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How often to polish and condition shoes?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mr monty, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. rabiesinfrance

    rabiesinfrance Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    373
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    I do the following:

    1. brush off dirt, wipe with damp cotton cloth
    2. apply a liberal coat of Tapir oil, leave to dry
    3. buff to a dull shine
    4. soak in Pusser's Navy Rum
    5. leave to dry
    6. buff
    7. spit shine

    Or use a good quality wax polish.
     
  2. oldog/oldtrix

    oldog/oldtrix Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,066
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    You are the only person sewing together trousers in between shoe shines [​IMG]

    Well, I don't sew my trousers together, but I do cuff them myself. And I cuff them long enough for a break, which means the bottom/inside of the cuffs buff my shoes with each step I take, thus minimizing the need to polish.

    But seriously, folks, I condition my smooth leather shoes with cream and polish them with wax of the appropriate color when new. After that, I condition and polish only when a vigorous brushing and buffing does not restore the level of shine I want. I attend more frequently to the sole edges and heels since the finish gets scuffed and looses its luster there with every couple or three wearings. Here's a pair I wore earlier this week that have been maintained as described and kept on trees when not on my feet. They are six years old and have been worn once or twice a month since new; and I'd be surprised if they've been fully polished even a dozen times:

    [​IMG]

    And here's a pair maintained the same way but worn in harsher weather conditions because of the thicker leather and double soles. They are more than ten years old.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,144
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    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Respectfully oldog, those shoes are not shiny. Shoes should gleam.

    I admit to more of a fetish than most men think necessary but there is a considerable loss of shine on even the second wear after a polish. Men who polish once every ten wearings or so are wearing dull shoes. Not the end of the world perhaps, but dull nonetheless.

    And since I am usually wearing a pair once a month or less, the shoes need conditioning every wearing as well.
     
  4. kylelovesyou

    kylelovesyou Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    263
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    Respectfully oldog, those shoes are not shiny. Shoes should gleam.

    I admit to more of a fetish than most men think necessary but there is a considerable loss of shine on even the second wear after a polish. Men who polish once every ten wearings or so are wearing dull shoes. Not the end of the world perhaps, but dull nonetheless.

    And since I am usually wearing a pair once a month or less, the shoes need conditioning every wearing as well.


    I feel like the level of shine one desires is a personal matter.
     
  5. Moss

    Moss Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    418
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    Aug 22, 2006
    Location:
    Northside
    I like Will 's procedure and it is very similar to what I follow. But, I don't do it every week - only when the shoes begin to look dull.
     
  6. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    The Arena - Centerfield
    When they start to get dull, I polish them. Whether one week or ten, two wearings or twenty.

    Agreed.
    Additionally, I apply lotion/conditioner about once per 3 months to maintain leather suppleness,
    whether or not they are getting wear.

    PS-
    Manton...
    What on earth are you doing using that cockroach Henry Kissinger for an avatar?
    Please bring Lincoln back.
     
  7. edlarnold

    edlarnold Active Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    I polish about once a month, just on GP. But if my shoes are holding a decent shine, I'll push it back a week or two.
     
  8. Butter

    Butter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,175
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    Shoe shining instructions.

    Much appreciated for the detailed steps and tips.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Grayland

    Grayland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,347
    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    I brush them after every wearing and polish as needed. Maybe once a year (during football season), I'll polish every pair up real nice, but generally I apply "condiments" only 3-4 times per year. I have a lot of freaking shoes, so I don't wear any particular pair too often and I never allow them to get to a sad state.
     
  10. Charley

    Charley Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Senior VP - Follies and Gewgaws
    Liberally using the conditioner has a couple of benefits. The obvious one is that it does moisturize the leather and help prevent drying and cracking. It may even cause the creases to be more like rolls than small wrinkles.

    However the application of the conditioner (Lexol, Meltonian, Saphir) will help to clean the dead polish from the shoes. And it will also carry some of the polish color into the leather. I came to realize this when reading Rider's essays on how he recolors and polishes shoes. If I first apply conditioner liberally and let it sit just a bit it will somewhat dissolve the existing polish.
    when I brush that first conditioner coat I will be removing any real excess polish that is not within the leather. I should also open the pores a bit for the new cream polish to go into.

    The light application of the cream polish will follow the first conditioner. A light coating gets the job done pretty well and I don't let it dry for more than a few minutes. Hit it with the brush. After brushing shoe one, I apply additional conditioner to that one, giving shoe number two a little more time for the polish to cure and haze. Brush shoe number two and apply conditioner. Brush the cured condiotioner on number one. Brush the cured conditioner on shoe number two.

    It reads as if it is more work or time. Actully the conditioning steps add very little to the time required as there is very little cleanup effort required and never any wax buildup to deal with. If you read some of the Rider instructions I expect you will find that he applies more of the conditioner than I suggest. I do believe that the conditioner does somewhat keep the polish alive longer so that all that is necessary is a brushing to restore the shine. for several wearings.

    Someone mentioned that the degree of shine is a personal preferrence. I prefer more of a soft clean glow rather than the glare of a mirror. Others may differ and use different methods to get the result they want.
     
  11. Son Of Saphir

    Son Of Saphir Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Me do mirror shine that took 6 hour.
    Never again.
    Me just wear dull shoe now. [​IMG]

    lt true Will,
    it true.
     
  12. Son Of Saphir

    Son Of Saphir Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Liberally using the conditioner has a couple of benefits. The obvious one is that it does moisturize the leather and help prevent drying and cracking. It may even cause the creases to be more like rolls than small wrinkles.

    However the application of the conditioner (Lexol, Meltonian, Saphir) will help to clean the dead polish from the shoes. And it will also carry some of the polish color into the leather.


    Yes.

    http://www.berluti.com/#/creation/polish
     
  13. shanker

    shanker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I like this.

    Depends on the situation, but I prefer my main roatation to have this dull/natural look, rather than a mirror finish. It has its place, but shoes that look like glass dont work for daily wear imo.
     
  14. Lear

    Lear Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    681
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    I like this.

    Depends on the situation, but I prefer my main roatation to have this dull/natural look, rather than a mirror finish. It has its place, but shoes that look like glass dont work for daily wear imo.


    I agree. I'm having a hard time trying to imagine the kind of person who'd spend hours mirror shining a damn shoe.

    Lear

    P.S. Apologies for the use of 'damn' above. I could have used the 'F' word, then I really would have been in trouble. Luckily, my strict code of conduct prevents me from doing so.
     

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