Originally Posted by zchen
Question, on a pair of shoes I just got from thrifting, the toe area appears darker than the rest of the shoe, it also feels slightly rougher/waxier, not as smooth as the other areas and refuse to take a shine. I tried AE's conditioner cleaner and it doesn't appear to help. Is this a case where I need to use lexol or renomat to strip the area?
Since this is a pair of shoes you got through thrifting you could take some risk with them; here is what I would suggest:
It looks to me as though the leather on the toe of the shoe has become more porous than was originally intended.
1) Strip the wax off the toe with a strong cleaner like renomat and let sit for a day exposing the uncovered leather to air.
2) Add water to the toe of the shoe with a damp cloth. Enough to saturate the leather, but not so much that it drips.
3) Use the rounded side of a table spoon to press down and smooth the leather, rolling the spoon to get down to the seam edge.
4) repeat the spoon pressing every hour or two for the next 8 hours, or until the leather is dry. If the leather seems to remain exceedingly damp after a few hours try soaking some of the wather out with a dry cotton cloth.
5) Let sit for a day.
6) If the leather still looks porous repeat steps 2 through 5 once more.
7) Add a light coat of Lexol leather conditioner.
8) Let sit overnight.
9) Add a light coat of cream polish in the same color (or lighter) than the leather color, and brush gently.
10) Let sit overnight.
11) Polish as desired.
I tried this on a pair of shoes some years ago and it seemed to work fine. Unfortunatly I don't still own them (donated to Soles4Souls years ago) so I can't post a picture. I probably wouldn't do this to a newer pair of shoes however, but that's just me.