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

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

  1. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    I would definitely not use it on snuff suede,...
    sorry for my ignorance. is snuff suede a certain colour or the kind of suede? hmmh, not to safe about the collonil(click) colour selection [​IMG] thanks for confirming the maintenance routine.
     
  2. NOBD

    NOBD Senior member

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    sorry for my ignorance. is snuff suede a certain colour or the kind of suede?

    Good question... I assume Moo refers to the colour (tobacco).


    hmmh, not to safe about the collonil(click) colour selection [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ... und Schwartz (black).

    http://www.collonil.net/de/index.php...s-classic.html
     
  3. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My girlfriend has these beat up boots that she loves so much, but I couldn't stand looking at them in their condition anymore. I had to do something about them. A little Saphir'l do ya well...

    [​IMG]
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    Yes, I just polished one of them, just for laughs.

    Thanks to my lady for being a good sport. [​IMG]


    Oh yeah, I charged her $22 for a new jar of Renovateur too.
     
  4. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    Lear - awesome write up! Can you post some photos of your work?

    Yes of course. These pics have already been posted before. Apologies for the duplication [​IMG].

    Remember that these are lower quality yearling leather, not finer grained calfskin. They're made for hard wear and a quick buff. Just wanted to see how far I could go on a rougher, tougher leather. The finish is like glass, but the direct sunlight is washing the mirror out a bit.

    The mirror on my smooth calfskin JL's is better.

    [​IMG]

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  5. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    Things they didn't tell you, or that came as a surprise

    N.B. This list has been constantly added to. Probably best not to quote it:

    • All shades of red/burgundy wax tend to bleed like hell and rub off on trousers.

    • Saphir MdO cream polish (soft stuff) left to dry for too long is difficult to polish out. Especially if it's a lighter colour and stuck in the darker welt area.

    • When you do apply Saphir MdO cream, don't head for the seams after you first load the cloth. I always start on a clear expanse first, then work the excess out towards any seams. Failure to do this can see seams and stitching caked in a solidified gunk. Trying to remove it can bugger up the mirror.This applies to the wax as well

    • Saphir wax doesn't have an overpowering smell. Washes off skin fairly easily.

    • Saphir Renovateur is best applied with your bare fingers (maybe a tiny brush to get into the welt). The warmth of the fingers will help it penetrate and spread. Any other method will waste the precious stuff to the cloth. Washes off skin VERY easily.

    • Thicker felt cloth might be great for overall rubbing & polishing, but the thinner, cheaper stuff is best for a mirror shine. Might have something to do with the thirstier wicking properties of spongier felt. Even a quick dab seems to suck up and absorb much more than the required water drop.

    • If you're really getting nowhere with the mirror shine... go to bed. Leaving the wax to harden overnight can - coupled with bright morning sunlight - make all the difference. The cooler the room, the longer left, the harder the set.

    • Hitting a mirror shined shoe with hard bristles can pit the surface. This is recoverable damage, but easily avoided by keeping the brush away from heels and toecap.

    • I've never had a 'flaking' shoe/boot. All multi (micro thin) coats are kept to the heels/toecaps. Flexible parts are kept conditioned and given coats only as necessary.

    • When left with a wax dotted piece of felt, instead of chucking it out, use this immediately as a pre-charged rubbing cloth for flexible parts. It'll impart the slightest of wax coats to the leather, until you decide to do your proper coat.

    • Most people seem to apply too much wax, using coats that are too thick.

    • Whenever you come in: shoes off, trees in, wipe entire shoe with moist (not wet) cloth. I use the strip of spent felt from above. No matter how clean the shoe appears, you'll always remove a thin layer of dust and dirt. Get into the welt etc. Please be extra gentle over the mirrored parts. You don't want to dull them. Barely touch with the moist felt. I usually add a single three minute wax swirl in the morning. This always brings it back to a perfect mirrored state. Now put aside and leave overnight to dry.

    • A mirror shine is a delicate thing. The slightest of knocks will leave a scuff. surface rubs are easily rectified. Deep gouges into the wax can be a pain to get rid of.

    • If your mirror polished shoes get rained on, just learn to live with it for the rest of that day. Any attempt to dry, polish or shine a wet shoe will immediately dull the mirrored finish. If on the other hand they get dusty during a dry, hot day, then a gentle dust over with a felt cloth can help.

    • What works for one person may not work for you. I've seen people use old rough t-shirts to produce a fantastic mirror. They just never work for me. I've also seen some use cotton wool balls and iced water. Can't get this to work either.

    • Don't go filling a container with inches of water. Barely cover the bottom with a millimetre or two. That way your tightly wrapped finger can safely stab the bottom of the vessel without getting the felt saturated. Dabbing the polish first creates a barrier to having a soaked felt. It also seems easier to regulate the size and number of water droplets. However, I'm sure some do it the other way around with amazing results. Too much water is one of the major causes of mirror shine failure.

    • Fluffy fabric (felt etc) rubbed on Renovateur can drag, leaving bits of lint on the shoe. I'll often use a white handkerchief to do this (20p each from the Pound Shop). Then once I have a smoother friction free surface I'll swap for the felt.

    • Filling my wax tin lid with water causes it to rust.

    • If you simply have to stock up on duplicate tins of Saphir wax, put these reserves into sealed ziploc bags to keep them from drying out.

