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Is Shoe Polish Shade Important?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I recently purchased online a pair of Allen Edmonds Warren shoes and Allen Edmonds shoe polish.

Both the shoes and polish are labelled by AE as 'Brown' color. However, the polish is quite a bit darker shade of the shoe and -- when applied -- seemed to stain the shoe a much darker color. Also, because the polish was difficult to apply evenly, dark vs light streaking could be noticed. Being a little freaked out, I used the leather cleaner/conditioner with a cloth to remove the polish. The shoe looks normal.

Before polishing again, I want to consult the experts here. Am I worried about nothing? Will a darker brown shoe polish eventually dry and basically blend in well with the shoe? Or can a polish many shades darker significantly discolor a shoe? Is it best to get a polish slighlty lighter in color?

If the colors should be a fairly close match, can you tell this by looking at the shoe polish color in the jar, or will the polish usually look darker in the jar in comparison to its effect (after being dried on the shoe).

This admittedly seems like a very newbie-ish question, but searching on the internet I could not find much. Any advice is really, really appreciate.
post #2 of 21
If you use a darker polish regularly, the shoe will get darker. But polish in the jar or can often looks darker than it does on the label. As long as you have a close match, no need to worry too much. If they start getting darker than you like, just switch to a lighter shade of polish. Eventually it will all become part of the patina.
post #3 of 21
If you are talking about polish, just use neutral polish. It puts a shine on a shoe without affecting color. that way you can use 1 polish for all your shoes.
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by yawn123_#21 View Post
If you are talking about polish, just use neutral polish. It puts a shine on a shoe without affecting color. that way you can use 1 polish for all your shoes.

No. Neutral polish can darken the color in the long run. Best to buy a shoe cream with the nearest color (Meltonian for example) and then get a lighter shade of polish for final buffing. Works for me.
post #5 of 21
neutral has no color pigment. and shoe cream is different from shoe polish. polish gives it a shine, cream conditions/moisturizes and it restores colors.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by acidicboy View Post
No. Neutral polish can darken the color in the long run. Best to buy a shoe cream with the nearest color (Meltonian for example) and then get a lighter shade of polish for final buffing. Works for me.

I picked up a tin of neutral polish which instantly darked my JL parisian brown's a shade. I almost had a heart attack.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
I could not find a webpage which shows the color charts for Allen Edmonds polishes (and of course mistakenly assumed that brown polish would correspond to brown shoes).

Is there anyway to identify which Allen Edmond polish would be the correct color?

BTW, Thanks for all the comments!! This really helps out!
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Is there a way to find out which Allen Edmonds color corresponds to my shoe? (of course, I know it is not 'Brown')?

BTW, this really is helpful, appreciate all the input.
post #9 of 21
chestnut or walnut. the chestnut a bit lighter, walnut a bit darker. if u live near a nordstrom u can stop by pop open the bottles and check the color of the cream.
browns are too dark, and the chilli is a little too red.

i use neutral wax polish and it doesn't darken my shoes. u gotta get a good brush or cotton rag and buff it out real good. or have a buffing machine.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
There is a Nordstrum ... I'll go there. Thanks!
post #11 of 21
Shoe polish contains only a fraction of dye (0.9%) As someone mentioned earlier, if you continue to polish your shoes with the wrong colour, they will eventually start to 'accept' the dye. This however, would have to be persistent abuse. We often have clients ask us to use a darker polish, as a kind of instant antiquing. One application of darker polish rarely makes a problem, unless you have very light aniline untreated leather. In your case, if memory serves the Allen Edmonds Warren is a bicycle toe, so you must pay close attention to the darker polish not getting in the stitching down either side of the toe. Other than that you will be fine. Just when you get a chance go to the shop and get the right shade - you know you want to! Drew
post #12 of 21
so many issues here. first, the effect of a polish greatly depends on the type of leather, how soft and porous it is. applying darker colour polishes is generally more effective on less porous grain leathers or corrected grains. it builds a nice patina, which i don't think you can get with neutral polishes. you need to assume you shoes will darken overall however. some polishes have more pigment than others, and that can affect things as well.

don't ever use a polish which is lighter than the shoe because it can create something of a pancake makeup look. like you put too much foundation on... gets stuck in the holes and creases. bad look. think tammy faye...

as a rule of thumb, go for one shade darker than the shoe. personally, once the leather is sealed this way, i like to use much darker colours (even black) around the sole, and darker colours generally to build up the appearance of the shoe because they "highlight" the hole punches and seams etc. i often sneak in a very light polish of red as an "undercoat". i like well polished shoes though.

for first polishes try using a very tiny amount of polish on a brush and very lightly working this "on" and then "into" the leather. impossible to get streaking by doing it this way. you can then feel your way further forwards.
post #13 of 21
I just got a pair of Allen Edmonds Strand in walnut. These are my first pair of nice dress shoes so I want to make sure I don't ruin them. I ordered the allen edmonds shoe care kit which came with a leather conditioner and a tin of brown wax polish. Will the brown color polish be too dark for the walnut shoe? If so and I buy a tube of their premium shoe polish which comes in many colors, which color should I get? They have walnut, but some suggested using one shade darker than the actual color of the shoe.

Also, should I condition and shine the shoes before the first wear?
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCashflow View Post
I picked up a tin of neutral polish which instantly darked my shoes.

that's common knowledge...
post #15 of 21
I had a new pair of AE Chili shoes recently polished at the shoe repair place. They used a neutral polish that darkened the shoe a little bit (I mean it's barely darkened, and they mentioned that this would happen). I think it looks the same, but it is slightly darker. Anyway, I'm going to use the AE Chili polish/ cream going forward (in general, I like to clean/ polish my own shoes).
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