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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.** - Page 500

post #7486 of 9011
Quote:
Originally Posted by JermynStreet View Post


Well, it only makes sense...leather comes from skin and skin is a living organ. The largest organ of the body. I've always held to the notion that if you'd feel comfortable putting it on your own skin, then it's probably OK for leather. GlenKaren is all natural if you can eat it...it can't be harmful to your skin or leather.

By contrast, I was just looking at my bottle of Venetian..."Danger: Harmful if Swallowed Contains Petroleum Distillates, Turpentine..."

Turpentine is used as a solvent for waxes, varnishes, and oils in the furniture industry. It is also a good solvent for the oils and fats that naturally reside in high quality leather. Add ed to that is the fact that it is flammable. As such it is "fugitive." It evaporates. When it evaporates it will draw conditioners to the surface and some of them will either evaporate off with the turp or be lost to dust.

In any case, the fact that it is used as a solvent for low end commercial shoe preparations suggests that its primary purpose is to evaporate and accelerate the drying of waxes and oils. So it wouldn't be too surprising if there were anecdotal evidence for drying out leather, as well.

I usually include product with any pair of shoes or boots I make--at this time it is Glenkaren and Bick4. I avoid any product that contains such warnings as those mentioned above as a matter of course. Unfortunately even if a product contains such additives, if it is not designed for human ingestion, it will more often than not have no ingredients listed or any warnings whatsoever.
post #7487 of 9011
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerP View Post
 


 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 The renovateur is a mild cleaner and conditioner.  I have read some of PB's statements regarding drying, and it does not accord with my own experience.  Winters here are very long and very dry.  I've never had an issue with my shoe leather (or shell)  becoming dry when treated with Saphir products.  They pretty much look terrific year-round.  You've seen the pictures (and in one case, the actual shoes :)).

 

I would love to try the GlenKaren conditioner, but the cost of the international shipping is greater than the cost of the product itself.  And since I am extremely pleased with the performance of my Saphir and Colonil products, I'm not very motivated to pursue other options.  I suspect that there are a good many shoe care products that will work very well indeed.  I'm not wedded to any particular brand. 

 

Wax gives a harder, glossier shine and contains little pigment.  It is less likely to alter / darken the colour of your shoes.  Creams give a softer, more satin-like shine and contain a good deal more pigment.  They are good for diminishing the visual effects of small nicks, scratches and cuts.  Some like to apply cream to the entire shoe, then hit the toe and heel with wax for a more mirror-like shine in those areas.

 

 

Roger does make a good point and Renomat has been helpful for me in the past. One other thing about pB is that for whatever reason, IMO, his shoes seem to crack at a higher rate than other people's. SF has hypothesized about this and think that it may be due to the fact the he lives in NYC and walks a fair amount; the particular pollution (as noted above by DWF) can be much more intense in a crowded city like New York, which might tear up his shoes faster. That being said, having used both Saphir and Glenkaren, GK blows Saphir out of the water in every category, including, and especially, smell. 

post #7488 of 9011
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbfn View Post

DW, would you say that the same applies for gator and croc leather?

Pretty much. Used to be that all reptiles were veg tanned. Nowadays the best croc and gator are chrome tanned...or something like it. Almost no resemblance in terms of temper or tensile strength or flexibility.

I use Bick4 and Glenkaren almost exclusively.

Although...in the absence of hard evidence...don't see anything terribly wrong with Lexol or Meltonian/Properts/Saphir/Tana. Or even the common waxes/polishes such as Kiwi and Lincoln we used to spit-shine our Corcorans when I was in service. Just use with eyes wide open--AFAIK all contain benzine or turp...the GlenKaren being the exception..

Maybe I'm just old fashioned but I've been doing this a long time and seen product come and go. I've tried most everything. I doubt that even the most highly touted...anecdotally, never researched...products are as much as 5% better for the leather itself than any other given product.

The worst part is that the companies producing this stuff are almost universally unwilling to reveal the ingredients. Perhaps they understand that if the consumer knew what went into it, they'd be more cautious.

--
Edited by DWFII - 12/12/13 at 2:04pm
post #7489 of 9011
Thank you!
post #7490 of 9011
Just added plastic toe plates to my Tetburys (which have a dainite sole). Didn't think it would be necessary, but I did notice some minor discolouration on the front due to my gait.

