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

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

  1. phototristan

    phototristan Senior member

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    drumroll....his conclusion is - "Looks like VSC wins from a results standpoint, and when you factor in how much cheaper it is, as well as it's ease of removal (I find that Reno's oiliness can make it a bit more of a chore to brush off) I would choose VSC hands down every time."
     
  2. BootSpell

    BootSpell Senior member

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    Interesting reading, although I'm not sure it's changed my opinion. I have both products. Thanks for sharing, MI.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  3. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    ok mh ill concede the shine . While I actually prefer the softer luster thats neither here nor there, merely subjective . I have no real aftachment to either but rather hope we can establish some facts through the medium of objective argument . But made in usa ? Dont get me wrong im as big a proponent of domestic goods as there is but these are the guys who brought us agent orange ,ddt , napalm , trichlorethane , asbestos ,love canal , pcbs yadda yadda yadda not to mention everyones favorite all american homegrown profit maker and carcinogin cocktail tobacco.
    I just like to know whats in stuff and what it might do to me.
    That said I certainly dont think the French are any better
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  4. Verniza

    Verniza Senior member

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  5. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Looks like it is mostly finish cracks. Needs some lexol. Apply it in thin layers only as much as will soak in. Let dry, buff, then maybe some cream polish.
     
  6. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    About conditioners again: FWIW, I think Nick Horween recommends Venetian because it is a US made product and also in Chicago like Horween itself. Also, I don't think he recommends it as a conditioner, but a polish. It doesn't have many conditioning properties when used. It just sits on top and buffs well. I think he doesn't like Lexol on shell because shell doesn't absorb color and finish well like calf leather. A lot of the color and finish sits on top of it because it is so non-porous. Anything that penetrates too deeply (lexol) can mess up the finish and make the shell loose its luster. So I think he says not to use Lexol for aesthetic reasons and not conditioning reasons. Like I said earlier, I only dab it on the creases that are already lightened from wear.
     
  7. David Copeland

    David Copeland Senior member

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    Huh?

    Tristan, you're not suggesting that USA made products are always better than foreign products, are you? Or are you referring to employing USA jobs is another difference to buy your recommended product?

    David
     
  8. Verniza

    Verniza Senior member

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    Thank you Patrick.

    Will Renomat do the trick? If not I'll probably have to get some Lexol.
     
  9. OzzyJones

    OzzyJones Senior member

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    Do you mean Renovateur? I wouldn't use renomat
     
  10. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Renomat would probably make it worse. Use Lexol.
     
  11. joiji

    joiji Senior member

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    Unfortunately being located in Australia makes sourcing products hard. Would anyone in this thread be willing to proxy me a small (2-4oz) container of Lexol, Venetian and possibly Bick4? Preferably someone who has these all easily accessible without having to mail order from somewhere, but I won't rule that out.

    Amazon doesn't seem to want to ship anything outside of the US, otherwise I'd just do an order from there. Maybe a use for a mail forwarder, I suppose.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  12. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    I am NOT a leather or shoe expert, but from what I have read on the subject, I get the following combination of fact and speculation.

    Fact: Water is an integral part of the structure of leather. If the water content drops too low, then the leather suffers permanent damage, and this can lead to cracking. Leather dries out over time, so it does need water restored to it. The rate of this drying, of course, depends on the humidity under which it is stored, and the composition of the leather.

    Fact: Most water containing conditioners also contain humectants (as far as I can tell). Fat liquoring compounds certainly contain them. These help hold the water in the leather, but eventually may leak out or break down. Once the humectant goes, the leather is less able to retain water from the atmosphere or sweat, and the leather becomes even more dry. Conditioning with something like Lexol, PROBABLY adds humectants as well as water.

    Fact: Oils and waxes are a necessary part of the fat liquoring of leather, and are also needed to maintain strength and flexibility. Modern tanning methods carefully control this process and the fats are permanently bound to the leather, hence they do not need to be restored.

    Speculation: It is not clear that these "modern tanning methods" apply to the traditional process used to manufacture shell cordovan. I could not find anyone who addressed this, but the methods Horween demonstrates are wholly different from what is described for the current approach. It is possible that shell undergoes modern fat liquoring, but it does not have the romantic cachet of the open vats, so they don't show it. If shell does not get fat liquored with this chemically-controlled method, then perhaps it can lose enough fat that it may need to be restored. Nick Horween is on record discouraging most attempts to do this, so it may be that shell is made differently, but still with so much wax that there is no need to add any.

    Speculation: I could not find more than a casual side comment as to how long the current high tech approach to fat liquoring has been widely used. Someone suggested several decades, but that is the closest estimate I could find. If you collect vintage shoes, they may not have been made this way, and perhaps they may need the fat restored.

    SPECULATION: Based on the above, I can believe that shoes treated with oils and fats, but no water containing conditioner, could dry out and crack. I could believe this might happen particularly quickly if they are stored in a low humidity environment. A heavily air conditioned room would be bad, an unconditioned space in a warm, arid part of the country would be even worse. This would not mean that the Renovateur, etc, caused the cracking, but by failing to restore water, they may have failed to prevent it.

    Since I buy old, used shoes, and bring them up to my low standards to wear, I do not assume they were made with modern methods. They typically appear to have gone many years without conditioning, and seem quite dry. I use Lexol, multiple applications over several days, to restore moisture. After that, some still appear "dry" on the surface. I find that Renovateur, by adding oil, refreshes the appearance of the surface, and gives them the light sheen I seek. I don't rely on Renovateur to serve as a maintenance conditioner, since I don't think it does the job of adding water (Of course, I could be wrong about this). Lexol is also vastly cheaper. I use Venetian to add some shine to the surface if I want that, and following Nick Horween's suggestion, that is what I use on shell.

    The shoe experts DWFII, Cobblestone, and Nick V have all said they are long time satisfied users of Lexol, which is a more meaningful and practical endorsement than all the pseudo science above.
     
  13. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I don't know where you get the idea that water is integral. I would think the oils and the tanning fluids are integral. I've always been under the impression that water is the enemy.
     
  14. Crat

    Crat Senior member

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    This is how I 'do' cordovan. Definitely not the one and only way but it works fine for me. I'm no cordovan expert so any thoughts and suggestions are welcome.
    Free background noises from planes, birds, the neighbour and a housemate.

    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  15. Winston S.

    Winston S. Senior member

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    Can you elaborate? I thought it was done for a certain look. If it is a correction to leather you are inferring there is something wrong with the leather being stamped. Is it true that all or the majority of pebble grained leathers have come from inferior leather?

    There was some discussion on it at AAAC, but nothing that said that the leather was in any way inferior or not.
     

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