Rough-out, a unique and resilient leather

Chelsea Boots by Crockett & Jones in rough-out suede.


As the days get shorter, the weather colder and more uninviting, one begins to appreciate the warmth of an open fire and the importance of a sturdy boot when braving to leave the house.

Today we are looking at a unique material that is quite interesting and a great choice for winter boots. Its resilience to water and scratches makes it the first appropriate for any kind of footwear that is exposed to water, snow and mud. We are talking about „Roughout“.

Rough-out is a leather made from cows or calfs where the smooth grain side of the skin is turned inside and the nappy flesh side of the leather is turned outside and treated with waxes and oils.

This old technique has been used extensively in the past for riding and hunting boots, but also for military footwear because of its resistant qualities.

Today you find rough-out leather on heavier boots and shoes for a more casual dress code. It is a great leather if you don’t want to worry too much about water or scratches. Over time it develops a beautiful patina through wear with lighter and darker areas.

Here’s a little care guide for your rough-out shoes:

1. Cleaning: Brush the leather thoroughly to remove any dirt or dust.

Brush the leather thoroughly to remove any dirt or dust. If you find that some dirt can’t be brushed away it is no problem to use some water to clean the leather. If you apply water let the leather dry naturally over night. Never expose it to the heat of a radiator, this might overly dry the leather and shrink it.

The Medaille d’Or Dubbin is a great choice to nourish Rough-Out leather and to renew its waterproofing


2. Treating: Apply the right product for your rough-out.

Apply the right product for your rough-out. Some rough-out leathers are waxed suedes for which we recommend our Saphir Medaille d’Or Dubbin Cream, other are more oily and for these we recommend our Oiled Leather Cream. If you are unsure which is the right product for your rough-out leather, send us a mail or contact us on our social media channels @saphir_medailledor or @saphir_official

Oiled Leather Cream

The oiled leather cream is the right choice for oilier rough-out leathers

3. Finishing.

Once the leather has absorbed the cream, use a brush with slightly firm bristles all over. Doing this gently will bring the nappy texture of your roughed out leather. For this we recommend our Pig-Bristle Brush.

The Pig Bristle Brush is the perfect way to finish your rough-out leather

Voilà, your shoes are ready for the next walk in the countryside without needing to worry about rain, mud or snow.

The Dubbin can be applied with a cloth, brush or even with your fingers if you want. Source: