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

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

  1. usctrojans31

    usctrojans31 Senior member

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    I can't get photos right now, but my girlfriend's black boots are pretty faded at the upper calf area. She loves the boots, but doesn't regularly take care of her shoes (read, her idea of polishing shoes is using Kiwi instant shine). I tried my Saphir polishing cream and renovateur, but there is still a noticeable discoloration. Can anyone advise? Do they need to be re-dyed? Anything else that I'm missing?

    I'm in France and a store sells Saphir less than a minute's walk from my flat, so obtaining the necessary tools should be easy.
     


  2. grendel

    grendel Senior member

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    Did you try a black cream? It likely just needs some pigment put back in and the creams are higher in pigment than paste. Renovateur of course has no pigment at all.
     


  3. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    So I picked up some sea sponges today and tried them out. They are hands down better than the cloth I had been using. The soap lathered up with ease, and I could tell the sponge was much more gentle on the leather and stitching as well. I think I've officially converted!
     


  4. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    Great! I'm glad to hear that worked out for you so well.
     


  5. patrick_b

    patrick_b Senior member

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    A quick google search shows Sea Wool sponges ranging from $50+ to $15. Care to share a source for something that works well?
     


  6. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but after doing my own google search prior to purchasing my sponge, I sort of came to the conclusion that any natural sea sponge will work. I don't see any difference between the ones that come up under "Sea Wool" versus any other natural sea sponge. I just ran down to my local arts and crafts store (Michael's), and bought a small bag of them for $5.00. They are in the paint supply isle for sponge painting. I wonder if the reason some of the ones on google are so expensive is because of how large they are? The ones that I got which are cut to size for sponge painting are more the size of a shoe polish applicator, so the size is familiar for use on shoes anyway.

    The instructions on the saddle soap tin say to "Dampen a cloth or sponge and rub lightly over the soap to create a lather." However, when I used a cloth rag to apply saddle soap, it would create more of a wet paste that I would then rub all over my shoes. I was probably applying alot more saddle soap than necessary because it was hard to "see" it on the shoes, and it didn't seem to spread well before having to get more from the tin. When I used the sponge, it instantly created a nice foamy lather and I was able to cover an entire boot with only two dabs in the saddle soap tin. Definitely an improvement, and when I was done the leather still had the nice oily supple feel that it should have if you get proper coverage.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013


  7. usctrojans31

    usctrojans31 Senior member

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    Yes sir, double pigment and all. I fear that they will need to be re-dyed, which I know she won't do, and probably isn't worth it for the cost/quality of the boots.
     


  8. rogejo321

    rogejo321 Active Member

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    Hi everyone. I posted this on the AE appreciation thread, but havent received any responses, and I felt like this might be a better forumm. I recently got a brown pair of AE neumoks and a blue pair of AE cronmoks (unstructured shoes with a rough type leather for those of you who do not know).

    My question is how do people treat/care for the leather on these? I feel like I might want to darken the blue ones a bit. What would work well for that? Neatsfoot oil? I have all of the regular care products (AE leather conditioner and Saphir Reno) for my traditional calf shoes, but not sure what to do with these. Any suggestions are appreciated.
     


  9. manchambo

    manchambo Senior member

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    I have a somewhat related question. My wife has a quite high pair of boots that need a good deal of work. I have only ever cared for shoes with solid structure and shoe trees. It seems that it will be fairly difficult to work on the parts of the boot that are basically floppy. Any tips or tricks on dealing with this?
     


  10. joiji

    joiji Senior member

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  11. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Are you opposed to following AE's shoe care recommendation for these? I tend to keep it simple and follow the manufacterer's recommendation on caring for products (not just shoes, but all products) unless there is a general consensus that better products exist. With shoes, the general consensus is that Saphir products are the best available. However, AE's products are just fine, and your shoes will last many years if you follow their recommendations and products. Some people in the AE Appreciation Thread have been using Neatsfoot oil to darken their natural/tan leathers to make them more of a reddish/brown color. I would be slightly hesitant to use it on the colors you have for fear that it would darken it too much. You can't really control the level of darkening that the Neatsfoot oil will cause. For the shoes you have, AE recommends either Leather Lotion OR Saddle Soap after using the Cleaner/Conditioner. They recommend one or the other because the Saddle Soap will darken them some, while the Leather Lotion tends to keep them in their original color. If it were me, I would go with Saddle Soap and let them darken over a period of time. But, in the end they are your shoes, so it's up to you.
     


  12. henrikc

    henrikc Senior member

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    I would first roll up some (thick) magazines and let them unroll inside the boot, then pack with newspaper. I reckon that would give a smoother surface and be easier to work with.
     


  13. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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  14. lucidream

    lucidream Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Working on a mirror shine.

    Start with some rigorous brushing. Apply some Lexol conditioner. Brush some more. Add some shoe cream (BB or melatonian). Brush some more. Add kiwi wax to the toe and heel, in small amounts, with drops of water. Playing with some layers of neutral wax as well. Find a lot of elbow grease is key!
     


  15. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Nice shine for a grained surface!
     


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