Shoe care

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by PeterMetro, Sep 30, 2002.

  1. PeterMetro

    PeterMetro Senior member

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    I used to think I take good care of my shoes, but upon reading some posts in this forum, I realize there's a lot that I don't know. With some nice shoes in my closet, I'd like to make sure I can keep them around for a little while.

    Would anyone be willing to post a step-by-step shoe care regimen? Any recommendations on specific products would also be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
     


  2. The_Foxx

    The_Foxx Senior member

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    here is a pretty all-encompassing checklist, courtesy of Allen Edmonds (see www.allenedmonds.com): 1.When putting on your shoes, always use a shoe horn. This protects the heel from unnecessary wear 2.Always use cedar shoe trees after wearing. They're designed to absorb moisture and maintain the regular shape of your shoes 3.Allow shoes to dry completely, inside and out, by not wearing the same pair of shoes on consecutive days. 4.Every so often, use cleaner/conditioner to remove common dirt and dust from your shoes before polishing. This extra step is a necessary precaution to protect the natural beauty of the leather. 5.When needed, apply a shoe cream that's slightly lighter than the color of the leather. Allen-Edmonds shoe cream is specially formulated to renew color, cover scratches and moisturize your shoes. 6.After the shoe cream has dried, buff the shoes with a soft brush 7.Use carnauba base wax to polish your shoes regularly. Brush and rub with a soft cloth for a high gloss. 8.When traveling, use shoe bags or wrap shoes in a soft material. This protects the leather from scratches. 9.Use rubber overshoes to protect your shoes during foul weather. Wet leather wears more quickly than dry. 10.Send your shoes to Allen-Edmonds for RecraftingÂ[​IMG] when necessary
     


  3. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    I'm certainly no expert, but reading the shoe tree thread gave me some ideas. For starters, I think it depends on the climate in which you live. Someone, I think it was LA Guy, was saying cedar shoe trees could dry your shoes out too much. That's probably true, but if you live in a humid, tropical climate, you would want cedar. I lived in Costa Rica during the rainy season once and all my shoes were ruined from just sitting in the closet. I live in the Caribbean now, so I keep cedar shoe trees in all my shoes and they keep their forms nicely.

    If you were living in Utah or Arizona, though,you would probably want hardwood shoe trees. At anyrate, I think shoe trees are a must. As well I take them in regularly for polish and cleaning to a shoe store. As well, they replace soles and heels and etc. when needed.

    That's how I take care of my shoes and they do great.
     


  4. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  5. ulf

    ulf Well-Known Member

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    Something some people forget is to also apply a little polish to the heels/sides of soles. Cobblers use something else, I guess; there's a hard, shiny, slightly rubbery finish to them whenever I pick shoes up after a repair.

    Anyone know what they use and if it's available everywhere?
     


  6. pstoller

    pstoller Senior member

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    You can pick up Kiwi Edge Dressing pretty much anywhere in the US, which is used for the edges of the soles and heels. I imagine fine cobblers use a higher-grade product, but I've been happy with the Kiwi.
     


  7. ulf

    ulf Well-Known Member

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    I usually buy Kiwi polish, I'm satisfied with it. I'll have to look for the edge dressing stuff. Thanks for the tip.
     


  8. bsmith

    bsmith Member

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    The only thing that I can add to all this is to be sure you get the right stuff for the right type of leather. You don't want to use polish on an oil-tanned leather, nor many cleaning products on suede/nubuck. Polish is mostly reserved for dress shoes. For oil-tanned leather, I have found that Dr. Martin has a great product. It is a lanolin/beeswax compound that oils the shoe great, but doesn't leave it as dark as mink oil. Plus since it is a wax, it repels water to a point.

    Also, be sure to use a water protectant all the time. If possible, stay away from snow seal or any other silicone based product. These products usually say to wait 24 hours. This seals the shoe completely and doesn't allow your foot to breathe. Also, over time, I have found it reacts to some leathers and they start to have a yellowish color to them. I have always used Cavalier brand water protectant. It is non-silicone based and works well. It is safe enough that I even spray my ties. It works great for sales pitches.
     


  9. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The best way to dress the sole edge of your shoes: Use shoe cream (the stuff that comes in glass jars) not polish (in tins). Cream has much more pigment and therefore covers defects much better than polish. Next step will show if you are a true shoe aficionado: use your index finger to apply the cream to the edge of shoe. Nothing works better; your finger gives you the greatest control. (That is particular important on shoes where there is a great color difference between shoe and edge. If you slip up on a suede shoe the polish stain cannot be removed.) Also hold finger at an angle to extend cream 1or2 millimetres (1/32") into the sole.

    Let it dry for a few minutes, then buff very hard with a coarse cloth.
     


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