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Leather cracking on EGs - please advise

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Tibo, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. well-kept

    well-kept Senior member

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    Completely normal wear. And even if there were much more severe wear, deeper creases etc, that is what happens to good calf shoes over time. It's a badge of honor, not something to be corrected or complained about. EG talking about silicone sounds... well, silly.
     
  2. MalfordOfLondon

    MalfordOfLondon Senior member

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    Let's start using the correct terminology. A crease is a crease and cracks are cracks. Creasing is normal whereas cracks means you're pretty much f[​IMG] 'd.

    I know the difference between cracks and creasing. You can see very small cracks in the leather on the crease where the OP has put the red arrow - it's pretty clear.

    Still think it's completely normal though. I don't think EG has confirmed that it's actual damage though have they? I think they just said that the effect was caused by silicone based products.

    As I said - got this on most shoes over a certain age and it doesn't bother me at all.
     
  3. Tibo

    Tibo Senior member

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    [​IMG] Here's my best attempt at capturing in pictures what I'm talking about. Close-up of the shoes without flash. The area I've circled shows cracking in my opinion, while the rest of the shoe on the same horizontal line shows creases. Now let's debate ...
     
  4. rabiesinfrance

    rabiesinfrance Senior member

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    Good close-up. I'd be bloody enraged!
     
  5. nmprisons

    nmprisons Senior member

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    I can now see what you are talking about, and it does appear distinct from what I view as normal creasing. That said, my oldest decent shoes are only 3 years old and so I don't know whether that is "normal" for an older pair.
     
  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I can't tell from the photo either. But many times when shoes crease in this fashion, cracks are at least beginning. The only way you'll know for sure if it is just creasing or actual cracking is to put trees in them such that the whole forepart is stretched flat, or nearly so. Wipe them down good and then take a magnifying glass and look closely at the crease. Examine the edges of the creases. If they are cracking you will see a distinctive difference in the texture of the leather on top and the leather in the crease/crack. And you will see a sharp edge at the top of any crack. The leather in the crack/crease will also be dull. You might even sprinkle a little water on the affected area. If the leather is cracked it will, depending on how much wax/silicone has been applied, soak in. Now having said all that, some conditioning products do contain silicone and/or other chemicals (turpentine, benzine, etc..) that will hasten cracking....even if they don't mention it on the label. And all leather eventually cracks...there used to be an "old shoemaker's tale" that cracking such as this was due to floor level urinals. The point being that acids, acid rain, petroleum products, even road salt, etc....nearly everything, IOW...in the environment can be deleterious.
     
  7. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I just saw your latest photo--definitely cracking. It will only get worse. Sorry.
     
  8. entrero

    entrero Senior member

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    [
    Here's my best attempt at capturing in pictures what I'm talking about. Close-up of the shoes without flash. The area I've circled shows cracking in my opinion, while the rest of the shoe on the same horizontal line shows creases.

    Now let's debate ...


    I stand corrected, thats uh crack. The problem how EG would solve this problem, because generally happens due negligence. Best of luck.
     
  9. MalfordOfLondon

    MalfordOfLondon Senior member

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    I thought you just meant the sort of "micro cracks" which were apparent in the first two photos. Your last photo shows something completely different.

    Can't imagine anything can be done to remedy that and I'd say that's pretty strange for a shoe which is only a few years old unless you'd never taken care of them.
     
  10. rebel222

    rebel222 Senior member

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    I need to recant my prior statements.

    Usually people come on this board and bitch about nothing. Your latest picture is different than the normal bitching.

    I would be pretty upset if my shoes were in the condition of your latest picture.

    Maybe DWFII can comment, but I always find that calfskin that is dyed black seems to crack and crease more dramatically. Maybe it is something in the process of dying calfskin black that stresses the leather more than brown.
     
  11. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    I thought you just meant the sort of "micro cracks" which were apparent in the first two photos. Your last photo shows something completely different.

    Can't imagine anything can be done to remedy that and I'd say that's pretty strange for a shoe which is only a few years old unless you'd never taken care of them.


    +1
     
  12. rabiesinfrance

    rabiesinfrance Senior member

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    Given EG's dire customer service and in this case questioning the honesty and integrity of the owner of the shoes, I suspect all you'll get is a "V" for victory sign. Good luck.
     
  13. Xenon

    Xenon Senior member

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    Do your feet perspire alot?

    I have some shoes that have this cracking and I always suspected that it was the salts left over after perspiration moisture evaporated and caused abrasion within the leather
     
  14. TRA8324

    TRA8324 Senior member

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    Maybe DWFII can comment, but I always find that calfskin that is dyed black seems to crack and crease more dramatically. Maybe it is something in the process of dying calfskin black that stresses the leather more than brown.
    This would be interesting if true...my next shoe purchase is going to be a plain, black, captoe balmoral. I was considering investing in a higher end brand, but if this is true, I think I'll just stick to some Park Avenues.
     
