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JFWR

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The fire shine method actually refers to igniting flammable petroleum based shoe polish in the tin in order to liquify the wax, extinguishing the fire by starving it of oxygen with the lid, and subsequently applying the melted wax to the shoe while still hot. The liquid wax seeps into the leather pores instantly creating an even and smooth surface. Subsequent vigorous buffing with a cotton shammy will result in a mirror finish within seconds. It’s recommended this method only be applied in well ventilated areas given the risk of exposure to toxic fumes and one should always be mindful of the fire hazard it poses.

It’s a general misconception that leather should be directly exposed to fire when fire shining.

I often used this method personally during my attendance at a military academy. The results are mind boggling.
I understand there are two methods of fire shining, one of which involves passing fire along the shoe itself once the wax is applied, and then the other as you describe: lighting the tin.

I've tried lighting the tin method and haven't gotten an especially good shine as a result of it. I get a lot better result from spit shining. From what I understand, it is a nice way to waterproof boots with wax by soaking the leather in the wax, but besides that, it doesn't seem especially that great.
 

Goofy

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I understand there are two methods of fire shining, one of which involves passing fire along the shoe itself once the wax is applied, and then the other as you describe: lighting the tin.

I've tried lighting the tin method and haven't gotten an especially good shine as a result of it. I get a lot better result from spit shining. From what I understand, it is a nice way to waterproof boots with wax by soaking the leather in the wax, but besides that, it doesn't seem especially that great.
The trick to achieving the mirror shine is to vigorously buff with a cotton shammy while the wax is still soft. I‘m referring to the buffing technique professional shoeshiners apply where the shammy is held with both hands and vigorously slid from side to side over the areas that require shining. The easiest way to apply this technique is by wearing the shoe while shining it. Place your heel on a chair with the toe box extending over the side and subsequently buff the shoe as described above by using the weight of your upper body to lean in and apply pressure while vigorously sliding the shammy back and forth. The resulting friction and heat will bring out a shine as smooth as a mirror and takes only seconds to achieve.

Personally I prefer the classical method of shining as well. I find it relaxing. It’s like creative therapy. But nothing beats the speed and ease of fire shining; provided one doesn’t burn down the house.

Perhaps the method in which fire is applied directly to the leather evolved from fire hazard restrictions which prohibit lighting shoe polish tins inside baracks nowadays. Regardles, exposing leather to fire is an awful idea.
 
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JFWR

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So gentlemen, I have a question:

I have a pair of Jefferson 2.0s from Allen Edmonds that I've worn for about a year now. They're quite good shoes, very comfortable, but I've noticed that the leather soles are becoming increasingly slippery. I am finding my feet are really beginning to slip on asphalt, tile, and smooth wood in ways I'd prefer to avoid. My other leather soled shoes do not have nearly as bad of a problem as the Jeffersons, and I am wondering what can I do to make them have more traction, absent adding rubber soles onto them?

That is to say: What can I do -to the leather- to make it have more grip? My other shoes just aren't as slippery as these are.
 

Jazzthief

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General suggestions for shoe care:

DO
Brush when going out and coming back,
Wipe down with a damp cloth occasionally,
Use cream occasionally and wax if you want a higher shine.

DON'T
Use Renomat,
Don't wash your shoes,
Don't use hair driers, blow torches, flame throwers or tanks.

Golden rule in shoe care: keep it simple.

With best wishes, Munky
I would appreciate an answer to a question that has been bothering me for a while. I have been taking care of my shoes by simply brushing and regularly (twice a week as I do wear them 3-4 times a week) applying shoe cream. It has worked very well and the shoes still look pretty stellar. However I am getting another pair of more expensive and higher quality shoes and am thinking of starting to use wax and conditioner, but from my own experience and from your latest comments in this thread I am somewhat disinclined to get a bunch of new products that all these popular channels like The Elegant Oxford and Kirby Allison use.

