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

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

  1. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    No, I tree my chukkas and chelseas and jodhpurs all the time.

    Pull on boots...such as cowboy boots...don't have the cupped heel stiffener that a shoe has. If they did they would be hard to get into when they fit properly. The whole idea of not treeing them is to accentuate and facilitate the ability of the heel stiffener to grip the heel of the foot.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Several points...the whole discussion was not about a particular maker. This thread, as the title indicates, is about shoe and leather care. Yes, the original questioner identified the maker but no one else repeated or addressed that until the near the end of the discussion. Had the question been posted in a more appropriate thread, it may have developed in a different direction.

    IMO, those that have made the maker an issue do a disservice both to the maker and to the people who were having an objective, rational discussion. It's really beside the point.

    "Quality or quantity--choose one." Any time a maker chooses quantity over quality as a primary objective this kind of thing happens. You can see it in any of the Trades from gunsmithing to shoemaking to woodworking. It's only a question of where they draw the line, not if, and only for the time it takes for the foundational philosophy to lose currency...either through death or attrition or lack of faith.

    And FWIW, the OP said that he had brushed the shoes...so, it is entirely possible that hey came to him looking nearly perfect. If the fiber mat was compressed...as it would be in the uncut hide...it very well could have survived making without that compression being significantly disturbed. The OP may not have noticed anything amiss, IOW, until he brushed them. Even QC might have overlooked the problem esp. if the inspection was in any way cursory. And we don't know how or what he brushed the shoes with. Eventually, the problem would have surfaced but by that time the owner would have been uncertain and reluctant to make a fuss about it. And in fact, at that point, no one could know the cause for certain.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  3. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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    I thought you were allowed to pick up parts of a comment and discuss that here on SF, didn't realize that you had to follow a certain discussion. Also, didn't realize that you weren't suppose to discuss a certain brand in this thread. I'm not usually following it. But if the discussions aren't allowed of taking certain turns around different subjects, rather than just following the exact line that every thread is "supposed" to be intended for, I think SF would be a rather boring place.

    Regarding the fact about how and if the OP had treated the suede, I totally agree.
     
  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I'm not saying you can't. I do that all the time--follow the conversation where-ever it goes. Sometimes it's even me...riffing off something someone else said...that gets off track or off topic.

    But this issue, here, has become focused on brands and which team people are rooting for rather than dealing with the objective facts. That kind of discussion is never gonna be productive if only because linear thinking isn't an attribute held in much regard here. It's all about emotions in most of these threads...from the "wow factor," to the devotion and defensiveness people who've invested thousand of dollars associate with their choices, to the obsequiousness of group-think.

    I suspect that rather than deal with the objective facts and the logic that was being discussed, some folks felt more comfortable making the brand name / maker an issue. It just seems like an excuse for histrionics rather than rational discussion.

    IMO...
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  5. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Anrobit,
    Yes, both my pairs of (wet weather) Doc Marten's shoes are goodyear welted.

    Patrick,
    Despite your reservations, DM's Wonder Balsam is very good on toast with a little Gentleman'r Relish. Not to everyone's taste, perhaps.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    But have you tried GK on Rosemary flatbread? Or for a little more proletarian cuisine, on Tostitos Lime and Chili chips?

    Mmmm, mmm, all time favorite...tastes like more.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  7. bcgr33n

    bcgr33n Member

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    hi SF
    just found a burn on the cap of my c&j
    i believe its from the ash of cigarettes.

    are there any ways to treat it and take away the burnt marks?

    thanks in advance!
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    You should all be grateful that you can eat jars of GlenKaren. Here, across the pond, we can't get it - even to clean our shoes with. [​IMG]
     
  9. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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    Okay, misunderstood you then. But to be honest, I'm not sure I understand this reply either. I think my comment was rather rational. And I was in fact "writing down" a brand I love and have spent a lot of money on, quite the opposite to what you are implying.


    You can! The Swedish webshop Skolyx stocks all GlenKaren products since recently. The shipping is flat rate 16 euro to all EU countries (free to Sweden, €11 to Denmark and Finland), which is similar to Quality-Shop and cheaper than Valmour, if we compare to some popular Saphir stockists in EU.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  10. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Could be, I suppose...although I don't see any charring.

    Sometimes pits can be found in hides from parasites such as warble flies or even from improper dehairing. Unfortunately damage from parasites generally occurs on or near the backbone--prime leather in most cases.

    Tanneries / curriers can fill such pits with an acrylic top coat; shoemakers can fill pits with repair crayons. Both solutions are temporary...or at least unreliable.

    To fix it you could try to fill it with a similar colour of cream wax or even look for a repair crayon from woodworking sources (I've heard this works but I've never tried it myself). Once the pit is filled it will probably stay filled as the toe stiff area does not flex much if at all. Just some ideas...
     
  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I'm not implying anything...particularly about you. But it's not just you and me in this discussion, either. And I've seen a lots of misdirection and evasion coming from other quarters.

    Beyond that why compare one maker...in eastern Europe, to other makers in the UK? The implication is that somehow the big name RTW makers in the UK are the gold standard. There's almost an automatic assumption that the UK RTW makers will be better despite using objectively and widely acknowledged, inferior methods.

    Vass is a very good maker and whatever their organizational flaws, all things being equal, represent one of the best values to be had in RTW footwear. Better than many other, big name makers / manufacturers.
     
