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Shoe Scuffs - When is Acceptable?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Lafont, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. Lafont

    Lafont Senior member

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    I'll limit this right now to dress shoes; how long do you consider it acceptable after purchase for the leather on shoes to start scuffing? I never buy the most expensive types of shoes (e.g. $300+) but I don't get the low-price types either (e.g. Payless); it doesn't seem to take very long for the first annoying scuffs to appear (usually starting in the very front) such that I feel like I must keep polishing the pair or at least touch up). I do know it used to be very common for men to have their shoes polished very regularly, such as at a shoeshine, but part of that must have been to get the high gloss. This look doesn't seem to be that popular any more, in most circles.
    I don't like scuffs in casual shoes, but that seems to be much more acceptable and some of these materials aren't really meant to be shined anyway.
    I'm wondering if the really expensive leather shoes you guys write about really don't scuff for months if not years, with fairly regular wear.
    Then, of course, a big question is when is it time to keep shining vs. when to discard and replace. When worth it to get new heels, let alone new soles?
     


  2. holymadness

    holymadness Senior member

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    I wear €400 shoes and they scuff all the time. It's impossible to keep them pristine. There are always dolts who step on your feet, stairs you catch your shoes on, cobblestones you bump your toe against, etc. If you're lucky, nothing will actually cut into the leather, but even that isn't the end of the world. Just cover with plenty of polish, buff out the scratches and move on.

    Clothes are meant to be worn, not obsessed over. If you can't handle that, you need a less expensive hobby.

    Replacing heels and soles is a completely different issue.
     


  3. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Shoes are on your feet and leather does scuff. There is really no getting away from it. Better quality leather certaintly reacts to the elements better, but that is not to say that it is invincible. When you are wearing fine shoes you just have to be very conscious of your own feet and where other's are putting their feet.

    Even if they are scuffed, better leather can usually just be brushed back into place. The microfibers just bend in a uniform way with a scuff and brushing lifts them back up, kind of like hair. Deep scratches and such are totally different, waxes and polishes work wonders to hide thigs like this, but sharp things will pierce the very best leathers.

    All in all, polishing covers up scuffs and in some cases makes the scuff look beautiful and adds character to the shoe. As far as the shoe being discarded I don't think anybody would do that unless the upper was cracked right through to your foot, which means you probably were not taking proper care of it.
     


  4. The Louche

    The Louche Senior member

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    I thin the OP must have corrected grain shoes. It sounds like it given the general price frame he's established for his shoes.

    Its difficult to hide scuffs on corrected grain, even with copious polish. The plasticized finish simply refuses to allow for measures of repair.

    Decent 100% calf, however, is very easy to clean up with some brushing an polishing. OP need to step his game up to at least AE-ish levels and he will see that it is easy to clean-up scuffs.
     


  5. mr monty

    mr monty Senior member

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    I'll limit this right now to dress shoes; how long do you consider it acceptable after purchase for the leather on shoes to start scuffing? I never buy the most expensive types of shoes (e.g. $300+) but I don't get the low-price types either (e.g. Payless); it doesn't seem to take very long for the first annoying scuffs to appear (usually starting in the very front) such that I feel like I must keep polishing the pair or at least touch up). I do know it used to be very common for men to have their shoes polished very regularly, such as at a shoeshine, but part of that must have been to get the high gloss. This look doesn't seem to be that popular any more, in most circles.
    I don't like scuffs in casual shoes, but that seems to be much more acceptable and some of these materials aren't really meant to be shined anyway.
    I'm wondering if the really expensive leather shoes you guys write about really don't scuff for months if not years, with fairly regular wear.
    Then, of course, a big question is when is it time to keep shining vs. when to discard and replace. When worth it to get new heels, let alone new soles?


    Got pics of the shoes w/scuffs? Depending on how and where you walk, the most expensive shoes will scuff.
     


  6. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I thin the OP must have corrected grain shoes. It sounds like it given the general price frame he's established for his shoes.

