Cordovan Care

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

  1. Montauk

    Montauk Senior member

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    [​IMG]
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    Just polish it with a brush after cleaning with a cloth


    This is precisely the care (or lack thereof) that's led to my cordovan shoes cracking. I bought the line about shell cordovan imperviousness hook, line, and sinker, and I regret it now. While it's certainly more durable than calf, it clearly does require some conditioning from time to time, especially when enduring rain, show, and salt. I'm just wondering what to use. Mink oil? Mineral oil? Lexall? Neetsfoot?
     


  2. Chips

    Chips Senior member

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    Those shoes look like they've been to hell and back.
     


  3. jhcam8

    jhcam8 Senior member

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    I picked up a pair of plain toe Darlton's myself and am wondering the same thing.

    re: cordovan care in general: I have a pair of Alden wingtips which are starting to exhibit grey in the "wrinkles" and the graininess across the same area. If this is simply polish build up, what can I use to safely clean the existing polish off?


    There's at least 10 million posts about cordovan care - try a search - don't polish for a long time, brush, rag, wipe, rub...
     


  4. chiggafied

    chiggafied Well-Known Member

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    Bringing this back from the dead.. I just polished my Alden #8 bluchers today, (mind you without doing proper research) and it's only been my second or third wear.

    Only after reading this thread did I realize it probably wasn't necessary. Anyway, the gentleman didn't carry Alden's #8 paste wax and instead used Kiwi's mahogany shoe polish. He also used quite a bit of that stuff and now I'm sort of regretting it since reading this thread.

    Should I continue to buff them for the next couple of months to make sure the polish is applied evenly and doesn't leave a build up?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012


  5. Joenobody0

    Joenobody0 Senior member

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    Take a damp cloth and rub the shoes down. Rub them dry with a soft cloth quickly after. Keep doing this until the wax stops coming off onto the towels. Then your shoes should be fine again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012


  6. chiggafied

    chiggafied Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input, anyone else have any thoughts on this? Btw, regular shoe polish was applied and not wax. Would this work the same?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012


  7. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    I got a deer bone to help care for my cordovan - is this something I should also only start applying after a few wears?
     


  8. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Wax and Polish generally mean the same thing (paste in tins).
     


  9. Patrologia

    Patrologia Senior member

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    Since this thread got revived just over a month ago, I don't feel too bad reviving it again! Here's my question: I just bought a NIB pair of AE Cambridges, and want to treat them properly. I understand the above thoughts about NIB cordovan not needing anything before the first few wears, but these shoes are relatively old stock - I can tell because they sport the lovely black insole. Who cares, they probably make a pair in my size only every third year, so I'll take what I can get. However, with shoes sitting in the box for however many years that's been now, should I do something to hydrate them before taking them out for a spin?
     


  10. burningbright

    burningbright Senior member

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    So I read through this thread hoping to find an answer about the light scuffs that cordovan receives from when accidentally barked up against table and chair legs as well as the evil gas/brake pedal combo in the car.

    Nick addressed the deeper scuffs with the spoon/heat method, but what about the lighter scuffs that aren't getting buffed out by the damp cloths, shoe creams, and horsehair brushes? They're really annoying and I certainly don't want to resort to the cordovan paint described by one poster in order to cover them.

    There's gotta be a simple way to get these light scuffs out but vigorous and lengthy brushing with a horsehair brush isn't it (at least for me anyway). So, anybody care to share any success they've had? I posted this in the Alden thread but didn't have any takers.
     


  11. mackmittonz

    mackmittonz Well-Known Member

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    Just bought a pair of cordovan oxfords from Carmina and the manager showed me the neutral colored cordovan cream they carried. It was more like a jelly consistency compared to normal shoe cream. He insisted it was a little bit went a long way to help nourish the cordovan. After that, he applied a tiny bit of wax to address the scuffs. He said you really don't need much at all since it's cordovan.
     


  12. mymil

    mymil Senior member

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    That sounds like a good idea! You can use a deer polishing bone and Renovateur to condition the leather. See my link below. You might even want to go through the conditioning routine several times if you're concerned that they're dried out.


    A deer polishing bone will take care of minor scuffs right quick. Instead of re-posting my shell cordovan care routine (which involves conditioning the leather and buffing, but not polish) in this thread, here's a link to it: http://www.styleforum.net/t/228153/the-official-shoe-care-thread-tutorials-photos-etc/1425
     


  13. ncdobson

    ncdobson Senior member

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    Can anyone comment on the relative merits for shell of AE's waterproofing spray & Alden's leather defender? As usual, the Alden product costs more.

    Thanks,

    Nick D.
     


  14. im2bz2p

    im2bz2p New Member

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    I have a couple of Alden cordovans and they have always told me to use their wax/paste for polishing. Never use cream. I just came back from Spain with a pair of Carmina cordovans.... And they gave me a CREAM, made in France.... Neutral color, specifically for cordovan leathers. It is very creamy vs the Alden stuff which is more like wax........ I am confused...!
     


  15. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    The creams to be avoided are the ones not made for cordovan but rather calf .There exist at least two that I know of , saphir cordovan cream and ae cordovan cream, that are fine for shell.These two products condition and to a certain extent provide shine.Other products ,while not formulated for shell but are perfectly safe to use , are venetian cream(conditions and shines ),saphir renovateur(conditions and shines) kiwi paste wax used very sparingly(shine only ) All products should be used sparingly on shell.The real patina and shine of shell cordovan can only be brought about by brushing and buffing .There is no substitute for elbow grease
     


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