I am thinking of getting a Famaco conditioner, Siegol cream and wax + cleaner for instances when they get soiled (by the northern weather). My question stems from the build-up of wax that is to occur. I am not intending to opt for mirror-shining as for the time being I do find that it is better to start out simple. However, I still do intend to use 1-2 layers of wax across the entire shoe for "protection" that it is supposed to bring and for a slightly higher shine.

Finally, to the question: if I use wax - which in itself does not provide nourishment - then would I have to strip it every time I would want to nourish the leather (at least once a week)? Additonaly, would a conditioner be a fitting product for it as it should not be a harsh agent (Renomat for example) that would require to start the whole shine from scratch? How often should conditioner even be used?

As they say: "your milage may vary," as there are a plethora of opinions on this matter, but from my novice experience I have also found that the simplest approach works well. Nevertheless I would like to give wax a try. Because of our faith in a more simple tactic I would like to know your opinion - if it is not too much of a hassle for you. Anyone else can chime in as well of course!

I gave the search button a shot, but it is quire a chore to find a comprehensive answer to my question from 24,000 replies! I have been reading about shoe care for months on end for now - actually for almost a year now - and have not found a good answer to the aforementioned questions!

Best regards,
 
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JFWR

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I would appreciate an answer to a question that has been bothering me for a while. I have been taking care of my shoes by simply brushing and regularly (twice a week as I do wear them 3-4 times a week) applying shoe cream. It has worked very well and the shoes still look pretty stellar. However I am getting another pair of more expensive and higher quality shoes and am thinking of starting to use wax and conditioner, but from my own experience and from your latest comments in this thread I am somewhat disinklined to get a bunch of new products that all these popular channels like The Elegant Oxford and Kirby Allison use.

I am thinking of getting a Famaco conditioner, Siegol cream and wax + cleaner for instances when they get soiled (by the northern weather). My question stems from the build-up of wax that is to occur. I am not intending to opt for mirror-shining as for the time being I do find that it is better to start out simple. However, I still do intend to use 1-2 layers of wax across the entire shoe for "protection" that it is supposed to bring and for a slightly higher shine.

Finally, to the question: if I use wax - which in itself does not provide nourishment - then would I have to strip it every time I would want to nourish the leather (at least once a week)? Additonaly, would a conditioner be a fitting product for it as it should not be a harsh agent (Renomat for example) that would require to start the whole shine from scratch? How often should conditioner even be used?

As they say: "your milage may vary," as there are a plethora of opinions on this matter, but from my novice experience I have also found that the simplest approach works well. Nevertheless I would like to give wax a try. Because of our faith in a more simple tactic I would like to know your opinion - if it is not too much of a hassle for you. Anyone else can chime in as well of course!

I gave the search button a shot, but it is quire a chore to get find a comprehensive answer to my question from 24,000 replies! I have been reading about shoe care for months on end for now - actually for almost a year now - and have not found a good answer to the aforementioned questions!

Best regards,
When you apply polish, most of the polish is removed simply as a result of brushing vigorously, especially when you're using a sparing amount. If you are not building up a hard layer of wax to provide a mirror shine, relatively little wax remains: as such, it will not be enough to nearly keep the leather from being nourished.

Moreoever, even as you build up layers of wax for a mirror shine, which you aren't doing, it will wear away. This is why you need to recolour your mirror shine with pigmented cream and apply addititional layers.

The cream basically can penetrate most layers of wax and reach the leather underneath, except perhaps the most highly mirror polished surfaces, and even those deteriorate relatively quickly. As such, you should never worry your shoes aren't getting the cream.

As for conditioner, you can get away conditioning if you use cream regularly about twice a year, depending on how humid your area is. I'd condition leather much more frequently if you live in a desert area, but you said you live up North, so I imagine that you aren't in too dry of conditions. Given you are using cream, which already conditions the leather, you really don't have to worry about a deep conditioning except, precautionarily, about twice a year, or if you get something on your shoes that dries 'em out.

