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

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

  1. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

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    In my personal perspective, FWIW:

    In the world of RTW shoes, I doubt if we all call our shoes fit. We either cram our toes into it and hope for a slight expansion, or gradual fit, or else we swim our feet in it, or, worse case scenario, have some funny feet that ironically cannot make us smile for any particular reason you can name. It's painful enough just for the fitting, but it is worse, when the footwear may fit comfortably, not properly, it may sacrifice the cosmetic value. A fair portion of us may be lucky enough to have a balance of both, but never the best of both.

    Therefore, if opportunity is ever at hands (which SHOULD be soon), I will always go for bespoke footwear as how I would go to a tailor instead of department store. One lousy material but well fitted garment with comfort is still way worthier than paying shit load for a lousy looking, expensive garbage.
     
  2. benhour

    benhour Well-Known Member

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    Jul 23, 2012
    Location:
    Athens
    First of all welcome!
    If i am not mistaken this is a current model so there would be no benefit of caking your shoes into conditioners etc! if you want more shine just use a cream polish or a wax (apply really small amount , always a matching dark brown color ) ! judging from the color it would be very difficult to stain them(i think you ll have to try that hahaha) and from the fact that they have rubber soles i dont think you would have any salt stain from the road!! j
    So just enjoy them and after some time use a light conditioner!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  3. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    First, I don't put any stock in Brannock Devices. It's not that they aren't accurate but that shoe manufacturers are just as likely to disregard sizing standards as not. What the Brannock determines is an 11 is not necessarily what the manufacturer thinks an 11 is.

    Second, the Brannock device cannot give you a girth measurement at any point on the foot. An appropriate treadline width and heelseat width (usually a fair determiner of last width) may not correspond to what you need in a shoe to accommodate the volume of your foot.

    Third, AFAIK, timeout of mind width designations for lasts have been A, B, C, D, E, with AA and EE and so forth making up the extremes. I don't even know what a 9G is. I think you'd need to go to a EEE or even a EEEE before a G would even signify.

    Perhaps you should try an 11D or E to see if it accommodates your foot better. But beware...make sure that the rear part of your foot isn't 'swimming' in the shoe.

    Ultimately, if you are going to get a fit, you probably will need a MTM or bespoke shoe. This is the only way to address short toes-long relative H-B and relatively more or less girth in the forepart than the footprint would indicate, etc..

    All that said, you should be lacing your shoes snug...not tight, but snug. Often esp. in the minds of manufacturers and customers, a hefty instep girth (fat foot) and a high instep are functionally so close to being the same thing as to make no difference. There is a difference, however and it often shows up at the back of the shoe. That said, if you can cinch the facings together so that they touch, the shoe doesn't fit...for one reason or another.

    Whatever shoes you purchase, if they are ever going to fit you correctly...or even come close...should fit snugly over the instep and along the topline and cup the heel such that it does not slip up and down when you walk. A loose fit is not a fit--you may as well strap the box the shoes came in to your feet.

    Food for thought...not a diagnosis of your fitting problems. Hope it helps.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  4. ShawnBC

    ShawnBC Well-Known Member

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    Québec, Canada
    Quick question - I know you need to condition your shoes regularly with shoe conditioner and other waxes/polishes. But what about pairs you don't wear often? Do you give them a quick rub of conditioner once in a while even if you only wear them once in a blue moon?

    I have a pair of Kent Wang black plain toe balmorals that I purchased to wear with my wedding tuxedo. I have worn them once or twice, but haven't worn them for almost a year now. They've been sitting on my shoe rack (with shoe trees) for a while now. Even if I don't wear them, I was wondering if the leather could dry and crack by just being in contact with the air for so long. Should I include them in my shoe care routine even if they're almost brand new?

    Other question - regarding Allen Edmonds McTavish, which are made of Horween Dublin leather - a rough waxed leather. On AE's website they recommand using their shoe conditioner and saddle soap instead of regular products because of the nature of the leather. What's your view on this? Obviously, I don't want to shine them, so waxes and polishes are out of the question, but could I just substitute the AE conditioner and saddle soap for a quick rub of Saphir Renovateur as base maintenance?

    Thanks guys!
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  5. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

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    Do the bold infrequently, whether worn or not.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

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    Brush a lot on and use something like Bickmore's Apache Cream would be a lot more helpful. Give Saphir Greasy Cream a try as per preference. Other than that, Reno won't help.
     
  7. semperexcelsius

    semperexcelsius Well-Known Member

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    Oct 24, 2014
    I've been looking through this amazing thread, but since it'd be unfeasible to read through 968 pages, could anyone redirect my to some posts in the thread regarding a "checklist" of items to obtain for shoe care, as well as specific recommendations (this brush, that wax, etc.)

    Thanks!
     
  8. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

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    In all these pages there's no consensus.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Rubik1014

    Rubik1014 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps page 969 will be the one! LOL
     
  10. niakulah

    niakulah Member

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    A lot of great info. Thank you sir.
     
  11. skeen7908

    skeen7908 Well-Known Member

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    @DWFII would you say that vegetable tanned or chrome tanned leather is better suited to wet conditions?

