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Shoe cream, wax, etc

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mbc, May 9, 2006.

  1. mbc

    mbc Well-Known Member

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    As I build my shoe collection, I want to make sure I'm polishing them correctly. I've read several of the older posts on the forum, such as Ron Rider's post here: http://www.styleforum.net/showpost.p...8&postcount=15

    From that I gather that I should use cleaner/conditioner (sometimes), then shoe cream, then a wax polish. Are there times when I should only be using cream or wax, and not both? I gather that wax will repel water better but might also dry out the shoes over time (and hence the cream underneath)? Just trying to make sense out of all the various methods out there... advice appreciated.
     
  2. whoopee

    whoopee Well-Known Member

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    After initial care, you can stick with wax, with an occasional application (once in six months or less) of cream.
     
  3. Arethusa

    Arethusa Well-Known Member

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    What should initial care be? Just wax?
     
  4. whoopee

    whoopee Well-Known Member

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    For me, an application of cream then a mirror shine. Others will use conditioner but I believe the cream does enough.
     
  5. designprofessor

    designprofessor Well-Known Member

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    Can you go in opposite order. Shoe wax (Saphir Medaille D'Or) first, then leather conditioner later?
     
  6. Holly

    Holly New Member

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    A cobbler today said that KIWI wax damaged shoes because the strong solvents damaged the leather.
     
  7. mbc

    mbc Well-Known Member

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    So I just spent the last couple of hours reading every post on this forum that came up for search terms like "wax", "polish", "shine", and so forth.

    All I've learned is that none of you can agree about anything regarding how to polish shoes [​IMG]

    Things I think I've learned so far, along with some questions:

    -Shoe creams can change the color of shoes, sometimes with ill or "dulling" effects. Does neutral shoe cream fix that, and does neutral shoe cream look bad on black shoes?

    -Wax can build up, dry out leather, and crack. I gather this is solved by using a mild cleaner every so often (i.e. Allen Edmonds cleaner/conditioner)?

    -Wax gets shiny, cream less so. So I think which I use will depend on the shoe in question... i.e. I'd like my black cap toe balmorals to be shinier than a pair of brown chelseas, but that's just me.

    -Lots of people use Kiwi products and don't complain about it, but it seems that those people are the same sort that remember to use a cleaner or conditioner on a regular basis.

    The more I learn, the more confused I am.
     
  8. J.P. Myhre

    J.P. Myhre Well-Known Member

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    mbc,
    First, there is always an advantage to know what kind of leather you have in your shoe uppers. With a aniline dyed and topcoated leather you will not ever get anything to penetrate more than maximum one (1) millimeter into the leather surface, unless you have the reverse side out. Secondly, use polish with the higest possible wax content (Carnabau and beeswax) If you want an organic feel and look to your shoes use organic waxes, if you prefer modern resins and waxes, try Fiebings. If you want texture to your polish use a brush when adding the wax, if you want a smooth mirror finish, use a fine woven cloth of cotton, spit and polish in circles. Whatever you add to the surface, make sure to polish it well, until you have removed all surplus wax. The leather should be polished, not clotted with wax. Use horse hair brushes and nylon stockings to create the most beautiful luster, but again it all depends whether you have good leather in your uppers, do you?
     
  9. mbc

    mbc Well-Known Member

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    JP: Thanks for the tips. The quality of my shoes' leather gets better with each subsequent purchase, so some are better than others. I suppose I'll find out how good some of it is as a result of how well it takes a few polishes.
     
  10. Etienne

    Etienne Well-Known Member

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    Can you go in opposite order. Shoe wax (Saphir Medaille D'Or) first, then leather conditioner later?
    You can, but that is rather useless. The point of the wax is to protect the leather, so either the conditioner will not get into the leather or it will, but by dissolving the wax layer.
     
  11. Etienne

    Etienne Well-Known Member

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    -Shoe creams can change the color of shoes, sometimes with ill or "dulling" effects.
    Yup, but that's a good thing, not a bad one. That's how you build a natural patina over time (although you can achieve a more striking one by using creams, tinctures and acetone).

    My shoe-care regimen is exactly the same as Whopee. Before first wear : some cream and a mirror-shine on the toe. Later, some cream (very seldom, never on the toe) and regular waxing (and mirror-shine on the toe).
     
  12. fritzl

    fritzl Well-Known Member

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    A cobbler today said that KIWI wax damaged shoes because the strong solvents damaged the leather.

    I usually damage shoes, when am tipsy. [​IMG]

    PS: Using KIWI for almost 10 years. No damage at all.
     

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