The term “Genuine Leather” is purposely ambiguous. Why? Because a tag that says “Genuine Leather” is much more impressive than a tag that says “Not Good Leather.”
Genuine Leather is the third grade of leather, and is produced from the layers of the hide that remain after the top layers are split off for the higher grades of leather (Full Grain and Top Grain). An artificial grain is applied to the surface and then sprayed with stain or dye to give it a more natural and higher quality appearance.
Compared to Full Grain or Top Grain Leather, Genuine Leather is lower in price, but also in quality and durability. You’ll likely find Genuine Leather in inexpensive belts, shoes, and bags - basically in most inexpensive leather goods. This is fine if you’re looking for something cheap that doesn’t require much (or any) real durability. Otherwise, proceed with extreme caution.
(If you want leather that will last, check out our collection of Full Grain and Top Grain leather bags, shoes, boots, and wallets.)