• CALLING ON HOME SEWERS TO HELP HEALTHCARE WORKERS FIGHTING COVID-19

    The lack of proper masks, gowns, and eyewear equipment is making it difficult for health workers to do their work fighting the novel coronavirus. In a recent New York Times article, medical workers said they were worried about how they can both fight the coronavirus without imperiling themselves, as well as their loved ones when they go back home.

    If you are a home sewer, please consider helping my joining Hickey Freman Technical Vice President Jeffery Diduch in his effort to produce and deliver homemade gowns and masks to medical professionals in the greater Rochester, New York Area. Read about how you can help here

    Fok and the Styleforum Team.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

TenTriply

Active Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2020
Messages
37
Reaction score
10
I’ve learned quickly to acquire products on a shoe-by-shoe basis. First, every good shoe I own either has my foot inside, or a shoe tree. No exceptions; even boots I commute in and change at the office. And as most are AEs, and I often carry them in my backpack to work, I get a pair of bags for each pair (2 x $2).

I have Reno and Universal, so conditioning is mostly* covered. Then I make sure I have a pigment cream and appropriate wax for each shoe. In the case of my new navy Oak Streets, since there isn’t a (suitable) highgloss wax in navy, I use neutral Pate de Luxe. These cover my “three steps.”

On my ‘Must Acquire Eventually’ list is Renomat and shampoo.

Per my cobbler Josef of Advanced Shoe Repair (1st Ave, NYC, Saphir-certified), I keep a horsehair brush for each color. My collection is limited, so black, navy and walnut = 3 brushes. For now, when I apply dark brown to edges of soles, I buff with my black brush, but the moment I acquire brown uppers, that’s brush #4.

I just bought my first Red Wing Iron Rangers. As I’m still a know-nothing, I planned for the three-step condition/polish/wax routine. As I *know* I’m a know-nothing, I ran this by Josef. “No!” he said. He showed me his two Saphir “Graisse” products: Everest Vegetale and HP Dubbin. “You only need one product for this oil-tanned leather.” No wax, no pigment; use it as conditioner and even as a cleaner. One day, you may find some areas needing pigment. Fine — then back to graisse only.

* I don’t own suede or nubuck. But the moment I do, 3 must-haves out of the gate are suede brush, suede eraser, and Saphir water proofer. Eventually, spray-on Renovateur and shampoo will make it 5 suede products.

For applying polish and Renovat, old t-shirts do fine. My index finger is working beautifully for wax (followed by gentle cloth shammying). But I’m keeping daubers in mind.

I found a cool, sturdy vintage Esquire wooden shoe shine box on eBay; it arrives next week.

Most of my AEs have run $59 to $149 max (gently used, or new factory seconds/eBay NIB). I did spend $199 for NIB Strands (walnut) on eBay and $329.99 retail for my new Iron Rangers (Amber Harness Leather). They are the only two pairs over $149. So I don’t mind spending on shoe care.

Miscellaneous: I’ll eventually get Saphir Sole Protector for leather soles; and sole guards for leather that will hit the street. I also tape off any white or contrasting stitching I don’t want polish on. My cobbler is very proud of me for coming up with this myself.

I usually get an extra pair of laces; AE outlet stores pack these before they ship my seconds. I’m also acquiring cool colored laces for certain shoes; I favor Thin Round Waxed, but sometimes thick, a few unlaced, and some elegant flat in cotton or satin. (Note: Boot laces with Kevlar last longer.)

I don’t buy any fine footwear until I know what products are required; and I don’t wear any shoe that I haven’t treated with product and protected (lucky I have mostly Vibram or Dianite or Commando soles).

My last investment is time. Sunday nights have become my shoe shine night. It’s a relaxing and rewarding pastime, and I’m learning a hell of a lot. Time learning is another investment. YouTube and YouGuys have proved indispensable. THANK YOU for that!

aside from trees and if only 3 things:
-3 brushes light to black
-renovateur
-neutral wax

but thats unrealistic knowing the lot of you, myself included. Saphir up the wazoo in my kit.
 

