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Shoe cream vs. polish

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
I've know there have been lots of shoe care threads and I've read all I could find, but one thing that I've not seen mentioned is whether the use of both cream and polish is beneficial.  If only one or the other should be used, how does one choose which to use? Regards, dan
post #2 of 42
dah328, It really depends on the effect you want for your shoe. Shoe cream such as Meltonian will polish your shoes to a luster similiar to that of satin. Wax Polish such as Kiwi you find in the tin will polish to a real shine depending on how you polish, that is. Shoe cream will actually penerate and condition the leather thus it also really affects the color of the leather. Wax polish basically sits on top of the leather. The pigments and solvents will affect the leather but the wax stays on the surface. It was mentioned in another thread but some have applied polish to the area where the shoes creases only to get flaking of the wax. For me, I find using both as complimentary. But if I was forced to pick one, I say shoe cream is the winner.(see sidenote). Sometimes, a super shiny is not the desired effect. Here is a good example. I recently brought those "Greysouthern" Polos from Bluefly. Not amazing styling by any means but I wanted to add an acceptable pair to my rotation. The leather while being of relatively decent quality lacked any depth to a point of almost having a grey tint. First, I applied a liberal amount of black shoe cream to them. Let it dry and polished with a horsehair brush till a deep luster appeared. The shoes now appeared much much better and "truer" black. Then, I did a few coats of wax polish to the toe area with black Kiwi wax polish. That really hit the spot. The shoes look way different from when I received them. There is now a deep shine and the leather looks black as black can be. The most important thing is this: I find shoe cream relaxes the leather so applying it directly to areas of creasing helps keeps the creases from settling in as quickly. Wax polish, if done right the first time, meaning a few very thin coats with buffing in between will allow for a shine whose only maintenance is a soft cloth buffing ever so often to keep it's shine. Also, I find wax polish is only needed for the toe area. The rest of the shoe should be hit with shoe cream only. Sidenote: Shoe cream is not to be used with cordovan(Horse's ass dermis layer). Wax polish and a wax conditioner is all that is necessary.
post #3 of 42
Thread Starter 
HitMan, thanks for your reply.  I will definitely use shoe cream at the very least.  I would have thought, though, that since the layer of wax polish provides some protection against water, dirt and abrasion, a coating of wax polish would be desirable over the entire upper.   The shoes in question, if it matters, are C&J Seymours in an antique chestnut color, identical to the ones Alias has recently posted pictures of. Regards, dan
post #4 of 42
Yes, I believe those are the exact ones I tried on at the Barney's warehouse sale. I notice they are the same cause the left shoe had more creasing which was the one on display. Somehow they look the right size in the photo but when I tried them one way back when, it really made my feet look small. I couldn't possibly wear a shoe like that with trousers I have for my suits. Maybe cause it was 7D instead of what I normally wear which is 7.5D. But I don't think .5 would make a super huge difference. Maybe slimmer cut trousers would have worked with them but typical cut trousers wouldn't have worked for me. I must say that the shoes are great looking with a great color to them. A steal of a deal for $249 they charged at Barneys .
post #5 of 42
Shoe cream in the glass jars is used mostly for nourishment as opposed to any sort of aesthetic effect. Polish is generally used for superficial reasons. After a while it has be removed.
post #6 of 42
I don't know how proper my procedure is, but I generally use shoe cream as a base coat for wax polish. I apply shoe cream, let it dry, then buff it out. Then I follow up with two or more coats of wax polish. I use wax polish for subsequent "maintenance" shines. Periodically I strip the shoe back down and start again with a layer of shoe cream. I always have wax polish as the top layer because I think it protects the shoe from staining and scuffing better than simply using cream. Never had any problems with age/elements causing damage when using this method, so I think that my shoes are adequately nourished.
post #7 of 42
Quote:
Yes, I believe those are the exact ones I tried on at the Barney's warehouse sale.  I notice they are the same cause the left shoe had more creasing which was the one on display.  Somehow they look the right size in the photo but when I tried them one way back when, it really made my feet look small.  I couldn't possibly wear a shoe like that with trousers I have for my suits.  Maybe cause it was 7D instead of what I normally wear which is 7.5D.  But I don't think .5 would make a super huge difference.  Maybe slimmer cut trousers would have worked with them but typical cut trousers wouldn't have worked for me.  I must say that the shoes are great looking with a great color to them.  A steal of a deal for $249 they charged at Barneys .
