A pair of black leather shoes


shoe +‎ leather.


  • IPA(key): /ˈʃuː.ˌlɛ.ðɜː/

Alternative formsEdit


shoe-leather ‎(countable and uncountable, plural shoe-leathers)

  1. (countable and uncountable) Leather that is used to make shoes.
    • 1922, Boot and Shoe Recorder: The Magazine of Fashion Footwear, Philadelphia, Penn.: King Publications (a subsidiary of Chilton Company), volume 81, page 86:
      Outside of patent leathers and specialties, I know of no other types of shoe leathers which are commanding replacement costs today.
    • 1942 October 12, “Is there a Bagpipe Player in the Audience? [Regal Shoes advertisement]”, in LIFE[1], volume 13, number 15, page 136:
      Naturally, this aristocrat of shoe leathers costs more than ordinary leather – and, for the past two years, it has been all but unobtainable in this country.
    • 1948, R. Turner Wilcox, “Twentieth-century Footwear”, The Mode in Footwear, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribners' Sons, OCLC 1356620; republished as The Mode in Footwear: A Historical Survey with 53 Plates, Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 2008, ISBN 978-0-486-46761-0, page 154:
      Notable in feminine footgear of the first two decades was the increasing number of different shoe leathers consisting of box calf, white calf, colored kids, buck and antelope.
    • 1952, F. P. Veitch; R. W. Frey; H. P Holman, Leather Shoes: Selection and Care [U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers' Bulletin; 1523][2], rev. edition, Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Agriculture, OCLC 15475410, page 1:
      Shoe Leathers. Leather used in making shoes is of two kinds – bottom, or sole, leather and upper leather.
    • 2008, Robert L. Reitschel; Joseph F. Fowler; Alexander A. Fisher, Fisher's Contact Dermatitis, 6th edition, Hamilton, Ont.: B. C. Decker, ISBN 978-1-55009-378-0, page 359:
      British authors have long suspected and documented that vegetable-tanned leather was responsible for many of their unexplained shoe leather-positive patients.
  2. (uncountable) Leather from which shoes are made that is worn out through walking.

Related termsEdit


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shoe-leather ‎(not comparable)

  1. Basic, old-fashioned or traditional; specifically (journalism) shoe-leather journalism or shoe-leather reporting: journalism involving walking from place to place observing things and speaking to people, rather than sitting indoors at a desk.
    • 2008 April 23, Mark Glaser, “Public Documents + Shoe Leather Reporting = The Smoking Gun's Staying Power”, in Mediashift, Public Broadcasting Service[4], archived from the original on 13 November 2012:
      When we set out to produce the site full time, everything we did went on the site, but the reporting for the site hasn't changed. I don't think it ever will. It's basic shoe leather reporting, hunting down sources and documents and confirming authenticity.
    • 2009 July 5, Walter Kirn, “Wasted Land”, in The New York Times[5], archived from the original on 15 November 2014:
      The book, wrought from old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting of a type that’s disappearing faster than nonfranchised lunch counters on Main Street, isn’t chiefly a tale of drugs and crime, of dysfunction and despair, but a recession-era tragedy scaled for an “Our Town,” Thornton Wilder stage and seemingly based on a script by William S. Burroughs.
    • 2009 September 23, Erica Noonan, “Reporting on the threat posed when reliable reporting fades away”, in (The Boston Globe)[6], archived from the original on 26 October 2012:
      Yes, old school, shoe-leather reporting uncovered the Watergate and Pentagon Papers scandals. But it was disturbingly ineffective during the McCarthy witch hunts and the US invasion of Iraq.
    • 2011 July 28, Michael Wines; Sharon LaFraniere, “In baring facts of train crash, blogs erode China censorship [print version: In China, tweets shake the hold of state media: Microbloggers' reaction to train crash shows new influence on government, International Herald Tribune, 29 July 2011]”, in The New York Times[7], archived from the original on 28 December 2014:
      Since then, China's two major Twitter-like microblogs have posted an astounding 26 million messages on the tragedy, a potent amalgam of contempt for railway authorities, suspicion of official explanations and shoe-leather journalism by citizens and professionals alike.


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