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

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

  1. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Let dry and polish again. Skip all the renomat none sense and use wax polish only. Easy to fix the problem.
     


  2. alloy13

    alloy13 Well-Known Member

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    What's the difference between renovateur and renomat?
     


  3. joiji

    joiji Senior member

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    One is for conditioning leather, the other is for removing built up product on the surface of the leather, respectively.
     


  4. Ilovelobbs

    Ilovelobbs Senior member

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    Thank you SHS -

    I just spent €165 of Saphir cream...probably enough to last me 100 years.

    @ Crat - can you or somebody send me the youtube video of the polishing process....otherwise all this Saphir will gather dust
     


  5. SHS

    SHS Senior member

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    I know the feeling. Valmour's cumulative discount is dangerous. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013


  6. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    So I had an interesting experience today. A couple of months ago I was at a brunch buffet, and when I was getting some bacon using some tongs, I dripped about a dime size drop of bacon grease on the cap of a pair of my wingtip boots. Annoyed, I sprinkled on some baby powder when I got home and let them sit for a while, then brushed them off, applied some saddle soap and finally some conditioner/cleaner. It helped some, but I ended up having to live with a small dark splotch on them. After a couple of months of regular care, and using a dark brown polish, the spot has faded and I pretty much forgot about it. Well I recently moved to a new house, and the boots sat packed in a box for a couple of weeks. They came out of the box and were sitting on my shelf in the closet (back in air-conditioning) for another couple of weeks without being worn. With the rainy weather, I reached for them today and immediately noticed what looked like a white waxy/greasy spot on the toe of the boot. At first it didn't dawn on me, and I just wiped it with my thumb, and brushed them. Then I realized that it must have been the bacon grease!

    I am assuming that the couple of weeks packed in a box where they were exposed to warmer than average temperatures (above room temperature) like sitting on a moving truck, slightly melted the grease which then rose to the surface of the leather and then returned to it's more solid state when the shoes were returned to an air-conditioned environment. Since the drip happened, the boots had generally been around room temperature (or slightly below) when indoors, and were in a colder winter environment when outdoors. During the move when they were sitting on a moving truck, I bet they probably reached temps in the 80's. Now that it's spring, I'm hoping that any residual grease left in the leather may continue to rise to the surface. It'll be interesting to see!
     


  7. alloy13

    alloy13 Well-Known Member

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    Is there such a thing as over-conditioning leather? Like using Saphir Renovateur too much? Are there observable consequences to over-conditioning with Renovateur?
     


  8. dlind

    dlind Senior member

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    If you over condition the leather and not allow for drying it will not take polish properly.
     


  9. alloy13

    alloy13 Well-Known Member

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  10. dlind

    dlind Senior member

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    Unless you truly drench it in the stuff I don't think so but I am no expert. I know that it can cause the leather to darken and become a bit less firm. Mostly it will be fine as long as you let it dry properly.
     


  11. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Reno is really not intended for constant use. It is intended to be used only periodically as it includes a certain amount of solvent which is designed to lift a small amount of polish and embedded dirt.

    For frequent conditioning I use leather lotion or simply cream polish.

    It's not really going to harm your shoes by applying frequent conditioning - but as mentioned above - too much oil sitting on the surface of the shoe can make it difficult to impossible to get a high shine. If this occurs simply buff the shoes after each wearing until the oils have dissipated.
     


  12. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    Yes, it is possible to damage leather by over-conditioning. But, even though Saphir Renovateur contains mink oil as the conditioner, it also contains other ingredients like wax and cleaners, so you would have to use almost an entire jar in a single application to put enough oil into the leather to cause potential damage.

    However, in regard to straight leather conditioners (like lexol leather conditioner) and individual oils (like neatsfoot oil), as well as oil based weather proofing compounds with high concentrations of oil (like Obenauf's HDLP), can damage leather if not used in moderation.

    I should note that this is more true in shoe leather than boot leather, simply because of the amount of leather tissue available for the oil to disburse across. Boot leather being a thicker leather in most cases.

    Here is how excess oil (over-conditioning) can damage leather:

    It is fairly common knowledge that leather expands when it gets wet, this is because the cellular structure of the leather is being filled with moisture and causes it to expand (much like a porous kitchen sponge). When the moisture evaporates, the cellular structure shrinks back down. If this same cellular structure is filled with oil it cannot shrink back down, because most oils do not evaporate. This constant state of cellular expansion to this degree is damaging to the stability of the leather structure. The oil then acts like a moisture barrier and traps perspiration in the leather, not allowing the moisture to evaporate to the surface. This can cause dry rot over time, even though (and because) the shoe is well oiled.

    For this to happen the shoe leather has to be pretty saturated in oil, but anything over 30% of leather volume is in excess. Since that ratio is almost impossible to measure (unless you own a tannery), it is simply a good idea to use oils in moderation.

    Oil is needed to keep the protein bonds of the leather lubricated, but the ratio is ideally around 20% of leather volume (slightly higher for cordovan shell I believe). The reason for conditioning shoes/boots is to replace oils that have been removed by moisture (washing with water and saddle soap, stepping in a puddle of water, getting caught in the rain, etc...), or by simple oxidation over time. Leather strippers, like RenoMat can also extract oils.

    Oil and water don't mix which is why oil can be a water barrier to a degree, and also why oil can be flushed with water. Whichever has the greater volume wins.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013


  13. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    The other way excess moisture/oil could hurt leather is the constant rubbing/polishing when the leather is saturated or sometimes even bubbled up.
     


  14. phototristan

    phototristan Senior member

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    and on shell, too much moisture can cause it to welt.
     


  15. phototristan

    phototristan Senior member

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    Question – why is it that Alden recommends only wax polish on shell cordovan, yet at the same time Allen Edmonds recommends their own cordovan shoe cream for shell?

    Both source shell cordovan from the same company, Horween.

    Who's right?
     


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