    I.e. which will suffer less damage from exposure to rain etc?

    I would have assumed that veg tanning would be better, as the oils may act to repel the water to some extent but I am no scientist
     
  12. Carson

    Carson Well-Known Member

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    I'm obviously not DWFII, but have read about this recently, and I got the impression the veg tanned leather and water are not a great mix...
     
  13. Carson

    Carson Well-Known Member

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    Would love some input on this - especially someone with actual experience:

    So, just picked up a deer bone from Kirby with the hope that some scratches and scuffs on my Alden cigar Indy boots could be improved. Having just experimented around with it for the last half hour, I must say that not only have I not noticed any of the scratches or scuffs improving, but there seems to be an opaque residue (the much vaunted "oils" I assume) and possibly some scratches. This is disappointing because I've tried a number of things to deal with the superficial scratches and scuffs and nothing is helping at all. Now, I am wondering whether the finish that Alden applies to their shell might be the issue?? Anyways, neither lots of brushing (the "Mac" method) or "boning" seems to be doing a damned thing….

    Any better ideas would be greatly appreciated!

    -Sean
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

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    There were several posts talking about this. Alden's shells were coated with a coating, probably acrylic, which makes it abnormally shiny, but in return, making all methods (except for excessive use of polishes) ineffective. If you want, don't be afraid to strip your shell cordovan footwear. It doesn't hurt. Just remember to put conditioner on it afterwards.

    Other than that, when using the bone, always burnish with the smoothest side of it. If you are getting scratches, you're doing it wrong. Or else, go for the snake head burnishing bone, which, I really have to say, is great with starters.
     
  15. jaywhyy

    jaywhyy Well-Known Member

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    Alden suggests wax, which has been successful for me in the past in getting out scuffs.
     
  16. skeen7908

    skeen7908 Well-Known Member

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    Wow thats interesting, opposite of what I thought

    Can you expand/post references at all?
     
  17. Darell John

    Darell John Active Member

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    Location:
    Singapore
    Chrome-tanned leather, invented in 1858, is tanned using chromium sulfate and other salts of chromium. It is more supple and pliable than vegetable-tanned leather and does not discolor or lose shape as drastically in water as vegetable-tanned. It is also known as wet-blue for its color derived from the chromium. More exotic colors are possible when using chrome tanning. The chrome tanning method usually only takes a day to finish, and the ease and agility of this method make it a popular choice. It is reported that chrome-tanned leather adds up to 80% of the global leather supply.
    your going to hate me, lol
    source Wikipedia
     
  18. Leaves

    Leaves Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Sweden
    

    I think there may be some consensus on different techniques and a short list of stuff you need, but not the specific products and brands used. Here's my top tips for basic shoe care:

    • Always use properly sized shoe trees.
    • Rotate shoes, try to let the shoes rest 2-3 days after each wear. Preferably longer.
    • Get some kind of leather conditioner or cream like Bickmore BICK4, Burgol Pomade or Saphir cream.
    • A decent polish without loads of chemicals. I prefer Burgol but Saphir is also great.
    • A few horse hair brushes or goat hair brushes, for buffing.
    • A few cotton rags just to wipe dust and crap off the shoes.
    • A few nicer cotton rags (I make them out of my my old dress shirts) for spit shine (very optional, a lot of people does not like a high shine on their shoes).

    I'm personally very behind on my shoe maintenance. With small kids at home and two companies to manage, time is not abundant. So I have implemented this very basic shoe maintenance routine.
    • Pop in shoe trees after each wear.
    • Dust shoes off with cotton rag after each wear.
    • After 4-5 wears, smack on some Bickmore BICK4 with a cotton rag or a small applier brush, for conditioning and a bit of a shine. Buff with a goat hair brush. Repeat if needed.
    • Rotate shoes often.

    You'd be amazed how well this technique works. I really should spend more time with a proper polish and buffing them to a high shine but I just don't have the time.
     
  19. Darell John

    Darell John Active Member

    Messages:
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    Aug 18, 2014
    Location:
    Singapore

    Well, if you have some cash to throw around,

    For calf leather,
    get saphir reno, for conditioning if ordering from overseas buy 2,
    saphir M'do cream and wax polish matching the color of your shoes, when in doubt use neutral.
    2 large horse hair brushes - brand dosent really matter basicly one for light and 1 for dark
    1 kiwi(cheap) brush - for soles
    1 used t-shirt - for mirror shines
    1 bowl for water -for mirror shines
    1 used stockings<-- try explaining to a girl its not cause your a perv - for finshing
    2 applicator brush(1 for dark and 1 for light), in the event you dont use your fingers, or latex gloves if you dont like to wash your hands after.
    2-3 edge dressing, Black, brown and clear

    While saphir might not be the best, Im quite sure none in this forum will say they are not good.
    I personally think they are the bees knees, but thats just me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  20. Leaves

    Leaves Well-Known Member

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    Tony Gaziano said that the main reason they use chrome tanned leathers is that it keeps the shape better and that it's less of a hassle burnishing. I believe that it's just a matter of time before most places in Europe bans chrome tanning though, it's supposed to be shit for the environment. That's what I've been told anyway.
     

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