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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.** - Page 608

post #9106 of 19073

Shoe care noob here with what may very likely be a noobish question:

Does one care for boots differently than dress shoes?

I imagine that the difference in function would necessitate a different care process. The conventional wisdom around SF seems to be that Obenauf's LP (is that spelled right?) is the go to product for boots in order to protect them from the elements you wouldn't expose a pair of oxfords to. How often do you use LP? Do you recommend any other products in addition to LP? If so for what reason and how often?   

post #9107 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

I have done some research lately and I would like to share some things that I have learned about leather and leather care. Now, this is just how I understand it and I could be a bit off, but if @glenjay, @DWFII, @RIDER or @Stirling have anything to add that would be awesome.

The protein fibers of leather are amphoteric. This means they can take on characteristics of either an acid or a base when exposed to such solutions thus is sensitive to ph. The stuff in leather, that make it leather such as the tanning agents, fats, waxes, oils and dyes and such typically have a negative charge therefore in order for these "things" that keep the leather from reverting to rawhide, or drying out and cracking need to be oppositely charged (ionic positive) for them to "accept" each other. When something comes into contact with the leather that is a higher ph (more basic, or simply the fats, oils, waxes oxidize) the ph sensitive protein fibers get shifted to ionic negative due to the influence of the higher ph. What is does it repel the tanning agents, fats, oils, and waxes kind of like when you put two poles of a magnet together, they push each other apart. So what does this mean?

When leather gets wet (or is neglected it is continually exposed to the atmosphere) in order for the protein fibers to be able to accept conditioning agents it has to be shifted back to ionic positive using something acidic. This is why cleaners that are somewhat acidic (d-limonene that contains citric acid and diluted turpentine) are actually good for leather because it keeps the protein fibers ionic positive and able to accept the tanning agents and conditioners.

Recall the disposal of Krazy 8 in Breaking Bad?

So given all of this, it is quite possible that my alleged bad experience with reno could have been because I used it after rainfall and most of the time, didn't bother to add polish back to the shoes. Rider, says that it is water based. This does make sense then. Because the leather after rainfall wasn't properly ph balanced before applying reno the protein fibers "repelled" the oils in reno.

Other's who claim to just polish and use reno sparingly with good results might be getting good results because both cream polish and wax polish contains turpentine, which could shift the leather fiber's ph back to acidic and allow it to accept the other conditioning properties of the polish.

 

Hey Patrick I'm not going to pretend to understand all of the science involved, but do want to comment you both for conducting independent research on a topic of considerable contention, and for raising the level of the dialogue on the thread.  :fonz: 

post #9108 of 19073

Hello,

 

The burt's bees question is interesting. I've been using an inexpensive product, doc marten's wonder balsam, and am thinking it may do something similar to what burt's would do on a shoe. I don't claim to know, just thinking and wondering. Probably safer in term of ingredients that are not likely to spoil. 

 

I guess I should also ask for any advice about my use of the Wonder Balsam. I've been using it on some Alden's chromexcel longwings. I would be very interested to know whether this is likely to cause problems in the future. I use it very sparingly, just a very small amount on a soft sponge, wipe it in gently, let it sit about ten minutes, then brush. Brush again the next morning and that's it. I brush the shoes after most wearings but I'm not religious about it. Probably doing the Wonder Balsam wipe about four times a year, wearing the shoes about once per week. 

post #9109 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

It is Saint Crispin's terminology for the types of leather they use. FUN is a crust calf that is softer, a bit grainier, and naturally a bit shinier. VNA is a calf that comes dyed from the tannery, it is a harder calf, very deep in color and shines up very glossy. CRU is a calf that is in between in hardness of FUN and VNA a crust leather like FUN but not as naturally shiney looking as FUN. It will look somewhat more matte in areas that don't get a high wax shine.

Thanks for this, can you extrapolate and indicate what kind of shoes or type of wear a CRU or FUN might be best for? Understanding the exact properties is useful but, for example, I can't tell how to choose between them. I always assumed I would go with CRU but the sales person I worked with indicated FUN would be best because it's softer and is naturally shinier. Then when I emailed Philip to learn more about the nuance between them, he recommended CRU. I'm inclined to just follow through with the FUN rather than cause drama, but it's useful knowledge for future orders.

Did I read that you own a pair in each of these two?
Edited by Itsuo - 4/28/14 at 7:09pm
post #9110 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louys View Post

Shoe care noob here with what may very likely be a noobish question:


Does one care for boots differently than dress shoes?


I imagine that the difference in function would necessitate a different care process. The conventional wisdom around SF seems to be that Obenauf's LP (is that spelled right?) is the go to product for boots in order to protect them from the elements you wouldn't expose a pair of oxfords to. How often do you use LP? Do you recommend any other products in addition to LP? If so for what reason and how often?   

The LP is a good product, but in my opinion it is easily overused. It's pretty heavy stuff. Obenauf's themselves say that their Leather Oil can be used in between LP use. I'd be careful though, this stuff soaks in and could change the color of the boots. It is easily to oversaturate the leather with these products. I would say use it sparingly unless you are putting out wildfires on a regular basis.

Also, for boots Montana Pitch Blend is good. Similar to LP. Also, Otterwax I have heard good things about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by madtown View Post

Hello,

The burt's bees question is interesting. I've been using an inexpensive product, doc marten's wonder balsam, and am thinking it may do something similar to what burt's would do on a shoe. I don't claim to know, just thinking and wondering. Probably safer in term of ingredients that are not likely to spoil. 

