am - Reply

    What do you think about preds going from k-leather to Taurus? Was that a right decision or not?

  17. jhon June 1, 2013 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    What do you think about preds going from k-leather to Taurus? Was that a right decision or not?
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  18. Send SMS Online June 10, 2013 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Actually, as a leathercrafter for the last 20 years, there IS a difference between calf leather & full grain leather

  19. LG price in India December 20, 2013 at 1:59 am - Reply

    I generally have the impression k calfskin is the best regarding strength and solace.. provided that it isnt the case, then maybe i shouldnt have gotten the adipure but instead adicore or adinova.

  20. utah seo March 29, 2014 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Before you can care for your leather correctly, you must know what type of leather you own. Follow the tests in this table to identify your leather. Then all of the other information on cleaning and repairing your leather will make more sense.

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