1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

Cordovan Care

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by CommercialDoc, May 22, 2006.

  1. sf_esq

    sf_esq Senior member

    Messages:
    748
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Thanks. I believe a fine horsehair brush is best? Seems like it would be too soft - when I was in the Alden store, I saw one of their salespersons buff out a scuff for a customer with a toothbrush. It was actually amazing how well it worked.
     
  2. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

    Messages:
    24,364
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Thanks. I believe a fine horsehair brush is best? Seems like it would be too soft - when I was in the Alden store, I saw one of their salespersons buff out a scuff for a customer with a toothbrush. It was actually amazing how well it worked.
    Horsehair brushes work very well. I use them religiously.
     
  3. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos Senior member

    Messages:
    7,527
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Horsehair brushes work very well. I use them religiously.

    +1

    If you're going to be investing in good shoes, you should invest in a good horsehair shoe brush.
     
  4. Chips

    Chips Senior member

    Messages:
    1,530
    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    I have three or four, but honestly haven't bothered to use them for months. I always strive to achieve a high glossy shine on all my shoes, and I found I could do this better with a microfiber cloth and a final buff with pure silk rags I had made up specially for my shoes. A light misting from a spray bottle onto the silk, gave me a nice glossy shine on most of my shoes.
     
  5. Busa Dave

    Busa Dave Senior member

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    +1

    If you're going to be investing in good shoes, you should invest in a good horsehair shoe brush.



    +2 I have 4 of them one for each color, Black, Whiskey, Cigar and the Burgundy as well as the small round horsehair brushes for the application of polish.
     
  6. maquisard

    maquisard Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Is the consensus opinion not to do anything before first wear? I'm itching to bust out my Darltons, but polish all my leather shoes before wearing. I'm new to cordovan and recognize that a little wax polish goes a long way, but is it necessary to use any prior to wearing the first time? Thanks in advance, fellas.

    The consensus here is clearly not to polish them at first. If you read the instructions at alden-of-carmel that Mr. Horween linked to, however, there is a section that I think can certainly be construed as a recommendation to polish them brand new.

    I do not have extensive experience with shell cordovan, but I have had a pair of RL Darlton plain-toe bluchers for years and just received a new second pair. I have a pair of Aldens that are a month or so old which have never been polished and are doing fine. But the Darltons have a much more fragile surface and are much more prone to scuffs than the Aldens. Since using the polishing method outlined by the "good customer" in the link (twice in four months), my old Darltons have looked much better. So I am leaning towards polishing the new Darltons (I guess they are Marlows now) before wearing them.
     
  7. ChiliPalmer

    ChiliPalmer Senior member

    Messages:
    634
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    The consensus here is clearly not to polish them at first. If you read the instructions at alden-of-carmel that Mr. Horween linked to, however, there is a section that I think can certainly be construed as a recommendation to polish them brand new.

    I do not have extensive experience with shell cordovan, but I have had a pair of RL Darlton plain-toe bluchers for years and just received a new second pair. I have a pair of Aldens that are a month or so old which have never been polished and are doing fine. But the Darltons have a much more fragile surface and are much more prone to scuffs than the Aldens. Since using the polishing method outlined by the "good customer" in the link (twice in four months), my old Darltons have looked much better. So I am leaning towards polishing the new Darltons (I guess they are Marlows now) before wearing them.


    With what do you polish the Darltons?
     
  8. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

    Messages:
    24,364
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    With what do you polish the Darltons?
    I use brown wax very sparingly.
     
  9. maquisard

    maquisard Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    With what do you polish the Darltons?

    Alden brown paste wax works great. Saphir Medaille d'Or dark brown paste wax also seems promising, but I haven't tried it using the elaborate 2-hour method yet.
     
  10. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

    Messages:
    24,364
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    ... I haven't tried it using the elaborate 2-hour method yet.

    It takes me no more than 5 minutes.
     
  11. sf_esq

    sf_esq Senior member

    Messages:
    748
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    The consensus here is clearly not to polish them at first. If you read the instructions at alden-of-carmel that Mr. Horween linked to, however, there is a section that I think can certainly be construed as a recommendation to polish them brand new.

