Originally Posted by GMMcL
I bought these Santonis secondhand today. They're generally in good repair except for the scuffs/gouge to the left toe. Is this repairable in a way that they will ever look decent? I have a few days left to return them, if necessary.
Keep in mind, I do like my shoes to look nice, but I'm not a stickler for a high spit shine, which I realize these shoes will never fully take given that gouge.
Shoe Images (Click to show)
If all you are concerned with is the overall cosmetics of the shoe, and you don't need a high shine, then yes they can be made to look decent.
1) I would put a coat of leather conditioner on both shoes (you want to keep both shoes looking the same, as best you can) then shortly after applying the conditioner take a tablespoon (because it has a broader curvature than a teaspoon) and try to rub each of the scratches, scuffs, and nicks down as smooth as you can. Let the conditioner dry overnight.
2) Get a cream shoe polish a couple shades darker that the shoe color (perhaps even a dark brown), and put a couple of coats on each shoe. When brushing the shoe polish in (at the damaged areas), remember to brush the same direction you used with the spoon to press down each scratch, scuff, and nick. Brush the rest of each shoe as you typically would. The shoe cream is used to darken the color of the shoes somewhat and hide the damage. If you don't want to darken the whole shoe then only apply the darker polish to each toe.
3) Apply a few coats (as many as needed) of dark brown, or even black, paste polish to the toes; using the wax as a sort of filler in the areas of the damage. The black polish will not turn the toe black, but it will darken it even further (and add to the existing patina). Brush the shoes gently for and even glow, and they should look great.
Aside from the cosmetics, the leather on the toe looks very dried out, to the point of irreparable damage. But that should not effect the look of the shoe from a casual observer. I suspect however, that in the not too distant future (six months to a year or so) the leather on the toe of the shoe will begin to crack.