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One leather shoe darker and shinier than other

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Oysters, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. mcbrown

    mcbrown Well-Known Member

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    If you rotate two pairs, you will more than double their life (i.e. the added life is more than just the time they are not on your feet). Beyond that it's tough to quantify - if you take proper care, the uppers on a decent quality dress shoe will last for years or even decades (they will need to be resoled however), but if you don't they won't.

    There is a lot of good advice here so far. Just understand that this forum is rather free-wheeling and tends to haze its newest members (all in good fun of course), so you may have to look past the tone and focus on the content. Also, there is a massive thread devoted to shoe care that contains more information than you will ever need:
    http://www.styleforum.net/t/228153/...ad-tutorials-photos-etc/3000_100#post_5814055

    Best of luck.
     
  2. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Well-Known Member

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    Wearing the same shoes every day, even without saturating them, exposed you to problems with odor, mold, and infections. If you must walk long distances in the rain, get appropriate footwear. There are plenty of choices of low boots that are truly waterproof. They will be happy wading through puddles, you will nor spend all day with wet feet, and they will last. If you buy used then the price can be quite low.

    No application will make shoes waterproof. You can protect the leather from water damage, but unless the manufacturer sealed all the seams your feet will still get wet. And if water comes over the top, then no amount of wax of grease will help.
     
  3. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Well-Known Member

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    sadly, diplomacy was never my strong suit.

    sorry op for the abrasiveness
     
  4. Oysters

    Oysters Active Member

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    1) I have yet to find better-looking dress shoes anywhere for 60 pounds.
    2) Sorry for reading incorrectly.
    3) I don't walk around in the rain all the time. I spend an average of 5-10 minutes every hour or hour and half walking outside. More often than not, it is raining or drizzling when I am outside for those 5-10 minutes. I read that the shoes would get salt damage if I didn't do something to them. They also got water spots similar to these and I was afraid they would eventually get damaged. If you want me to trod around school campus with OVERSHOES on... no. Seriously.
     
  5. Oysters

    Oysters Active Member

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    Dubbin has been working wonders on my dress shoes. They have become a deeper, darker shade of black and shine beautifully - not too much, not too little. Is there really that much evil lurking in that little greasy container?
     
  6. Oysters

    Oysters Active Member

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    Okay, thank you for the advice.

    One question: what logic is there behind dress shoes' life being more than doubled if there usage is being cut in half? Dress shoes aren't machinery - they are just pieces of leather connected to a sole. Why is "resting" so beneficial to shoes?

    Also, you're saying that the shoes could last for years or even decades. So if I rotate two pairs, the uppers will last for two decades?! I really don't plan on keeping my shoe for more than a year or two. It's 60 pounds for goodness sake.

    Could someone recommend, then, some good shoes for $100-$200 (staying closer to $100...)?
     
  7. Oysters

    Oysters Active Member

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    I think odor, mold, and infections is going a bit too far; I'm not worried about that. Sorry for being foolish, but what is saturating leather? What happens when I "saturate" leather with Dubbin?

    I think there's a little misunderstanding; I'm not wading through puddles all day; I'm walking through light to moderate rain which I'm afraid will cause water/salt damage to the shoes. I read that Dubbin was good against water damage, so I started applying it every 1-2 weeks, until I came here and was told not to. Water will never come over the top. My feet don't get wet; that's not the problem.
     
  8. Oysters

    Oysters Active Member

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    No probs. [​IMG]
     
  9. Oysters

    Oysters Active Member

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    I have another slightly unrelated issue.

    I did kindly ask my fellow forumers to help me search for a new, higher quality dress shoe on the cheaper side of $100-$175 or so.

    Is it possible to find a warmer dress shoe? My feet have been freezing all day.

    Is shell cordovan warmer than cowhide? Will it keep my feet warm in lower temperatures? I don't mind walking through 0 C for 10 minutes, but when the overall temperature of my indoor surroundings drops my feet become very cold indoors.
     