Rugger

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
1,217
Reaction score
503
I bought a second light colored brush so I'd have 1 for browns and 1 for neutral/walnuts. Started to use the Brown brush with some Mahogany and it took on quite a bit of red. Should I get a third light brush so I have one for browns, reds, light browns? All of mine are from hanger project but their shipping costs are high.
 

TenTriply

Active Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2020
Messages
37
Reaction score
10
Since you mention expense, segregating colors and protecting fine leather is more important than owning trophy shoe brushes. There are many affordable brushes, and only so many polish colors; you likely won’t need many more, and the frequency in the need for yet one more will decrease as your collection of colors increases.

My cobbler Josef, on the other hand, keeps over a hundred brushes, as he segregates by product type and ingredients as well (e.g., solvents). But he needs them, and has impeccable standards. (I’ve never seen a cleaner, more organized shop, by the way.)

I bought a second light colored brush so I'd have 1 for browns and 1 for neutral/walnuts. Started to use the Brown brush with some Mahogany and it took on quite a bit of red. Should I get a third light brush so I have one for browns, reds, light browns? All of mine are from hanger project but their shipping costs are high.
 

JFWR

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
66
Reaction score
31
I can think of 2 possibilities. Pommadier is very heavy and needs good leather to absorb. And even then it requires removal of excess with a cloth after brushing. I have a pair of shoes that just couldn't absorb the pommadier, so for those I use Beaut de Cuir, which is less "greasy." Try wiping the shoes down vigorously with a clean cloth and see if lots of color is removed. If so, you are either using way too much pommadier or your shoes just can't absorb it.
Thank you so much for the reply.

The only leather quality issue I can think of is that the "Bond Street" Allen Edmonds I have are possibly corrected grain, given that the leather feels strangely plastic-ky; however, I also used the Pommadier on some Jefferson 2.0s, which are very fine, high quality, full-grain leather (the Independence line is, in general, the best quality from AE) and still got the splotches. I also have a pair of Bentons from Allen Edmonds that got the streaks from a cognac pommadier polish, but I fixed that through wiping them clean with the solvents from the cognac wax to dissolve the deposits.

I think the major issue might be just using too heavy of a hand. I am going to try a very, very, very light coat and see if I get the same results, and buff with a cloth after brushing to see if I am still seeing a lot of pigment on the rag.

The Beaut de Cuir cream is, in general, a lot easier to apply without problems, and gives an excellent nourishment and shine, but I bought the pommadier due to its reputation as THE best cream to buy, and I have been wondering why I am getting such a disappointing result with it.
 

JFWR

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
66
Reaction score
31
I recommend Shoe Goo, $7.50 at Amazon. It has an incredibly thick tar-like consistency, and if you gently prise open the gap you should be able to get a decent coat in there to seal it up. As JFWR said it’s not a serious separation, but you don’t want water creeping in and swelling things that shouldn’t be swollen.
This is precisely what I had in mind when I thought of shoe glue myself. I am going to be applying this to a pair of shoes and I have no doubt it will preserve the shoes until refurbishment is necessary in another 2 years or so. The refurbishment process should not be needed until the soles or welt get damaged to the point of a replacement.
 

JFWR

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
66
Reaction score
31
Since you mention expense, segregating colors and protecting fine leather is more important than owning trophy shoe brushes. There are many affordable brushes, and only so many polish colors; you likely won’t need many more, and the frequency in the need for yet one more will decrease as your collection of colors increases.

My cobbler Josef, on the other hand, keeps over a hundred brushes, as he segregates by product type and ingredients as well (e.g., solvents). But he needs them, and has impeccable standards. (I’ve never seen a cleaner, more organized shop, by the way.)
Ideally, I think you can get away with horse hair brushes being for black and every other colour, but the daubers should definitely be segregated by colour.

