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Taking care of Black Leather Dress Shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by econkid89, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. HEPennypacker

    HEPennypacker Senior member

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    As well as using the right cream polish and/or conditioner, it a cedar shoe tree is a inexpensive item and a great investment. They help maintain the shape of your shoes and prevent cracking. They also absorb moisture which may avoid the white marks.

    I don't think shoe trees will help much with those shoes... But they will be useful later on when he buys better ones.
     
  2. JamesX

    JamesX Senior member

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    [​IMG] These are Army instructions, circa 1939, possibly even from World War 1 era.

    Shoe Maintenance haven't changed much since 1939 either [​IMG]
     
  3. Mr. Lee

    Mr. Lee Senior member

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    Where I am now, idn't it?
    Highly recommend a bottle of Lexol ($5-6) and a tin of Kiwi ($2) and you are good to go. Combine them with a rag and a horsehair brush ($10) and you have the start of a shoe shine kit that will last you for years.

    +1 on this for a college kid. You don't need to be spending money on (or even learning about) obscure and expensive shoe polish. Meltonian is a creme (cream?) and works fine. Cremes have more luster and less shine than wax-based polishes such as Kiwi, but Kiwi will do you fine and it's less goopy than a cream, so a little less messy. I would recommend two rags, one to put on the polish (using one finger) and one for buffing. Or you can buy a horsehair dauber for about $2.50. Another tip, and this may seem extreme, but I wear a cheap surgical gloves on the hand applying the polish. That shit is a bitch to get out of the tip of your finger. Good luck.
     
  4. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Shoe Maintenance haven't changed much since 1939 either [​IMG]

    I disagree. There are wonderful products available today that didn't exist in 1939.
     
  5. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    patrick

    i think this guy is not a serious poster. Actually unless he is retarded he is making you look retarded.

    You have 2000+ posts on here and you cant smell a troll?


    Spoken by somebody with 2 posts.
     
  6. ELG

    ELG Senior member

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    1. Go to grocery store.
    2. Buy groceries including a banana.
    3. Go home.
    4. Peel banana.
    5. Eat said fruit.
    6. Use peel to shine shoes.


    Have you actually used a banana?

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...ObdfyPRciF1kVA


    Have you actually used a banana?
     
  7. 997CTSurg

    997CTSurg Senior member

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    Yes, I did.
    I was interviewing for a cardiac surgery job and was on my second interview and noticed that my brown shoes were in dire need of a polish. I was in a smaller town and it was late at night. The practice I was interviewing with had left a fruit basket at the hotel as a welcoming gift. I ate the banana as a snack and polished my shoes with the peel. Wasn't perfect looking and I wouldn't do it again, but the shoes looked far better than before.
    I also made sure to polish my shoes before I went out on more interviews....was overworked and sleep deprived and didn't notice the browns were that bad off.
     
  8. raditude

    raditude Member

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    I always rub down my danskos with a peel before heading to the cathlab...
     
  9. econkid89

    econkid89 Member

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  10. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    Kiwi is perfectly fine.
     
  11. econkid89

    econkid89 Member

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    i can get the meltonian and horsehair brush for like $3 more.. Some people are saying to get kiwi and some are saying meltonian for a budge cleaner
     
  12. BlueHorseShoe

    BlueHorseShoe Senior member

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    This isn't some huge investment. At this point, but whatever is easier to get. Otherwise go with the prettier label...
     
  13. econkid89

    econkid89 Member

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    haha Im going to order it right now on amazon. KIWI Kit or Meltonian seperately???
     
  14. sportin_life

    sportin_life Senior member

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    Using a banana peel is a good idea, I'll have to keep that mind next time I'm stranded and need to polish my shoes. I personally polish my shoes with bacon fat, it leaves a nice shine!
     
  15. econkid89

    econkid89 Member

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    I ordered the Meltonian.
    Quick Question, What exactly does putting on creme polish do? I used to just dampen a cloth and clean any white marks on my leather dress shoes. Does creme polish make the shoe look "newer?"
     
  16. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Using a banana peel is a good idea, I'll have to keep that mind next time I'm stranded and need to polish my shoes. I personally polish my shoes with bacon fat, it leaves a nice shine!

    [​IMG]
     
  17. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    I ordered the Meltonian.
    Quick Question, What exactly does putting on creme polish do? I used to just dampen a cloth and clean any white marks on my leather dress shoes. Does creme polish make the shoe look "newer?"


    Leather is skin. In order to keep it supple and healthy, it needs oils. But unlike your skin, it can't generate those on its own. So you have to put them in. That's the main point of polish.

    For ages, leather was kept well fed with simple, rendered fats. The guy using bacon grease isn't far off, though it would be best to filter particulates out of it first. It was processed fat, and those oils keep you shoes healthy, though they don't impart much of a shine. But what's known as dubbin developed fairly soon, a mixture of those fats, oils, and wax. It was made to preserve and protect the leather, and did a good job of that. That was used for ages.

    Later on, people started adding various other things to the mixes, which at that point, were almost entirely homemade. Wealthy households would have the servants mix stuff up once a year, a big messy process, since they had to make enough for a year. For people who couldn't afford all that trouble (but could still afford shoes) there were shoe shine boys, who would make their own polish and sell their services for an affordable rate.

    The stuff they added included dyes and cleaners (such as naptha), which were added to give the shoe a nice shine and to protect the shoe from the elements somewhat. That basic formulation is still what governs shoe polish. Different brands use slightly different takes on the idea, and the ratios differ. Concurrently, people were beginning to sell premade polish and dubbin in tins. No more trying out a bunch of different recipes at home and suffering through the results, or trying to find the best shine in town, you could now buy nice, reliable products. Kiwi was the first to really catch on with a product. They started in 1904 and it caught on in 1906. From there, army use and affordable shoes helped the product take off.

    So there's the history and why we use the stuff. It keeps your shoes healthy and shiny.

    The big distinction in polish is wax versus cream. Both contain both waxes and creams to feed the leather. The divide is in which is more prominent. The flat tins are wax, and the deeper tubs are cream. Either will protect and maintain your shoes fairly well.

    But in order for leather to be healthy, it needs to be maintained. Rinsing off a salt stain is a good idea, but you'll need a good conditioning and polish to keep the leather healthy and protected.
     
  18. sportin_life

    sportin_life Senior member

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    A general question about creme while we're on the subject:

    When I tried using a creme product on my shoes, I've found that it is leaves a coat on the shoe and changes the color? It is almost like a thin layer or coating. Is this normal? For this reason, I've gone back to only using wax polishes.
     
  19. Liquidus

    Liquidus Senior member

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    How often should one use conditoner and cream?
     

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