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Distressing shoes/boots

Sevcom

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I agree that jeans and shiny leather shoes don't mix, but was wondering if one can self-distress the latter at home. Until I get the coin to drop on Varvatos boots, I might experiment with an old pair of brown ankle boots.

Suggestions?
 

Luc-Emmanuel

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I don't understand the shoes distressing concept? Do you mean antiquing with a patina?
Perhaps some pics of said varvatos would help.

.luc
 

esvoboda

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Generally speaking, I'd rather have my non-sneaker jean footwear in a finish like suede, pebble-grain, or other less dressy finish rather than have my shoes distressed. Most people are walking around with unintentionally distressed footwear and look like crap. That said, here's something you can try. Use rubbing alcohol to strip off any existing wax finish. Don't allow the alcohol to soak in. You want to minimize the damage that comes from drying out the leather. Then I'd use a little leather conditioner like Lexol to keep the leather from cracking unless that's what you want. Now you should have a matte finish. Not enough distressing? Hmm. Maybe carefully scuff them with some sandpaper. Oh, maybe leave out the shoe trees too. That'll help you fit in with the general population.
 

sbbbjm

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wear em hiking or building something, spill water on them, scuff em. i've heard of people scuffing them sandpaper and using a diluting some lighter colored than your boots shoe polish and then rubbing that into the scuff.

i've also left my boots out in the sun for a couple days on accident before and the leather got a little dried out and stiffer. some spots even crackled a little

anyway, said boots above have gotten me a lot of compliments. they were regular justin roper boots that i bought new for 90 bucks. after having em for about 6 months they are totally broken in and distressed complete with a few paint splatters. building, hiking, spilling crap on em -- really gives em some character. i had a guy ask me where i bought them cuz he wanted some beatup looking ones like mine and when i told em i got em at Boot City he was like, 'wow, i thought they were some really expensive designer brand' -- granted i was wearing a vintage skinny blazer, with a crisp white button up and some english cut APC's, i could see how he couldve thought that, i just chuckled a little and told him the story.
 

vvoc

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sorry for digging this thread back up but i just purchased a pair of johnston murphy cap toes and im planning to wear them strictly with jeans...currently theyre relatively polised and i want to give them that distressed look.... this is what they currently look like:
and i want to distress them so they look more like this:
any tips or procedures for achieving this distressing...? im basically gonna just strip the polish off with acetone...but then i dont know what else i can do.....ideas? thanks!!
 

robbie

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I guess I never thought of shoes as something I would want distressed.
 

Stylin-1

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Originally Posted by vvoc
sorry for digging this thread back up but i just purchased a pair of johnston murphy cap toes and im planning to wear them strictly with jeans...currently theyre relatively polised and i want to give them that distressed look.... this is what they currently look like:



and i want to distress them so they look more like this:



any tips or procedures for achieving this distressing...? im basically gonna just strip the polish off with acetone...but then i dont know what else i can do.....ideas? thanks!!

Sure.....have yourself committed to a mental hospital.
 

drizzt3117

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Originally Posted by Stylin-1
Sure.....have yourself committed to a mental hospital.


Those Barney's bluchers are pretty distressed, and use a much softer and lighter leather than the J&M so I'm not sure you're going to completely be able to achieve your goal... Some of the techinques people mentioned before will work, though.
 

vvoc

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i dont understand everyone being against the distressing? if I am planning to wear the shoes with denim, they look awkward and dont flow with the outfit if it looks like im wearing my dad's shoes...distressing the shoes will add a bit of casual flair to them making it a bit less formal...thanks for all the opinions and tips though
 

j

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You're going to need some heavy chemicals, mostly acetone, and probably a sandblaster to get anywhere close.
 

drizzt3117

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I think the distressing is cool, it's just going to be hard to achieve with those shoes. I think more matte, distressed shoes like NDCs are cool with denim, but also like some high gloss shoes as well.
 

j

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Sure, why not. Just remember once you have the finish stripped down you will need to moisturize the leather so it doesn't just fall apart - use shoe cream and let it soak in (buff off the excess) before using any wax polish.
 

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