I think it is because the people on here are so opinionated and affluent; guys just because you're rich, it doesn't make you right. Most of the advice is opinionated and often anecdotal.
I am relatively badly off financially, but have liked high quality shoes since I was a child, go figure the reasons because I am unsure.
As I haven't had the funds to indulge on a wardrobe full of exotic shoes I have had to look after them, and before the advent of easy access to the interweb, I developed a shoe care regime by asking friends and relatives what to do and what to use.
I learned to spit and polish from my father who spent time in the armed forces and Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver (I still have an M-65 field jacket in my wardrobe - America's greatest and probably only worth while gift to the fashion world lol)
The point is I have shoes that are getting on for 20 yrs old ie an old pair of Church's Diplomat that have never seen conditioner in their life. Are they cracked? Nope. Do they still look nice? Yep.
My regime for them is Meltonian cream in a close colour match and Kiwi for the toe caps and heels - seems to have worked, lost count how many times they've been resoled, that was in the good old days when Church's made shoes properly-ish.
Lately I use Saphir and their conditioner, cream and wax for my more exotic shoes - seems to work but will it make them last any longer, well I kind of doubt it.
Back to Mr De Niro, well that was the first time I saw somebody ignite their polish to make it liquid, my father explained it also burns off the spirit which apparently helps. Also at that point I started to use water rather than spit. I was quite a little punk rocker in the 70's and there have been many pairs of Airwair boots that have pogo'd the night away with their mirror shine that would have held their head up high on a parade ground (yep daily maintenance, as you can imagine, was essential) - strangely none of them cracked either.
After the Punk phase came David Bowie's Lets Dance look and I went all Italian suits and English shoes and that's where my heart still lies I suppose.
I dislike conventional English tailoring (God bless Armani for the 80's) and God bless Gaziano and Girling for taking the stuffed shirt Edward Green style (with the exception of the 888 last on an Oxford) and doing the same thing to it ie bring it kicking and screaming into the modern world and adding style and elegance to a formal shoe whilst retaining its original roots. Co-incidentally didn't Mr Gaziano design the 888 last?
However at the point I started wearing the toe cap Oxford I stopped doing mirror shines. IMHO it just looks wrong. Toecaps and heels slightly shinier than the rest of the shoe, definitely yes. Natural patina on leather as a result of years of wear and loving care as opposed to an advert on, how plasticky you can make toe caps look by putting on a parade ground shine, is something I prefer.
So why don't the people on here agree. Because there is more than one way to achieve the desired end look. Opinions as to what that look should be vary. Then there is the anecdotal 'evidence' spouted by those that have never had to make shoes last decades that are worn on a regular basis. Then there are the myths spread by the product manufacturers.
On the plus side, properly polishing a pair of old loved shoes on a wet and windy Sunday evening is mildly therapeutic and I enjoy reading this little advice column to fill in the gaps in my knowledge that I apparently have even though I have been partaking in the shoe shine ritual for 50 years.
Bless you all XXXX
I have to disagree with you on several points:
_First of all, who the hell do you identify as "rich"? Are you a fucking communist (sorry, commies must go with a fucking - political related jerking, no offense), or simply lack of serious thought before you speak? How do you even judge if one is rich? Say, my neighbor, a 98 years old man, is "rich", because he's been living with his beloved wife for roughly 70 years already. Is that part of "rich"? Hell freaking yeah it is! Guys with beautiful shoes, are they "rich"? If it's because the relation of nice shoes and wealth, then goddammit, you're communist who's only being so jealous of other people who works a lot more.
_Second of all, we are all here under trial and error methods. Some, like myself, may try out of the sake of personal interest, some sort of experiment, so that learning experience can be gathered along the way. Some may choose to follow advices and influences and slather goop all over their shoes. The point being - their shoes, do whatever the fuck they can with it - but they must remember that their hands are slathering it on. It is wrong to generalize the whole group in an experiment - I have excellent results using dubbin grease on my shoes whereas others don't, and I cannot force them to use it just because my experience is excellent. Whatever the hell happened, should be consumed as a lesson for experiences, and they will always vary, because it is a matter of qualitative data - non-numerical data that only those personally involved can experience and judge for themselves, and will prone to bias.
An extra point, Meltonian cream, while not an actual "conditioner", does do some of that so called "conditioning" that we are all so favored of. So, no, you weren't doing anything so much different to what we have been doing, you're just using different brand, that's all.
It is more important than anything that we learn from experiences rather than sitting there crapping our pants and crying over some products gooping up our shoes, and it is important to keep the influences remain as they are, because our hands are those that applies the product to our leather items.
Good day to you, and please keep the statements as cool as possible.