Found this thread from 2008, and rather than directly revive it, thought I'd start a new chat about it. Here's the original: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=221052 I still prefer leather over synthetics, for a number of reasons (none of which are particularly scientific): a) I'm an old fart and prefer leather over synthetics; b) I think they feel better, provided they're broken-in and fit your foot shape; c) they don't make my feet stink like synthetics, to name just three. a) When I was a kid, the last of six kids, I was growing too fast for my middle class folks to spend $$$ on shoes. I was involved in a bunch of sports, and was constantly having foot trouble (ingrown toenails from soccer, "stone bruises" on my heels, shin splints, etc.) As an adult, that's the only part of my wardrobe I'll always spend extra on. If your feet are miserable, you're gonna be miserable. I lived with that for too long as a kid. b) When broken in, it should feel like a glove, and often does, and lasts. Is it because they're generally making shoes cheaper that, by the time the leather's broken in, the outsoles are worn and the cushioning is toast? Gotta move product and units, you know. c) "Leather doesn't breathe" is nonsense. Synthetics make my feet stink; natural fibers (cotton, leather, wool) do not. I've proven this many times over, in different sports, and non-sports situations. You could also ask my wife. I imagine that the MFRs make tons more by using synthetics, which are a fraction of the cost of real leather. I also imagine that if a top shelf pro wants their shoe made with kangaroo leather (in a "paint-job" of an off-the-shelf model), they'll durn well get it. Sure, they've gotten really good with synthetics, less break-in, flashier looks, and better margins. But I'd pay $200 for a pair of natural leather, high-quality outsole & cushioning, and some expectation of them lasting longer. Not necessarily a wear guarantee, but it might help. But I'm probably also in the minority here.