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Cordovan Care

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by classicusa, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. classicusa

    classicusa Well-Known Member

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    Some talk recently here on Cordovan shoes. I have questions on care. I own several pairs of #8 Alden Shells, and they have fared differently over time. I have always heard competing schools of thought in terms of care/nourishment. Alden says use the wax only, no cram, and says using cream could actually do damage. AE recommends the use of their cream. Same Horween Shell. They even have a video showing the use of the cream to nourish the Shell. I've used that cream on a pair of my Aldens, and it left quite a bad residue, even after cleaning it off. These particular pods never really had a great shine to them, so I thought I'd try the cream for potential improvement. It really made them worse before I worked hard to get them back to their old non-sheen patina.

    I'm all for caring for these properly, just want to know the real deal. What works for you?
     
  2. well-kept

    well-kept Well-Known Member

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    The odd truth is that no two pairs of shell shoes are the same. I have many and each has aged differently and responds differently to rain, or even dampness, and to treatment. Some shine with brushing. Others never will. Some take wax easily and others resist it. Just do what works best for yours.

    BTW, I have recently tried Venetian Cream on several pair of shells and I can report that it gave wonderful results.
     
  3. Crane's

    Crane's Well-Known Member

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    I answered this in the other thread but I'll do so here as well. I use lexol, boot oil and snoseal to nourish the leather and to keep it waterproof. I've been called a heretic for doing this but it's still a vegetable tanned leather and needs to be maintained. In this thread I show how to apply snoseal and I'm doing it to a pair of shell cordovan boots. I'm a firm believer of proactive maintenance versus reactive which seems to be what most people end up doing. Post 30.
     
  4. classicusa

    classicusa Well-Known Member

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    I know you answered it there, I just did not want to hijack that thread by turning it into a care thread...
     
  5. Crane's

    Crane's Well-Known Member

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    I know you answered it there, I just did not want to hijack that thread by turning it into a care thread...
    But that is the way around here! A good example of a classic runaway train wreck is Foo's wallet thread. It's full of twists and turns and pileups on each page. A classic threak in the finest tradition of SF is what we all aspire to be capable of doing.
     
  6. Mike147

    Mike147 Well-Known Member

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    I've been using the Mac method on my New Shell #8 Alden's. Little bit of wax and a lot of brushing and buffing. They are quiet new so showing a bit of a shine but nothing fantastic yet.

    I also gave them one application of the Venetian, hoping to protect the leather from the elements.

    Not sure how to use these two (wax and Venetian Cream) in combination.

    I think the key element here is brushing and buffing, while the creme, wax, et-all are secondary. Just my opinion..
     
  7. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

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    Ron has, IIRC, suggested cream only, to be used sparingly for covering color loss, and no polish, saying it plugs the pores. I have used this method to good effect, and am happier with the results than I was when I was using polish on shell.

    I came across an old pair of shells that I wanted to flip on eBay, and they looked much better once I removed the caked-on polish.
     
  8. rebel222

    rebel222 Well-Known Member

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    This has been discussed ad naseum, which you obviously know. Do a search and read through the posts. There is nothing new to discuss here. There is no "right" answer.
     
  9. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

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    But I just posted the right answer. [​IMG]
     
  10. Crane's

    Crane's Well-Known Member

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    But I just posted the right answer. [​IMG]
    No you are wrong. I did. [​IMG]
     
  11. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

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    I think that most people have trouble with shell is because it is very non-porous and the finish pretty much sits on top of the shell, it doesn't absorb as much, that goes for the dyes as well. This is why caking on anything too heavy "forms" a residue because it is just being pushed around the surface. Also anything too aggressive such as hard brushing will disrupt the finish and make it cloudy. I have found that it is best to use some Renovateur to smooth out the inconsistancies in the finish and take up some extra polish. After it dries I rub it lightly to remove the excess cream and apply a small layer of wax. Let it dry, then buff. Between polishings just a brushing usually shines it up and removes excess polish, dirt, scuffs...
     
  12. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

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    ^+1 on the Renovateur. Works like a charm.
     
  13. Crane's

    Crane's Well-Known Member

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    You do know renovateur's main ingredient is mink oil yes?
     
  14. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

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    You do know renovateur's main ingredient is mink oil yes?

    Those poor minks.
     
  15. classicusa

    classicusa Well-Known Member

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    This has been discussed ad naseum, which you obviously know. Do a search and read through the posts. There is nothing new to discuss here. There is no "right" answer.


    I did. And now I'd like to hear NEW opinions as well, from perhaps those who never posted there, and are perhaps, new here.

    Is that ok with you? Why the hostility? If you don't like the thread, simply move along...
     
  16. rebel222

    rebel222 Well-Known Member

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    I am only stating what everyone is thinking. What new opinions can there be? There are two choices, wax or paste.
     
  17. luv2dance

    luv2dance Member

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    I did. And now I'd like to hear NEW opinions as well, from perhaps those who never posted there, and are perhaps, new here.

    Is that ok with you? Why the hostility? If you don't like the thread, simply move along...


    The Collonil premium products seem to work well on my shoes. The premium lines are made of predominately natural products so they are very light and versatile for many leather types.
     
  18. Xiaogou

    Xiaogou Well-Known Member

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    I answered this in the other thread but I'll do so here as well. I use lexol, boot oil and snoseal to nourish the leather and to keep it waterproof. I've been called a heretic for doing this but it's still a vegetable tanned leather and needs to be maintained.

    In this thread I show how to apply snoseal and I'm doing it to a pair of shell cordovan boots. I'm a firm believer of proactive maintenance versus reactive which seems to be what most people end up doing. Post 30.


    Any reason you didn't post an after picture? I read the link you posted and only saw pics of the boots before and during the sno-seal process.
     
  19. MrTambourineMan

    MrTambourineMan Member

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    Buff occasionally, but no shine. She oils in the cordovan allow the leather to pretty much take care of itself.
     
  20. Crane's

    Crane's Well-Known Member

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    Any reason you didn't post an after picture? I read the link you posted and only saw pics of the boots before and during the sno-seal process.
    This picture is posted in the thread yes? [​IMG] CIMG0940 by DYSong Photography, on Flickr
     

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