I have trained in my craft using leather, being a natural material for shoes as it intuitively reflects the movement and flexibility of the foot. I make my shoes with great respect to the animal that lived before, they are designed to last - in defiance to all the masses of shoes made to rest in landfill and replaced by a new pair each time. The leather I have been using is called Full grain Italian which despite the name almost certainly from Argentinian cattle raised on the Pampa plains. Full grain means it is the strongest and most durable part of the hide of an animal from just below the hair. Additionally, since the grain is so tight, it resists moisture very well.