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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.** - Page 1155

post #17311 of 19051
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Mainly for the same reason the heel wears the fastest at the back of the heel. And maybe some of what you describe plus where the heel strikes the leather is going to get compressed (and then open up a little) with each footfall. And if the leather is flanky...as the excessively loose and coarse fibers indicate...that compression and decompression is going to be accentuated. That will, in turn, tend to "shed" the wax that protects the heel leather from rain water, etc.. And so it's a cumulative effect--a vicious circle.

And even though it is pronounced in this case...probably because of the poor quality of the last layer in the stack...it's a common occurrence to one degree or another. Even on the best made shoes, leather heels and outsole edges can benefit from a little attention now and again.

PS...and on edit...the method I describe above is fundamentally how I do it when I make a shoe or boot. Some aspects are changed to accommodate the consumer who doesn't have access to a shop and professional dyes, tools, etc., but the basic concepts are "in there."

--

Makes sense. Thanks for the explanation!

When you burnish, do you do it dry then add wax or add wax then burnish?
post #17312 of 19051
Really informative comments, glad I came here guys.

I'll most likely take it to a cobbler this weekend, and I believe it has something to do with how I walk (dragging my feet).
post #17313 of 19051
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trqmaster View Post

Makes sense. Thanks for the explanation!

When you burnish, do you do it dry then add wax or add wax then burnish?

I glass and fine sand the leather, then I wet it and burnish it. Then I lightly sand it and dye it. Then I wax it and heat burnish the wax into the leather. Then I polish it.
post #17314 of 19051
Would all of the above still apply if this wasn't a regular leather stacked heel? Just asking since we've had discussions before about not all makers using real leather here maybe. I.e. might be made of some sort of "glued together leather dust", iIRC someone called it leatherboard?
post #17315 of 19051
Bottom line is the bases are made of inferior leather. Pouris, they absorb moisture like a sponge and expand. The rubber part of the top-lift (donno know if it is a combo heel). Can't expand as the leather heel base does. Further, the extra moisture in the leather stack could penetrate into the area where the nails are and rust them -or- weaken (rot) the leather area around the leather stack. That could cause the top-lift to shift even though it's holed together with cement. Doesn't happen often but, I've seen it before.

You sand, rub, treat, the stack as much as you want. That's just a cosmetic fix. If it's inferior leather the problem will re-occur. If you are that concerned, you can bring your shoes to a local repair shop with a good reputation and tell them that you want a solid leather heel base. It may be hard for a lay-man to know but tell them that you don't want to come back with the same problem if you give them the job.
post #17316 of 19051
Quote:
Originally Posted by tharkun View Post

Would all of the above still apply if this wasn't a regular leather stacked heel? Just asking since we've had discussions before about not all makers using real leather here maybe. I.e. might be made of some sort of "glued together leather dust", iIRC someone called it leatherboard?

Leatherboard might be worse.

There is nothing wrong with a stacked leather heel provided it is built of good, prime, leather.

But all leather is porous. When the wax rubs off, it's going to absorb water no matter how good the leather is. Flanky leather just absorbs it faster and because it is flanky...because the fibers are not as densely packed as in more prime areas...it expands more. It shows more. It may even absorb more water and at a faster rate than prime.

But make no mistake a stacked leather heel exposes the fibers by the very nature of the leather. And if those leather edges are not "sealed" even to the extent that wax can seal them, those edges will absorb water. Period.

The only way it doesn't is to stay out of puddles.
post #17317 of 19051
^
I would agree with most of that.
post #17318 of 19051

I've been reading about shoe care and have a couple of lingering questions I'm hoping some of you can explain or answer. 

 

1. Several options for leather conditioning. Lexol, AE leather lotion, Bick, Saphir Renovateur, and others all seem popular. I assume these are all adding oil back into the leather? Is there really that much difference which one is used? I assume these are all adding oil back into the leather. Is there any info from leather manufactures about what works best or what they recommend? 

