Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.
Just looked up burgol, looks pretty nice, and looks cheaper (on a per mL basis) than saphir.
After attempting to polish up my #8 boots, I'm unfortunately still running into problems and could use some advice. There seems to be almost a "line" where the finish appears different. On one side, it is more of a deeper reflection, where on the other, it's more shiny. I can't figure out why. My steps were:
1. