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High(er) end Shoe Care

rboman32

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Any help would be most appreciated regarding proper shoe care for high end shoe....

I have recently purchased AE Park Ave's and Barker Blacks and some Robert Mason boots for weekend wear....certainly from reading this forum I know of other high end brands to keep my eye on as my shoe collection expands, but these are such a great leap from the Kenneth Cole rut I was in (simply because I thought that's all I could get in bigger sizes).....

Anyway, I got shoe trees but now would like to know of good conditioner products and perhaps reccomended methods to maintain these shoes as well as future purchases.....

Thanks in advance!!

RB
 

why4009

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Welcome, I suggest doing a search on this topic. There is lots of info.

Why4009
 

whiteslashasian

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Leather Conditioners: Lexol, Allen Edmonds branded, or Crema Alpena/Nubiana seem to be the "go-to" Products.

Saphir Creams and Polishes have gotten good reviews from forumites as well. Lexol can usually be found at any cobbler/shoe repair place. The Allen Edmonds directly from AE, the Crema Alpena and Saphir from Franco's.

Meltonian creams and wax polishes are pretty good as well and can almost always be found at your local cobbler/shoe repair shop.
 

mkarim

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Originally Posted by whiteslashasian
Leather Conditioners: Lexol, Allen Edmonds branded, or Crema Alpena/Nubiana seem to be the "go-to" Products.

Saphir Creams and Polishes have gotten good reviews from forumites as well. Lexol can usually be found at any cobbler/shoe repair place. The Allen Edmonds directly from AE, the Crema Alpena and Saphir from Franco's.

Meltonian creams and wax polishes are pretty good as well and can almost always be found at your local cobbler/shoe repair shop.


How is Lincoln polish?
 

Franky In T.O.

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I've spent a little time searching the net and also the forum and it appears that whiteslashasian's suggestions appear consistent to most. It's still rather daunting for someone who has just purchased their first couple of new pairs of high end shoes like myself.

Shoe Trees - even before I spent even just $200 on a pair of shoes, I was already a big fan of these and they are one reason why I've been able to get good life out of some non-cheap, but non-expensive shoes I've had in the past. You just can't go wrong with cedar shoe trees so long as they have the split-toe and full heel. The most I've paid is $40 the first time and I've found that they can easily be picked up for $20-30.

OK, this is where my current research begins....

Leather Conditioners

As mentioned above, Lexol, AE, and Crema Nubiana consistently get good reviews by members of SF. My only concern with Lexol is that it's known to darken leather. This shouldn't be a problem with black, but since I also bought a pair of high end browns should I be concerned or is it just a matter of being conservative in how much you should use? Since Crema Nubiana is nuetral, might it be the safer choice? Any differences in price with all 3 options is marginal and not of any concern considering the cost of the shoes themselves.


Shoe Creams vs. Shoe Wax (vs. Liquid Shine)

From what I've gathered, shoe creams moisturize and soaks into leather allowing it to breath. They help restore colour, but aren't as good as wax for covering scuffs. Shoe wax shines better than cream, but seals leather causing it to dry out over time.

Considering this, would it make sense to use shoe cream during the early stages of owning a shoe and then switching to a wax after plenty of wear and tear? With that said, if one uses a leather conditioner does this offset the need to use a shoe cream? And since the leather conditioner is being applied does that then offset any possibility of wax drying out the leather?

It appears to me that wax's main benefit is a higher shine. As one who likes his shoes shiny, I tend to lean towards using a wax. If a combination of using conditioner and wax meets all my needs is that the way to go? Or if wax does indeed seal leather does that not allow conditioner to do it's job?

As Saphir appears to be well regarded, I'd like to find a place in Toronto that carries it. Does anyone know? I did pick up a jar of Meltonian cream polish (#162 Bordeaux) and black Tana shoe cream today and should they not be ideal I can always use them with my older shoes. Are there any other well regarded creams and waxes that I should consider? Are easily accessible Tana and Kiwi over-rated? Or are they quite good to use on expensive shoes?

Liquid Shines - I always have a Kiwi Express Shine Sponge for when I need a quick shine as I'm running out the door. It seems that the they should be avoided like the plague.


Brushes

It appears that the standard is horsehair for polish applicators and brushes. Are there any particular brands that are better than others or so long as it's horsehair it's good for the shoe?

Soft Clothes - appears any soft cloth will do?

Water & Stain Resistance

It seems a number of leather conditioners have these features and I'm reading that sprays are best to be avoided.

