So it sounds like you use almost nothing on burgundy and black. Why nothing on the rest? I've read about how shell reacts differently to rain for different people/shoes. Looks like I'll be getting mine on Monday and Tuesday.
Couple of other shell questions in general:
1. the SA at AE told me that the JR soles that AE uses on it's shell shoes is made from shell itself. I always thought they were made of regular leather. Anyone care to comment?
2. With calf shoes some people advocate putting toe taps or sole protectors. Is something similar recommended with shell?
I agree with Winston on 1 and 2.
The SA is wrong. The JR soles are not made from shell cordovan. While the JR soles are supposed to be more robust, like any other leather soles they eventually will need to be resoled at some point in the future assuming you are wearing the shoes, so it if for you to decide whether you want to add sole protectors, taps, etc.
The reason that I try not to use anything (except Reno once in awhile) on brown, cappuccino or walnut is because each shoe\boot in those colors are slightly different and I don't want to alter the "natural" color of the shell. AE didn't even offer brown shell until 3-4 years ago and even that varies in shade.
I feel that was a good move and do not wear new suede until I spray it. The Katmai is on closeout for mainstream purchase but one of those that should still be available through Lands End like the Bayfield and brown calf Leeds as long as your a D width. Yes they can stand up to crappy weather when treated and I have worn mine in the mud and rain shooting sporting clays, I usually wear the Katmai or shell 744's when I shoot clays spring through fall. I really like them and they are my first suede footwear in many years. Great purchase IMO.