Originally Posted by fromega
I picked up these shoes at a Canadian Value Village. From what I've learned, these are John McHale gunboat shoes from the late 50s or early 60s. I took them into a local shoe repair shop and the owner, an old guy whose been around for a few decades, said he's familiar with the company and thinks they're likely from the 60s (there is scant information available about the company on the internet, but enough to make me think these are quality vintage...I also tracked down the grandson of John McHale to talk about the company and confirm some of the facts floating around the web).
Anyway, I haven't really cared for vintage shoes like these before and I was wondering what kind of stuff to slather on to clean and protect them. I have Meltonian all-purpose cleaner and conditioner, but I don't know if that's the best thing for this job. Something like it and then clear polish?
Also, they need new soles and two different cobblers said I should replace the heels with rubber heals. I'm thinking I should use a leather heal with a rubber insert and put on toe taps. Recommendations?
first of all the shoes judging from their age look in really good condition!!
the soles dont need a replacement at all (the stitching is intact except toes which is completely reasonable!!! they are in great shape but they need some conditioning for sure ) !!a toe steel guard is a must!!
about the heels!! i think some sanding and a placement of a half leather half rubber last layer ll be what you need and ll keep the originality of the shoes!!
about the conditioning issue i would use lexol leather cleaner first to lightly clean the surface!!
then i would use renovateur alone or combined with 1909 leather cream of collonil to condition the leather at first and let it to soak in!!
without buffing at the end so not to create a barrier!!
some gents here(i am sure chogal will ) will disagree on that but judging from the fact the the shoes are not conditioned for over 50years i would use dubbin as the final conditioning agent(2 applies at the flexing points)! this ll need about 24hours to completely absorbed so you could raise a shine!!!
dont forget soles!!! leave the shoes rest for about 24hours and buff!! wait another 24 hours and now you can polish them with a cream or a wax polish!!
hope i helped a little bit and i am sure a lot of gents-friends ll give some alternative options
enjoy your vintage diamonds!!