**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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    Well, it only makes sense...leather comes from skin and skin is a living organ. The largest organ of the body. I've always held to the notion that if you'd feel comfortable putting it on your own skin, then it's probably OK for leather. GlenKaren is all natural if you can eat it...it can't be harmful to your skin or leather.

    By contrast, I was just looking at my bottle of Venetian..."Danger: Harmful if Swallowed Contains Petroleum Distillates, Turpentine..."

    Turpentine is used as a solvent for waxes, varnishes, and oils in the furniture industry. It is also a good solvent for the oils and fats that naturally reside in high quality leather. Add ed to that is the fact that it is flammable. As such it is "fugitive." It evaporates. When it evaporates it will draw conditioners to the surface and some of them will either evaporate off with the turp or be lost to dust.

    In any case, the fact that it is used as a solvent for low end commercial shoe preparations suggests that its primary purpose is to evaporate and accelerate the drying of waxes and oils. So it wouldn't be too surprising if there were anecdotal evidence for drying out leather, as well.

    I usually include product with any pair of shoes or boots I make--at this time it is Glenkaren and Bick4. I avoid any product that contains such warnings as those mentioned above as a matter of course. Unfortunately even if a product contains such additives, if it is not designed for human ingestion, it will more often than not have no ingredients listed or any warnings whatsoever.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013


  2. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

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    Roger does make a good point and Renomat has been helpful for me in the past. One other thing about pB is that for whatever reason, IMO, his shoes seem to crack at a higher rate than other people's. SF has hypothesized about this and think that it may be due to the fact the he lives in NYC and walks a fair amount; the particular pollution (as noted above by DWF) can be much more intense in a crowded city like New York, which might tear up his shoes faster. That being said, having used both Saphir and Glenkaren, GK blows Saphir out of the water in every category, including, and especially, smell.
     


  3. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Pretty much. Used to be that all reptiles were veg tanned. Nowadays the best croc and gator are chrome tanned...or something like it. Almost no resemblance in terms of temper or tensile strength or flexibility.

    I use Bick4 and Glenkaren almost exclusively.

    Although...in the absence of hard evidence...don't see anything terribly wrong with Lexol or Meltonian/Properts/Saphir/Tana. Or even the common waxes/polishes such as Kiwi and Lincoln we used to spit-shine our Corcorans when I was in service. Just use with eyes wide open--AFAIK all contain benzine or turp...the GlenKaren being the exception..

    Maybe I'm just old fashioned but I've been doing this a long time and seen product come and go. I've tried most everything. I doubt that even the most highly touted...anecdotally, never researched...products are as much as 5% better for the leather itself than any other given product.

    The worst part is that the companies producing this stuff are almost universally unwilling to reveal the ingredients. Perhaps they understand that if the consumer knew what went into it, they'd be more cautious.

    --
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013


  4. cbfn

    cbfn Senior member

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  5. othertravel

    othertravel Senior member

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    Just added plastic toe plates to my Tetburys (which have a dainite sole). Didn't think it would be necessary, but I did notice some minor discolouration on the front due to my gait.

    Has anybody else put toe plates in a Dainite sole? Did they stay attached?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013


  6. BootSpell

    BootSpell Senior member

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    Thanks to you, DW, and all the others who put thought and effort into helping others. I know all these responses take time to think out and put down "on paper" and it's heartwarming to see how much help people like you are willing to give on this thread and others. Having said that, I am going to have to order me som' o dat Glenkaren stuff.
     


  7. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Cheers. I do hope to have the opportunity to sample the GK products for myself at some point. Regarding the smell, I would simply caution that for parents of young children, having several cans / bottles of shoe polish that all smell very yummy may not be without potential down sides. [​IMG]
     


  8. benhour

    benhour Senior member

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    Totally agree with Roger on the renovateur
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013


  9. kentyman

    kentyman Senior member

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    As promised, here are before and after pictures. To me, they seem to imply that Renovateur, at least in multiple heavy doses, can signficantly dry out leather:

    After Renovateur:
    [​IMG]

    After Leather Lotion:
    [​IMG]

    That extra blemish that's perpendicular to the creases is from an unfortunate gouge of a brush handle during vigorous brushing.
     


  10. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Why would one ever apply multiple heavy doses of renovateur?
     


  11. kentyman

    kentyman Senior member

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    It was a desperate move to try to get my shoes to bounce back from extreme stretching with a shoe stretcher. The sordid tale is linked above. The moral of the story, however, is that one shouldn't apply multiple heavy doses of it.
     


  12. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    ^^Okay - understood.
     


  13. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    For what it's worth Philip car and I of saint crispins had the same conversation about renovateur. He said he never uses it or recommends. It's very drying. I think it's fine sparingly to raise a shine and give life back to dry looking leather (it adds solvents to the already existing waxes "renovating" it) but to use it in place of a real conditioning agent I think isn't a wise move. Glen from Glenkaren has done his research and I am enrolled into the reasons why he states his products are the best. Not only are they good for leather they make it looks nice too. Best of both worlds.
     


  14. Chowkin

    Chowkin Senior member

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    May I know why? Also, does it apply to dress shoes as well?
     


  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    You can ask...I'm not sure I have a satisfactory answer for you though.

    As far as boots...pull-on boots...are concerned that's just what i was taught. The reasons are as I mentioned above--that for the boot to walk without slipping at the heel creases need to form in specific places, and long term treeing tends to flatten or counter the effects of the creasing.

    Expanding on that a bit...again, the heel stiffener on a pull-on boot does not initially or "naturally" cup the heel of the foot the way it does on a shoe. Partly that's the way a boot last is shaped, partly it is the way the patterns are purposefully created. When the boot fits correctly and has broken in, the creases, and the resulting curvature of the forepart, pull the top of the heel stiffener towards the toe--creating a heel pocket. Flattening out the forepart and allowing it to "set" in that position returns the heel stiffener to the default upright position with no cupping.

    Beyond that, the advice I gave was specifically about lizard and pull-on boots.

    As far as shoes are concerned, I leave trees in my shoes all the time. But I don't have lasted trees. So the treeing doesn't really stretch the shoe that much. It just flattens the forepart... to no ill effect that I can see...enough to open the creases of the vamp so that it may be cleaned and polished.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013


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