Knowledgeable gentlemen of the Shoe Care thread, I have a question about the behavior of light colored leather creasing and darkening. Below is a photo taken in sunlight of a pair of Allen Edmonds Flatirons in Walnut calf. I am not the original owner so I do not know their care history, just that they came heavily creased. I don't mind creasing and know it is a natural part of wearing shoes, however the dark color in these creases makes them significantly more prominent than with my other Walnut Strands from Allen Edmonds. Can you see how there is a lot of black or otherwise not-Walnut coloration across much of the toes and vamp? Particularly in the creases between the medallion and the laces.
I have tried a variety of products but generally with light applications because I wasn't sure what might help and what might hurt. Between each product application I waited 24 hours to ensure the shoes were "dry" from the previous attempt when necessary. I've tried Saphir Reno'Mat, Lexol Conditioner, Allen Edmonds Conditioner / Cleaner, and Meltonian Brown cream. My gut thinks it's either leather that is actually stripped of dye, but then I would have expected the Meltonian to have a bigger effect, or it is left over (dark) polish from the previous owner but I would have thought the Reno'mat or other products would have taken care of this. Again, I only used the Reno'Mat and the Meltonian in light amounts so if directed I could certainly use them more liberally. For what it's worth, the leather still feels healthy and nowhere near cracking or significant damage. Any direction would be greatly appreciated!
I had a pair of walnut Flatirons. The smooth leather just seems to show the creases a little more. It could be that they were brushed with the same brush that was used on dark shoes, and that embedded the darker color in the creases. I don't think that you can remove it.
I loved my Flatirons, but after polishing them I decided that they would look even better if they were a little darker. So I dyed them.
Incredible results! I will certainly consider embracing a darker look and using some darker creams, but you do make me wonder if it was something as simple as "brush contamination" and if some more thorough use of Reno'Mat might help. I suppose the worst case could be if I actually do strip the walnut coloring and then have to apply dye and/or cream. Thanks for the input and inspiration, your Flatirons are gorgeous!