I basically have one horse hair brush for black/blue (as I use navy blue on my black shoes) and one for brown/burgundy/cognac. I have never had a problem with applying lighter shades with horse hair brushes, but I would never use my daubers mixed. The daubers should be segregated by colour, especially if you're using them for cream, where pigment is the biggest issue.

If you're using a lot of neutral creams or waxes, an independent brush/dauber for that makes sense, too, as you want no colour bleed at all.

But generally I'd say black/blue and then burgundy/brown is a decent way to save on having five million brushes.

I've never had a problem with finishing goat hair brushes, though. Those don't pick up any pigment at all, as they basically just wipe the surface clean. I also always buff with something else before using those as the final treatment.

Edit: Notably, when I use -wax- polishes, I also use the same dauber for blue/black, then another for brown/burgundy/cognac, but I make sure the daubers are (relatively) clean beforehand. I don't let them get caked with wax. If you really want to get a whole set of daubers for everything,t his would be ideal.

You can get a good deal on Ebay from this German shoe shine shop for good quality cream polish daubers, by the way. Recommend the investment, as again, you're spenidng hundreds of dollars on shoes, and this is just a one time investment to make sure they always look great.

You
 
Last edited:

Munky

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
2,145
Reaction score
932
Just to add an alternative point of view. First, I have a big box of Saphir and other products. I also have another big box of mostly horsehair brushes. Given my age and my allergic reaction to the turpentine that is a ingredient in very many shoe creams/waxes, I have built up a collection of shoes that require almost no care at all.

Tricker Boughtons in Kudu leather (wipe with a damp cloth, no products used). Two pairs of Dr Marten's Kudu leather shoes (ditto). Three pairs of Dr Marten's heavily corrected shoes (ditto). Sander's Jude, heavy brogues in Zug Leather (brush with a hogs hair brush). One pair of suede shoes and one of boots (brush with a hogs hair brush).

I have quite a few calf leather shoes and just use Saphir cream on these. I have to say, though, that I more often than not wear shoes from my 'no care' collection. I rarely need to wear formal shoes having been retired for many years. With fond wishes, Munky
 

j ingevaldsson

Distinguished Member
Affiliate Vendor
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
1,597
Reaction score
1,923
Shoe stretchers.jpg


Know this type of shoe stretchers is a product some have been looking for, but the ones available are often a bit fragile with screws braking etc. At Skolyx we have been exchanging a number of parts and developing this one with the factory, so are quite confident these hold up also for heavy use.

If you have a pair of shoes that are a bit snug or press in the wrong area, you can use this shoe stretcher to stretch the shoes yourself, instead of going to the cobbler (for more advanced stretching, it's still recommended to go to a cobbler with professional machines). Either the whole front part, or if you like a special area to be modified you may use the accompanying knobs in different sizes that can be attached on various places of the shoe tree.

We recommend that the area to be stretched is treated with a leather softener, developed to help the leather loosen up and avoid harm, like Saphir Shoe Eze or similar.

For more thorough info on how the stretcher is used, we have made this guide here.
 

TenTriply

Active Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2020
Messages
37
Reaction score
10
Munky,

This really is an interesting and relevant perspective. You have found a way to adapt!

You could go one step further by moving to the jungle and eliminating shoes altogether!

Like the rest of the Munkys!

— 10EEE


Just to add an alternative point of view. First, I have a big box of Saphir and other products. I also have another big box of mostly horsehair brushes. Given my age and my allergic reaction to the turpentine that is a ingredient in very many shoe creams/waxes, I have built up a collection of shoes that require almost no care at all.

Tricker Boughtons in Kudu leather (wipe with a damp cloth, no products used). Two pairs of Dr Marten's Kudu leather shoes (ditto). Three pairs of Dr Marten's heavily corrected shoes (ditto). Sander's Jude, heavy brogues in Zug Leather (brush with a hogs hair brush). One pair of suede shoes and one of boots (brush with a hogs hair brush).

