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Best Shoe Care Kit?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kiLLscaLLion, May 31, 2008.

  1. kiLLscaLLion

    kiLLscaLLion Senior member

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    Anyone know where I can purchase a good shoe care kit? This includes a cleaner, conditioner, polish, and protectant.
     
  2. koolhistorian

    koolhistorian Senior member

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    Build it yourself! Buy "Crema alpina" - great conditioner, a pot of Saphir black and one of neutral cream, plus one Saphir wax polish in both (Medaille d'or is the best). Add two brushes - one for black one for brown, one old Tshirt. Read how to polish your shoes over the net, practice and take care of the shoes.
    Simple indeed!
    [​IMG]
     
  3. BBRex

    BBRex Senior member

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    koolhistorian, where's a good place to find those at?
     
  4. Lawman

    Lawman Senior member

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    where do you find crema alpina?
     
  5. koolhistorian

    koolhistorian Senior member

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    Crema Alpina im buying from Bata, they sell it with their brand... In the US, I don't know, try Bata or net... There are alternatives - meltonian i think.
     
  6. teddieriley

    teddieriley Senior member

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    Wait, you smell that?
    There are complete kits with box from Allen Edmonds or shoeshinekit.com.

    If you don't care for the box that much, I suggest building your own kit. Some of the components I suggest will be in the box, but you can buy these all individually. For leather conditioner, Lexol works fine. I think you should have three basic waxes (i don't prefer creams, as they leave shoes with a matte finish rather than a nice shine): brown, black and cordovan/burgandy (any additional colors will depend on what shade of brown you have). three horse hair brushes dedicated for each general color for loosening up dirt on the shoe before applying wax, and brushing off the wax after its application (but before buffing).

    I personally don't like the horse hair brush wax applicator, so not necessary to spring for those. I think using an old t-shirt works much nicer to apply the wax.

    Soft flannel cloths to buff a nice shine.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. kiLLscaLLion

    kiLLscaLLion Senior member

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    Thanks for the advice. Is Saphir black a type of conditioner? I'm browsing francos.com for shoe accessories and the different Saphir products are bewildering.
     
  8. soaped

    soaped Senior member

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  9. kiLLscaLLion

    kiLLscaLLion Senior member

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    Thanks for the link, but it seems to me that most people recommend Saphir as the brand of polish to go with, whereas shoeshinekit.com sells Lincoln stain wax. Should that be of concern?
     
  10. Persiflage

    Persiflage Active Member

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    Soft flannel cloths to buff a nice shine.

    I'm interested in hearing recommendations for convenient sources for purchasing flannel cloths for buffing. I bought the shoeshinekit.com kit (without the box) a couple weeks back, and have been practicing on my shoes since then. However, the polishing cloths soon got covered in wax, and I couldn't figure out a good way to clean them. I've since been using cotton (like you, cut up old t0shirts), but it doesn't work as well. Do you have any recommended sources for cheap bulk flannel cloth? Or is there some way to clean out used polishing cloths? [​IMG]


    I went with the Kiwi wax, and it seems to work fairly well. I think I'll go with Saphir off Francos for my next purchase, to see if it's any better. I like polishing my shoes. It's very meditative.
     
  11. soaped

    soaped Senior member

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    I guess it is personal preference.

    I tend to prefer Kiwi Paste Polish over all else.

    Thanks for the link, but it seems to me that most people recommend Saphir as the brand of polish to go with, whereas shoeshinekit.com sells Lincoln stain wax. Should that be of concern?
     
  12. Golf_Nerd

    Golf_Nerd Senior member

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    Thanks for the advice. Is Saphir black a type of conditioner? I'm browsing francos.com for shoe accessories and the different Saphir products are bewildering.

    Here are all information concerning Saphir:

    http://www.avel.com/
     
  13. teddieriley

    teddieriley Senior member

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    Wait, you smell that?
    There are several brands that are all comparable. People say Saphir is better. I've never used it, maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I bet most people can't tell the difference and I don't think you can say with any certainty Saphir is better for your shoes.

    Lincoln, Kiwi, Angeles, Kelley, Meltonian and Saphir are all good brands. Any of these brands will work well.

    In terms of buffing cloths, you really don't want to clean them. They actually get better with age and use. They get softer and the residual wax on the cloth helps with each subsequent buffing. Of course you want to turn the cloth to unused portions, but overall, I don't change them.
     
  14. sanrensho

    sanrensho Senior member

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    Here's a kit I imported about 8 years ago from France. It came with all Saphir products, and my intent was to wholesale the kits. Unfortunately the retail price would have to have been too high to make it worthwhile...well over $100 USD and I don't think there's much of a market for a kit this expensive. Now I just use it myself..as you can see there are two pots of Alden wax on top, along with black edge dressing. The Saphir wax goes on very smooth..it's almost like a cream and has a strong petroleum-based scent. Alden wax is "waxier" - more like Kiwi. Personally I prefer Alden and Kiwi to Saphir as they seem to result in a higher shine. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. maxnharry

    maxnharry Senior member

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    Here's a kit I imported about 8 years ago from France. It came with all Saphir products, and my intent was to wholesale the kits. Unfortunately the retail price would have to have been too high to make it worthwhile...well over $100 USD and I don't think there's much of a market for a kit this expensive. Now I just use it myself..as you can see there are two pots of Alden wax on top, along with black edge dressing.

    The Saphir wax goes on very smooth..it's almost like a cream and has a strong petroleum-based scent. Alden wax is "waxier" - more like Kiwi. Personally I prefer Alden and Kiwi to Saphir as they seem to result in a higher shine.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Where do we find that? That's the nicest shoe shine kit I've seen.
     
