or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › **The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.** - Page 254

post #3796 of 10783
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

To be clear, I'm trying to get a bull shine on the toe cap, not just a general shine.
Are you using water when you use the wax polish?
post #3797 of 10783
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

OK, I'm officially frustrated. Are there some shoes that just won't polish? Can you tell which of these shoes I've just spent an hour trying to put a shine into? Because I sure as hell couldn't unless I had spent the last hour with one of them in my hand:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)




No matter what I do, the toe cap looks like this:



I use cream polish. It looks like this. I use wax polish. It looks like this. I use more polish. I use less polish. Always the same. I can see the polish on there and moving around while I'm buffing for 30 seconds or so, and then it just vanishes and the leather looks the same as it always has. It won't stay and work into nice circles and then start to shine.

 

Wtf is going on?

 

 

I know it won't help much in the short term but there really is no magic bullet here. You can read/watch all the tutorials but a lot of bulling is achieved by feel. You'll know you are getting it after some trial and error and a bit of experimenting. Some leather takes a mirror shine better than others but I've found just about all my shoes & boots can be bulled and the process is virtually the same. What differs is the amount of wax and time. There are many ways to skin this cat and only you can figure out what will work for you.

 

The one thing that helped me the most was when I began applying many, many thin coats of wax before brushing/buffing. For example, I dampen my cloth with a drop or two of water and then dab a bit of wax onto that damp spot. I apply the wax to the toe in small circles until the cloth dries out. I'll repeat this process a half dozen times at least before ever hitting it with a brush. Eventually, the toe will start to take a slight shine as the polishing cloth has very little wax on it and is getting dry. It's only after all these thin coats that I'll begin brushing & buffing.

 

I brush with horsehair for a minute or so then buff. We all like different tools but I like the microfiber cloths used for auto detailing. I'm not worried that the microfiber cloth will damage the leather simply because I am buffing the wax,  not the leather itself. The layer of wax sits atop the leather which is what shines.

 

Early on, I found the challenge of bulling the toe much more appealing/practical than the results. By that I mean a bulled toe isn't always what looks best or what is practical. It was fun to try and achieve the mirror shine but once I figured it out, I found that I only like it for certain shoes and for certain occasions.

 

The bulled/mirror toe looked fine with business attire but not with more casual attire. I travel for business frequently so I want my shoes to work with business & casual attire. For this reason, a bulled toe isn't practical as I didn't want a mirror toe with chinos at night or with denim on a return flight.

 

Some examples:

 

AE Kenilworth is far from a high end calfskin but they took to bulling fairly well with plain ole brown kiwi:

 

900x900px-LL-94c6dac5_DSC_9641j.jpeg

 

I kept these bulled as it makes a relatively inexpensive shoe look pretty good (IMHO of course).

 

900x900px-LL-baf86f33_DSC_9645j.jpeg

 

 

Alden color 8 shell. I used Saphir Renovateur, Saphir MDO cordovan cream (No. 71) and then Saphir MDO Pâte de Luxe (medium brown wax No. 37).

 

1000

 

1000

 

1000

 

 

While pleased with the results, the shell boots were more of an experiment to see if I could bull the toe. I didn't keep them like this for daily wear. I later applied a bit of Renovateur and brushed which toned down the bulling adequately. The wax does offer a certain level of protection from water & salt. I'm always careful to remove salt in the winter and found that it comes off very easily on the toe where the wax was applied in multiple thin coats.

 

In the end, the process for bulling the toe is fairly straight forward and most use methods that have been around for a hundred years. Achieving it just takes practice as so much of it is done by "feel" as opposed to following a recipe of steps. Lear (the OP) mentions this somewhere in the thread and I found it to be very true. I know when I can stop applying the thin wax coats by how the cloth "feels". Same for buffing, it takes varying degrees of pressure which you just have to figure out by trial and error.

 

In any event, good luck! I have found that shoe care is a nice way for me to pass the time during long conference calls.

post #3798 of 10783
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick_b View Post

In any event, good luck! I have found that shoe care is a nice way for me to pass the time during long conference calls.

Remember to not bull too intensively, may lead to some awkward conversations.
post #3799 of 10783
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick_b View Post

Early on, I found the challenge of bulling the toe much more appealing/practical than the results. By that I mean a bulled toe isn't always what looks best or what is practical. It was fun to try and achieve the mirror shine but once I figured it out, I found that I only like it for certain shoes and for certain occasions.

Agreed, because it is so annoying when someone steps op your perfectly glazed toe.
To those people I say



Seriously though, the more casual shoes shouldn't shine too much.
post #3800 of 10783
Patrick - thanks for the post, your shoes look great. So everyone is using a brush now somewhere along the line in their bulling? I was using the method in Crat's vid, basically.

