Shift Boot - Leather or Alcantara?

Updated by Mike Sep 2023-09-15.
Reading time 2 minutes.

The essential question is how do you make your interior look great for a long time? Start with the correct selection of materials! It basically comes down to the choice between leather and Alcantara. There of course lots of other fabrics but let's focus on those two as if you want your car interior to be classy, sporty and stylish, there's basically nothing else you can choose. Any woven textiles won't last on a shift boot - they will wear out pretty quickly!


What is an Alcantara shift boot?

A shift boot made with Alcantara uses a trademarked, specialty automotive fabric trademarked by the Italian company Alcantara Sp.A. It goes by the name of, you guessed it, Alcantara. It is synthetic but has the look and feel of suede - very thin "fuzzy" outside. Soft and pleasant to touch. It's anti-static, hypoallergenic and much more constant through summer and winter because of it's porosity. Perfect for vegans and others for whom animal well-being is key. That is not to say our leather adds to animal cruelty - we only use leather sourced from meat animals, which would have been discarded otherwise anyway!


So, why choose one over the other?

Well, the answer is a cliche "it depends". We'll be focusing on shift boot choices - fabric vs leather - in this article to give you solid info on what to expect in terms of looks, durability and maintainability of your next shift boot.


The "form" factor (looks) is simple as it is only your personal taste that matters really. Make sure it ties with the rest of your interior. So as long as you're thinking about a custom shift boot, center armrest cover or console cover, your choice is simple - just pick whatever matches your interior and suits your taste: with our selection of 50+ fabric and stitching colors plus unlimited customizing options available, custom shift boot can be made to blend in with your interior, or to stand out - whichever you prefer!


But the "function" factor is a bit more complicated. Cleaning Alcantara is somewhat of a chore. There are numerous videos on YouTube that explain the process so we won't be repeating them here (we will do it next time though). Just be advised it is really, really time consuming (or money consuming if you're paying others to do it for you) if it's to be done right! Basically, if you accept the risk that some stains may be there to stay with an Alcantara shift boot - you're fine to choose it. If you'd like to make sure the shift boot takes any abuse thrown at it and looks good years after you first install it - we recommend leather after all. A wet sponge and some soap will take are care of virtually any stain on leather!


One last note on durability - Alcantara will, especially without proper maintenance, show wear sooner than leather. The "furry" outside layer will rub off over time. So if you want a shifter boot that will last a decade, leather is the ticket!


Hoping this helps you make that decision, please don't hesitate to contact us in case of additional questions.

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