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

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

  1. Phileasfogg

    Phileasfogg New Member

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    Nov 20, 2011
    Hey ,
    Thank You...
    I read through the thread for quite a while ... but I am trying to understand if I did do some damage, and why? and also how to reverse it if so ? what is the first step I should take ?
    There is alot of information here on how to shine shoes... but the thing is I actually did follow a few of the normal shining steps to arrive at this, so now I have caution and also I don't really know how to proceed.

     
  2. DAASL

    DAASL Member

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    Aug 6, 2011
    Don't worry, no offence taken.

    You are correct in stating that better polish is available. However in my experience most polish is just re-branded Kiwi, (obviously not all) Parade Gloss DOES have a detrimental effect on the shine, however this is generally more noticeable when you compare 'mirror' finishes between the two (one with normal kiwi, one with parade gloss) at the start it will give you an easy shine. (also try standing out in the heat for a while, your shoes go a pasty white)

    In addition please consider the title of my post, (how to achieve a mirror finish....) cotton balls will scratch the polish when you get to a certain level of shine. Actually if you consult the guards regiments most advise Selvyt cloths (http://www.selvyt.co.uk/)

    I admit there are a few mistakes in the article, specifically as to polish application. (moderation is always best) for these I apologise. However on a whole if you want a mirror shine this is the best way.

    As for the long term care of the shoe, I side fully with you guide. However, it must be stated, you will not achieve the same level of shine. (I do not have any intention of entering into a yes-no argument on this, it is simply pulled from experience, and talking with countless officers and NCO's in the guards regiments)




     
  3. Barroomheroes

    Barroomheroes Well-Known Member

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    Oct 31, 2011
    Works fine for me.. I have been able to strip old polish with it...


     
  4. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I've used Lexol and SAPHIR saddle soap to strip shoes.

    Patrick's concern is a valid one though. Just any old saddle soap off the shelf is not necessarily a great idea. As there are some concerns that it might be too harsh, nor the correct PH for calf leather shoes. Most is formulated for cleaning leather saddles and other tack which is a very different sort of leather than that used for better shoes.

    In any case, light colored shoes are likely to darken some with time and polish. They are also much more prone to showing uneveness in moisture/oil content.

    If these shoes were mine I would indeed strip them of all wax. Let them rest 48 hours to completely dry. Condition, buff, wait 24 hours, condition, buff again. After this is done you will see what you have to work with. It may be that they will be consistent in color at that point, or perhaps not.

    If not they may simply have to be darkened.

    Thems the breaks.
     
  5. goodlensboy

    goodlensboy Senior member

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    Jan 21, 2010
    

    Many thanks for the useful and tasteful post, rare to find the fine manners old good days here in posts. You handled criticism very well in a gentlemanly manner which I very much appreciate. Hope to follow the advice next time I polish my black cap toes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  6. Gerry Nelson

    Gerry Nelson Senior member

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    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Ever since I started reading this thread, I've been determined to get a mirror shine, especially when the local shoe shine guy told me I'd never achieve a mirror finish on my RM Williams boots.

    My progress thus far using Sapir wax (black and dark brown):


    RM Williams in yearling calf (the cat wasn't too keen on getting a polished nose so I left her):
    [​IMG]

    C&J oxfords:
    [​IMG]

    They're getting there but just need a few more coats - polishing is very addictive!

    I am but a novice in the way of the shine ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  7. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    I understand that Ms. Kitty wasn't interested in getting a shine. But have you considered what a fine polishing implement she might be?

    It looks like you are getting there on the mirrorz! Addictive, isn't it?

    :D
     
  8. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

    Messages:
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    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    Bend, Oregon
    

    Yes, I agree, no need for a yes-no argument as there is no best way to polish a shoe. The article you posted had a lot of good information, I just disagreed with some aspects of it.

    I learned how to spit shine my jump boots back in the 1970's when I was in the 101st Airborne. Similarly to you, I learned from experence (trial and error) and from talking to a number of officers an NCO's. I will admit however that I have not used cotton balls specifically for some time, as I find that cotton rounds folded in quarters work best for me. I pinch at the corner of the fold and press down. Once the cotton surface is loaded with wax from the first pass or two it provides a pretty smooth surface.

