**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. BrizzleCizzle

    BrizzleCizzle Senior member

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    What Christian B said. You were serious? I thought you were poking fun at the recent discussions of n00b-ness that had taken place, so I was playing along. Didn't mean to offend.
     


  2. BrizzleCizzle

    BrizzleCizzle Senior member

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    Since it seems you were serious: I'm going to assume we are talking about calf or shell cordovan, not suede. From my limited impression, brushing serves the purpose of bringing the tanned-in oils of the leather out to replenish the outer layers, bring back some shine, keep the leather pliable, and in a sense sort of massage the leather so that it remains in good shape (we are dealing with a once-living organ, after all). Having said that, the benefit of side-to-side or up-and-down brushing would be most evidenced or evaluated in their ability to effect the aforementioned goals. The connection between the brushing and the goals is which technique most stimulates the leather, ergo the structure of the leather itself must be considered.

    Since I'm unaware of the specific equine/bovine structures that abound in leather, I'm going to again assume that its somewhat similar to our membranes in the sense that is uniform and homogenous (all sub parts are similar to the whole, all sub parts resemble each other). I will also assume that it differs in the 3rd dimensional respect in that if you were to look at the cross section, you would see that, unlike our skin, you have a much thicker/taller expanse and in this lies it's strength and suitability for the purpose of being a shoe. Again, this organ, in shoe form, is heavily impregnated with vital oils that can be agitated to release positive effect. From the above assumptions and no noticeable grain pattern on the shoe, it would be my reasoning that any disturbance, in any direction, would be good, BUT, a variance in disturbance would elicit the most positive effect, either in a single sitting or over time. What is that in normal speak? If you don't see a grain pattern that would be harmed by a certain direction of brushing, then it doesn't matter how you brush as long as you switch it up every know and then to get the best effect.
     


  3. cbfn

    cbfn Senior member

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  4. Hampton

    Hampton Senior member

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    Yes I was serious I have thought about it for a while if it could damage the leather of which way I brush. Only way to know is to ask :)

    Thanks!
     


  5. BrizzleCizzle

    BrizzleCizzle Senior member

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    Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.
    Anytime. Maybe someone with more experience will chime in to give us a shoe sage's approach.
     


  6. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    I brush every which direction - never gave it second thought.

    My shoes look swell. :embar: :nodding:
     


  7. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    I’m sorry but I have to disagree with the conclusion reached by BrizzleCizzle.

    There is no evidence that “brushing serves the purpose of bringing the tanned-in oils of the leather out to replenish the outer layers…” In fact, one of the reason for using shoe polish (cream or paste) is to put oils back into the cellular structure of the leather. Brushing a shoe without shoe polish may bring a bit of shine to the shoe by smoothing out some of the existing residual wax from prior polishing but that is about it.

    The case of cordovan shell is slightly different due to the amount of oil in shell when it comes from the tannery. The white film you see in some areas on new shell shoes is due to the oils excreting from the leather. A brush does nothing to draw the oils out, but it will break down the film for you if you brush hard enough. I usually just rub the film off with a cloth.

    The reason for brushing a shoe is to smooth out and spread the wax from the application of shoe polish, which contains oil, wax, dye and solvent. The oil soaks into the leather through osmosis (although brushing might help push it in a little). The solvent is to allow the wax to be more pliable at general room temperature (so you can apply it to the shoe), and evaporates rather quickly. The dye (if any) is a basic coloring agent for the wax.

    Cream polish is better for adding oil to the shoe because it has a higher oil to wax ratio than paste, but it would be very difficult to get a spit shine on a shoe using only cream polish because of the high oil ratio. Since paste has a higher wax to oil ratio it is used when trying to create a spit shine.

    Because you are trying to smooth out and spread wax by brushing you should brush in all directions that you can, on all parts of the shoe. There is no need to wait for any period of time after applying polish to begin brushing. Although there may still be some un-evaporated solvent in the polish initially, it is so minimal as to not be relevant.

    Because the purpose of a spit shine is to smooth out the wax as much as possible with water and a smooth cotton applicator, you should not brush a spit shine unless you want to reapply it.

    And, just as a side note, if you live south of the equator you should begin brushing your left shoe first.;)
     


  8. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Any specific reason why?
     


  9. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    Yes, given that the shoes are placed in front of you, and facing you, due to planetary rotation the location where you picked up your left shoe will be slightly (and I do mean slightly) closer to you when you go to put the shoe down adding to your convenience. However, this also has the opposite effect on the location of the right shoe. So it is probably more of a personal choice. I live in the northern hemisphere so I always start with my right shoe. Perhaps we should do a poll. :facepalm:
     


  10. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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    Generally agree with all of this with the exception of oil soaking through the leather via osmosis - this is not correct.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012


  11. BrizzleCizzle

    BrizzleCizzle Senior member

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    Around 6:10.
     


  12. BrizzleCizzle

    BrizzleCizzle Senior member

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    1. True. If we're talking brushing only after you've polished the shoe. Many contributors profess that you should regularly brush your shoe in between polishings, at which point any residual wax would be long gone. Although, any wax liberate by creasing would be available for disposal, but this would elicit only a toe brushing and not the entire shoe.
    2. Many people disagree with this and insist on waiting until the polish has been liberated of all evaporative agents.
    3. Very true. Don't brush the spit, ruins it.
    4. Obviously!
     


  13. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    Great video, however if you have Rust colored 1000 mile boots, which color polish would someone recomend if they develop nicks or scratches? Besides maybe letting them develop a bit of character is there a rust colored polish out there somewhere that one can use? Has someone used a different color which works best?
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012


  14. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    Never mind, it appears as I just found something. I had been searching for a couple of days without success, but I changed my search criteria and just found something. Meltonian Shoe Cream (#180 Rust). Hopefully this should work.
     


  15. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    it will.
     


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