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

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

  1. Wrighty

    Wrighty Member

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    Very interesting, my recently purchased S/H Church's brogues have the same issue. After multiple hits with Renomat and rebuilding with both cream and wax, the shoes will now take a brush shine but no more. Toes are still darker and a bit rougher and won't mirror up...

    Not sure why this happens.
     


  2. hendrix

    hendrix Ill-proportioned

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    I've never had the need to use a stripping cleaner like renomat before and I can't see why I ever would.

    Not sure why it's so prevalent.
     


  3. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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  4. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    If I remember correctly hendrix, you typically do not spit shine your shoes. The additional wax in paste polish, used to create a spit shine, leaves more wax on the shoe. And, since most people use way more polish than they need to, there is a lot to remove when the time comes.

    I am pretty stingy with my shoe polish, but I still like to remove as much as I can each time I truly clean my shoes (not just wipe off the dust and any obvious dirt), so that I don't end up with too much wax build up over time.

    I would caution against cleaning shoes to this degree (using cleaners like Renomat) too frequently. The size of my rotation only requires me to clean a specific pair of shoes about every 6 months. If I were cleaning my shoes every month or two I would probably stick with the Lexol leather cleaner, which I find is easier on the leather, but not as effective at removing wax.
     


  5. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Wow, that seems like a lot of cleaning.

    But I know that you are the shoe care expert. As I've seen your shoes posted and they are always in terrific shape. :worship:

    About how many wearings would you say a shoe has had before you clean it?
     


  6. hendrix

    hendrix Ill-proportioned

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    Makes sense.

    It would be annoying to have to go through the process of building up layers to make a mirror shine again.

    The St Crispins manual does recommend the thorough cleaning of shoes every so often though so I see your point.
     


  7. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    This
     


  8. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    Thanks Gdot, what I've seen of your collection looks execellent as well.

    As far as frequency of cleaning, I think there are a number of factors. How/where a person wears their shoes is probably the most relevant factor. For example; there are members on this forum that walk quite a distance on city streets to get to work, other travel by commercial airlines frequently (with their shoes being exposed to public urinals during layovers, soda spills [scotch spills more likely], and so on...), while others have a company town car at their beck and call. For most people there is probably some combination of these (and more) that varies week by week, or month by month.

    I rarely walk city streets, but have traveled by commercial airline extensively in the past. I will always clean (as well as condition and polish) whatever shoes I have worn on a trip soon after I have arrived back home, and before they go back into my shoe rotation. Other than that I have a standard shoe care regiment that I follow more on a calendar basis. I do this because I have a collection of around 80 shoes (certainly not the largest collection by far amoungst the members of this forum). If I had 10 or 20 pair of shoes I would probably base it more around usage/exposure.

    In general I would say that shoes should be cleaned after being exposed to anything that has compromised the wax coating (sugars, salts, acids, etc...), and after about every 5 or 6 polishes (when cream or paste is used each time). Less often if you polish lightly, more often if you polish heavily. Brushing a shoe to a shine without using polish ["dry polishing"] (smoothing out wax already existing from previous polish) subtracts about half a count. Even then I would probably clean a pair of shoes every year or two. Just my opinion of course.
     


  9. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Very interesting.

    I certainly brush clean after each and every wear. Followed by a wipe down with a damp cloth. More often than not I also apply a thin coat of cream polish and buff before returning the shoes to the shelves.

    But I would guess that I only use Reno to 'clean' them after every 10-15 wearings/polishes.

    I will admit that the roughest duty my shoes typically see is air travel, in and out of taxis and hotel cars, etc. etc. Sounds light duty, but can result in lots of scuffs, etc. etc. Doesn't help that I'm spastic. :embar:
     


  10. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    Since this is a pair of shoes you got through thrifting you could take some risk with them; here is what I would suggest:

    It looks to me as though the leather on the toe of the shoe has become more porous than was originally intended.

