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Chelsea Leather Food


Distinguished Member
Jun 22, 2004
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Anybody ever use Chelsea Leather Food or Dubbin on non-sporting, finer leathers? If so, what results?

My wife just picked up a pair of pebble-grain "riding" style boots, and wants to make them somewhat resistant to water. Rather than silicone them, I was thinking Biwell (but that darkens), so then I thought maybe the Chelsea . . .


Distinguished Member
Nov 30, 2007
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I use avel & saphirs based products mainly and can recommend their "Ouraline" But I used to get tins and flasks of "Wren's", but think the brand went into Kiwi ... But they will probably be fine with any "dubbin" /grease. Alternately you could use a natural shoe polish ... (for a finer grained shoe) Dubbin has a long history as a military waterproofing goop, but was used on field boots, not parade boots. When i finished my post, I realized we had exactly the same number of posts. Congratulations on your 1371th post. Sir.


Distinguished Member
Jun 22, 2004
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Thank you for the info and the recognition . . . I'm one up on you now. ;-)

Percy Trimmer

Senior Member
Mar 31, 2006
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I have used Chelsea Leather Food for years on fine dress shoes. Whenever I get a new pair - which is quite often - I give them a good covering of Chelsea for protection before wearing them - uppers and soles with particular attention to the stitching. I regularly apply it after that to the uppers where they crease naturally with use. I use it on shoes of all colours but notice it can have a very slight darkening affect on the lightest shades. I avoid neutral shoe polish because it can dry with a white deposit in the creases.

Chelsea Leather Food is not a dubbin. Dubbin is not suitable for dress shoes because you cannot polish them after applying it as you can after using Chelsea. In fact once shoes have been properly polished (or 'creamed') a few times the Chelsea actually enhances the shine.


New Member
Jan 18, 2014
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I do exactly the same with new shoes, used to coat them with shoe polish to soak in but came across CLF and have used it for years ever since. Used on calf leather natural tan shoes after cleaning with saddle soap and allowing to dry. This then darkens and nourishes the leather when applied that can be buffed up if wanted but the natural look adds to the patina and natural look of the shoes. Although it darkens the leather on application it does eventually dry and the leather returns to its original lightness.

Leather does dry out with shoe polish, even the ones that manufacturers produce, eg Cheaney shoe polish.

Also apply similar method to leather steer hide brown / chestnut jackets, it is a fabulous product.
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