  12. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Quote:Agree completely. And I certainly didn't see anyone excusing / defending the shaggy suede Vass shoe out of emotional brand-loyalty or otherwise. Did you?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  13. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    J.ingevaldsson,
    Thank you very much for that link to a European supplier of GlenKarn products! It does work out at more than £30 for two jars, though, so I will have to think about it. Also, I have lots of different jars and tubes of Saphir products and I may have to use those up first! Thanks, again, for the link.
     
  14. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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    Okay, of course I was thinking that you was talking about me, since it was my comment you replied on in the first place.

    And regarding the comparison to the UK makers, I was comparing the leather quality, and used two well known examples, in this case Edward Green and Gaziano & Girling, since my experience is that they have a bit better leather quality than Vass, when it comes to which pieces of the hides being used. But then I was saying that I think that Vass offers impressive quality shoes, being hand welted, instead of Goodyear to almost half the price to the Goodyear RTW-makers considered top of the line. Here it is again:

    Quote: So I think we completely agree on this subject.
     
  15. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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  16. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I know what you said...why did you choose the two makers you mention to illustrate your point? Do you have any factual, objective knowledge that they have a "bit better quality leather"?

    I suspect...but more than suspect, I know....that once you get above a certain price point, there's not much difference in the quality of the leathers being used esp. they all have access to the same animals and the same tanners. Most of the difference comes down to finish and there's not much discernible difference in finish on a suede, is there?

    Every hide has a limited amount of prime leather...what is it? roughly 16%?...something like that. But every company pays for 100%. My experience is that the "two well known examples" would actually be less fastidious about where they cut their pieces than a smaller workshop. Large companies always maximize the utilization of raw materials as a matter of fundamental business philosophy.

    So, again, why the assumption that the "well known" companies will "have a bit better leather quality"? Or implicitly, that they should be some sort of standard by which to measure other makers? Everything points to the just the opposite--a small workshop, intimate, personal, using superior methods of construction will result in a better product...almost every time. If only because they have to answer to the individual customer rather than a board of directors only interested in profit margins.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  17. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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    Like I said, because they are well known, are sold all around the world, and many have if not owned at least seen them. Also I own shoes from them. Maybe I could have used Corthay, Paolo Scafora or Bestetti as well, but then not many have experience of those brands. And their not all Goodyear welted, which takes away my second point in the original post, so to make it easy for me I chose those two.

    As I wrote, I only talked about my experience. I'm not saying that it's a definite fact, but that's the experience I have from the ten or so pairs of Vass that I've owned or handled, and the Edward Greens and Gaziano & Girlings I own and have handled. That the quality of the quarters, the whole upper, generally are higher on EG and G&G. I've also visited the G&G factory, and seen which parts of the hides they cut out and how much they take away for use for bespoke sample-shoes or other things. They didn't only use the "roughly 16%" you mention, of course, but much less than half.

    I know you have a lot of first hand experience, and of course I respect your knowledge. But the experience I have, and what I learned from people working in the industry, if I generalize things, is that if it is something that the "premium shoe" factories in for example England don't cut corners in, it's the leather of the uppers. Simply because that's the most obvious part of the shoe, the thing that everyone notice and are able to compare. When it comes to heel and toe stiffeners, arch support, linings, fillings, insole quality and so on, that's where they mainly cut quality in order to maximize profit (and the fact that they Goodyear welt their shoes instead of hand welt, obviously. But that's a different thing, they are very open with the fact that they are doing that (except maybe Cleverley...)). Those things doesn't show in the same direct way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  18. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Perhaps also that Saphir repair cream?
     
  19. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I won't take this much further but I will say this...aside from my knowledge of leather and my conviction that there probably isn't a lot of difference in the "quality" of the leather being used (finish is another thing) I just don't see any sense in making these kinds of comparisons. Why not compare the Vass against Carreducker shoes? or a St. Crispin? Or a Perry Ercolino? None of it makes sense...but falling back on big name, old name, cachet brand names is assuming a lot in my book and makes even less sense.

    That said, it's all beside the point--it's methods, and materials that count and nothing else when you're having a discussion of the objective merits of shoemaking philosophies. It doesn't make any difference who made the shoe that has the rough suede...the only important issue is whether it's good material or if something in the process created that "problem"...such as a mistake on the part of the clicker or QC or whatever. The names don't matter, they only confuse things.

    And make judgements that are based on ignorance or superficialities palatable.

    Now if you want to talk about those intangible ineffable nuances that make you a devotee / disciple...well, that's another subject...in my book.

    And no, I beg to differ...it's not a separate thing. It's all of a piece. The maker that economizes (cuts corners) on the heel and toe stiffs, the methods of construction, the quality and / or thickness of the insole, is the same maker that will place the clicking dies further into the margins. You just don't see those shoes--they're sold on discount or as seconds.

    PS...my experience and knowledge give me an insight that is unique and perhaps useful to others if they are willing to listen and learn but it doesn't carve my words in stone. The issues (and people) that aggravate me are not just the ones that disagree with me. They are almost always the ones that ignore those insights, dismiss facts, and logic. That never speak to real objective data that is presented to them. That never offer anything substantive or objective...outside of their own limited and narrow frames of reference...to add or rebut or confirm the propositions they are espousing.

    And no I'm not referring to you. I'm just saying... you don't need to defer to my experience and knowledge, you just need to acknowledge that it is a factor and be be objective enough and willing enough to learn.

    --
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  20. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Sounds like ti might work but I have never seen it...not out here in the upper left-hand corner. I hardly see Renovateur...only one somewhat local source and it's in...ahem...California! :slapfight:
     

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