In terms of creams and polishes, I see consistency in what is recommended, but not a heck of a lot of complete rejection of any shoe creams and polishes. Are their any that should downright be avoided?

Long post, I know. But lots of questions.
 

mimile

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No worry about Lexol on brown.
Some experts recommend using shoe cream once every 4 applications of wax. I have been doing that and I am quite satisfied. I only use Saphir (does not exist in Canada AFAIK), to be ordered from www.francos.com
 

the.chikor

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Originally Posted by mkarim
How is Lincoln polish?

Excellent. I have used it for the past 20 years. I have used many othere products as well; ranging from Turtle Wax to Collonil. I have found that certain shoes take better to different polishes. For instance, I use Saphir for most of my shoes-great polish. But, Saphir just doesn't work with the same results on other shoes that I have. So, I have many polishes. You just have to try them and see what works best on your shoes. I would recommend using a leather conditioner as well. I use Fiebings all purpose cleaner and conditioner. I also sometimes use Fiebings carnauba creme on some of my shoes before polishing with wax. -http://www.shoeshineexpress.com/polish.asp - Bick's and Cole Haan and others all seem to make a leather conditioner. Someone wrote on this forum (and I do not recall who) that saddle soap was good to use to remove dirt, grime and old polish, but only to use saddle soap every few months, as it could dry out the leather-sounds like sage advise to me. After cleaning the shoe with a damp cloth and brush, allow to dry and then apply the leather conditioner. Once dry, apply shoe cream-cream polish with dye- hence adds color back to leather. Polish the shoe with rag and then apply wax-allow to dry and then polish with rag or brush. Check out the St. Crispins web site-they have a great article on polishing shoes.
 

Franky In T.O.

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I always hear what's recommended, but haven't been hearing any horrer stories about any brands. Is there any reason why Tana and Kiwi don't get rave reviews? Is it because they're widely available and so there is a sense of snobbery towards a polish available in a drugstore? Or is there some legit reason they don't get any love?

Another question... does it matter what polish applicator or brush is used so long as it's made of horsehair?
 

indy116

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Originally Posted by Franky In T.O.
I always hear what's recommended, but haven't been hearing any horrer stories about any brands. Is there any reason why Tana and Kiwi don't get rave reviews? Is it because they're widely available and so there is a sense of snobbery towards a polish available in a drugstore? Or is there some legit reason they don't get any love?

Another question... does it matter what polish applicator or brush is used so long as it's made of horsehair?


I use Kiwi on my shoes. Dad taught me to use it. It hasn't let me down, so I don't look for other things.

I use an old undershirt to apply the polish, Kiwi horsehair brush for the first buffing, and a different part of the undershit for the final buff.

I bought an Allen Edmonds buffing brush off eBay when I bought some shoetrees last month. Wanted to use it for tan shoes. It works fine too, though it did shed considerably the first time I used it. I've tried a horsehair applicator brush and wasn't impressed. Undershirt works better for me.
 

LesterSnodgrass

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I have pretty much ditched wax all together in favor of conditioner and meltonian cream polish. I have no complaints about shine, and it helps develop some depth/patina. I have brown and black kiwi tins for the rare gouge, but really, the average depth scratch is easily cleaned up with creams that contain small amounts of wax. Anything that dries out the leather (e.g., wax) is bound to shorten the life of the shoe. I suppose it also helps that my full rotation is about 20 pairs, so most are only worn 2-3 times per month.
 

sf_esq

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Originally Posted by LesterSnodgrass
I have pretty much ditched wax all together in favor of conditioner and meltonian cream polish. I have no complaints about shine, and it helps develop some depth/patina. I have brown and black kiwi tins for the rare gouge, but really, the average depth scratch is easily cleaned up with creams that contain small amounts of wax. Anything that dries out the leather (e.g., wax) is bound to shorten the life of the shoe. I suppose it also helps that my full rotation is about 20 pairs, so most are only worn 2-3 times per month.

Agreed, very happy with Meltonian. If you put enough on, brush well and buff, they are very shiny. I can't imagine them getting much more shiny. On top of all that, it's easily available and relatively inexpensive.
 

constant struggle

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Originally Posted by Franky In T.O.
With that said, if one uses a leather conditioner does this offset the need to use a shoe cream?

Question for all you experts out there, is there any reason to use leather conditioner if you already use shoe cream? Will shoe cream provide adequate moisturizing? Someone please clarify!
 

bc78

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Originally Posted by constant struggle
Question for all you experts out there, is there any reason to use leather conditioner if you already use shoe cream? Will shoe cream provide adequate moisturizing? Someone please clarify!

same question
 

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