I know I'm buffing the wax not the leather. The problem with these shoes is that after buffing the wax for like a minute, the leather looks just the same as it did when I first got the shoe. There's no wax residue remaining to buff, but nor is there any shine from a smooth layer of wax. I've tried it both using a little spit and a little water.

I'm so fed up with it right now - I've tried with these shoes and others various times, results are always somewhere between absolutely nothing and alright but underwhelming. I think I'll just give up until I can somehow get an in person tutorial with someone who knows what theyre doing.
post #3801 of 10783
And I agree on casual shoes - these are black cap toes obviously, and there are a couple of pair of evening-type shoes I'd like to get a higher shine on, but that's all.
post #3802 of 10783
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian B View Post


Remember to not bull too intensively, may lead to some awkward conversations.

 

haha, thank God for the "mute" button. I do find myself losing track of the conversation at times and praying that I don't hear, "So Patrick, what do you think?"

 

It's bad enough that I work for a Barcelona based company and the language barrier can be tough sometimes. Those crazy Catalonians speak a language all their own...it's not even Spanish (according to them).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crat View Post


Agreed, because it is so annoying when someone steps op your perfectly glazed toe.
To those people I say



Seriously though, the more casual shoes shouldn't shine too much.

 

That's a great picture Crat! Enjoyed your bulling video as well, nicely done.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

Patrick - thanks for the post...,
 
your shoes look great. So everyone is using a brush now somewhere along the line in their bulling? I was using the method in Crat's vid, basically.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

I know I'm buffing the wax not the leather. The problem with these shoes is that after buffing the wax for like a minute, the leather looks just the same as it did when I first got the shoe. There's no wax residue remaining to buff, but nor is there any shine from a smooth layer of wax. I've tried it both using a little spit and a little water.

I'm so fed up with it right now - I've tried with these shoes and others various times, results are always somewhere between absolutely nothing and alright but underwhelming.
 

 

 

I think I'll just give up until I can somehow get an in person tutorial with someone who knows what theyre doing.

 

Don't give up. It just takes some practice. You'll figure it out one day and then wonder why you ever had a problem in the first place. With that said, shoes that are clean, well maintained, conditioned and brushed will look 100% better than 99% of the folks you pass on the street or in your office.

post #3803 of 10783
Ordered. Enjoy your $25!
Quote:
Originally Posted by kentyman View Post

Bespoke Post has one of their $45 "Box of Awesome"s right now with shoe care items. It comes with:
  1. Saphir Renovateur conditioner, 50 ml
  2. Saphir Creme Surfine polish, Black, 50 ml
  3. Saphir Creme Surfine polish, Brown, 50 ml
  4. Saphir Pate de Luxe Wax, Neutral, 50 ml
  5. Saphir Buffing Brush, 13.5 cm
  6. 2 Saphir Applicator Brushes
  7. Saphir Shoe Bag
  8. hook+Albert Shoe Laces, Navy, 32 in
  9. hook+Albert Shoe Laces, Red, 32 in
  10. According to dappered.com, it comes in a cool box.

I have been meaning to try Saphir Reno, so I bought a box. I'll let y'all know what I think.

Full disclosure: The above is a referral link.
post #3804 of 10783
Quote:
Originally Posted by kentyman View Post

 

Bespoke Post has one of their $45 "Box of Awesome"s right now with shoe care items. It comes with:

 

  1. Saphir Renovateur conditioner, 50 ml
  2. Saphir Creme Surfine polish, Black, 50 ml
  3. Saphir Creme Surfine polish, Brown, 50 ml
  4. Saphir Pate de Luxe Wax, Neutral, 50 ml
  5. Saphir Buffing Brush, 13.5 cm
  6. 2 Saphir Applicator Brushes
  7. Saphir Shoe Bag
  8. hook+Albert Shoe Laces, Navy, 32 in
  9. hook+Albert Shoe Laces, Red, 32 in
  10. According to dappered.com, it comes in a cool box.

 

I have been meaning to try Saphir Reno, so I bought a box. I'll let y'all know what I think.

 

Full disclosure: The above is a referral link.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mp906 View Post

Ordered. Enjoy your $25!

 

Thanks! I hope we both enjoy the products. I look forward to figuring out how to mix the Reno and wax into my rotations. I'll have to read up on the Saphir site.

post #3805 of 10783
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick_b View Post

Don't give up. It just takes some practice. You'll figure it out one day and then wonder why you ever had a problem in the first place. With that said, shoes that are clean, well maintained, conditioned and brushed will look 100% better than 99% of the folks you pass on the street or in your office.
^ This is very true.
post #3806 of 10783
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

OK, I'm officially frustrated. Are there some shoes that just won't polish? Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Can you tell which of these shoes I've just spent an hour trying to put a shine into? Because I sure as hell couldn't unless I had spent the last hour with one of them in my hand:



No matter what I do, the toe cap looks like this:



I use cream polish. It looks like this. I use wax polish. It looks like this. I use more polish. I use less polish. Always the same. I can see the polish on there and moving around while I'm buffing for 30 seconds or so, and then it just vanishes and the leather looks the same as it always has. It won't stay and work into nice circles and then start to shine.

