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

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

  1. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    Some manufacturers tell you what is in their products, even if not required to do so.

    I agree with the assumption that they would publish the MSDS if they were required to. Even the MSDS would not necessarily say everything that is in it. The oils and waxes likely have few if any safety concerns. Since we don't know what is in it, other than that it is "based on" several oils and waxes, I would be reluctant to say that I know its constituents. I have no idea how much water may be in it, but sparingly as I use it, even if it were pure water, it would not provide much moisture. If I think leather needs hydration, I would not count on Renovateur to provide it.

    Lately I have been using pure lanolin on other leather, not yet tried it on shoes. It is very cheap, easy to work with, gives a nice finish, and I think provides some water resistence. I have used it on my shoulder bag that had already been well treated with Lexol. The bag is very dark, but the lanolin did darken it more. That was fine for this purpose, and would be fine for black shoes. I would have been unhappy with the result for lighter colored shoes. The lanolin also softens at just above body temperature. The bag never gets that warm, but I might worry about the pure lanolin getting tacky if used on shoes.

    Leather care, one lifelong experiment.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013


  2. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    That sounds fine. For calf leathers such as G&G RTW, EG, etc, they are dyed and antiqued with weak finish so doesn't make much sense to use renovator in the beginning to change the factory finish unless its the intent.


    I would rather trust bespoke shoemakers instead of saphir distributors...
     


  3. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    VegTan,

    Thanks for the information on Renomat. Wow! That is nasty stuff!

    I am glad one whiff told me to use gloves, outdoors, with a fan blowing the fumes away from me. Reading the contents, I am not sure brightening up my shoes is worth exposure to chlorobenzene.

    Using substances such as this to dissolve oils and waxes is standard practice in chemistry labs (with fume hoods, of course). They are also used to dessicate aqueous crystals.

    Yes, leather will eventually reach equilibrium when held at a stable relative humidity. However, this is not instantaneous. For most analysis purposes, they recommend at least 48 hours, and as long as 8 days, at a constant humidity to count on leather having stabilized. If you strip the water out of leather, the fact that it will eventually reaccumulate is not reassuring. Remember, you are trying to avoid losing structural water of collagen and irreversible excess crosslinking due to excessive dryness. You would rather avoid drying out the leather in the first place, and you certainly don't want to leave it like that for days. You absolutely would not want to put your leather through multiple cycles of overdrying, followed by gradual rehydration that may be too late to do any good.

    It sounds far safer, for the leather, to not do this in the first place.
     


  4. phototristan

    phototristan Senior member

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    doesn't look like John Lobb (as an example) recommends any conditioner at all, just a cream polish followed by a wax polish (if desired):
     


  5. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    What does John Lobb Northampton factory know about shoe care???
     


  6. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    They know you should only use their overpriced, rebadged Saphir polishes!! :lol:
     


  7. benhour

    benhour Senior member

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    sorry but especially the first part is so untrue!! you need about 3-4 applys of wax to do a good mirror shine! and if not someone step one u it ll be ok for about a month!
     


  8. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I've never used Renomat on my shoes, but I do own a bottle. I was applying expandable foam around some pipes under my sink and got some on my hands. My girlfriend's acetone she uses to get nail polish off didn't work to get it off, but the Renomat stripped it off my hands with ease. That says something.
     


  9. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    One thing I forgot to mention, which somebody's post reminded me. I was talking to Perry Ercolino. I think one of two NYC shoemakers he said that sweaty feet is a good way to break in a new pair of shoes. He said that after you walk around for a bit in the summer and your feet sweat the moisture and heat helps to soften the leather. He then said you can put in trees and after a day condition both the lining and the uppers with Lexol. So, here is another example of a shoemaker recommending Lexol.
     


  10. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Another thing about Nick's advice on using reno on dry shoes. Nick's exposure to your shoes is for a very limited time. He sees them, replaces the sole, and makes them look nice. This isn't to say what makes them look better is actually better for the shoe. I mean it may temporarily make the shoe look better, but it doesn't mean this is the end all product and something that should be regular. I mean, with limited exposure to the shoe what he does to it is going to make the customer happy upon arrival, but then he wipes his hands of them so to speak. Not meaning he is intentionally doing something to harm your shoes, but he just might not know. I mean he's not there with you every time you treat your shoes, following you around. There is no way he would know the effects of this stuff long term. He won't. Actual people wearing these shoes all of the time do.
     


  11. SHS

    SHS Senior member

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    Well, using this same argument you could say that the cordwainers whose advice you are following doesn't know the long term effects either. I'm not saying they do or they don't, I'm just saying. BTW did you use shoe cream as well as renovateur on a regular basis on your cracked shoes? Cream conditions leather too.
     


  12. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    That's a valid point. But then again shoemaker's aren't leather product salesman the others are.

    Yes, I used cream.
     


  13. VegTan

    VegTan Senior member

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    How about a lanolin hand cream? It seems to contain no bad ingredients.


    Matsushima, ex-chief editor of Lightning Magazine, applies a lanolin cream, Toets Lederbalsem made in the Netherlands, and says "sala sala"(4:07), which means "smooth".


    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]


    [​IMG]
     


  14. David Copeland

    David Copeland Senior member

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    Then please post the websites of the professional bespoke shoemakers who have details on their recommendations.

    Just because Nick, at B Nelson Shoe Repair - which has been in business longer in years than anyone on this forum, offers many, many products because they have been proven over decades by their master craftsman to be the best - is not recommended by some to be a go-to guy - then post the websites of your recommendations. It would be nice to have as many alternative professionals as possible.

    David
     


  15. MarioImpemba

    MarioImpemba Senior member

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