  15. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    Much better detail in the 2nd photograph. Seems a little off hand by EG, but then again, they can't guarantee the shoe for five years as a standard otherwise they'd be inundated with repairs.
     
  16. Kuro

    Kuro Senior member

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    some conditioning products do contain silicone and/or other chemicals (turpentine, benzine, etc..) that will hasten cracking....even if they don't mention it on the label.


    Which? Recently switch to lexol as my main conditioner from saphir renovateur ...
     
  17. The Silverfox

    The Silverfox Senior member

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    Which? Recently switch to lexol as my main conditioner from saphir renovateur ...

    Slightly off topic, but why'd you make the switch?

    In response to the OP, the first picture looked like just creasing,but the second one is obviously cracking. You said you emailed the first picture to EG, have they seen the second one?

    If I were you I'd make sure I sent them the second one, so there is no doubt that it is in fact cracking, and that the picture is from after their servicing the shoe so there is no question of whether it's the just polish or the actual leather.

    Having never had anything to do with EG I feel a little awkward commenting on their service, but generally speaking I think they can safely be classified as one of those producers that operate on reasonably tight margins and sell high quality merchandice where the bulk of the price goes to cover production, rather than pay for inflated advertising budgets to build the prestige of the brand. As such, I think it's slightly more acceptable for them to be sceptical about a story that to them doesn't make sense (which is probably how they see it as this shouldn't be happening to a pair of shoes that are 4 years old and have been cared for well).

    That's not to say that they don't owe you the benefit of the doubt, or that you shouldn't hold them responsible for the quality of their product, but in my view, they should be given a bit more latitude with respect to interpreting the "tone" of their correspondence. If you end up dissatisfied and left with a pair of shoes that deteriorated prematurely, that would be a shame, but I'd say it's more important to simply try to communicate the problem and the fact that you've maintained the shoes well than to get offended over their reluctance.

    Best of luck.
     
  18. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Let's see...

    Black leathers...in my experience black leathers do seem to crack more readily than any other colour. I don't know why. Shouldn't be any different than any other aniline (petro-chemical based) dye.

    That said, almost all my shoes/boots are black. One of my mottos (a man has to have a motto) is "any colour is OK as long as it's black. " (another is "sleep neat" although as I get older, I can't hack the cold). But bottom line I don't have much experience on a day-to-day, year-to-year, decade-to-decade basis with other colours for comparison. I do have one pair of brown shoes that I've been wearing for well over five years. They are veg tanned buffalo which I dyed dk.brown...they're cracking.

    Lexol...I've always used Lexol. Never had a problem with it. I received some Saphir
    Renovateur from Rider some months back and while I like it it doesn't disappear into the leather as readily as the Lexol. It would be interesting to know the ingredients of the Renovateur.

    Recently (and neither here nor there for most folks--don't try this at home, kids) I've been experimenting with an old, old method wherein you wet the leather with water...both sides...and then apply a fairly liberal coat of non-USP grade cod liver oil...both sides. As the water evaporates it draws the oil into the fibers, and with gentle warmth and a small amount of time...say a week to a month...it will oxidize and form a jelly. And there will be no smell. Period. If excess is wiped off the surface while the leather is still wet, no greasy residue will be left on the grainside of the leather.

    This works pretty good on vegetable tannage. The old French Waxed Calf made from East India Company Kips was treated in a very similar manner. But again, don't try this at home.
     
  19. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I thought I was the only one that only wears black shoes. Long live the soporific shoe!

    I personally think Lexol works better as a conditioner and acts like more of a solvent as well. Reno I use regularly, but maybe every 5 months or so give my shoes a good dose of Lexol. It takes off a lot of the finish, which is kind of good. I then rebuild.

    I think black tends to crack more often because black shoes tend to hide a lot of wear and tear and go longer without conditioning and polishing. Brown shoes, the slightest bit of a scuff, or reduction in finish is clearly evident and people treat them more often. Just my take on it.
     
  20. isshinryu101

    isshinryu101 Senior member

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    WOW! Like many others, to me, the 1st set of pics seemed to show nothing wrong. That last pic is a freaking horror show. That looks like "later stage" cracking, "early stage" just being a minute line which cuts through the leather.

    From experience, I've only seen that kind of damage from 1) NOT using shoe trees, + 2) letting the leather dry out (ie: no polish, conditioner, etc). Since you say you use trees regularly & polish regularly, I can think of NO reason that would have happened.

    I WILL say that certain leathers are more prone to drying out than others. JM Weston, for instance, uses leather that dries out relatively easily. I have seen numerous pairs of their shoes with real cracking, more than with any other brand.

    Short story... you should be VERY ANGRY!!! Any post that talks about 5 years old being "old shoes" are insane & ridiculous (my opinion, of course). Quality leather can EASILY last 20 years as long as it's not allowed to get wet, or overly dried out (using conditioner, polish, etc).

    PS: I want to see some pics from the posters who say they have small cracks in "high-quality" and "well-cared for" shoes. Maybe the leather used isn't as high-quality as we thought, after all!!!

    PPS: you have my condolences, sir!
     

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