 

Wtf is going on?

 

What shoes are they?

 

Some dress shoes, like C&J's Hallam, have versions that are made of waxy calf and you'll have a whale of a time trying to shine them up. You can get a shine on waxy leather, but it takes forever and a day to get there and will smear easily when knocked.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick_b View Post

 

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

I know it won't help much in the short term but there really is no magic bullet here. You can read/watch all the tutorials but a lot of bulling is achieved by feel. You'll know you are getting it after some trial and error and a bit of experimenting. Some leather takes a mirror shine better than others but I've found just about all my shoes & boots can be bulled and the process is virtually the same. What differs is the amount of wax and time. There are many ways to skin this cat and only you can figure out what will work for you.

 

The one thing that helped me the most was when I began applying many, many thin coats of wax before brushing/buffing. For example, I dampen my cloth with a drop or two of water and then dab a bit of wax onto that damp spot. I apply the wax to the toe in small circles until the cloth dries out. I'll repeat this process a half dozen times at least before ever hitting it with a brush. Eventually, the toe will start to take a slight shine as the polishing cloth has very little wax on it and is getting dry. It's only after all these thin coats that I'll begin brushing & buffing.

 

I brush with horsehair for a minute or so then buff. We all like different tools but I like the microfiber cloths used for auto detailing. I'm not worried that the microfiber cloth will damage the leather simply because I am buffing the wax,  not the leather itself. The layer of wax sits atop the leather which is what shines.

 

Early on, I found the challenge of bulling the toe much more appealing/practical than the results. By that I mean a bulled toe isn't always what looks best or what is practical. It was fun to try and achieve the mirror shine but once I figured it out, I found that I only like it for certain shoes and for certain occasions.

 

The bulled/mirror toe looked fine with business attire but not with more casual attire. I travel for business frequently so I want my shoes to work with business & casual attire. For this reason, a bulled toe isn't practical as I didn't want a mirror toe with chinos at night or with denim on a return flight.

 

Some examples:

 

AE Kenilworth is far from a high end calfskin but they took to bulling fairly well with plain ole brown kiwi:

 

900x900px-LL-94c6dac5_DSC_9641j.jpeg

 

I kept these bulled as it makes a relatively inexpensive shoe look pretty good (IMHO of course).

 

900x900px-LL-baf86f33_DSC_9645j.jpeg

 

 

Alden color 8 shell. I used Saphir Renovateur, Saphir MDO cordovan cream (No. 71) and then Saphir MDO Pâte de Luxe (medium brown wax No. 37).

 

1000

 

1000

 

 

 

1000

 

 

While pleased with the results, the shell boots were more of an experiment to see if I could bull the toe. I didn't keep them like this for daily wear. I later applied a bit of Renovateur and brushed which toned down the bulling adequately. The wax does offer a certain level of protection from water & salt. I'm always careful to remove salt in the winter and found that it comes off very easily on the toe where the wax was applied in multiple thin coats.

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

In the end, the process for bulling the toe is fairly straight forward and most use methods that have been around for a hundred years. Achieving it just takes practice as so much of it is done by "feel" as opposed to following a recipe of steps. Lear (the OP) mentions this somewhere in the thread and I found it to be very true. I know when I can stop applying the thin wax coats by how the cloth "feels". Same for buffing, it takes varying degrees of pressure which you just have to figure out by trial and error.

 

In any event, good luck! I have found that shoe care is a nice way for me to pass the time during long conference calls.

 

 

 

Whilst not a shell fanboy at all, these look great! I came across an old pair of shell Graftons (Church's) this week and spent some time last night getting them looking good and this thread and site have been a great resource!

post #3807 of 10783

Guys, in all the mirror shine guides I have seen, wax is used. Is there a reason why cream is not used? 

post #3808 of 10783
Not enough wax content in cream to harden to a high shine.
post #3809 of 10783

Hmm, that makes sense.Although, when comparing AE cream to Saphir cream, the Saphir one does appear to be more condensed. Maybe I'll try with the Saphir. The only time I use wax is when I want a mirror shine so I'm trying to keep the number of wax I have to buy down.

post #3810 of 10783
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

brush? I have only heard tell of using finger inside cloth for buffing.


Brush has always worked for me - finger inside cloth should only be the finishing step.

the brush works by removing polish until the it all lays in a flat surface.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › **The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**