Shoe care

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by drake, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. drake

    drake Senior member

    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    Westwood, Los Angeles
    How important is prepping shoes with cream before wearing them?

    I bought a pair of Greens but these are my first real dress shoes so I don't really know how to take care of them.

    I'v searched the forums but most people tell you how to mirror shine them and whatnot but that's not what I want to do. I like creases and wear, I think they give clothing character. What I want to do is keep the leather in good shape and healthy.

    So with that in mind, do I need to apply shoe creame before I start wearing them?

    Like I said I don't want them shiny, I don't want to make the creases disapear, I just want to keep the shoes in good shape so they last me a long time, wear and tear is fine and preferable but I don't want to destroy them.

    So can I start wearing them without applying cream?
     


  2. acidboy

    acidboy Senior member

    Messages:
    21,170
    Likes Received:
    1,740
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    yes you can wear them without applying shoe cream. just don't forget about shoe trees.
     


  3. whoopee

    whoopee Senior member

    Messages:
    2,455
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Your shoes won't magically self-destruct, especially if you keep them polished, but you should apply cream and a good layer of wax, IMO, to nourish the leahter and protect them from the elements. They will age, wear, and crease fine, even better than without.
     


  4. drake

    drake Senior member

    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    Westwood, Los Angeles
    Well I have a bottle of cleaner/conditioner here. I plan to apply that to keep them clean and occasionally apply creme, I'm just talking about before I start wearing them do I have to prep them with creme?

    The reason I mainly ask this is I need to wear them on Tuesday and I don't have time to run down to SF and buy some shoe cream before Tuesday.
     


  5. josepidal

    josepidal Senior member

    Messages:
    1,924
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I think it would be more important to apply wax for some waterproofing.
     


  6. whoopee

    whoopee Senior member

    Messages:
    2,455
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Go ahead. I still recommend you use wax polish, even if not a mirror shine.
     


  7. TCN

    TCN Senior member

    Messages:
    1,505
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Drake,

    I'm with you, leave the mirror shine to the military.

    No, you don't need to use cream. That leather comes from the tannery well equipped for a lot of wear before the leather requires moisturizing. Theoretically, you could go years and years without the leather drying out if you were in the perfect environment . . . but you're probably not. Just use a good cream from time to time to moisturize the leather. Hint, twice a week is too much unless you are wearing your shoes in the sauna.

    Now if you want to add a bit of waterproofing by way of wax, that's another story. If you would like a first rate wax that will not add the color (in most commercial shoe polishes), or affect the leather in any adverse way, pick up a tin of Renaissance microcrystilline wax. It is conservator's wax that all the top museums use on their metal, wood, and leather items. It will invisibly protect and not react with anything.

    By the way, lately I've been using Allen Edmonds cleaner/conditioner as a cream for my shoes that I don't use pigmented polishes on, and I've been very happy with it. I've also been using it and some elbow grease in lieu of edge dressing.
     


  8. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    16,118
    Likes Received:
    1,088
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Tombstone
    I agree with whoopee and josepidal on the importance of wax. It will help protect the leather. I'd be much more concerned with that than with shoe cream.
     


  9. Charley

    Charley Senior member

    Messages:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Location:
    Senior VP - Follies and Gewgaws
    The shoes should have ample moisture in the hides when they are new. However, it is not terribly difficult to insure that it is there by applying some conditioner.

    First wipe with a slightly damp cloth to get the leather just a bit damp and capable of absorbing the conditioner. Then apply a generous amount of conditioner with your fingers - somewhat slop it on and smear it around - don't really rub it though. Let it rest for a few minutes and gently wipe it off - again don't rub it as it may disturb the antiquing finish. Let dry a few more minutes, then brush it dry and shiney.

    Apply cream polish in the lighter shade of the shoes. I don't particularly care for the military spit shine. The cream polish will give the shoe an overall shine that is softer looking. After the lighter color, apply any darker color to inccrease the antiquing if you want. I want to go with the lighter first so that I am less likely to over do the darker color. And it will be easier to rub off if the lighter is under it.

    Let the cream polish dry to a good haze (minutes) - but not really get hard (hour +). Brush to shine and distribute the colors a bit. Since the cream is slightly softer, it is easier to brush out any scuffs that you get.

    Neither a cream or a wax polish will do much for waterproofing the shoes. Shoes polished with wax polish will still get thoroughly soaked in puddled water. Shoes regularly polished will have absorbed some of the cream and conditioner, making the leather more able to withstand the wetting without water damage.

    Don't be too darned concerned about a few hours of wearing before polishing. The real problem with not doing it first is that it is easy to delay the polishing for a few months so that there has been some damage to the finish that will be difficult to correct - if it is correctible.
     


  10. pkincy

    pkincy Senior member

    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    13
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Location:
    San Diego Ca
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by