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Looking after my shoes - Advice for a newbie?

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After years of using Kickers (and similar) type of shoes and wondering why they only lasted a year or two I did some research and have taken a liking to brogues and semi brogues.

 

When it came to looking after your shoes the amount of information (quite often conflicting) is mind boggling. After days of confusion I have narrowed the information down to needing the following: shoe trees (cedar non varnished), small hard and large soft brushes (horsehair bristles), shining cloth, cleaner/conditioner and polish.

 

Those last two items are the most confusing ones to a newbie like me. Apparently from what I have read there seems to be a strong opinion that mink oil, saddle soap and wax are not good for your leather shoes and prolonged use can cause damage to the leather.

 

Therefore it seems that the cream polishes are better for your shoes (something like Saphir Pommadier). The downside of cream polish is that you don't get as good a shine as with a wax polish. I can live without high gloss shine on my shoes so Pommadier it is. In respect to colour; do I use a neutral polish or do I use a coloured one? My main concern is about my tan coloured shoes. If I bought the light brown Pommadier cream polish will it match the tan colour of my shoes?

 

When it comes to cleaner/conditioner I was thinking of using the Saphir Renovateur (mink oil based) until I read the article which does not recommend mink oil for shoes. This has left me scratching my head a bit as to what to do? Any advice?

 

I must admit that I never thought that something as simple appearing as shoe polishing would be so complicated when you dig beneath the surface. Either that or I am being too philosophical about it?

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