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Shoe Polishing Help!


Distinguished Member
Feb 9, 2020
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Buff with a lady's nylon stocking and it will sparkle even more.


Senior Member
May 30, 2019
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can someone clarify what ingredients to avoid in shoe polishes? i've picked out glimpses of people discussing things which are often included in more mass-market polishes that preserve it for the shelf, but can cause accumulated damage to leather. not an issue if you're that casual, but if you're buying good shoes and happen to pick up a tin you spot easily, it could backfire.

personally, i can understand why people gravitate towards saphir creams - can't for the life of me figure out why there appears to be so much similar ground covered by the various products in their range though, and i can't pick them apart. many other creams out there look to be fairly similar - using waxes and dyes to varying degrees - with many brands that have been around a long time, or sold by great shoe makers as part of their range to appeal to dedicated buyers. the only thing in a tin i'm currently touching is pate de luxe, and (as a boot wearer) i don't think i want that high shine look very often as i'm more casual than dress in style.

i can see a whole load of conditioners to occasionally use after cleaning and before polishing, but there's also no hard and fast set of rules over ingredients, so i tend to avoid the ingredients (not always clear) that i've read negative reactions to - mink oil, neatsfoot oil. i've tried sedgwick's leather feed which is very very nice stuff as it's fine and spread easily, takes very little to make a difference (comes in white tub with grey label these days), as well as oakwood's which is cheaper and more like lard when it comes to applying it but regarded by some as a well-kept secret and very cost-effective quality product.

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How important is full vs half canvas to you for heavier sport jackets?

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