Nick Horween is a fifth-generation tanner at the eponymous Horween Leather Co., the Chicago powerhouse that creates Chromexcel, shell cordovan, and an endless array of some of the best boot leathers in the world. So he, uh, knows a lot about leather.

Nick stopped by the Shoecast to talk about Horween’s fascinating history, how the tannery approaches being environmentally conscious in an industry that hasn’t always been historically, what leather development looks like, the CXL lottery, whether Alden rare shell cordovan is ACTUALLY rare, and of course, the actual correct pronunciation of “chamois”. And oh so much more.

Also Ticho says incendiary things about Chicago-style hot dogs and pizza that probably mean he can’t ever visit the Windy City again. Oh Ticho…

Whether or not you personally enjoy sport peppers, give it a listen below!

And you can listen to this and every Shoecast episode on:

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Or check out the Shoecast archives right here


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This episode was sponsored by Standard & Strange, where you don’t NEED an engineering degree to buy their engineer boots…but it helps.