Renomat, by the way, is not a conditioner at all: it's a deglazer. So yeah, you don't apply renomat to make your shoes look good, but to deglaze them of wax, dirt, salt, petroleum byproducts, silicones, etc.

Stripping a shoe of wax is only absolutely necessary, by the way, when you really need to remove it to start over the shine from scratch or you get a deep gouge in it and can't fix it.

Honestly, aside from just making sure care really complicated, people also make it seem like a gigantic deal. You can get the wrong impression from watching the Elegant Oxford and such strip shoes down to the bone all the time, because what they are doing is redying and burnishing the shoes. Nope. Most shoe care is relatively little.

Even with my mirror shines, the care I perform on my shoes is simple: I start off with the works, then it's just about keeping the shine maintained with a cloth, wax, and some cream here and there.
 

Munky

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I would appreciate an answer to a question that has been bothering me for a while. I have been taking care of my shoes by simply brushing and regularly (twice a week as I do wear them 3-4 times a week) applying shoe cream. It has worked very well and the shoes still look pretty stellar. However I am getting another pair of more expensive and higher quality shoes and am thinking of starting to use wax and conditioner, but from my own experience and from your latest comments in this thread I am somewhat disinklined to get a bunch of new products that all these popular channels like The Elegant Oxford and Kirby Allison use.

I am thinking of getting a Famaco conditioner, Siegol cream and wax + cleaner for instances when they get soiled (by the northern weather). My question stems from the build-up of wax that is to occur. I am not intending to opt for mirror-shining as for the time being I do find that it is better to start out simple. However, I still do intend to use 1-2 layers of wax across the entire shoe for "protection" that it is supposed to bring and for a slightly higher shine.

Finally, to the question: if I use wax - which in itself does not provide nourishment - then would I have to strip it every time I would want to nourish the leather (at least once a week)? Additonaly, would a conditioner be a fitting product for it as it should not be a harsh agent (Renomat for example) that would require to start the whole shine from scratch? How often should conditioner even be used?

As they say: "your milage may vary," as there are a plethora of opinions on this matter, but from my novice experience I have also found that the simplest approach works well. Nevertheless I would like to give wax a try. Because of our faith in a more simple tactic I would like to know your opinion - if it is not too much of a hassle for you. Anyone else can chime in as well of course!

I gave the search button a shot, but it is quire a chore to get find a comprehensive answer to my question from 24,000 replies! I have been reading about shoe care for months on end for now - actually for almost a year now - and have not found a good answer to the aforementioned questions!

Best regards,
I can only repeat what I have been writing on here for the last seven years. Brush when you go out and when you come back. Use cream polish, occasionally and wax if you want a higher shine. Use a conditioner, if you really want to, very infrequently.

That really is all you need to do to take care of your shoes. For what it's worth, I have been doing this for years and my shoes are all in good condition and look good. If you want some guesstimates about frequency of using products: cream/wax perhaps once a fortnight, conditioner, about every six months to a year. Resist stripping your shoes. Otherwise, brush and wear. With all good wishes, Munky.
 

Munky

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I wouldn't be too put off Saphir products by their popularity. They are really good quality and last a long time.
I agree; they are really good products and they do last a long time
 

JFWR

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So gentlemen, I have a question:

I have a pair of Jefferson 2.0s from Allen Edmonds that I've worn for about a year now. They're quite good shoes, very comfortable, but I've noticed that the leather soles are becoming increasingly slippery. I am finding my feet are really beginning to slip on asphalt, tile, and smooth wood in ways I'd prefer to avoid. My other leather soled shoes do not have nearly as bad of a problem as the Jeffersons, and I am wondering what can I do to make them have more traction, absent adding rubber soles onto them?

That is to say: What can I do -to the leather- to make it have more grip? My other shoes just aren't as slippery as these are.
Anyone have any insight into this question?
 

nevaeh

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Anyone have any insight into this question?
Leather soles becoming more slippery as you wear them more seems counter-intuitive. Before a diagnosis, I'd like some more context. Because, usually, the more you wear them, the less slippery they should become. This is because, as the surface becomes rougher, you'll have more friction. How long have you had both shoes? Have you treated the new ones in any way, perhaps by adding cream or wax to them?

