@dlind: had exactly the same happen on a pair this year.
*Wore leather soled shoes in shallow but very salty snow/slush
*Took them off that evening and left to dry, but forgot to wipe off salt for 24 hours
*Found exact same ridges you have there, in exactly the same position, as if the water had seeped upwards.
What I did:
*Applied Saphir Hiver salt stain remover according to instructions. Diluted vinegar works as well. Do a search here or Google.
*Used the back of a desert spoon to press down on the dried leather. Don't know if I should've done this as soon as I took them off wet (with same warning as below)
*After lessening some of the raised ridge, I applied conditioner - Renovateur in this case - and did same spoon trick again. Be aware, I don't know if softening the leather (with Renovateur) before doing this leaves it more prone to ripping/tearing from the pressure of the spoon. Someone here can advise on this. Maybe I was lucky. The spoon motion was a gentle stroking using common sense for rate/pressure/direction.
*Kept wearing the shoes, with the occasional gentle repetition of above spoon trick + conditioner.
*Looking at them now, can't see any raised ridge. It worked for me.
Edit: Forgot to say, the shoes were a very light colour like yours, with conditioner and hardly any wax. Would've stripped otherwise.
What I think but ain't sure about (this is not advice, and am happy to be corrected on):
*If you messed around with the burnished sole edges, the edge might have become porous. This is what burnishing with hard wax or dedicated edge dressing protects against. Simply applying dye hasn't the same degree of protection.
*If you stripped the shoes, you might not have pushed wax/conditioner back into the welt to re-wax the threads etc.
*The same stripping and hard rubbing might have caused the leather to become porous. Indicated by some patches becoming very dark when wetted with the stripping product or even rain water.
* Your soles might just be porous.
*This particular shoe leather upper might simply be very porous and sponge like anyway. Being such a light colour, every imperfection will be noticeable.
In this last paragraph, I'm just thinking aloud. Would like to know if my assumptions are correct. Looking forward to other opinions on this.
Another edit: You can use the spoon for other things too (not just eating). If you've mirror shined the toecaps, then find a tiny crack upon flexing your foot:
1.) Stick a small teaspoon in a mug of boiling water
2.) Wait for it to heat up
3.) Press the teaspoon onto the crack and rub gently in a small circle. You have to remelt all the layers, as they originate from the base layer, but then redistribute as best you can.
4.) You'll have to use your common sense and realize that you're trying to gently smooth the wax out, leaving as little work for you to re-mirror as possible.
5.) Quickly and while the wax is still soft, gently flex the toecap while holding the heel firmly with other hand. Keep on doing this for 10 seconds. Just don't over exaggerate the amount by which you flex it. This might prevent the same thing happening again.
6.) Very quickly - as the warmth will now be on the way out - take a piece of cotton cloth and softly 'swirl to level' on that spot.
7.) Put the shoes on and walk around the house.
8.) Check for cracks, and either cry or prepare for re-mirroring.
N.B. The above is a last ditch attempt to repair a slight crack caused by flexing. These cracks usually happen near to an edge or abutting leather. Not intended for major damage. If you mess it up, you might be in a worse position than you were with the crack. It all depends on how smoothly you can get the wax to reset. More art than anything. It might not work for you and simply crack again, but has for me. You'll now have to re-mirror, but that's much easier than stripping back to base layer.
Just get a feel for the wax.
Edited by Lear - 4/19/13 at 12:38pm