Has anybody else put toe plates in a Dainite sole? Did they stay attached?
post #7491 of 9011
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Keep them clean! Use conditioners that are light on, or better, devoid of, heavily "saturated" (?) oils/fats--such as mineral oil, mink oil, neetsfoot oil, or tallow. Avoid any product that leaves a residue--glycerin saddle soap is an example. Even shoe creams fit into that category to some extent, esp. if not used with deliberation.

Also avoid any product that contains turpentine or benzine or other "dying agent."

I would recommend Bick4. It won't change the colour of the leather nor suffocate it with oils. That said, I don't think you can go wrong with light applications of Lexol (in the brown container).

And use a ph balanced soap such as Lexol cleaner (in the orange bottle). Baby shampoo is ph balanced and it works pretty good as well. As long as you replenish the conditioners in the leather when it is dry, frequent cleaning is always good.

Every shoe or boot is going to crease. That's supposed to happen, but especially in the case of lizard, micro-fines collect in the interstices between the tiles and slowly begin to abrade and cut the fibers of the leather.

Lizard is very thin and it is most delicate between the tiles. Eventually it will crack ...right between the tiles. I am of the opinion that the single biggest threat to lizard is the build-up of gunk in those spaces.

The old wisdom is to never tree a western boot (or 'pull-on") because the heel stiffener is not shaped to the back of the last. And the last is more straight up and own relative to shoe lasts, in any case. such boots need to break in, they need to get crease in strategic places in order to avoid heel slip. Treeing a boot flattens those creases.

I guess you can see where I'm going here...if the boot fits you good, tree them for a while right after taking them off. Wipe them down with a soft cloth when they are treed to remove fines from between the tiles. But don't leave the trees in all the time.

Many high end, high priced "dedicated" products are formulated more to protect the finish on specialty leathers than to maintain or restore the "life" of the leather itself. You don't need to get sucked into the hype about "Reptile Conditioners", etc..

Check out Glenkaren products--they are all natural and don't contain any of the chemicals I mentioned above.

So...keep 'em clean, condition frequently and use a good polish applied sparingly. All the polish does is add wax to repel some water and dust.

Same general advice for lizard shoes applies.

--

 

Thanks to you, DW, and all the others who put thought and effort into helping others.  I know all these responses take time to think out and put down "on paper" and it's heartwarming to see how much help people like you are willing to give on this thread and others.  Having said that, I am going to have to order me som' o dat Glenkaren stuff.

post #7492 of 9011
Quote:
Originally Posted by JermynStreet View Post
 

 

Roger does make a good point and Renomat has been helpful for me in the past. One other thing about pB is that for whatever reason, IMO, his shoes seem to crack at a higher rate than other people's. SF has hypothesized about this and think that it may be due to the fact the he lives in NYC and walks a fair amount; the particular pollution (as noted above by DWF) can be much more intense in a crowded city like New York, which might tear up his shoes faster. That being said, having used both Saphir and Glenkaren, GK blows Saphir out of the water in every category, including, and especially, smell. 

 

Cheers.  I do hope to have the opportunity to sample the GK products for myself at some point.  Regarding the smell, I would simply caution that for parents of young children, having several cans / bottles of shoe polish that all smell very yummy may not be without potential down sides. :)

post #7493 of 9011
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerP View Post
 


 The renovateur is a mild cleaner and conditioner.  I have read some of PB's statements regarding drying, and they do not accord with my own experience.  Winters here are very long and very dry.  I've never had an issue with my shoe leather (or shell)  becoming dry when treated with Saphir products.  They pretty much look terrific year-round.  You've seen the pictures (and in one case, the actual shoes :)).

 

.

Totally agree with Roger on the renovateur

post #7494 of 9011
Quote:
Originally Posted by kentyman View Post
  Original Post (Click to show)

[Cross-post with the Allen Edmonds Appreciation Thread, as I'd love to hear comments or feedback from resident leather care experts.]

 

I thought I would share my experience stretching my Allen Edmonds Elgins to alleviate pain on my right pinky toe so I could share the effects on the leather itself.

 

As background, I had some factory second Elgins (in Tan Saddle Waxy Leather) that fit great on the left foot but were too right in the right toe box. The shoes are visually a little different, and I actually believe crooked lasting may contribute to it, though I have other shoes that are tighter on the right than the left. I didn't realize that the fit wasn't right until I had worn them out multiple times.