    I typically brush shine my entire shoe with a cream polish first, then apply (as I polish) paste to the toe and heel counter area for the shoes I spit shine. I have used a number of methods over the years, including a cotton cloth wrapped around my finger, which work fine. I just find that using a cotton round is cleaner and quicker than other methods I have used, and I believe the result is quite good.
     
  9. Gerry Nelson

    Gerry Nelson Senior member

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    Too hard to polish with a wriggly feline ... maybe when Ms. Kitty passes on to the great sofa in the sky? ;)

    Way too addictive! I got some brownie points from the wife by doing some of her old shoes as well - win-win ;)
     
  10. DAASL

    DAASL Member

    Messages:
    14
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    Aug 6, 2011
    Thanks Glenjay.

    Your post contained some very useful tips on shoe care, perhaps I'll give your methods a shot sometime!

    101st airborne, good for you! I believe that Division played a part in operation Market Garden did it not?

    Here is an old photo of said boots, alas just the toe was finished at the time the photograph was taken.


    [​IMG]



     
  11. DAASL

    DAASL Member

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    Aug 6, 2011
    Thank you for your kind words goodlensboy. I must confess your comments stifled a giggle in me. Compliments I find, can be harder to take than criticism!

    If you would care to look ahead to the next page you will find a photograph I have posted of said boots, in reply to glenjay.

    Best of luck with the caps!



     
  12. DAASL

    DAASL Member

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    Aug 6, 2011
    The progress is definitely noticeable!

    May I suggest you try applying a little more polish, (so as to build up a layer) achieving the perfect liquid to polish ratio is also necessary, to para-phrase from the article I posted earlier: "The perfect amount of liquid is on your tongue. If you don't like the idea of dabbing a polishing cloth on your tongue, try and guestimate the amount of liquid that would have been transferred to the cloth if one had dabbed it on a tongue.

     
  13. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    Bend, Oregon
    

    I have been polishing shoes for quite awhile, but 1944 is a bit before my time.:)

    I wish I had kept my jump boots. They looked great. The bulbous metal toe under the leather gave a great firm surface to polish against. They also had a brogued cap toe which made them look pretty cool.

    Below is an image from the web of the type of boot I wore back in the 70's:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    Glenjay,

    I don't know if I ever told you this, but I learned to spit shine in the Army Airborne as well...however it was a little before your time (in the 60's).

    I spit shine with cotton flannel if I can get it. I never dip the cloth in water because over the years I have found that if the cloth gets wet (I mean soaked) it will ruin the spit shine. Basically, I "raspberry" the area I'm shining...distributing tiny droplets (probably around 1 mm in diameter)of spit (as in "spit shine") on the surface...and about every third or fifth time, I just breathe heavily on it. I also learned from an MP that, especially for a quick renewal of a spit shine, nothing works better than flat stretching a section of a woman's nylon between your hands and fast light buffing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  15. patrick_b

    patrick_b Senior member

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Location:
    NBPT, MA
    

    Looks great! It was my RMW Craftsman in yearling that got me started on all this myself.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Gerry Nelson

    Gerry Nelson Senior member

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    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hey patrick_b, yours was one of the pics that showed me what could be achieved with RMs and got me started down this path.

    DAASL, thank you for the suggestions. I'll try incorporating them in my next polishing session with these shoes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  17. ClassyCanuck

    ClassyCanuck Senior member

    Messages:
    357
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    Dec 19, 2010
    Is it possible to clean the welts on my Alden 403's?
    I tried searching this thread and may have missed it.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  18. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Yesterday I used bourbon as a polishing agent instead of water. Worked nicelyj evaporated quickly and stripped off that nasty last bit of oiliness nicely.

    And don't worry, the shoes got the cheap stuff while i sipped on something a bit more complex. :nodding:
     
  19. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    Location:
    Bend, Oregon
    

    I imagine that for those licking their applicator cloth the bourbon would help mute the taste of turpentine. ;)

    I have used Sauvignon blanc as a polishing agent before and found it worked quite well. I still think water works the best though.
     
  20. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Yes but water just isn't as much fun as spirits.

    So, since I used bourbon while polishing brown shoes, shall I use vodka or something lighter when polishing tan shoes?

    And then there is black, I can't think of anything to use for black as all of the really dark spirit concoctions seem to be quite sugary, which will not do...................this might require extensive research! :D
     

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