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Care of Cordovan

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by shuman, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. shuman

    shuman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    I have read that you shouldnt need to polish shell cordovan shoes. I have also had people tell me to use only a regular shoe polish, and that AE, etc. sell a cordovan product. I have a pair of AE Macneils that I want to take care of, and I want to be sure i'm doing it correctly. Thanks.
     
  2. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    41,568
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    Polish, but rarely, and use much less polish than you would for calf. In the meantime, buff with a little water to bring the shine back.
     
  3. FCS

    FCS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    753
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Is the chemical composition different for your typical calfskin polish wax to, say, Alden shell cordovan wax? Can't find shell cordovan wax around here.
     
  4. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,452
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Why?

    I polish every pair of shoes after each wearing. Including cordovan. No problem.

    I have had black Alden cordovans for about 5 years now of regular wear. They have been professionally re-soled I wear them so much. And they look brand new. There are literally no creases, not even the "rippled" effect that you generally see with cordovan. My father has some calf shoes that he has worn for 20-25 years, after polishing every time he wears them. Regular polishing keeps the leather healthy and strong, prevents cracking that results from little bits of dirt and dust that you can't even see cutitng into the leather. I simply don't understand this reluctance to polishing.

    Again, I polish all my shoes after every wearing. And they are some of the healthiest looking shoes you will see...

    Happy thanksgiving.
     
  5. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    41,568
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    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    I find that the polish builds up if I polish cordovan too often. I've read (or heard) that cordovan has more natural fats and oils in the leather and therefore does not need so much polish. I polish about once a month, and buff with water at every wearing. Works like a charm.
     
  6. mistahlee

    mistahlee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    207
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.A.
    My experience is the same.  Recently, I sent a pair of brown cordovans to Alden for reconditioning.  Hoping it gets rid of the gummy build up.
     
  7. Kai

    Kai Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,189
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    Same with me.

    I polish them less, and use a paste wax polish, not a cream.
     
  8. matcha

    matcha Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    70
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    USA
    I recently talked to the Alden sales rep at their trunk show. He said polish with wax but not with cream.
     
  9. mcarthur

    mcarthur Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,120
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Adam Knott of Alden of Carmel recommends that cordovan shoes should only be polished infrequently. Check website(www.Alden of Carmel.com) for catologue in regard to polishing of cordovan shoes.
     
  10. ROI

    ROI Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    99
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Horween's recommends Zoes' Venetian Shoe Cream. (Don't read the contents.)
     
  11. mistahlee

    mistahlee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    207
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.A.
    On Christmas eve, my cordovan shoes came back from an Alden restoration.  The result is mostly pleasing and I thought you gentlemen might like to see a picture.  The character imparted by years of wear still shows, of course, but the finish on the uppers is much shinier than when they were new, even.  Will I be able to keep that shine using wax, as opposed to polish?
     
  12. kabert

    kabert Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,093
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Nice looking shoes.
     

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