  16. Antonio Centeno

    Antonio Centeno Senior member

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    I agree, this is beautiful! There may still be a market for it, especially as more people continue to enter the world of quality menswear.
     
  17. koolhistorian

    koolhistorian Senior member

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    Going back to my original post - IMHO you need both cream (pot) and wax (tin) for your shoes. The cream will color and nourish the leather, the wax will seal and shine. Depending on your rotation - i.e. the when you wear your shoes - one in three times you will need to apply cream to the shoes and them wax. Normally you wax after the wear (I use on my shoes also an application of conditioner, when I take my shoes out, still "hot", it restores the creases, etc.).
    The cream will not make your shoes shine (well, Saphir Medaille d'Or, does) but it will restore the balance of the leather and it will keep it flexible. Then you apply the wax lightly on the vamp and heavy on the toe and heel area, if you want a real look. Do not try to give a quasi - patent leather look to all the shoe, it will get very creasy, just the toe area and the heel area. With some practice it is feasible at home, it's important just to put little quantities of wax and a drop of water plus lots of elbow grease. Btw, Kiwi in wax is also great.
    Good luck!
     
  18. Dmax

    Dmax Senior member

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    Thanks for the advice. Is Saphir black a type of conditioner? I'm browsing francos.com for shoe accessories and the different Saphir products are bewildering.
    I compiled a list of different Saphir products and available colors below. Avel/Saphir markets several lines of leather, fabric and furniture care products under the Saphir label. The main line of shoe care products consists of paste wax (Pate De Luxe) and shoe cream (Creme Surfine). Then there is the premium, more expensive line of shoe care products called Medaille D'Or, which also has a paste wax product and shoe cream product. Both product lines are based on beeswax, turpentine and carnauba wax. Supposedly, Medaille D'or line has a higher beeswax content than the main Saphir line. Subjectivly, it appears denser and smells a little different. Medaile D'Or comes in black colored tins and jars. It consists of 10 colors of Cirage Pate Deluxe Medaille D'Or (the paste wax product available in 50ml and 100ml metal tins) and 10 colors of Creme Medaile D'Or (the shoe cream product comes in 100ml glass jars). All Saphir products carry a label with a color code number and color name in several languages. The color names and color code stay the same between different Saphir product lines. The Cirage Pate Deluxe Medaille D'Or (paste wax) is available in the following colors: Jaun Cire (color code )/ yellow Cognac (color code 10)/a shade of medium brown with some yellow tint, 100ml tin only Marron Clair (03)/ light brown Marron Moyen (37)/ medium brown Marron Fonce (05)/ very dark brown Acajou (09)/Mahogany, medium brown with some red Havane (34)/Light Tabacco brown, 100ml tin only Bleu Marine (06)/ Navy Noir (01)/ Black Incolore (02) Neutral wax with no color pigment Creme Medaile D'Or (shoe cream) comes in the following colors: Marron Clair (03)/ light brown Marron Moyen (37)/ medium brown Marron Fonce (05)/ very dark brown Acajou (09)/Mahogany, medium brown with some red Noir (01)/ Black Bordeaux (08)/ also listed as Burgundy on the can, I find it funny how Bordeaux is translated as Burngundy, they should have wrote "Red Wine" Hermes Rouge (12)/ dark red but not quite burgundy Vert Fonce (20)/ Dark green Bleu Marine (06)/ Navy Incolore (02) Neutral wax with no color pigment There are a few other products in the Medaile D'Or line which Ron mentioned already: Renovateur - leather conditioner, may darken light leathers a bit. Graisse - 15% Seal fat based leather conditioner-water reppelant, has an assertive "marine" smell that diminishes over time. Special Reptile - conditioner for exotic leathers, such as crocodile, lizard, snake, etc. There are also other products like Nappa leather conditioners, leather restrorers, suede cleaners etc. Saphir main shoe care line consists of Pate De Luxe (paste wax, 50ml and 100ml tins, 9 or maybe more colors) and Creme Surfine (shoe cream, 50ml glass jars, approx. 74 colors). Pate De Luxe (wax) is available in the following colors (maybe more): Jaun Cire (color code )/ yellow Marron Clair (03)/ light brown Marron Moyen (37)/ medium brown Marron Fonce (05)/ very dark brown Acajou (09)/Mahogany, medium brown with some red Noir (01)/ Black Bordeaux (08)/ also listed as Burgundy on the can Incolore (02) Neutral wax with no color pigment I am not going to list all the Creme Surfine colors since there are at least 74 of them but it includes all of the colors available in other lines I listed above as well some unusual colors like silver, white or green apple, etc. There are also at least a dozen of different shades of brown, including all the brown colors from other lines. A few more brown colors listed below. Havane Clair (36)/ Light Tobacco Brown Havane Moyen (35)/ Medium Tobacco Brown Fawn (19)/ yellowish tan Noisette (38)/ Hazelnut Hope this information proves usefull to someone.
     
  19. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    Thanks, Dmax. That's awesome. It confirms my suspicion that the neutral cream that Scafora offers is Saphir.

    Here's my question about the Saphir cream--it seems to me to get absorbed into the leather to a greater degree than, say, a paste wax (of any brand). Yet it shines up better (or at least more easily) than most creams I've tried. Is using it almost exclusively a viable substitute for conditioner+paste? (Assuming you're happy with the shine?) If so, I think I just changed my polishing regime.
     
  20. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    What is the best brush to buy? Will any old one do?

    Who has the best price on the basics?
     

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