    I do not have extensive experience with shell cordovan, but I have had a pair of RL Darlton plain-toe bluchers for years and just received a new second pair. I have a pair of Aldens that are a month or so old which have never been polished and are doing fine. But the Darltons have a much more fragile surface and are much more prone to scuffs than the Aldens. Since using the polishing method outlined by the "good customer" in the link (twice in four months), my old Darltons have looked much better. So I am leaning towards polishing the new Darltons (I guess they are Marlows now) before wearing them.


    This is helpful. Will also be picking up some Alden brown paste. Thanks, fellas.
     
  12. inkwretch

    inkwretch Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    57
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    I bought some Bradleys that were seconds and a little beat up. One of the shoes was much lighter than the other shoe. I used the AE cordovan cream on both shoes and it worked well and really evened out the color and made the two shoes look much more consistent.
     
  13. txeconomist

    txeconomist Senior member

    Messages:
    175
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    so can I use this stuff on my cordovans?

    [​IMG]
     
  14. videocrew

    videocrew Senior member

    Messages:
    503
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    so can I use this stuff on my cordovans?

    [​IMG]


    I've read a number of people that say that Alden uses that very same substance before the shoes leave the factory. The #8 polish == Kiwi Dark Tan. Of course, this is unavailable in the states, so you have to pay the premium for Alden.
     
  15. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

    Messages:
    24,364
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    so can I use this stuff on my cordovans?

    [​IMG]

    I do, and have done so for years.
     
  16. REguy

    REguy Senior member

    Messages:
    827
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    I broke out a new pair of Darltons and got caught in a light drizzle. The rain left water spots on the leather that don't want to buff out. Would anyone recommend polishing them after only a few wearings?
     
  17. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

    Messages:
    24,364
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    I broke out a new pair of Darltons and got caught in a light drizzle. The rain left water spots on the leather that don't want to buff out. Would anyone recommend polishing them after only a few wearings?
    Yes, I've polished them after a few wears for very similar reasons. No harm was done to the shoes. I'm wearing cigar longwings today that got drenched about an hour ago and now have a few water marks. I'll buff them out, but if that doesn't work, then I'm likely to apply polish when I return home in a few days, even though I polished them before my trip began.
     
  18. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

    Messages:
    12,590
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Princeton, NJ
    I broke out a new pair of Darltons and got caught in a light drizzle. The rain left water spots on the leather that don't want to buff out. Would anyone recommend polishing them after only a few wearings?

    I did the same thing, and used shoe cream in dark brown, and they polished out nicely. Yes, on Cordovan shoes.
     
  19. teddieriley

    teddieriley Senior member

    Messages:
    8,489
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2006
    Location:
    Wait, you smell that?
    I broke out a new pair of Darltons and got caught in a light drizzle. The rain left water spots on the leather that don't want to buff out. Would anyone recommend polishing them after only a few wearings?

    Some people polish before they wear them for the first time because they think shoes can dry out after sitting in the box in inventory. I think this is unnecessary and overkill, unless the shoes look bad. But then again, why would you buy them in the first place if they looked bad. But I guess, if shoes look like they need to be hyrdrated or nourished, then it is way passed due.
     
  20. Montauk

    Montauk Senior member

    Messages:
    455
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    I've always taken the "less is more" approach to shell cordovan care advised by many here, and was initially very impressed with the leather's resilience and shine without the pampering my calf shoes generally receive, but I've recently noticed hairline cracking on both sides of the toe crease along the sole. I guess I took my shells for granted, even reserving them for rain duty.

    What would folks recommend for moisturizing/conditioning dry shell cordovan back to lustrous health? I generally like to give my shoes a nice drink of Lexall before hitting them with either polish or cream, but is there something else (e.g. mink oil) I should be using instead?

    I've always been surprised at how little attention gets paid to leather conditioning in discussions of shoe care--seems like it'd be at least as important as polishing? Allen Edmonds doesn't even list it as a step in proper shoe care...
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by