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

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

  1. SHS

    SHS Senior member

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    Why does this happen with neutral wax? I thought it could be used instead of regular coloured wax?
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  2. laufer

    laufer Senior member

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    After reading past 20 pages of this thread I am thinking ditching all of my dress shoes and wearing only sneakers. It is unbelievable how much disinformation and outright bullshit people are throwing out on these pages. So neutral wax strips color huh? Says who? Please provide sources examples etc etc. The only person here qualified to make statements is Ron , everything else is just opinion and he said she said old tales.
     
  3. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    It doesn't strips 'color' per se, but it does strip waxes.

    Here's Olga Berluti herself. Maybe she is qualified enough herself for hosting her champagne polishing dinner parties.

    At about 2 minute mark, she started her shoe shine process by using neutral wax polish to take off the existing black wax.
    You are welcomed to consult DWFII or B.Stripe as well.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  4. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    All waxes does dissolve somewhat the existing waxes. Neutral polish lacks pigment so it can be used to dissolve existing wax and take them away.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

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    Agree with Chogall. Money Well Spent, DWFII, B Stripe, or Ron Ryder are all very knowledgable. Follow their regimens and you should be good.
     
  6. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Here's the WSJ article from several years back when Berluti had that video up on their website. For the non believers. Or small timers that dont get invited to the Swann Club. AFAIK, John Lobb RTW hosts similar polishing groupies at Tokyo as well.

    From the WSJ today.

    Olga Berluti doesn't take shoe-cleaning lightly. "A shoe is your companion. It is the physical imprint of your life," explains the creative director of the men's luxury shoemaker Berluti. "Cleaning shoes is a very noble act."


    Ms. Berluti, who has hand-made shoes for the likes of Andy Warhol and John F. Kennedy, treats cleaning, waxing and buffing as a ritual. She even has a shoe-cleaning club made up of her favorite clients. It's called the Swann Club, and every few years, the members get together to dine and shine.

    But you don't have to be a Berluti client to enjoy polishing a fine leather shoe. On any given Sunday, Ms. Berluti likes to get her male friends together for some group buffing. Where you do it doesn't matter, she says. "The important thing is to respect the shoe. You are the artist."

    After placing the shoes on a waist-high table, she selects appropriate music. If they are moccasins, she may put on some Vivaldi; if they are boots, she will listen to Wagner. Bigger shoes need big music, she says.

    Her next move is to place a suitable shoe tree inside the shoe. The shoe tree should be made of plastic, which is lighter than wood and less likely to deform the shoe. Once the leather is tight, she gives it a good dusting using a linen cloth.

    After tucking the laces into the shoe, she takes a small brush, taps it in some white neutral wax, and rubs around the edges of the soles and heels. This ensures the stitching is well-greased and remains watertight. She doesn't wax the bottom of the shoe, because the wearer could slip and hurt himself.

    Ms. Berluti then takes some linen -- she likes to use old Venetian linen sheets but any old shirt will do -- and wraps it tightly round her fingers. She rubs the shoes using white wax until all the dirt comes off.

    Next comes the most enjoyable part: the polishing. This is where Ms. Berluti really hits her stride. After pouring out a small amount of iced spring water, she dabs her linen-clad fingers into a pot of colored wax. Red wax is best if you have black shoes. With a small regular circular motion she rubs in the colored wax until the leather "squeals with pleasure," she says. Depending on the polisher's skill and the size of the shoe, this can take up to 20 minutes.

    She flecks some water on the shoe and rubs it in to ensure the wax is sealed in. It's important not to use too much wax or water, as that could damage the leather.

    The finishing touch is to massage in some Chianti, Pinot Noir or vintage Champagne. This removes excess wax and makes the shoe sparkle. "It's not snobbism," Ms. Berluti explains. "The great officers of the Tsars used this technique to get their boots to shine."
     
  7. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    You should realize this thread is not an organized shoe care guide it is a rich source of raw information the facts are here it is your job to discern them from the bullshit
     
  8. laufer

    laufer Senior member

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    Guys I really appreciate some you putting a great effort to explain how to properly care for shoes but sometimes this thread feels like reading a nutritional advices on the Internet. I think the safest bet is to use wax on non-flexing part of the shoes and the cream on the flexing leather, I will save Pinot Noir for myself. There is something called a law of diminishing returns. At one point all the effort put in a shining and caring for shoes exceeds the value you get in the return. Do not get me wrong I appreciate artistry that is why I am getting my info here and not from advertising but really sometimes simple is better.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  9. sierra11b

    sierra11b New Member

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    Recently purchased a pair of Alden NST boots in brown alpine grain leather. Love them, but it's my first pair with this type of leather.

    My question is how to properly care for the leather and what color product(s) method should I be using?

    I searched but couldn't find any information on this particular leather and color

    Thank you,
    Eric
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  10. David Copeland

    David Copeland Senior member

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    I agree - and that is why it is best to keep expensive shoes and boots in good order - so that a polish routine can be limited to about 8-10 minutes - instead of up to 2 days.

    (Reminds me of changing the car oil sooner than later - when massive repairs creep on the menu)

    David
     
  11. laufer

    laufer Senior member

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    That shoudl read using wax on non-flexing part of the shoes such as toe and around the heels area. Sorry I was typing this while watching Bruins losing game 6 :censored:

    One more thing I may not know much about shoe care but I know about marketing and what Ms. Berluti is doing is a really good marketing propaganda.
     
  12. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    You should treat it as you would any smooth calfskin shoe of that color. Honestly I find that as far as shoe polish colors go close is good enough .If you are looking for more definitive info try searching scotch grain calfskin care .Its a more common name for the same thing
     
  13. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Don't know what made you said that from the video. Nothing she said was abnormal.

    Using neutral wax in threads is consistent of what I was told on how to "break in" new shoes.
     
  14. sierra11b

    sierra11b New Member

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    Thank you. Given the reddish-hue of the alden "brown" alpine grain I'm going to give saphir cognac cream a try.
     
  15. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member

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  16. benhour

    benhour Senior member

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    this is the best way to say what it is happening !! the new wax because of his solvent( turpentine or something similar) can be used as a stripper!! so when you use neutral wax polish and rub the shoe with force you ll take off the old wax-pigment!! if you use a little amount of neautral wax cause the little ration of product(wax polish) and solvents the only thing u ll do is just to creat a thin layer of transparent wax on top of the existing waxes! but at my opinion if you want to use neutral for that reason i dont think it's a value for money!! i think its better to go on lexol or renomat!!
    always thats only my opinion
     
  17. David Copeland

    David Copeland Senior member

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    Question to all:

    Please look at the following video and tell me what tool is being used to polish (or clean) the tiny leather indents in the Brogue pattern of the shoe toe. Also, what color are they using to reflect a contrast?


    The process where he is using what appears to be a smaller-than-normal cotton swab to get into the tiny Brogue holes - is about 43 seconds into the video.

    The photo looks like this:


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  18. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member

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    It looks like a cotton swab. The brand Q-Tip makes the finest ones. Now, I'm not a cotton swab master craftsman, or anything, but I have used a fair amount of them in my lifetime. My guess it just some cream polish, or conditioner is dabbed on the end to remove polish build-up, not to impart contrast.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  19. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    noice!! what last?
     
  20. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I agree that it is just a cotton swab. If you look carefully, you can see the cotton pulling away and unraveling from the stick, which is why I don't enjoy using them.
     

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