Shoe Distressing - a step past antiquing?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Brian SD, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Brian SD

    Brian SD Moderator

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    I was looking at my Certo shoes that I ordered a year ago and wore three or four times. Ever. They're way too dressy to fit into my wardrobe, and the fad of wearing dress shoes with jeans is played out, especially in my age group. Even when I wear a suit, they still are just too plain. I'm not a banker, after all. So I decided to antique them (they're dark brown), and messed around with black and cordovan shoe cream, but they were still very dressy looking, with only a subtle change. This is probably because I didn't want to go too far with the black shoe cream, as the shoes were already pretty dark brown to begin with.

    So today, I started beating them with a hammer, creasing them every possible way in my hands, sandpapering them all over the place, whiping bleach on them, and then sandpapering them and creasing them some more. After I put on some shoe polish and did some light buffing, I decided that they look pretty awesome. They're not ridiculously beat up but all of the sudden they look great with my jeans.

    I decided I'm going to give them the same treatment as my jeans (which I wear for months at a time without ever washing them to achieve a beautiful patina). I'm going to wear these shoes 4-5 times a week for maybe 6 months or so without using shoe trees in between wearings. I imagine that doing this with only occasional conditioning with shoe cream could create a really nice effect.

    I guess the moral of the story is - if your shoes are looking boring to you, bust out that sandpaper and follow up with shoe cream. If you never wear them anyway, who cares if you ruin them? I had fun with it and people who have seen me wear the shoes before in their previous state have all of the sudden complimented them. Especially recommended if you're like me and you wear a lot of jeans and co-opy clothing.
     


  2. Aaron

    Aaron Senior member

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    Somewhere a trad has died...

    A.

    P.S.>Pic's?
     


  3. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    Hard to really tell from the pic, but Lattanzi does it from time to time:[​IMG]
     


  4. Brian SD

    Brian SD Moderator

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    Hard to really tell from the pic, but Lattanzi does it from time to time:

    pic


    Mine looks a lot like those but a bit less worked on. Now I have a goal for reference. [​IMG]
     


  5. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    Pictures? Pictures???
     


  6. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Pictures? Pictures???

    I second this. But I question the notion of leaving out the shoe trees. I'm afraid deep creases would make them look old-mannish, rather than distressed. I'd just wear the hell out of them, then stick trees in 'em without polishing, etc.
     


  7. berlin report

    berlin report Senior member

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    Brian! Pics please! I have several pairs awaiting their destiny!
     


  8. Nick M

    Nick M Senior member

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    I second this. But I question the notion of leaving out the shoe trees.
    If he does this, he can sell them for $400 a pair at Barneys:

    [​IMG]
    (They call it a "flip-toe", rather than a "clown shoe".)

    Kidding aside, though, plenty of shoes and boots look really good with some wear and tear - Brian, I look forward to your photos.
     


  9. Brian SD

    Brian SD Moderator

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    I second this. But I question the notion of leaving out the shoe trees. I'm afraid deep creases would make them look old-mannish, rather than distressed. I'd just wear the hell out of them, then stick trees in 'em without polishing, etc.

    Can you describe what you mean by "old-mannish?" Do you mean clown-shoe-y?

    Nick, I saw those NDC's at Barney's. So so gross, except for the suede brogues which I liked.. but could never spend $400 on. The same goes for some Margiela shoes they had in the same vein.

    Okay here's a picture. I hope I didn't hype them up to much. They aren't that nice or obvious looking - not like those Lattanzis. Hopefully they will be with some more work though. I like how those lattanzi's have a darker, more polished toe, with a more distressed upper.

    [​IMG]
     


  10. Etienne

    Etienne Senior member

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    So today, I started beating them with a hammer, creasing them every possible way in my hands, sandpapering them all over the place, whiping bleach on them, and then sandpapering them and creasing them some more.
    [​IMG]
     


  11. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    If he does this, he can sell them for $400 a pair at Barneys:

    [​IMG]
    (They call it a "flip-toe", rather than a "clown shoe".)

    Kidding aside, though, plenty of shoes and boots look really good with some wear and tear - Brian, I look forward to your photos.


    I just started crying a little bit, sort of like the fake Indian in the 70's TV ads on littering.
     


  12. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    If he does this, he can sell them for $400 a pair at Barneys:


    (They call it a "flip-toe", rather than a "clown shoe".)

    Kidding aside, though, plenty of shoes and boots look really good with some wear and tear - Brian, I look forward to your photos.


    I got a good chuckle out of this. It's called "marketing".

    Maybe sysdoc can try this with a pair of EGs.[​IMG]
     


  13. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Can you describe what you mean by "old-mannish?" Do you mean clown-shoe-y?

    No, I was more thinking that a lack of deep creases would send a subtle signal that this is something you had done on purpose, rather than being the result of neglect. When I see shoes that are really beaten, with really deep creases, I tend to think of old men who have worn their shoes for years while making no effort to keep them up. Think Salvation Army.

    Next time, perhaps I need to explain my circuitous logic a bit better.
     


  14. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    Brian-

    I thnk what you have done looks great.

    The toe on my shoe is just mirror polished after the distressing. It gives a great contrast, and the appearance of a different color, but the color is just about the same as the rest of the shoe.

    It is funny, I wear those shoes with suits all the time in an effort to do exactly the opposite of what you are talking about. I will try them with jeans soon. I think you will have a pair that you can use both ways.
     


  15. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    I use a Dremel.
     


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