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greenhouse

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Oh man, that sucks. I find it odd that they cracked in that one area, while the rest of the shoe looks in fine shape, if a little dry & dull. The crack is also really clean (there's a joke in there somewhere...). I wonder if your gait and, perhaps, excessive tension during the lasting process combined to cause extreme stress to that particular area.
 

aj2603

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if they are bespoke. then chances are that this was a good quality fun grain leather.

due to a lack conditioning especially in the vamp area , is one of the first places leather cracks.

water/rain has 2 issues IMO.

1. it does damage the leather. everyone knows and talks about this.

2. i don't think many people talk about this often, is that when u actually dry ur shoes post rain/getting wet. when ur dry ur shoe (not to be done using any artificial heat source, should be room temperature dried at all time) the water when it evaporates, it does take away some of the natural oils of the leather as well. hence as compared to before, post drying the leather is always for a lack of better words dry. it has lost some of its oils. IMO, it is very important to condition ur shoes once they are completely dry. do now wear and walk in them, in doing so u r delving the dry leather and subjecting tit to wear and tear. Always let ur shoe dry naturally, condition and polish them before the next wear.
 

Keith Taylor

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Hi all. Long time lurker, first time poster :)

I recently picked up a pair of Alfred Sargent Premier line Blenheims for an absolute steal on eBay. They were far from showroom condition (scuffing at the toe, and cosmetic but not structural wear at the heel topline), but for $45 I was hardly going to say no.

I'm perfectly happy with the shoes, and I'm certain they represent the best value for money of anything I've ever bought on eBay, but I'm wondering if it would be possible to either repair or minimise the appearance of the scuffing at the toes.

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I've taken these pictures a couple of wears since their last polish to show the damage more clearly. As you can see there are a number of shallow (<1mm deep) but relatively wide scuffs and scratches on both toes, and as far as I can tell the original owner did nothing to mask them but polish over them, and it looks like the scratches have absorbed the polish and darkened considerably. When I received the shoes a couple of the nicks still had very small pieces of leather hanging off them, which I carefully snipped away.

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This final photo makes the damage look glaringly obvious, but to be honest when they're nicely polished it's not that obvious, and as I live in Mongolia and nobody here dresses well I'm fairly sure that these are the nicest shoes in the country even scratched to hell :) Still, I'd love it if it were possible to restore them to their former glory, even just a little.

My first thought is that I need to begin by cleaning up the scratches and removing the black marks (which I assume to be polish, but what do I know?). I'm thinking saddle soap would be my first option, followed by a leather conditioner, perhaps followed by carefully filling in the scratches with the correct colour polish. I have a jar of Fiebing's and some Saphir renovateur being shipped from the US, but before I start throwing products at these things I thought it wise to ask the experts. Am I on the right track, should I try something else, or should I just convince myself that the scratches add character and make my peace with them?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer :)
 

ShoeWho

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The rain/snow piece is a good theory.

No, I was not conditioning them regularly. These were bespoke shoes I had made.
The crack/cut is not quite in line with the creases - I'm fairly certain that it didn't start as a crease and then get worse. The crack/cut is also pretty much vertical - it could be the result of a scrape on the edge of a brick or stone step. And it looks like you have some scratches parallel to it on the toecap.

I wonder what a really good shoe repair guy would have to say about this? If you can't find one who will work on it there are many professional leather repairers who usually work on furniture, car, high end motorcycle suits, etc. In addition to filler I reckon you also need something to stop the crack/cut lengthening; probably a patch glued on the inside of the shoe.
 

ShoeWho

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Step 1 is to clean all the cack and the polish out of the scratches. Maybe the Fiebing's could do this - I've not used it. Saphir Renomat would be my choice, but to avoid the cost of shipping it to Siberia maybe some other locally available solvent would work. Paraffin? Other members will have better suggestions, but whatever you try, test it on an inconspicuous part of the shoe, to check that it doesn't spoil the dye. Step 2 is to fill the holes. I've used Saphir Creme Renovatrice for this http://www.avel.com/saphir-beaute-du-cuir-32/produit/48-shoe-polish-renovating-cream-saphir-beaute-du-cuir-32.html It's tricky to get a smooth finish. You might get better results with something like this https://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/Leather_Repair_Kit#video Step 3 is to polish the toecap, being very gentle over the filled areas.
 

Keith Taylor

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Thanks for the advice :)

Yeah, Reno’Mat was the first thing that sprang to mind. I’ve heard it’s very good, but I was a little worried that it might be too potent. If this was a pair of AEs I’d already be attacking them with a cotton bud dipped in acetone, but since I don’t was to destroy a nice pair of AS through overzealousness I decided it was more sensible to try the saddle soap and put in a little elbow grease if it wasn’t quite effective enough.

Saphir Renovatrice! Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for :) I’ve just ordered a tube in medium brown, and now I have to sit back and wait patiently for delivery in two weeks. God, I wish I lived somewhere with a decent mail service.
 

ShoeWho

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The good thing about the Renovatrice is that if you don't like your first attempt you can just rub it with your fingers and peel it all off. So if you don't like the colour match you can mix it with a different colour and try again.
 

teddieriley

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I got a pair of JM Weston shoes I need stripped, redyed, and finished with patina. Any recommendations who I can send them off to for a more or less professional result? I tried reaching out to Nick Nelson via PM quite a while ago but never heard back. Thanks!
 
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To the Dude with the worn out linings. I'm pretty sure you have a mild case of Haglund's deformity. This is a small lump towards the back/outer part of the heel where the tendon attaches to the heel bone.

Do me a favour - take your shes and socks off and lift your foot so your toes are pointing up. Feel the back if your heel with your hand. Is it quite symetrical, or is there a pronounced lump near the rear/outside part of the heel?

I suspect that pressure point is rubbing through your leather linings.
Hi, I don't have Haglund's, although I regularly place pads on my heels so that I don't get blisters. And that is another thing I noticed since I started buying nicer shoes, I never had to use blister pads when I was young until I graduated from medical school, but now my formal shoes would surely hurt my foot if I wore them without said pads. I'm not sure if I need to go a half size larger or if my obsessive rotation (not wearing a pair more than once a week) is not giving my pairs the time they need to adjust to my feet, probably the former. My last pair of cheaper shoes were Bostonian's from Clark's that I wore almost everyday, never put shoe trees in, didn't hurt my feet, although they looked dowdy and creased after one year of regular use.
 

orlylow

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Can these be salvage and how should I go about doing it? Thanks.
 

aj2603

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Can these be salvage and how should I go about doing it? Thanks.
the leather has cracked significantly at multiple places.. i think its time to get some new ones

PS: does not look like full grain leather.. looks heavily corrected... sanding wont help either
 

SchachMundialECapital

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No way to salvage that. Time for new shoes.
 

willyto

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It looks like bookbinder leather. Doesn't it?

I've sanded cracks before, it's possible but not sure with that leather.
 

ShoeWho

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Colour in the cracks with a marker pen and carry on regardless.
 

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