1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Goodman

    Goodman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    312
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    I assume that answer was intended for me. Thanks for the response. I will recommend the Lexol as it is convenient and straightforward. Still glad I asked as I was thinking just really saturate them with Lexol as the leather would be "thirsty." Will recommend it be used judiciously.
     
  2. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,217
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    First, as I've known it, man and boy, burnishing is only done on (can only be done on) vegetable tanned leather. It is a process of dampening the leather and then rubbing with a super smooth bone or piece of hard and fine grained wood until the leather is dry (or all but) and shines like a mirror. Sometimes you can do it with canvas or glass. But wood and bone is what I've always used. Just as good beer has only three ingredients---barley, water and hops, so too burnishing has only three ingredients--veg tanned leather, water and bone.

    [BTW oiling or greasing leather that has been burnished will destroy the shine]

    Second, I don't know when the optimal point for top finishing (glazing) a leather would be (I'm not even sure what "glazing" means--it's not a term that is ordinarily associated with leather, in my experience as a shoemaker).

    Obviously, the cavalier has an opaque top finish. And I suspect it would be difficult to apply if the leather was oily...so perhaps hot stuffing is done after the leather is top finished. But top finishing is not burnishing and in my understanding usually involves a coating on the grain surface of the leather such as an acrylic wax or, like CG, a plastic film bonded to the grain. That said, most of these top finishes are at least somewhat porous as well (only the CG would be impenetrable) so esp. with flexing, the oils will tend to surface despite the top finish.

    All of this ties into why I am leery of putting any non-homogenized, viscous, heavy (or light) oil on fine calf. The oil remains resident in the leather over a long period of time. Additional applications tend to be cumulative. It will tend to surface where the leather is flexed. It will collect dirt. It will impede a shine...depending on the rigour of your definition of shine ("gleam" is not shine in mine).

    I believe CXL can be mirror shined...as pB said, it's the wax that's shining. I suspect that, ultimately, it's a waste of time.

    --
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  3. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    Wait... The shoe has got a toe cap? I thought they were smooth toe and vamp...
     
  4. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    33,325
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    What are you talking about?
     
  5. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    You're right, DW, about the CXL shine thing.

    How about hot stuffed veg tanned leather being machine glazed - rolling smooth glass rod rolled over the hide?
     
  6. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    I thought the vamp was smooth, like a plain toe blucher sort. Was it, or was it with a toe cap?
     
  7. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    33,325
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    I'm talking about the toe puff. It is stiff in any shoe, it doesn't bend.
     
  8. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    I saw some Wolverine 100 miles with heavily distorted toe area, so I was surprised.
     
  9. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    33,325
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    Has nothing to do with polishing the toe.
     
  10. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    Pat, how did you polished that pair of CXL footwear? Can you recall the detail and talk about it?
     
  11. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    33,325
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
  12. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    I had too much thought about it, then...

    Still, I'd say that was much a job well done.
     
  13. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    @DWFII , I was just sitting here thinking non-sense, when I actually had a question burst into my mind - what kind of leather Corcoran Paratrooper Boots used? And what finished was applied to the surface? It was amazing how many of them seen WWII battlefield and survived and continue to be worn, and then again were legendary boots that takes a shine like none could.
     
  14. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,217
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    I don't know. The originals were brown and I suspect just a nice full grain cow. I'd love to have a decent pair of those even if they were repros (as well as an M2 carbine :nodding:) but they're all poron insoles now and crap, really.

    By the time I was wearing them, they were black (might have been crap by then, as well--I didn't know any better), and IIRC the leather had a heavily finish. I don't believe they were shell although I was told some of the Marine Corp low quarters were shell. At the time I didn't know what shell was.

    That said both the brown and the black were double soled (forepart only), spring heeled and made on the Munson last which is wide, bump toed and orthopedically correct. It was very comfortable and as I recall perfect for either standing landings or the roll (aka PLF). Why the Munson was so good, I don't know but I know I wouldn't want to hit the DZ in my chelseas.

    --
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  15. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    The Marine Corps Dress and Service shoes were rumored to be made of Shell Cordovan when the budget was awesome. Pics below:
    [​IMG]

    Looks to me not so many shell cordovan sample was seen (perhaps they were kept as heirloom and never sold), yet so many of those emerged looking more like calfskin.

    The black repro Corcoran looks like drum dyed chrome leather. The Vietnam era samples looks more like chrome - veg retanned to me (the tan color rough side if one looks inside). I suspect the quality decreased no thanks to McNamara being the secretary.

    Corcoran is still producing these boots, but, as you put it, the insoles are crappy, those the new insoles received quite a bit of compliments (probably because people hadn't experienced the originals like you did).

    Talking about the leather of Corcoran, it's really something I have yet to find out about. It is absolutely amazing. I don't own any, because I know repros' quality isn't any good, but judging by the way how they were extensively used through the battlefield with just wax polish as primary care and would still remain serviceable through all that year tells me the leather must have been a secret brew of the trade.
     
  16. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    Pat, in your opinion, which one - boots and shoes - should receive more care?
     
  17. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,217
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    
    I just read somewhere that the originals were side leather chrome retanned. Your question prompted me to look on the net and I found a pair that seem to be pretty close, from At The Front. Also jonesing for the M37 wool shirt. I have an Ike jacket that is a repro but almost indistinguishable from the original and a vintage British Battle Blouse--both of which I really like. But I wear the Ike more than the Battle Blouse which is just a tad too small. I'd really like to have an original Officer's Ike--it was dark brown.
     
  18. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    LOL!!!! Sir, you may have to try the 'Bay for original stuffs. FWIW, with luck, one can find brand (or warehouse) new items on the bay. I scored one of those rough out M1951 boots from a Marine Corps vet that I am planning to turn into waxed calf boots.

    With luck, and with time, you may be able to find very cool brand new condition vintage items on the 'Bay.
     
  19. VegTan

    VegTan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    160
    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    

    These don't seem like military-issued shoes because of the absence of a contract number, but I was very surprised and this may be the first and last time to find military-style shoes made of shell. Does anyone know whether these are USMC-style civilian goods?

     
  20. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    33,325
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    

    Depends on what you're doing in each I suppose.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by