    • After much effort, when you have your perfect mirror shine, you can touch up with one or two swirls whenever you feel like it. You won't have to worry about building up the layers anymore. It'll be fine tuning from now on. Be delicate. Go for longer swirling sessions using warm breath and water with less wax. Keep turning the shoe into the natural light if possible. As I mentioned above: good lighting can save you from destroying a perfectly good mirror shine. Don't be fooled by shadows and a poorly lit room.

    • If you have a brand new pair of shoes, don't try to mirror shine them straight from the box. You need creases to set into position first. I'd treat them to lots of conditioning and wearing during the first week. Polish them as you would for a regular shine. After a week maybe do a few swirling coats before wearing them again the next day. Then check for flex points, cracking etc. Use your eyes and common sense.

    • There comes a point where additional coats won't increase the shine. Some wait until they can read the reflected time from a wristwatch. I like to wait until I can count (and classify according to colour) reflected nasal hairs

    • Most importantly: if someone steps onto your mirror polished shoe, murder is not an option. You must accept it as 'The Way of the Mirror'.

    Lear

    Edit: 20p each from the Pound Shop. Oops [​IMG]
     
  6. upnorth

    upnorth Senior member

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    Very nice posts, lear. I think I've mentioned it before, the shine on the RMW is awesome, your previous avatar is horrifyingly unforgettable.
     
  7. elgreco

    elgreco Senior member

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    Great threak. And perhaps a thread where I may finally receive a definitive answer for a good wax remover. My monks probably have a few extra layers of wax that could stand to be removed and then have a good even base layer of polish added to bring back a somewhat more uniform. The question is: is there a remover that is not quite so harsh that it will remove all color? Or would I be better off getting a remover and diluting it with water?
     
  8. Omega Man

    Omega Man Senior member

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    My girlfriend has these beat up boots that she loves so much, but I couldn't stand looking at them in their condition anymore. I had to do something about them. A little Saphir'l do ya well...
    Yes, I just polished one of them, just for laughs.

    Thanks to my lady for being a good sport. [​IMG]


    Oh yeah, I charged her $22 for a new jar of Renovateur too.


    Good job. I polish the shoes for my SO from time to time. They look completely different (in a good way).
     
  9. MadAboutPlaid

    MadAboutPlaid Senior member

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    This is going to be a great thread. Sunday is my polishing day and I will share some pictures and thoughts.

    Mine, too. For those of you currently neglecting your shoes, I highly recommend a Sunday night ritual of shoe shining. I learned this from my father. I am as busy as everyone else - with a job, a wife, and two kids. But on Sunday evening, with family and usually in front of the TV, I break out the shoes and my kit of stuff. It's therapeutic and very enjoyable.
     
  10. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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  11. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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    Gentleman,

    I am planning on buying some Saphir Renomat to clean the layers of gunk and polish that can accumulate over time. Is it necessary to buy/use this or will Saphir Renovateur already do this?
     
  12. SnarlPatrick

    SnarlPatrick Senior member

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    My girlfriend has these beat up boots that she loves so much, but I couldn't stand looking at them in their condition anymore. I had to do something about them. A little Saphir'l do ya well...

    Yes, I just polished one of them, just for laughs.

    Thanks to my lady for being a good sport. [​IMG]


    Oh yeah, I charged her $22 for a new jar of Renovateur too.


    Nice.

    Polishing a woman's boots is an excellent aphrodisiac.
     
  13. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    Very nice posts, lear. I think I've mentioned it before, the shine on the RMW is awesome, your previous avatar is horrifyingly unforgettable.

    [​IMG] a lot of people found the old avatar quite disturbing.

    I'm waiting for Ron Rider and DWFII to pitch in. They really know their stuff. They're true professionals, who see life through a haze of Saphir and Kiwi fumes. Anything they have to say easily trumps my amateur ramblings.

    There's one thing I mentioned above that I'm standing by - it's underrated and doesn't get enough of a mention - it's the tiny bit of wax that's left on the felt (either side of the finger) after you do your swirling. Do make sure that you access this, by moving either your cloth or finger into a new position. Just this and warm breath will often take a mirror to the next level. Trying to pick a tiny bit of wax from the tin never seems to work as well. Maybe it's because the swirling warms and mixes the wax. To be honest, I really don't know why it works, it just does.

    Remember: I'm a SF member trying to smarten up his act, not a shoe shine expert. These are simply my experiences. It works for me, with evidence as proof. My method is constantly updated and refined. Come back in a year and I'll probably have a slightly altered version of what I do.

    Lear
     
  14. HORNS

    HORNS Senior member

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    Good threak. About time, Moo. [​IMG]

    I think I'll state the obvious here, since all you other gents have jumped straight to the refinements - it's essential to use shoe trees.

    Of course, right? But the use of a well-conforming tree is important right after you take your shoes off. I say "right after" because I think that the shoe responds to the tree's inner moldings better when it is still warm from your body temperature. I also believe that a raw wood tree (as opposed to plastic or lacquered wood) can absorb the moisture coming from the inner shoe.

    Of course, the tree is also very important in the process of conditioning and shining your leather.
     
  15. HORNS

    HORNS Senior member

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    My girlfriend has these beat up boots that she loves so much, but I couldn't stand looking at them in their condition anymore. I had to do something about them. A little Saphir'l do ya well...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Yes, I just polished one of them, just for laughs.

    Thanks to my lady for being a good sport. [​IMG]


    Oh yeah, I charged her $22 for a new jar of Renovateur too.


    Good job. Women, who like to think they are obsessed with their shoes, often don't realize what can be done with them to make those objects of desire that much better.
     

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