    1) Strip the wax off the toe with a strong cleaner like renomat and let sit for a day exposing the uncovered leather to air.
    2) Add water to the toe of the shoe with a damp cloth. Enough to saturate the leather, but not so much that it drips.
    3) Use the rounded side of a table spoon to press down and smooth the leather, rolling the spoon to get down to the seam edge.
    4) repeat the spoon pressing every hour or two for the next 8 hours, or until the leather is dry. If the leather seems to remain exceedingly damp after a few hours try soaking some of the wather out with a dry cotton cloth.
    5) Let sit for a day.
    6) If the leather still looks porous repeat steps 2 through 5 once more.
    7) Add a light coat of Lexol leather conditioner.
    8) Let sit overnight.
    9) Add a light coat of cream polish in the same color (or lighter) than the leather color, and brush gently.
    10) Let sit overnight.
    11) Polish as desired.

    I tried this on a pair of shoes some years ago and it seemed to work fine. Unfortunatly I don't still own them (donated to Soles4Souls years ago) so I can't post a picture. I probably wouldn't do this to a newer pair of shoes however, but that's just me.
     


  11. patrick_b

    patrick_b Senior member

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    I use renomat to clean & remove wax very infrequently, only if they need it. I found hairline cracking in the wax on one pair and wanted to start over. Other than that, I easily go a year without removing the wax. After the initial shine, I try not to add much wax for regular maintenance. Like you, my shoes see a lot of air travel which does tend to be tougher on shoes than I would have thought.
     


  12. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I don't think you ever need to remove wax honestly. I think some of you guys do way too much to your shoes and will see adverse effects sooner rather than later. If you don't apply wax directly to the vamps of your shoes, or do so sparingly (~2 times per year) there is no need to strip your shoes. Brushing in between wearings is 90% of what you should be doing. 5% should be applying conditioner to the vamps, and the other 5% is condition and polish.
     


  13. Cotton Dockers

    Cotton Dockers Senior member

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    Love this thread guys, very helpful. I apologize if this question has been asked & answered before but I was unable to find anything by reading/searching:

    I recently thrifted these Church's formal/tuxedo shoes:

    [​IMG]

    Obviously some wear/creasing, but other than that the one on the right is fine. The one on the left has tons of little bumps all over them:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Is this water? Just dried out leather? Any idea on how one would go about getting rid of these bumps (if that is even possible)?

    Thanks in advance.
     


  14. grendel

    grendel Senior member

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    I would guess that it's corrected grain / patent leather and the bumps are in the plastic coating. Maybe the shoe got wet or was left near a heater (or both)?
     


  15. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    I'm sorry but I have to disagree with certain aspects of your statement, but I agree with the general sentiment that less is better than more in the case of wax.

    1) Wax should be removed periodically simply because it becomes more and more clogged with foreign particles (dust, dirt, acids, salt, etc..) over time. It is part of the nature of wax to stick to things (it is sticking to your shoe leather for example). Wiping dirt off of your shoes also pushes a very small percentage of that dirt into the wax, unless you are wiping hard enough to remove a layer or two of wax.

    2) I haven't seen an adverse effect from my shoe care regiment either sooner, or later. I consider my shoe care regiment as rather aggressive for the wear/exposure my shoes get, but it works well for me. These shoes are around 15 years old:
    [​IMG]

    3) Both cream and paste polish contain wax. If you are suggesting that only conditioner be used on the vamp it won't be long before you will not be able to get even a brush shine on the vamp of your shoe. If you have a picture of a shoe where you have never used polish (paste or cream) but have only used conditioner on the vamp over time, and it still has a brush shine, please post it. You did say that it was accetable to add wax sparingly to the vamp, which I agree with. There should just be enough wax there (using cream polish) to keep a brush shine (I have gone beyond that at times however).

    4) I usually dry brush my shoes (and rub a moist cloth over the toe and heel counter if they have a spit shine) before I put then on. I usually wear a pair of shoes 3 to 4 times before they fall into my calendar shoe care regiment. So I agree that you should not be adding wax the majority of the time. However my shoes do get cleaned and repolished about every 3 or 4 wears which I think is probably not nessessary, but I enjoy the process and it seems to keep the shoes in great shape. I could probably get away with doing it half as often and it would still be fine.
     


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