I bought some J&M burgundy penny loafers. I know how J&M is regarded, I already have a wall of text post in the question thread about it. Anyway, that post had to be moderated because I'm new. By the time it was posted, I'd already found a bunch of similar complaints about how all penny's that are affordable seem to be cheaply plastic-y and crappy leather. I decided that was that, these are casual shoes and I'm not going to spend much more on a casual loafer I don't plan to wear in any formal or business setting so I took the advice of some AskAndyers who swore by stripping their shoes at home and refinishing. One post caught my eye in particular: http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/forum/showthread.php?62135-Weejuns-Rubbing-Alcohol&p=450649#post450649
Sounds like this guy has the same issue! Same brand even. That sold me. I've never done anything beyond polishing dress shoes or oiling boots so this was a first for me.
I decided to take these:
And turn them into these:
Here's an Imgur album of how I did this: http://imgur.com/a/5O1Mq
A few things:
1. This is my first attempt at any sort of refinishing
2. I plan to wear these casually
3. I know that at a certain point, it's still corrected grain leather, but if you know what plastic-y corrected grain looks like, you know how unbearably ugly it is. What I have made is something that has way more depth than the original product, was fun to do, and was cheap. I am not trying to front these as miracle replacements for high quality premium calfskin burgundy shoes but simply shoes with a much better color and not so ugly plastic pristine off the Macy's shelf look for casual usage.