Originally Posted by Bigsykedaddy
Originally Posted by dankenstien88
Nah, def synthetic. They were a nice quality synthetic, but not real leather nonetheless. Same stuff the '00 white/red/metallic V's were made out of.
I liked that material though. It always creased evenly and was really easy to wipe clean.
Are all retro's synthetic leather? Are the SBB 1's synthetic? I've always wondered.
Definitely not. For older retros like the white/cement IV and white/red V were SL, the black/cement IV and black/metallic V were Durabuck™ (Also synthetic); whereas retro +'s like the white/chrome IV, black/cool grey IV and white/metallic V's were real leather. Later OG colorway IV and V retros such as the Militarys, Grapes and recent black/metallics used real leather and nubuck.
It's really hit or miss. A lot of people complain about the leather quality today and rightfully so.... for the most part. The thing people tend to not realize is that inconsistencies in grain are just a property of natural leather. JB has tried to remedy this by coating their leather in an almost plastic like substance. Shoes like the recent white/cement IV and white/red V's use this coated leather and while they don't crease nearly as easily, they look and feel very cheap.
As for the SBB's, they're real leather. To my knowledge all of the recent I Highs use real leather.
Originally Posted by AirSakuragi Haven't they stopped using Genuine leather in the mid '90s?
Again, definitely not. Nike/JB still uses leather on plenty of retros. "Genuine Leather" can be anything from full grain to pressed composite leather.
I don't recall any shoes that were ever made out of true full grain. Most OG's and retros are top grain at absolute best. Real full grain leather is very expensive and goes through a laborious tanning process. It just doesn't make economical sense to use it on athletic shoes.
A lot of people confuse full grain with tumbled leather. They assume that the "grain" refers to the texture of the leather. Tumbled leather can be any grade of leather that's been rolled in a drum to give it a grainy, wrinkled appearance eg OG Jordan III. On the inverse, full grain doesn't mean the leather has a visible grain. Full grain is the top layer of the animals skin and is typically very smooth in both appearance and texture.