The other part of this is the heel. Do you have a rubber or combination heel? What is the status of the rubber part? You might have worn down to the leather heel stack perhaps.

Have you added heel or toe plates by any chance? Those can also contribute to increased slip.
 
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JFWR

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Leather soles becoming more slippery as you wear them more seems counter-intuitive. Before a diagnosis, I'd like some more context. Because, usually, the more you wear them, the less slippery they should become. This is because, as the surface becomes rougher, you'll have more friction. How long have you had both shoes? Have you treated the new ones in any way, perhaps by adding cream or wax to them?

The other part of this is the heel. Do you have a rubber or combination heel? What is the status of the rubber part? You might have worn down to the leather heel stack perhaps.

Have you added heel or toe plates by any chance? Those can also contribute to increased slip.
I've had the shoes for about a year. The main point of slippage is near the ball of the foot, not the heels. Last year I put saphir sole protecting oil on to keep them waterproofed, aside from that I've done nothing to them aside from brush debris off on my welcome mat. The quarter rubber heels are still in good condition, albeit slightly worn.

No heel or toe plates.

On almost all my other shoes my leather soles have, as you said, become grippy with age. No other shoe slides nearly as much.
 

ZePrez

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.. You may need to remove the waterproofing, the most likely culprit. I'd try Saphir Renomat.
 

JFWR

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.. You may need to remove the waterproofing, the most likely culprit. I'd try Saphir Renomat.
I've used the same oil on all my other leather soles and no problem, so it doesn't seem to cause problems for other shoes.

I will consider this option, though. It could just be with this leather.
 

BoydsShoes

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I've used the same oil on all my other leather soles and no problem, so it doesn't seem to cause problems for other shoes.

I will consider this option, though. It could just be with this leather.
I have some Bartlett's which have the same sole. My soles got terribly compressed after about 2 years, although I don't remember how slippery they got. I decided this "nice" sole that AE puts on their Independence line might not be as resistant to wear as their other soles. My solution to the problem was to resole with standard AE sole that has the Topy wedge protector on the sole. This, of course, isn't slippery, and the sole looks much more substantial than the sole it replaced. My feet like the new soles better as well.

I agree, with other comments that the Saphir sole conditioner is not necessary. However,I think the sole on the Independence line just doesn't stand up to time like other similar soles. Of course, its beautiful on purchase, but who cares if its not functioning and you have to replace it long before you thought it would be necessary.
 

JFWR

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I have some Bartlett's which have the same sole. My soles got terribly compressed after about 2 years, although I don't remember how slippery they got. I decided this "nice" sole that AE puts on their Independence line might not be as resistant to wear as their other soles. My solution to the problem was to resole with standard AE sole that has the Topy wedge protector on the sole. This, of course, isn't slippery, and the sole looks much more substantial than the sole it replaced. My feet like the new soles better as well.

I agree, with other comments that the Saphir sole conditioner is not necessary. However,I think the sole on the Independence line just doesn't stand up to time like other similar soles. Of course, its beautiful on purchase, but who cares if its not functioning and you have to replace it long before you thought it would be necessary.
You know, I think you're absolutely right.

The Indpendence Line was presented as if it were a higher option than the standard, but it is strange how some elements of it are simply not that great. I purchased the Jefferson 2.0 because of how nicely it felt in store and I was able to get my exact size with my favourite colour, but even the lambskin lining is inferior to the standard leather lining, in so much as it shows obviously more wear from only a year of wearing.

I am not intending to get the soles fixed anytime soon, but I've even noticed separation that none of my other Allen Edmonds have. I am actually thinking of contacting them about this, as I feel the quality might be beneath what I have come to expect from AE, especially at the higher price point these retail at.
 

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