They should be declared the official pair of shoes for the Style Forum. How many of us have put our feet in them?
post #8 of 42
I personally don't like shoe cream (the stuff in the glass jars) as its high pigment content tends turns everything into the dull colour of the polish. It's good stuff when you want coverage, on the edge of the sole or to retouch a scuffmark. Wax polish (in tins) is transparent and on a pair of Edward Green or Berluti shoes where the manufacturer has taken a great deal of effort to create that antique look, I don't want the shoe cream to cover the (expensive) finish. With polish I might use a darker shade on the sides than on top of the vamp. (It's that old make-up trick: shade the cheekbones to make the face look slimmer.) Neutral shoe cream is good stuff to nourish and lubricate the leather from time to time.
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by HitMan009,13 Sep. 2004, 1:26
Yes, I believe those are the exact ones I tried on at the Barney's warehouse sale.  I notice they are the same cause the left shoe had more creasing which was the one on display.  Somehow they look the right size in the photo but when I tried them one way back when, it really made my feet look small.  I couldn't possibly wear a shoe like that with trousers I have for my suits.  Maybe cause it was 7D instead of what I normally wear which is 7.5D.  But I don't think .5 would make a super huge difference.  Maybe slimmer cut trousers would have worked with them but typical cut trousers wouldn't have worked for me.  I must say that the shoes are great looking with a great color to them.  A steal of a deal for $249 they charged at Barneys .
They should be declared the official pair of shoes for the Style Forum. How many of us have put our feet in them?
I have (as you are well aware ). BTW HitMan009--apparently .5 size can make quite a difference, at least with C&J. The aforementioned Seymours appear to be the equivalent of 6.5E U.K. (right alias?) and the disparity between them and my 7E Savile's was notable (I owned the shoes before alias). Also, in the C&J bench grades I currently have in my possesion 2 pairs each of Chelseas & Chilterns, one each in 6.5 & 7. Again, the difference is enough that the 6.5's are just a bit too snug, and the 7's are just a tad on the roomy side-- a 6.75 would be just right. (I guess this is one reason why bespoke exists, though I suspect a 6.5 in an F fitting might do the trick, were such available)
post #10 of 42
Quote:
I personally don't like shoe cream (the stuff in the glass jars) as its high pigment content tends turns everything into the dull colour of the polish. It's good stuff when you want coverage, on the edge of the sole or to retouch a scuffmark. Wax polish (in tins) is transparent and on a pair of Edward Green or Berluti shoes where the manufacturer has taken a great deal of effort to create that antique look, I don't want the shoe cream to cover the (expensive) finish. With polish I might use a darker shade on the sides than on top of the vamp. (It's that old make-up trick: shade the cheekbones to make the face look slimmer.) Neutral shoe cream is good stuff to nourish and lubricate the leather from time to time.
Neutral shoe cream is basically all I use; I have tried the pigmented shoe creams in the past and you're right, they just junk up the look. I have avoided using wax polish as I thought that it too would add unwanted opaque color, but apparently this is not the case. What polish(es) do you use/recommend? Also, what is the safest, most effective method for occasional removal of wax polish buildup, as I am led to believe must be done on occasion? Any product recom.'s ? Hey, and while I'm at it, any recommendations for a suede conditioner for shoes (something that provides a bit of protection, but hopefully doesn't alter the color)?
post #11 of 42
on a similar note... Logically, it doesn't make sense to apply a cream over a surface that's already had wax polish applied (how can the cream penetrate the wax in order to get through to the leather?) Is this the case? If so, it would appear that the only time one would apply a cream in concert with a wax polish is either a) when the shoe is brand new, or b) once pre-existing wax polish has been stripped off. Da?
post #12 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
on a similar note... Logically, it doesn't make sense to apply a cream over a surface that's already had wax polish applied (how can the cream penetrate the wax in order to get through to the leather?) Is this the case? If so, it would appear that the only time one would apply a cream in concert with a wax polish is either a) when the shoe is brand new, or b) once pre-existing wax polish has been stripped off. Da?
Unless the cream takes the wax off... I don't know that it does -- just offering that as a possibility. dan
post #13 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
They should be declared the official pair of shoes for the Style Forum. How many of us have put our feet in them?
Heh, I also put my foot in that pair while browsing at Barney's, but the 7.5's were a much better fit, so I bought those.  I hope they made it too you in good condition via NYC and Boston. dan
post #14 of 42
I always thought that you would use either the polish or cream depending on the type of leather. You would use polish for a shiny calf leather while cream would be best for something that doesn't have a natural shinny finish to it.
post #15 of 42
So let's say I use polish on a regular basis, but at each four month interval, I want to strip the polish off and apply cream. My question is how do you strip the polish off?
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