Shoe care basics for calf leather uppers

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kolecho, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Shoe cream, shoe polish, shoe wax, sole edge dye, horsehair brush.......

    Can anyone point to some comprehensive shoe care information for calf leather uppers?

    Of interest is:
    - What to do to a new pair of shoes before first wear.
    - How often should shoes be maintained, and what are the various steps to perform.
    - What are the reliable brands for cream, polish, wax etc.
    - Any other advice from you experienced folks.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Senior member

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    A few basic ideas would be as follows:

    New pair- Clean First with saddle soap, then polish with a good wax for protecting the leather against scuffs and dirt, also, if in a northern city where snow and winter rain may reslut in salt on the streets, a good idea to maybe apply 2 coats of wax, I prefer either Kiwi, or for an enriching Carnauba Wax.

    Follow these steps for good future care:
    Use conditioner/cleaner to remove surface residue and to keep leather soft and pliable. To achieve a fine luster, wipe shoes with a damp cloth and allow them to dry at room temperature. Then, apply a coat of shoe cream or polish with a cotton flannel polishing cloth or horsehair dauber and allow to air dry. If using a cream, repeat process with a coat of wax for protecting the finish. Remove excess polish by brushing with a horsehair brush and buff to a desired shine.
    Repeat process after every 3-4 wears, or more often if in bad elements.
    Watch for excess wax build-up, and remove with a mild cleaning fluid about every 2 months, being careful not to remove the finish.

    And always use cedar trees.
     
  3. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Am I correct to infer that one could use any one of the following procedures:

    - Clean, apply cream, do not buff, apply shoe wax to seal finish.
    - Clean, apply shoe polish, buff to shine. No wax needed.
     
  4. demeis

    demeis Senior member

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    Can you recommend a good cleaning fluid?
     
  5. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Senior member

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    Yes, but, buff between each apllication to smooth and remove excess, however it depend on the look you would like to achieve, high gloss or smooth matted finish as to the buffing, but one should always brush for finalization of the shine process.
    Wax and polish are the same, cream however is different, it would be very hard to achieve a high shine with a cream, only a wax polish. And to obtain the really high gloss, use a buffing cloth of fine cotton to bring the luster out in the toe.
     
  6. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Senior member

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    (nightowl6261a @ Jan. 16 2005,06:54) remove with a mild cleaning fluid about every 2 months, being careful not to remove the finish.
    Can you recommend a good cleaning fluid?
    Afta, a bit harsh if ever over rubbed, however if used correctly will clean off residue from old shines. Cleveland's will also work, but it is more harsh.
     
  7. aarghh

    aarghh Senior member

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    What would the same routine be for shell cordovan? What do I do before first wear, and on a regular basis?

    I know this has been touched upon before, but AFAIK, nobody brought up whether cleaner or conditioner is needed for shell cordovan.

    Thanks.
     
  8. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Senior member

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    To everyone, shell cordovan is just LEATHER, albeit horse hide, it is still leather, treat it the same. Why does everyone think shell cord is so great, yes it is more durable, yes it takes an incredible shine, but if it did not cost 40% more than calf, would anyone hold it in higher esteem. I have been in the shoe biz my whole life, and I can wear almost anything I want to, and yet I own no shell cord shoes, why you might ask, because they are hot, cumbersome looking, and in my opine, not at all worth the extra money...but to each his own, they are wonderful leathers when produced from the good companies that know how to tan Mr. Ed.
     
  9. aarghh

    aarghh Senior member

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    Well, but am I supposed to use shoe cream on shell cordovan? And what about the conditioner?

    My general regimen with shell cordovan is to wipe with a damp cloth, and use Kiwi polish. This differs from my other leather regimen in that I use conditioner for leather, and alternately use shoe cream and polish.

    Thus, my question.
     
  10. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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  11. aarghh

    aarghh Senior member

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    Right, which is why I am a little confused by the exhortation to treat cordovan like any other leather.

    Also - and I may be unusually dense here - no one has touched on the cleaner/conditioner aspect re cordovan.
     

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