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Light brown Meermins have developed some dark streaks. Not sure how it happened or how to mitigate.


Active Member
Nov 2, 2016
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A few years ago I bought some split-toe Meermin derbies. I think they were Cognac, but this is pretty close to how they looked.

I didn't really know how to treat them, and in consequence they developed some discoloration. I tried a few things to fix or cover up the discoloration, then put them away in a closet when I failed. It's been long enough that I don't really remember what all I tried or whether my efforts caused things to get worse.

I'd like to try again, but I can't figure out what the problem is or how to fix it.
Some of it looks like water damage, like the spotting:


But there are also some large patches of black (or dark brown) that don't look like water damage and don't look like anything else, either. I'm finding it kind of hard to photograph, but here's my best effort.


You can also see a similar patch in the first picture, although the shine from the lighting mostly covers it up.

My first thought was that this dark patch was shoe polish. Back when I didn't know what I was doing, I applied several coats of dark brown cream and wax polish in an attempt to cover up the water damage. But I have tried a few rounds of saddle soap and a few rounds of Saphir Reno'Mat, and it doesn't seem to have helped. Also, applying more layers of polish doesn't seem to change the look of the dark spots at all. But introducing even a little bit of water made them look much darker until they dried.

I'd be grateful for any advice you can offer. The worst-case scenario is that the shoes are permanently and irrevocably ruined, obviously, but even if the only solution is to strip and redye the shoes, I'd be willing to do that. Unless it's possible to conceal the spots flawlessly, I am not really interested in concealing the spots by darkening these shoes—I've got plenty of dark brown shoes already, including some split-toes.
Last edited:

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