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

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

  1. kentyman

    kentyman Senior member

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    Woodlore trees should definitely suffice.

    Right now, you can get the exact same "full" shoe trees from JoS. A. Bank at 3 for $25. Free shipping if you meet 6 for $50. That's $8.34 per tree.

    You can get similar deals on the "combination" shoe trees from Nordstroms Rack at various times of the year.

    I prefer the former.
     


  2. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Quote:You should be able to find a pair of regular shoe trees that fit well enough. The only difficulty I have come across in using generic trees is on shoes with a VERY chiseled / pointy toe, like my K-last Vass. It likely isn't strictly necessary, but since I don't always know how long a new pair of shoes have been sitting in storage or on display from the vendor, as rule I give each new pair a light coat of Saphir Renovateur, followed by either cream or wax. Then I know they're good to go.
     


  3. othertravel

    othertravel Senior member

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    Thanks Roger, appreciate the advice. I recently picked up Saphir products for the first time from leatherfoot. What's the proper way to use it? Is it: 1. Apply renovateur with dry cloth and wait to dry 2. Apply cream after reno dries 3. Brush with shoe brush
     


  4. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    There's no right way, but in my opinion there is no reason to use both reno and cream polish in one sitting. I would use reno and wax polish, however.
     


  5. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    I brush and buff after waiting for the reno to dry, just as if it were a layer of polish. It brings up a nice soft shine all on its own. Then I apply the cream polish or wax, let dry, brush and buff (with an old soft t-shirt, some use a microfiber cloth and I've been meaning to try that) again. Thin coats of the product are all you need - don't glob this stuff on.
     


  6. ABear

    ABear New Member

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    I'm looking to preserve the profile of my lizard skin boots as much as possible. They've got a western style boot tree and are conditioned regularly (and treated with a non-silicone stain protector) but I want to minimize the amount of creasing they'll take as much as possible.

    Is there anything else that can be done other than just not wearing them? Cause I love them, I'm wearing them all the damn time.
     


  7. spicycho

    spicycho Senior member

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    I'm getting my first pair of lizard shoes soon so I'm also interested in how to care for them. I think coating them in special reptile cream and brushing it off before each wear is good practice?
     


  8. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Thanks for whoever said that you can't make darker shoes lighter by using lighter polish. I have often wondered about this and now, particularly now, having got my tin of Saphir Yellow Wax. It is a useful thing to know.

    In spite of what PB says about eating Glenkaren, I am sure that the Yellow would be very good spread on slices of hot toast. Washed down with a 1929 bottle of Blue Nun.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013


  9. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Keep them clean! Use conditioners that are light on, or better, devoid of, heavily "saturated" (?) oils/fats--such as mineral oil, mink oil, neetsfoot oil, or tallow. Avoid any product that leaves a residue--glycerin saddle soap is an example. Even shoe creams fit into that category to some extent, esp. if not used with deliberation.

    Also avoid any product that contains turpentine or benzine or other "dying agent."

    I would recommend Bick4. It won't change the colour of the leather nor suffocate it with oils. That said, I don't think you can go wrong with light applications of Lexol (in the brown container).

    And use a ph balanced soap such as Lexol cleaner (in the orange bottle). Baby shampoo is ph balanced and it works pretty good as well. As long as you replenish the conditioners in the leather when it is dry, frequent cleaning is always good.

    Every shoe or boot is going to crease. That's supposed to happen, but especially in the case of lizard, micro-fines collect in the interstices between the tiles and slowly begin to abrade and cut the fibers of the leather.

    Lizard is very thin and it is most delicate between the tiles. Eventually it will crack ...right between the tiles. I am of the opinion that the single biggest threat to lizard is the build-up of gunk in those spaces.

    The old wisdom is to never tree a western boot (or 'pull-on") because the heel stiffener is not shaped to the back of the last. And the heel of the last is more straight up and down relative to shoe lasts, in any case. Such boots need to break in, they need to get creases in strategic places in order to avoid heel slip. Treeing a boot flattens those creases.

    I guess you can see where I'm going here...if the boot fits you good, tree them for a while right after taking them off. Wipe them down with a soft cloth when they are treed to remove fines from between the tiles. But don't leave the trees in all the time.

    Many high end, high priced "dedicated" products are formulated more to protect the finish on specialty leathers than to maintain or restore the "life" of the leather itself. You don't need to get sucked into the hype about "Reptile Conditioners", etc..

    Check out Glenkaren products--they are all natural and don't contain any of the chemicals I mentioned above.

    So...keep 'em clean, condition frequently and use a good polish applied sparingly. All the polish does is add wax to repel some water and dust.

    Same general advice for lizard shoes applies.

    --
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013


  10. othertravel

    othertravel Senior member

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    So the reno moisturizes the leather, the wax gives it a "shine", and the cream maintains the colour?
     


  11. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

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    +1. Glenkaren blows everything else I've had out of the water. I bought the Glenkaren polish, wax, and cleaner. My cordovan has never shined so bright. Really great products and I highly recommend them.
     


  12. kentyman

    kentyman Senior member

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    As patrickBOOTH shared below, Renovateur can actually dry out leather if over used:

    pB, I went back with simple AE Leather Lotion (don't own Lexol or Bick 4) and it had a profound difference. I'll post before/after pics when I get a chance.
     


  13. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    The renovateur is a mild cleaner and conditioner. I have read some of PB's statements regarding drying, and they do not accord with my own experience. Winters here are very long and very dry. I've never had an issue with my shoe leather (or shell) becoming dry when treated with Saphir products. They pretty much look terrific year-round. You've seen the pictures (and in one case, the actual shoes [​IMG]).

    I would love to try the GlenKaren conditioner, but the cost of the international shipping is greater than the cost of the product itself. And since I am extremely pleased with the performance of my Saphir and Colonil products, I'm not very motivated to pursue other options. I suspect that there are a good many shoe care products that will work very well indeed. I'm not wedded to any particular brand.

    Wax gives a harder, glossier shine and contains little pigment and is less likely to alter the colour of your shoes. Cream gives a softer, more satin-like shine and contains more pigment. It is better at diminishing the visual effects of small nicks, scratches or scuffs. Some choose to use a cream on the whole shoe, then hit the heel and toe with a coat of wax for a more mirror-like shine in those areas.
     


  14. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    The renovateur is a mild cleaner and conditioner. I have read some of PB's statements regarding drying, and it does not accord with my own experience. Winters here are very long and very dry. I've never had an issue with my shoe leather (or shell) becoming dry when treated with Saphir products. They pretty much look terrific year-round. You've seen the pictures (and in one case, the actual shoes [​IMG]).

    I would love to try the GlenKaren conditioner, but the cost of the international shipping is greater than the cost of the product itself. And since I am extremely pleased with the performance of my Saphir and Colonil products, I'm not very motivated to pursue other options. I suspect that there are a good many shoe care products that will work very well indeed. I'm not wedded to any particular brand.

    Wax gives a harder, glossier shine and contains little pigment. It is less likely to alter / darken the colour of your shoes. Creams give a softer, more satin-like shine and contain a good deal more pigment. They are good for diminishing the visual effects of small nicks, scratches and cuts. Some like to apply cream to the entire shoe, then hit the toe and heel with wax for a more mirror-like shine in those areas.
     


  15. cbfn

    cbfn Senior member

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    DW, would you say that the same applies for gator and croc leather?
     


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