 

I decided to stretch them with this shoe stretcher and this shoe stretch spray. I did this multiple times, sometimes leaving them for weeks. I noticed it was affecting the leather, but decided to not stop until they fit right, as I wouldn't wear them until they were comfortable. Here're the results:

 

 

 

 

Hopefully this doesn't give anyone nightmares! As you can see, they took some serious stress. Honestly, the right pair looks like an elderly version of the first. Only the vamp took damage. Believe it or not, I gave it multiple coats of Renovateur to try to bring it back to life, but these pictures are after only one day of wear post-Reno.

 

As sad as it is to damage the leather, I'm very happy with the fit now. If there's any advice on what I could do to help repair the leather I'd love to hear it, but I'm not expecting there is. Possibly something to darken the wrinkles and micro-cracks, but certainly nothing to heal them.

 

Also, I'd be curious to hear if these results are especially atypical; it's possible I did something wrong in the process. The only think I can think that was abnormal was I used a stretcher that was too small so it had to be very wide to stretch the vamp, and seemed to only stretch the vamp. Perhaps if I had had the correct size stretcher (which I do now), this wouldn't be so extreme.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kentyman View Post

 

As patrickBOOTH shared below, Renovateur can actually dry out leather if over used:

 

pB, I went back with simple AE Leather Lotion (don't own Lexol or Bick 4) and it had a profound difference. I'll post before/after pics when I get a chance.

 

As promised, here are before and after pictures. To me, they seem to imply that Renovateur, at least in multiple heavy doses, can signficantly dry out leather:

 

After Renovateur:

 

After Leather Lotion:

 

That extra blemish that's perpendicular to the creases is from an unfortunate gouge of a brush handle during vigorous brushing.

post #7495 of 9011

Why would one ever apply multiple heavy doses of renovateur?

post #7496 of 9011
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerP View Post
 

Why would one ever apply multiple heavy doses of renovateur?

 

It was a desperate move to try to get my shoes to bounce back from extreme stretching with a shoe stretcher. The sordid tale is linked above. The moral of the story, however, is that one shouldn't apply multiple heavy doses of it.

post #7497 of 9011

^^Okay - understood.

post #7498 of 9011
For what it's worth Philip car and I of saint crispins had the same conversation about renovateur. He said he never uses it or recommends. It's very drying. I think it's fine sparingly to raise a shine and give life back to dry looking leather (it adds solvents to the already existing waxes "renovating" it) but to use it in place of a real conditioning agent I think isn't a wise move. Glen from Glenkaren has done his research and I am enrolled into the reasons why he states his products are the best. Not only are they good for leather they make it looks nice too. Best of both worlds.
post #7499 of 9011
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I guess you can see where I'm going here...if the boot fits you good, tree them for a while right after taking them off. Wipe them down with a soft cloth when they are treed to remove fines from between the tiles. But don't leave the trees in all the time.

 

May I know why?  Also, does it apply to dress shoes as well?

post #7500 of 9011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chowkin View Post

May I know why?  Also, does it apply to dress shoes as well?

You can ask...I'm not sure I have a satisfactory answer for you though.

As far as boots...pull-on boots...are concerned that's just what i was taught. The reasons are as I mentioned above--that for the boot to walk without slipping at the heel creases need to form in specific places, and long term treeing tends to flatten or counter the effects of the creasing.

Expanding on that a bit...again, the heel stiffener on a pull-on boot does not initially or "naturally" cup the heel of the foot the way it does on a shoe. Partly that's the way a boot last is shaped, partly it is the way the patterns are purposefully created. When the boot fits correctly and has broken in, the creases, and the resulting curvature of the forepart, pull the top of the heel stiffener towards the toe--creating a heel pocket. Flattening out the forepart and allowing it to "set" in that position returns the heel stiffener to the default upright position with no cupping.

Beyond that, the advice I gave was specifically about lizard and pull-on boots.

As far as shoes are concerned, I leave trees in my shoes all the time. But I don't have lasted trees. So the treeing doesn't really stretch the shoe that much. It just flattens the forepart... to no ill effect that I can see...enough to open the creases of the vamp so that it may be cleaned and polished.
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