Both my ankles have cuts on the outside where they contact the cuff of the boots.
Any tips for as less medieval break in?
That is called tiger stripping, which is usually the reason why a bourbon pair hits the bank. Yours don't seem to be too bad. It's fixable if you are good with the polish, but with yours I might just let them ride.
Here are my McAllisters from the bank after I worked on them a bit. I wish i had a before pic to show you for comparison purposes.
Here is an earlier pic.
If you look at the tongue, you will see it is walnut because your shoes were walnut before getting polished on the black polishing wheel. Your shoes will change color every time you polish them. I usually use AE neutral or Kiwi tan and use my black, rather than my tan, brush and polishing cloth.
Everyone has their own ways of caring for their bourbon shoes.
I'm having the same issue today on my first wear. I have the same issue with my First Avenues as well. Everything fits fine but rubs bad on my shins/ankles. Not really sure how to go about making them more comfortable.
lol, now I'm going to think of that when I see the color. Thanks.
To be serious, bourbon varies a lot. Check out Orange Fury's Strands to see perfect bourbon. I think it's a really nice color when its done right, but it can look weird when its off. It's less forgiving than other colors like walnut and oxblood.
I try not to mess with them unless I have to. In these of this pair, I completely stripped the finish off the entire front of the shoe and slowly and carefully blended in some black meltonian cream to even out the stripes and darken the shoe to look like the other one. Then I added some black wax in small amounts to finish it off. I do not recommend this unless you have a lot of experience with shining shoes and the bourbon color in general as you are basically recreating the finish that AE makes in the factory.
For general maintenance, I would recommend using the AE bourbon polish and neutral or black wax depending on what you're trying to do with the shoe. Do not, under any circumstance, use the AE conditioner/cleaner unless you want to remove the factory finish.
For the first few wears, I always COAT the insides of my boots with some type of conditioner (leather lotion, Bick 4, etc). That, and thicker-than-you-would-normally-wear socks for the first few wears. This helps me break in the shaft and usually eliminates any squeaking issues as well.
Speaking of squeaks... Thought my Shakers were squeaking this morning. After a some true detective work, turns out it is my Hrothgar Stibbon belt. Guess that needs to be conditioned tonight...