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

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

  1. Winston S.

    Winston S. Senior member

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    Both beat me to it. Was going to reference you and your last work on shell.
     
  2. DerangedGoose

    DerangedGoose Senior member

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    Interesting. I assumed that shell shoes were usually of higher quality and thus suited to formal wear as much as, if not more, than calf. I understand the sentiment about not wanting to hide the patina of shell, but since my loafers are already black, is there really any patina or depth to be had?
     
  3. Crat

    Crat Senior member

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    Patina and black = no.
    I really like black shoes. When others wear them. Look much better than brown under a suit usually. But I just cant bring myself to buy them an the colour is just, well, plain black..
    I do think black shell can have a nice 'depth' though. Give them a good polishing but don't overdo it is my advice.

    Shell is thicker than calf and more 'robust'. Therefore, imo, its more suited for (semi) casual boots than for elegant dress shoes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  4. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Awesome shine but I don't have the patience to do any of that shine on shell, especially when they gets dull/collects dust within 5 mins of wear...

    Shell is not formal.
     
  5. patrick_b

    patrick_b Senior member

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    Just because you don't have the patience doesn't mean it can't be done.

     
  6. Hill

    Hill Senior member

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    I've read many warnings against using products containing turpentine on shell, yet many people swear by using Reno on their cordovan. A smaller percentage say they use wax polish. Has anyone ever done damage to their shell with Reno or wax polish?

    Polishing my shells with Reno and wax polish is a relaxing hobby for me but after reading that I should use both sparingly and that the turpentine in both products is bad for the leather I'm getting a bit nervous. I understand Saphir makes cordovan cream polish but I'm referring specifically to Reno and wax polish.

    Anyone have thoughts on this?
     
  7. sstomcat

    sstomcat Senior member

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    You will be fine... Nick from Horween recommends Venetian cream for Cordovan which has turpentine...
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Hill

    Hill Senior member

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    Thank you.
     
  9. Louis XIV

    Louis XIV Senior member

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    Shell is not of higher quality than calf, it's just a different leather.
     
  10. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    In fairness, that depends on your definition of quality. A definition has to be presented before one can be picked.

    If quality is equitable to durability and longevity, shell is much higher quality than calf.

    If quality speaks towards presentation or appearance, they can just be called different leathers for different purposes.

    If quality speaks towards rarity, shell wins again.

    If quality speaks towards difficulty and level of hand-work in manufactering, I think shell wins again.

    If quality is regarding the formality (higher quality?) of clothing that it can be worn with, it seems that calf wins.

    Some consider ease of maintentance to be reflective of higher quality. Many say that they find shell to be higher maintenance that calf, but those who subscribe to the Mac Method probably say that it is much easier to maintain than calf.
     
  11. Silence

    Silence Member

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    Will shoes darkened with dark shoe cream fade back to its original colour over time? Will constant brushing hasten the fading back to its original colour?
     
  12. DerangedGoose

    DerangedGoose Senior member

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    What is it about shell that makes it less formal than calf? Is it because it is stiffer?
     
  13. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    I don't find shell to be generally less formal than calf. Assuming parity in design and execution, shell will be every bit as formal as a calf equivalent.

    If by formal one is referring to black tie, perhaps, but not in the greater spectrum of dress footwear.
     
  14. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Here are a few links on the formality of shell vs. calf:
    http://putthison.com/post/28843198980/the-navy-sport-coat-of-shoes-in-my-opinion
    http://oldleathershoe.com/wordpress/?p=304&doing_wp_cron=1357766101.9037210941314697265625
    http://www.reddit.com/r/malefashionadvice/comments/106lx6/renalans_visual_guide_to_dress_shoes/

    Shell is generally regarded as less appropriate for the type of shine that looks good on calf, as well as giving the appearance of being heavier and more rugged.
     
  15. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    I will check out those links when I am off my tablet, but I'll just say that I have seen a great many shell shoes that look entirely appropriate with a suit, and never once thought the material alone would render them less appropriate than calf.

    Design has vastly more to do with the level of formality than material - at least, as between shell and calf.
     
  16. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Don't shoot the messenger. [​IMG] I'm not the one who decided that shell is less formal than calf. I'm also not saying that your point isn't perfectly valid, because it is. I can see the logic behind why the heavier rolls that shell develops instead of creases, and the more hefty look that shell has (it almost looks chewy, like caramel, for lack of a better word) would make it less formal on average. However, I'm no stranger to seeing shell shoes that look like they could be worn to a black tie event as well. I'm just reporting the general opinion.
     
  17. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    The pigment in shoe polish resides in the wax, both in the jar/tin and on the shoe. Think of colored shoe polish as very thin layers of translucent color being layered on top of the shoe upper. The pigment does not embed itself into the actual leather as a liquid shoe dye would do.

    As you add layers of colored polish the look of the shoe will darken closer to the polish color, but never match it because the color is translucent (because it is disbursed throughout the wax) not solid like a liquid dye would be.

    The pigment in the wax will not fade, but the layers of wax the pigment is in will diminish as they are brushed off and not replaced.
     
  18. Louis XIV

    Louis XIV Senior member

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    Please explain to me, in how far is shell more durable than calf?

    Agreed

    Rarity never was and never will be a characteristic of quality.

    Once again, please explain to me in how far shell does require more skill in manufacturing than calf.
     
  19. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

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    MWS-I'll respectfully have to disagree.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. archangle13

    archangle13 Senior member

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    Thanks for the info. But I'm talking about shoe cream, not wax. Is there a difference?

    From my understanding, pigments in shoe cream do embed themselves in the leather upper. Do those pigments ever fade with time or with vigorous brushing?
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013

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