I've been going over a few different sites to gain a consensus on how to get these shell bal oxfords back I acquired via Ebay back into tip-top shape. The previous owner appears to have used polish, especially across the top of the shoe (although luckily not over the toes) resulting in a grimy/crusty black-ish substance in the creases of the shoes. I was able to rub a decent amount out with my fingers, but you can still detect the immediate difference in texture between the nicer sections, and the creases.
I found this restoration experiment where a guy got a pair of shells off ebay for $20 bucks, completely tattered and probably beyond hope of repair, and Alden still worked them into a beautiful shoe. I might be considering this for my 974s should local cobblers not be able to work some initial magic. Apparently the process is not just a resoling, but a complete overhaul of the shoe.
Oh, and thanks too for the deer bone video pages back. Great fun. Wish there was ANYONE as knowledgable on shell care between SLC and Vegas.
Just a heads-up that I posted a few shoes in the B&S section: Alden whiskey LHS 9 1/2 B/D (Van last) $350 shipped CONUS (includes an Alden box - not original - and shoe bags). Light wear, purchased several years back (possibly from ShoeMart?). Alden chromexcel chukka with commando sole 9 B/D (Barrie last). This is a customization by Alden Restoration of the Leather Soul CXL chukka. The chukkas were worn a few times last winter, I slipped and slid on the original waterloc soles and then sent them to Alden. They've been worn a few times since they were re-soled. Total times worn = less than 10. The "carbon footprint" of these boots, however, is embarrassing: Massachusetts to Hawaii to Chicago to Massachusetts to Chicago to Massachusetts and finally back to Chicago (this is the job that may have prompted Alden to modify their restoration policy to no longer accept customizations - think of it as buying a bit of history). $425 shipped CONUS (includes original box and shoe bags). Rider chromexcel venetian loafer 10 D (made by Rancourt & Co in Maine) $100 shipped CONUS (no box, no shoe bags). Purchased from Leffot, nice casual loafer on Amazonas rubber sole. Buried in the back of my closet, more scuffs from that placement than from actual wear.
All quotes are using paypal gift (add 4% for "regular" paypal).
Do you have a picture link to this? I can't find it - the B&S section...
I don't have a stable of shell boots to contribute, but I thought you guys might enjoy this.
One month of fieldwork in rural SW China, one pair of boots.
They've had a good brushing and some venetian shoe cream since I got back to the States, but here they are halfway through a wipedown in a Shenzen hotel at the end of the trip -