  10. mcbrown

    mcbrown Well-Known Member

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    Precisely - they aren't machinery, they are processed animal hide. Short version: animal hide needs rest and proper care to remain moist and supple. Think of what happens to your lips when you have a cold - the small difference between breathing mostly through your nose and breathing mostly through your mouth is enough to cause dryness and cracking. So it is with leather - the small difference between the beating they take being on your feet all day every day and the slightly lesser beating they take being on your feet all day every other day is enough to cause dryness and cracking.
    Yes, note my caveat that I am talking about "quality" dress shoes. It may be a little hard to grasp at first, but the general consensus around here is that you can't get a "quality" dress shoe for less than $300 or so full retail (in the US - I have no idea about the UK), and maybe $200 or so for second quality or lightly used equivalents. Allen Edmonds is SF's standard recommendation for an "entry level" dress shoe in the US. For those on a tighter budget in the US, Johnston and Murphy is a decent alternative at less than $200 - quality is lower, but they look good enough to get the job done. I'm less familiar with the hierarchy of UK brands, but surely someone here can recommend the local equivalents of AE and J&M to you.
     
  11. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you were saturating the shoes with WATER from extensive walking in wet conditions. Hence my recommendation for waterproof footwear.


    Greases and heavy wax treatments will protect leather from wetting. People at SF complain that they can also prevent the shine they want in dress shoes. Hence the recommendation to restrict their use, particularly greases, to work boots. If you are finding that your shoes are suffering from water exposure, then my first recommendation would be to find shoes that are better able to withstand water. Many shoes are made to be waterproof, and the leather is treated to achieve that goal. Much better than trying to retrofit water resistance to a shoe that was not made with particularly water robust leather.


    For your purposes, I am not sure Allen Edmonds would solve your problem. It is not clear that the issue is low quality shoes. It sounds like it is using them in a way they were not intended. If you got AE's and routinely got them wet then they would deteriorate as well. You would be unhappy with the way they looked and the fact that you paid more money for them.


    If lots of walking in wet conditions is the way your life is right now, then get walking shoes that are waterproof. Treat the uppers as the manufacturer recommends to maintain them. They should last.

    Rotation: I was not joking about this. The inside of shoes accumulate moisture during the day, even without walking in the rain. This is a great environment for microbe growth. Resting the shoes for 1-2 days between each wear gives them a chance to dry out. This does not completely prevent mold growth, but it reduces it. Wearing the same pair of shoes day in and day out is asking for trouble. If you rotate your shoes then you are far less likely to have the problems I described. I don't know whether the exterior of the shoes will benefit from resting, assuming they never got wet in the first place, but the inside certainly will.
     
  12. KObalto

    KObalto Well-Known Member

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    Check out Loake 1880. They are close to your price point and decent shoes.
     
  13. mcbrown

    mcbrown Well-Known Member

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    OP, I think we all may be getting a little confused about what you are looking for... Perhaps you can tell us what you are looking for in a shoe and what features it requires, etc. rather than what is wrong with your current ones.

    For example: I need a black conservative dress show to wear with a suit in my office job, and it must provide moderate water-resistance against commuting in typical London weather. (possible answer: basic black dress oxfords and overshoes)

    Or: I need a rugged shoe that looks okay in a casual office but will be worn to construction sites, and it must provide extreme resistance against mud and other present conditions. (possible answer: Various lug-soled waterproof boots)

    Etc.
     
  14. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Well-Known Member

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    On shoe rotation, from the Mayo Clinic

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/athletes-foot/DS00317/DSECTION=prevention

    Athlete's Foot prevention

    • Change socks and stockings regularly. If your feet sweat a lot, change your socks twice a day.
    • Wear light, well-ventilated shoes. Avoid shoes made of synthetic material, such as vinyl or rubber.
    • Alternate pairs of shoes. Don't wear the same pair every day so that you give your shoes time to dry between wearings.
     
  15. Oysters

    Oysters Active Member

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    Okay. I need to make one shoe a little darker and shinier. That's all I need right now. If I decide on buying more shoes I will re-post or make a new thread.
     

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