    Its difficult to hide scuffs on corrected grain, even with copious polish. The plasticized finish simply refuses to allow for measures of repair.

    Decent 100% calf, however, is very easy to clean up with some brushing an polishing. OP need to step his game up to at least AE-ish levels and he will see that it is easy to clean-up scuffs.


    You speak the truth.
     


  7. ajv

    ajv Senior member

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    I wear €400 shoes and they scuff all the time. It's impossible to keep them pristine. There are always dolts who step on your feet, stairs you catch your shoes on, cobblestones you bump your toe against, etc. If you're lucky, nothing will actually cut into the leather, but even that isn't the end of the world. Just cover with plenty of polish, buff out the scratches and move on.

    Clothes are meant to be worn, not obsessed over. If you can't handle that, you need a less expensive hobby.

    Replacing heels and soles is a completely different issue.


    +10
     


  8. Lafont

    Lafont Senior member

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    "corrected grain shoes"

    A little explanation, please....
     


  9. rebel222

    rebel222 Senior member

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    "corrected grain shoes"

    A little explanation, please....


    Google it or search the forum. There is ton's of info about it.
     


  10. The Louche

    The Louche Senior member

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    "corrected grain shoes"

    A little explanation, please....


    Basically, its low quality leather that has required surface imperfections "corrected" using plastic-like substances. Its super common on shoes that run around $150-$200. Go to your nearest Nordstrom-esque store (some place selling a wide range of qualities side by side) and compare a pair of, say Cole Haan, oxfords in that price range to something of an obviously higher quality like a good AE or Santoni. Side-by-side its immediately apparent.
     


  11. chenc

    chenc Senior member

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    I'll limit this right now to dress shoes; how long do you consider it acceptable after purchase for the leather on shoes to start scuffing? I never buy the most expensive types of shoes (e.g. $300+) but I don't get the low-price types either (e.g. Payless); it doesn't seem to take very long for the first annoying scuffs to appear (usually starting in the very front) such that I feel like I must keep polishing the pair or at least touch up). I do know it used to be very common for men to have their shoes polished very regularly, such as at a shoeshine, but part of that must have been to get the high gloss. This look doesn't seem to be that popular any more, in most circles.
    I don't like scuffs in casual shoes, but that seems to be much more acceptable and some of these materials aren't really meant to be shined anyway.
    I'm wondering if the really expensive leather shoes you guys write about really don't scuff for months if not years, with fairly regular wear.
    Then, of course, a big question is when is it time to keep shining vs. when to discard and replace. When worth it to get new heels, let alone new soles?


    http://www.drmartensforlife.com/
    Bought one of these boots for Iowa winter. There's no way you can scuff these.
     


  12. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    http://www.drmartensforlife.com/
    Bought one of these boots for Iowa winter. There's no way you can scuff these.


    What a ridiculous post. Of course you can scuff them. Clip your toe on the edge of the stairs coming up from the subway in NYC, you'll scuff 'em.
     


  13. East Oakland

    East Oakland Senior member

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    What a ridiculous post. Of course you can scuff them. Clip your toe on the edge of the stairs coming up from the subway in NYC, you'll scuff 'em.

    Indeed. I owned plenty of Doc Matins when I was younger, and there was nothing magical about them that prevented them from being scuffed the same as any other shoe.
     


  14. Lafont

    Lafont Senior member

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    Thread not so dumb....[​IMG] The point was, for one thing, I never purchased shoes of the really expensive type and I wondered if they are of leather that wouldn't scratch so easily - i.e. harder or thicker, or with more protective coating. I also wanted to know how much scuffing, or whatever else it is, makes you guys decide to unload the pair of shoes altogether.
    Some of you have responded using that unfamiliar term for a kind of leather, so I gained something from that.
     


  15. Syl

    Syl Senior member

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    I aim to never buy something that, if damaged, I'd be distraught over.
     


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