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Care for shell cordovan color #8- Alden longwings 975

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by izzyfuld, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. izzyfuld

    izzyfuld Well-Known Member

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    hi guys, i recently picked up a sweet pair of the Alden longwing 975. Its been a couple of weeks now and i think its time to give them some TLC. I've heard a lot of good about the brand saphir and their products. what do you guys think about them? I want to hear some techniques on care and polish for these great shoes.
     
  2. mymil

    mymil Senior member

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  3. izzyfuld

    izzyfuld Well-Known Member

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    you dont use any colored wax or polish with them?
     
  4. PhiPsi32

    PhiPsi32 Senior member

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    You want to use as little cream polish as possible as infrequently as possible. Do a search for the "Mac Method".
     
  5. Breedlove

    Breedlove Senior member

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  6. mymil

    mymil Senior member

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    No need for any polish, ever.
     
  7. izzyfuld

    izzyfuld Well-Known Member

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    scuffs just buff out?
     
  8. mymil

    mymil Senior member

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    Yes, they do! Or if they don't, you can rub them with a deer bone or a spoon.
     
  9. PhiPsi32

    PhiPsi32 Senior member

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    There's a video from Horween on this I will post later.
     
  10. izzyfuld

    izzyfuld Well-Known Member

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    deer bone?! sounds crazy
     
  11. PhiPsi32

    PhiPsi32 Senior member

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  12. nate10184

    nate10184 Senior member

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    No need to polish shell ever, renovateur provides enough of a shine. Crema Alpina gives an even better shine if you can find it.


    Most of them do yes. Using the inside of an athletic sock you can buff out some really bad scratches if you use enough elbow grease. The buffing will mar the surface a bit though, to bring back the shine just apply renovateur. For the worst scratches I have some creme cordovan from Saphir...rarely necessary though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
  13. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    For many years, I have been using the occasional dab of sno-seal waterproofer on my cordovan shoes.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sno-Seal-7-oz/dp/B005L9EEHU

    It's a beeswax based product. After a while, when the buffing and brushing can't restore the original luster of the leather, I've found that working in a modest amount of sno-seal into the shoes really rejuvenates them.

    So, my routine is buffing and brushing, with occasional (very light) applications of paste wax, and occasional (very light) applications of sno-seal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
  14. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    why is that? in my understanding a conditioner adds more unneeded than creme, anyway. so i assume you're just overfeeding with conditioner, not?
     
  15. mymil

    mymil Senior member

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    Shell doesn't need cream polish because it doesn't need additional pigment, and it doesn't need polish (either cream or wax) to get a nice shine. Some people claim that the turpentine in cream polishes actually damages the shell; I don't know. What would it mean to "overfeed"? I don't add very much at a time, and I don't think I do it too frequently... so feed, yes. But overfeed, hopefully not. What I do know is that Renovateur improves the appearance of the leather.
     
  16. hendrix

    hendrix Senior member

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    My understanding is this:

    • Saphir wax polishes contain turpentine. They use it because it's volatile and evaporates quickly. It's the same principal as using naptha in other cheaper shoe polishes.
    • Most creams do not contain turpentine. Creams are not designed to give a high shine finish. So they don't need something so volatile.
    • Reno contains turpentine. Reno has turpentine because it's also a good solvent, so it helps in the cleaning part of the "cleaner/conditioner" product.

    As far as I can tell, the only difference between saphir's "Cordovan" cream and it's normal MDO cream is that it also contains neatsfoot oil. The logic being that shell cordovan is "stuffed" with oils following tanning by Horween, and neatsfoot oil is a major component of this stuffing formula. The availability of "real" neatsfoot oil is questionable, so i'd be interested to know from where Horween sources theirs.

    Also, I would guess that it is possible for shell to dry out, just as it's possible for any leather to dry out. Thus it would need occasional conditioning - be it from a cream, a dubbin, or a conditioner.

    Myself, I find that "creams" are better than "polish" on shell, as shell doesn't seem to absorb much product well, and polish tends to get stuck on the surface. I do find that the saphir cordovan cream works well. I am also working on making my own cordovan cream with pure neatsfoot oil, but I haven't got the proportions right yet. The last one I made had a bit too much beeswax and made a film on the shoes as it wasn't being absorbed properly. I think i'll decrease the wax content, increase the oils. It's also tempting to just use a purely oil formula, although I think this would darken the leather significantly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  17. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    ah ok.
     
  18. izzyfuld

    izzyfuld Well-Known Member

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    Quote: you're making your own cream?! fascinating! can we hear more details on how you are managing to do this?
     

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