 

2. I'm a little confused by conditioner/cleaners. It seems to me that any cleaner would have to be either a solvent or have some sort of soap in it. Otherwise what is it doing to "clean?" And if it has soap or solvents in it, why would I want to leave it on my leather? I get that regular conditioner is a solvent as well, but I was thinking more of a wax solvent. I get that people use these and they seem to work, I just can't get my head around how or why they are different than a conditioner. 

 

3. Also puzzled about wax. Unless a conditioner is going to dissolve any wax on our shoes, how can we condition over wax? And if it does dissolve wax, would be not be best to wipe all the dissolved wax off the shoe during the conditioning process? Or is the idea that you end up with a wax/conditioner slurry and that once the conditioner is absorbed by the leather the wax will remain on the surface? 

 

I'm a logical person by nature and an engineer by trade - things need to make sense to me. I can't really make sense out of all this. 

post #17319 of 19051
I'm also in as much confusion as you about the wax part. I have noticed however that Saphir Renovateur and cream are able to "dissolve" the wax and then easily be brushed off. More recently, I've been using acetone and taking gentle passes over the waxed areas to expose the leather again for rehydration.

Cleaner doesn't have to be soap per say. From a chemistry point of view, the fatty acid chains can do some hydrolysis and other reactions to break down "dirt" molecules. Another popular choice around here is a 1:3 white vinegar : water solution to remove stains. Although saddle soap does a heck of a job cleaning leather, it's pretty ill advised (I did a little bit of work to show that myself).

With regards to which conditioner you use, it's a toss up. In my opinion and experience below.

Bick4: spreads the easiest, leaves a nice shine, and does a good job conditioning dry leather. I personally use it and highly recommend it, as it doesn't darken leather nor "strip" any of the finish.

Saphir Renovateur: Another awesome product, eaves the best shine after buffing off with a horsehair brush. Some posters including myself have reported "removing some the finish" of the leather while using a cotton cloth to rub Renovateur. I've done this myself and visibly seen the color come off nice leather shoes with Renovateur. Great product, but use sparingly.

AE Leather Lotion: One poster has said he can't tell any difference in the effectiveness between Saphir and AE leather lotion, so take that for what it's worth.

Lexol: some here swear by it and only use it. Dirt cheap and reportedly penetrates deep into leather. However some has seen their Tan and light colored leathers darken after use.

The problem of choice...
post #17320 of 19051
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbhan12 View Post

I'm also in as much confusion as you about the wax part. I have noticed however that Saphir Renovateur and cream are able to "dissolve" the wax and then easily be brushed off. More recently, I've been using acetone and taking gentle passes over the waxed areas to expose the leather again for rehydration.

Cleaner doesn't have to be soap per say. From a chemistry point of view, the fatty acid chains can do some hydrolysis and other reactions to break down "dirt" molecules. Another popular choice around here is a 1:3 white vinegar : water solution to remove stains. Although saddle soap does a heck of a job cleaning leather, it's pretty ill advised (I did a little bit of work to show that myself).

With regards to which conditioner you use, it's a toss up. In my opinion and experience below.

Bick4: spreads the easiest, leaves a nice shine, and does a good job conditioning dry leather. I personally use it and highly recommend it, as it doesn't darken leather nor "strip" any of the finish.

Saphir Renovateur: Another awesome product, eaves the best shine after buffing off with a horsehair brush. Some posters including myself have reported "removing some the finish" of the leather while using a cotton cloth to rub Renovateur. I've done this myself and visibly seen the color come off nice leather shoes with Renovateur. Great product, but use sparingly.

AE Leather Lotion: One poster has said he can't tell any difference in the effectiveness between Saphir and AE leather lotion, so take that for what it's worth.

Lexol: some here swear by it and only use it. Dirt cheap and reportedly penetrates deep into leather. However some has seen their Tan and light colored leathers darken after use.

The problem of choice...

