What is Nubuck Leather?

Green boat shoe

If you’ve been following Froats, you would have noticed that one of the highlights of our 2021 drop is the Nubuck Summer Series leather boat shoes. These stylish additions to men’s summer fashion boast a variety of great features in their make - including being made of real nubuck leather. 


Some of you may not be familiar with men’s leather boat shoes, or other leather men’s fashion, casual or otherwise. If this is the case, you might not understand what the big deal about Nubuck is. If the term leaves you scratching your head, don’t worry - we’ll explain here.

Nubuck in a Nutshell

Nubuck has a pedigree that goes much further back than making leather boat shoes. Traditionally “nubuck” was made from deerskin - that’s probably where the “buck” in the name came from. This kind of leather has always been associated with men’s fashion, casual attire, business casual or otherwise. The popularity of nubuck really took off when the Duke of Winsor traveled the US wearing nubuck oxfords


To make nubuck, the outer layer of skin is used, then the leather is sanded from the outside. The outer layer used for nubuck is often stronger than other kinds of leather. This sanding process will leave the nubuck velvet smooth, but may also leave behind some imperfections. For this reason, nubuck is often dyed or stained for a more uniform appearance.


So Why Nubuck? 

We’ve already touched on a few reasons why working with nubuck to make men’s boat shoes is so exciting. Nubuck looks good on leather boat shoes, while also being much more resilient than other kinds of leathers. The velvety outer layer is soft to the touch and is also quick drying if you manage to get it wet.


Nubuck is also special in how it's made. The tanning process for our nubuck is entirely natural. Without any artificial oils or waxes, it’s an incredibly good material for sweat-wicking. This means that it lets moisture be absorbed and then evaporated, instead of leaving your feet pooling in sweat. This means that nubuck leather is great for making the best boat shoes when it comes to men’s summer fashion and casual style. These leather boat shoes will keep your feet cool and can even be worn without socks in a casual summer outfit. 


Nubuck is also a great material to work with when dying or coloring. This is very apparent when you check out the bold red and blue available for our 2021 Nubuck Collection


Shop the 2021 Drop

Our two styles of nubuck leather boat shoes both come with top-notch nubuck leather and New England stitch threading, along with leather laces and stainless steel eyelets. These are men’s boat shoes that are meant to last. They also feature a removable anti-microbial latex insole with leather lining and a durable non-slip natural rubber outsole. 


The Glacier Bay is inspired by the place of the same name in Alaska, while the Sockeye takes its name and color from the salmon you’ll find up in the Last Frontier. When it comes to men’s summer fashion, these are among the best boat shoes you’ll find. 

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