I guess I should also ask for any advice about my use of the Wonder Balsam. I've been using it on some Alden's chromexcel longwings. I would be very interested to know whether this is likely to cause problems in the future. I use it very sparingly, just a very small amount on a soft sponge, wipe it in gently, let it sit about ten minutes, then brush. Brush again the next morning and that's it. I brush the shoes after most wearings but I'm not religious about it. Probably doing the Wonder Balsam wipe about four times a year, wearing the shoes about once per week. 

Burt's is interesting, however there are dedicated shoe products out there for a reason. Plus, there are probably some sort of preservatives in them to make them last. The best bet is to use conditioners that have a natural oxidative stability, such a coconut oil. This brings be to the wonder balsam by Doc Martens. I haven't used it myself, but have heard good things recently, I believe it is lanolin, coconut oil, and beeswax. Don't see anything wrong with that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Itsuo View Post

Thanks for this, can you extrapolate and indicate what kind of shoes or type of wear a CRU or FUN might be best for? Understanding the exact properties is useful but, for example, I can't tell how to choose between them. I always assumed I would go with CRU but the sales person I worked with indicated FUN would be best because it's softer and is naturally shinier. Then when I emailed Philip to learn more about the nuance between them, he recommended CRU. I'm inclined to just follow through with the FUN rather than cause drama, but it's useful knowledge for future orders.

Did I read that you own a pair in each of these two?

I do own both CRU and FUN. In actuality the difference isn't all that noticeable in pictures, but you definitely notice when it is made up. FUN is a bit grainier and the dyes aren't as even as CRU. I suspect that is why they call it "FUN". I mean, imo, it all comes down to personal preference. Also, if you are one of those people that is up in arms over creasing, FUN because it is softer seems to crease more than CRU, as CRU is a harder leather. When I received my FUN shoes my girlfriend commented that they look "wet". They have kind of a glisten to them.

Personally I love CRU. It will shine up in the places you want it to (toe and hell) but it has enough grain and color variation to make otherwise "boring" styles, very interesting looking. When you are somebody like me and generally wears boring styles and all in black it is a nice option to have over just a plain black shoe (VNA).
post #9111 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfridman View Post
 

hey guys what is your take on caring for pebble grain calf? 


I care for it like normal smooth calf...as it is the same thing

 

Brush it after wearing, and occasionally apply some wax polish and brush to a shine.

post #9112 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCK1 View Post


I care for it like normal smooth calf...as it is the same thing

Brush it after wearing, and occasionally apply some wax polish and brush to a shine.

it is important to apply conditioner or creams in between polishes.
post #9113 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by sstomcat View Post


it is important to apply conditioner or creams in between polishes.

False.

 

Please see the last 600 pages of this thread to re-cap it.

post #9114 of 19073
You can't be serious...
post #9115 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCK1 View Post

False.

Please see the last 600 pages of this thread to re-cap it.

I like your sense of humor.
post #9116 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by madtown View Post
 

Hello,

 

The burt's bees question is interesting. I've been using an inexpensive product, doc marten's wonder balsam, and am thinking it may do something similar to what burt's would do on a shoe. I don't claim to know, just thinking and wondering. Probably safer in term of ingredients that are not likely to spoil. 

 

I guess I should also ask for any advice about my use of the Wonder Balsam. I've been using it on some Alden's chromexcel longwings. I would be very interested to know whether this is likely to cause problems in the future. I use it very sparingly, just a very small amount on a soft sponge, wipe it in gently, let it sit about ten minutes, then brush. Brush again the next morning and that's it. I brush the shoes after most wearings but I'm not religious about it. Probably doing the Wonder Balsam wipe about four times a year, wearing the shoes about once per week. 

 

I have been using Dr Marten's Wonder Balsam, sparingly, for the last year or so. As pB suggests, it is made of coconut oil, lanolin and beeswax. I have mentioned it on this thread a few times.

 

It does need to be used in very small doses. It is quite difficult to get a shine with it unless you put in quite a lot of work. I mainly use it on a pair of Dr Marten's shoes and one other pair of shoes that I keep for rainy days. It does seem to have excellent waterproofing qualities. I'm not sure that I would use it on my best shoes but only because other products seem better in the colour and shine/sheen departments. You get quite a generous tub of this product, along with a applicator sponge. It isn't expensive. A bonus, for me, is that it doesn't contain any turpentine. 

 

It is quite useful as a means of preserving shoes that you aren't going to wear for some time. You just put it on and leave it - no brushing or buffing with a cloth. In fact, Dr Marten's suggest that this is all you need to do, anyway. 'No polishing necessary'.

 

Looking at it in its tub, I often think that you could polish the piano with it. 


Edited by Munky - 4/29/14 at 7:06am
post #9117 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

You can't be serious...


It was meant as a jest...but that is basically what people have resorted to saying when people ask those kind of questions...

 

My shoes where I have used conditioners and creams wear much faster and crack much faster than shoes where I have just used wax. My experience with shoe care is that it should be kept to a minimum. Creams and conidtioners and all those other crazy things are products that were created by shoe care businesses to try and sell more products and make more money...the jury is out as to whether they actually provide any benefits...as you can see from the back forth over the last 600 pages of this thread...

 

Wax has been used for a very long time...and clearly works.

 

So why try and fix something that isn't broken...but clearly has worked well for over a century...

post #9118 of 19073
Well, I also think that leather quality way back when was much different than it is now. I would also guess that pollution is worse, which makes the environment in when leather takes it daily beating plays a part in degradation also. I do agree with your less is more approach, however.
post #9119 of 19073
Phillip Carr of St Crispin's believes conditioners and creams are at best useless and at worst harmful at least on the leathers used in his shoes.
post #9120 of 19073
That's what he's told me as well.
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