 

Thanks for that, and am glad I'm not the only one confused. If Renovateur can remove the finish (which I've read elsewhere also) I don't see any reason to use it unless I want something to take everything off and maybe even some factory finish. Seems risky and unnecessary. If Lexol can darken, I'll keep it in the garage for my car seats where it does a nice job. Bick is inexpensive and seems to work. Can't see any reason not to use it. One concern is any unintentional change in the color. Bick seems like a safe way to go. 

 

And I hear you on the cleaner - I get that it may not be soap. But whatever it is, it's still there unless it's removed or vaporizes. So by using a cleaner am I leaving wax solvent on my shoes? Weak acid solution for stains seems reasonable - seems like I'd generally want to avoid this until needed. 


You've clearly put some thought into this and have considered the chemistry. Acetone will remove wax? Something about polar vs. non-polar solvents rattling around in the back of my brain. Or is shoe polish not a real wax?


Edited by Dario65 - 12/10/15 at 1:22pm
post #17321 of 19051

You could say I've dabbled with chemistry for a little bit.

 

Typically after using cleaner, you buff off with a horsehair brush. I do this when I use Bick4 and Saphir Renovateur, as it brings out a nice shine. Typically the solvents used will evaporate, but you probably bring "up" some of the gunk from the cleaner and solvent evaporating, hence the help from the horsehair brush. Don't quote me exactly on that, but it's just the way I visualize things that is consistent with what I see. Also probably why they tell you to wait 3-5 minutes before buffing off with a horsehair brush, but just one of the musings that goes on in my head. 

 

Acetone will definitely dissolve and "uptake" the wax into the cloth, however it can also strip the finish very quickly if you're not careful. Only problem is that acetone is very volatile (evaporates readily and quickly at room temperature). I'm not sure what fake wax is, but I'd bet the wax in shoe polish is definitely real :) 

post #17322 of 19051
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbhan12 View Post
 

Acetone will definitely dissolve and "uptake" the wax into the cloth, however it can also strip the finish very quickly if you're not careful. Only problem is that acetone is very volatile (evaporates readily and quickly at room temperature). I'm not sure what fake wax is, but I'd bet the wax in shoe polish is definitely real :) 

By not real wax I was thinking that if acetone is a solvent perhaps it's not really a wax but something else. This is where I was pushing my memory college chem (polar vs. non-polar solvents). If you say acetone is a solvent for shoe polish I believe it. 

post #17323 of 19051

I'm no chemist but why would anyone want to put acetone on a good pair of shoes? A regular, good, brushing and the occasional application of polish should be fine for most people. Use wax if you want a shiny look and use it after you have polished. Condition infrequently. Always use shoe trees. Best wishes, Munky.

post #17324 of 19051
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munky View Post

I'm no chemist but why would anyone want to put acetone on a good pair of shoes? A regular, good, brushing and the occasional application of polish should be fine for most people. Use wax if you want a shiny look and use it after you have polished. Condition infrequently. Always use shoe trees. Best wishes, Munky.

To remove old wax stuck on the surface, thereby exposing the leather and ensuring that the conditioner actually goes into the leather. Sometimes you need a chemist wink.gif
post #17325 of 19051
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munky View Post
 

I'm no chemist but why would anyone want to put acetone on a good pair of shoes? A regular, good, brushing and the occasional application of polish should be fine for most people. Use wax if you want a shiny look and use it after you have polished. Condition infrequently. Always use shoe trees. Best wishes, Munky.

That's one of the questions for which I'm seeking an answer. If all conditioners are a solvent of polish, I suppose that you can apply conditioner over polish since it dissolves it. How much polish can be on there before it becomes a problem?

 

Re the acetone, I would guess that all conditioners have some solvent to keep them in liquid form and emulsified. I suspect most of them have acetone, naphtha, or something similar. Acetone has the advantage of being highly volatile so it evaporates quickly. As solvent for shoe polish I would think it would evaporate before doing much damage to the leather. 

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