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Preferably also with a scotch in your hand smoking a cigar. But if you don't have your wife there with you, a before and after picture of your shoes is just fine. Also - doesn't have to be Saphir, but of course, would certainly prefer it to be!
This week for Shoe Shine Sunday, we'll be giving away Two Sets of of our Luxury Suit Hangers. Winners chosen at random.
This Sunday for #ShoeShineSunday I'm cleaning the soles of my favorite Rider Boots. After a lot of wear, I find that they have become slick, no longer offering much tracking on smooth surfaces. The soles do not need to be replaced. Just cleaned.
I thought I had written a tutorial on how to clean the soles of leather shoes, but apparently not. So, this will serve as the first draft.
The soles of leather shoes are often overlooked, but they're incredibly important. Ignoring the soles of your shoes would be like ignoring the ties of your BMW. Just like with the uppers, it is important that the sole leather remain nourished so that it retains it's flexibility and does not crack. The Saphir Dubbin Grassie is a phenomenal product for nourishing the leather soles. The product is enriched with mink and seal oil, containing 15% of natural animal oil and contains no pigment. It is incredibly nourishing, softening, and waterproofing.
It is very thick and very greasy. When using on Uppers, it should be used with extreme care. But it can be effectively used, as detailed in our Presidential Shoeshine Tutorial.
Another great thing about nourishing the leather soles is that it gives the shoes better traction. The soles of this particular pair of boots in particular have become so dry and dirty that they offer almost no traction on a smooth surface. Walking around the subway in New York has almost become like ice skating...
Step 1: Shampoo the bottom of the leather shoes using Saphir Leather Cleaning Soap in order to removing all dirt that has been accumulated over use. I often do this also if I think I may have picked up some soot on my shoes and do not want to track it in the house.
Step 2: Allow the soles to dry. Here you can see the soles after they have been cleaned. It is important to allow the leather to dry before applying the Dubbin.
Step 3: Apply the Saphir Dubbin Grassie liberally using a dauber. The dauber allows you to really lay it one and work it into the leather sole.
Step 4: Here the sole is completely saturated. It is important to allow the shoes to sit for one or two days in order for the Dubbing to be completely absorbed into the sole.
Me at work...
The finished product. You can see that the soles appear darker because the leather has been rehydrated. After the Dubbin has had a few days to fully absorb into the leather, the shoes are ready to go. Wear them on concrete first in order to wipe away any excess Dubbin. Do not wear them for the first time on your carpet -- it is possible that any excess dubbin could wear off.
This Shoe Shine Sunday's promotional offer will be a coupon for 10% Off your next order of Luxury Hangers plus Free Shipping. Simply post a photograph of yourself shining your shoes to our Affiliate Thread or Facebook Page, and we'll send you a promotional code next week!
I'll try to post pictures myself later today, although it is depending on how I am feeling. Currently under the weather...
Today I'll be working on another one of my first pairs of shoes: Romano Martegani from Ron Rider way back when he worked for Francos. The toe box has become a little dulled. I'm going to repair that and then attempt to produce a high-gloss shine on the toe box (not a mirror finish -- but halfway there).
The first step is produce the base coat with with Saphir Cream Polish in a Light Brown. Medium Brown and Cognac are both too dark. The Light Brown is probably a little too light... but better lighter than too dark when it comes to the entire shoe.
Applied here with a Chamois. Will buff off with a pighair brush from my Groom Shoeshine Kit.
Here you can see them looking good. Nice soft shine. However, since I have had these shoes forever, I'd like to spice things up by making the toe box a little darker than the rest of the shoe. A semi-antiqued look, if you will. So, I used the Saphir Cognac Cream Polish to achieve this. Just on the toe box.
Here you can see the effect of the Cognac Cream Polish. I am really beginning to experiment with other colors in the pallet of Saphir Cream Polishes. There are a lot of interesting things you can achieve by not being afraid to depart from the best-match polish.
Next I am then going to apply a neural Saphir Wax Polish just to the toe box to bring up the shine. This is the most time-consuming part.
First I apply a rather thick layer of wax polish in order to fill the pores, allowing it at least five minutes to dry. Then, I take just a little wax polish and a little water and begin polishing the toe box.
Wax on. Wax off. It is important to allow the polish to dry before applying an additional layer of polish. At a certain point, you add just a drop of water to your chamois, a tad of polish, and then softly polish the toe box in circular motions until the fog disappears. Once it disappears, apply just a tiny amount of additional polish. Allow 30 seconds for it to dry. And then add a tad of water and work in circular motions until it brings up a shine. NOTE: the brush in the back is NOT used in producing a high-gloss shine.
After about five to 10 small layers of polish and 20 minutes, you can see that I was able to produce a nice, medium-gloss shine on my toe box. You'll also notice that they're slightly darker than the rest of the shoe thanks to the Cognac polish. If I were really adventurous, I could have tried mahogany... maybe the next pair.
Next Sunday, I'll be working on these babies:
The Reptan is a great conditioner for Crocodile and other exotics, but it does not produce a very high-gloss finish. I'll try to use some neutral Saphir Wax Polish to build up a beautiful, high-gloss finish to the toe box of my favorite pair of shoes (inherited from my Grandfather!).
I'd most recently been polishing my shoes with Meltonian cream, but I went to visit my parents over Christmas, and my father just wasn't having it. He said I should use Saphir cream, and considering he's had shoes since before I was born that still look new, I took his advice to heart. So, today, I decided that I'd give my walnut AE Strands a little bit of love.
I started with a little bit of mahogany on the toe cap before putting on a bit of light brown 03. I worked it all in, gave it a good brushing, followed by a quick few swipes with the shammy, and I think the shine is just the level I like. Then, I tossed a light coat of cream around the sole edge to somewhat mask the knicks.
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