I have quite a few calf leather shoes and just use Saphir cream on these. I have to say, though, that I more often than not wear shoes from my 'no care' collection. I rarely need to wear formal shoes having been retired for many years. With fond wishes, Munky
 

Mercurio

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Messages
315
Reaction score
607
View attachment 1340465

Know this type of shoe stretchers is a product some have been looking for, but the ones available are often a bit fragile with screws braking etc. At Skolyx we have been exchanging a number of parts and developing this one with the factory, so are quite confident these hold up also for heavy use.

If you have a pair of shoes that are a bit snug or press in the wrong area, you can use this shoe stretcher to stretch the shoes yourself, instead of going to the cobbler (for more advanced stretching, it's still recommended to go to a cobbler with professional machines). Either the whole front part, or if you like a special area to be modified you may use the accompanying knobs in different sizes that can be attached on various places of the shoe tree.

We recommend that the area to be stretched is treated with a leather softener, developed to help the leather loosen up and avoid harm, like Saphir Shoe Eze or similar.

For more thorough info on how the stretcher is used, we have made this guide here.
I would like to stretch some of my boots, but this kind of stretcher simply won't fit because the way it was designed. I wonder if there is an alternative that can be used to the same effect with chukka and tall boots.
 

florent

Senior Member
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
161
Reaction score
1,309
I would like to stretch some of my boots, but this kind of stretcher simply won't fit because the way it was designed. I wonder if there is an alternative that can be used to the same effect with chukka and tall boots.
I have seen vintage stretchers with their handle going vertically but I don't know if someone is still producing them nowadays
 

j ingevaldsson

Distinguished Member
Affiliate Vendor
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
1,597
Reaction score
1,923
I would like to stretch some of my boots, but this kind of stretcher simply won't fit because the way it was designed. I wonder if there is an alternative that can be used to the same effect with chukka and tall boots.
Haven’t seen any versions on the market today. For boots you have to go up to the same larger machines that cobblers have.
 

TenTriply

Active Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2020
Messages
37
Reaction score
10
Allen Edmonds answered my question:

"Thank you for your question... about the brown crackle leather...”

“Due to the nature of the finish we only recommend spot cleaning with a lightly damp cloth. You may use leather lotion on the cloth if you wish. Keep in mind the finish will flake off with normal wear and that is intentional. Also because of the “fabric-like” surface of the leather we don’t typically recommend shoe polish or any other polishing routine.”

Very interesting!

TenTriply

I would really double check what this kind of leather requires. You don't want to stain it.
 

Attachments

bakcamel

New Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
First post, seeking advice.

I've got an pair of J&M shoes I can't seem to do anything with. By "old" I mean 10-15 years, and I don't recall anything about the purchase, such as the model, materials, or how often I've had them resoled. The tongue says "Johnson and Murphy Limited" for what that's worth. I've attached two pictures, and the leather seems to have a wax or other glossy and not-very-porous finish on it, and has been sanded/smoothed.

My question(s) is this: It doesn't seem to take either polish or conditioner very well. I've applied Reno and AE shoe cream to it, but the scuffs and stains remain the same no matter what I use or how often. The product seems to rub right off and I'm back to where I started. Is the leather treatment such that I'm wasting my time with product? Am I missing something? It's frustrating to spend a lot of time and effort trying to fix these and have nothing to show for it.

Thanks in advance.
 

Attachments

madhat

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
11,554
Reaction score
36,794
Angulus suede dye is purple based black and left the suede a very dark brown. Feibings is a blue black, but didn't really make much of a color correction towards the factory black suede (far left). It also seemed watered down compared to Angulus.
I'm considering a round of navy dye in the hopes the bluer dye will help to override the brown tones.
IMG_20200223_102346.jpg

Does anyone have any experience getting a more "black" black suede with dyes?
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

WHICH TYPE OF SNEAKERS WORK BEST ON A FIRST DATE?

  • Classic Leather Low-Top

  • Canvas Plimsoll

  • Leather Slip-On

  • Canvas Slip-On

  • Athletic Kicks

  • Leather High-Top


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
435,884
Messages
9,366,481
Members
196,558
Latest member
bloonswnohari
Top