Proper shoe care

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by demeis, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. demeis

    demeis Senior member

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    Ok i can't find any of the old posts on proper shoe care and i just want to make sure i'm diong it right, another post sparked my question. here is how i usually care for my shoes, any recommendation?

    1) Always let them air out for 10-20 minutes when i take the off then shoe trees are always put in then the laces are tied and put in shoe bags.

    2) When polishing i use a wet towel and wipe them down. let them air dry. I then apply a shoe cream, buff with felt then horse hair brush. Then i apply wax and buff with felt and then horse hair brush.

    My only thought is should i be using a cleaner/conditioner? Would this help keep the leather in better shape? I am under the impression that cream moisterizes the leather and wax will dry it out? how can i keep the leather soft and in good shape?
     


  2. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    I generally don't wax my shoes each time I cream them. Too much build up, and I prefer less of a "bright shine." I like the richness of the leather to speak for itself, if you get my drift.
     


  3. Charley

    Charley Senior member

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    Brush first, then buff with cloth.

    And I also would not use both cream and wax at the same application, unless, maybe, I was trying to really deal with a damaged finish problem.

    Once you have a surface finish build up that is modest, you should be able to simply brush the shoes to remove any slight scuffs. The brushing will slightly redistribute the polish residue - wax or cream. Then buff again with cloth.
     


  4. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    Here are some links from AskAndy that I bookmarked concerning shoe care: http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/F....asp?mode=DoIt http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/Forum....obenauf http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/Clothes....ine.htm (The first link is to a search I just did on AskAndy for "polish" and I don't know if it works, but the other 2 are good). I'm a fan of Obenauf's Leather Preservative, though I've only used it for several months. The semi-solid stuff (in beeswax) gave one pair of Allen-Edmonds a matte finish that doesn't shine up, but the oil is nice. All my new shoes get the oil treatment before I shine them for the first time. The beeswax based material is reserved for hiking boots, etc.
     


  5. demeis

    demeis Senior member

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    I've found that using felt first then brushing then felt again will lead to a better shine than using the brush first. Thanks for the links and input so far. I realize that using both is somewhat overkill, maybe i'll just use a conditioner first with wax then use cream every other application and not use the wax, i just find wax to give a better shine than cream.
     


  6. TCN

    TCN Senior member

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    What the heck, my two cents . . .

    I don't buy the "need to air out" the shoes before inserting shoe trees argument. I'd rather they dry on forms immediately even if the air circulates 1% worse that way.

    I don't use horsehair brushes either, just a soft old cotton cloth. Cream or a general conditioner when needed (applied sparingly with the cotton rag). My favorite polishes are J.M. Weston's polishes which are high in beeswax, and do not contain silicone. After wiping the shoe off with a slightly damp cloth, I apply the Weston wax, and work it in to the leather until the section of cloth containing polish remnants has "glassed" over. Let the waxed shoe dry a bit, remove/buff with cotton cloth.

    I reserve shoe bags for travel and for storage of shoes not in my weekly rotation, but that's just me.

    On the subject of commercial shoe shiners, I have one that I trust, who doesn't black (or brown) out my edges with some goopy heel and edge dressing, and I supply him with the cremes and waxes for my own shoes. I do not take my shoes to cobblers or shoe shops for polishing (at least not my good or more delicate shoes), where I know they're going to get subjected to some grinding wheel . . . errr excuse me, "polishing wheel".
     


  7. denning

    denning Senior member

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    Here's a question for the shoe gurus. I just purchased a pair of cognac captoes but I live in a climate in which it rains quite often, west coast of Canada on Vancouver island, Victoria, BC. I would like to protect my shoes from all the rain and moisture. Normally for a dark brown or black I would not hesitate to use Dubbin as it does a great job waterproofing. However, directly on the container it says to not use on lighter leathers as it will permanently darken them. I wouldn't necessarily be against having the shoes be a few shades darker, but if given a preference I would rather keep them as they are.

    My question is this, what are some good waterproofing products that would protect my shoes from copious amounts of precipitation but not change their colour(ie. no mink oil). I considered for a very short time period a spray, but I do not want to use silicone on my shoes. Failing there being a product such as I am looking for what should I do in terms of trying to protect them with waxes/creams/polish?

    Cheers
     


  8. Patrick Bateman

    Patrick Bateman Senior member

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    Have you considered getting a pair of rubber over-shoes, or simply not wearing them when there's a chance of rain?
     


  9. TCN

    TCN Senior member

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    Agreed. In addition to overshoes, keep in mind that any paste wax will provide a water-resistant membrane as long as the membrane is intact. There is a microcrystalline wax called Renaissance wax that is used by armory and rare book conservators at many of the world's most prestigious museums (carnuba and beeswax apparently being too volatile [​IMG] for use on delicate old items, and not offering enough protection). I use the stuff on my shotguns and on the occasional old book, but have been tempted recently to try it out on footwear. It is absolutely clear, will not build up, and will not react adversely with anything.
     


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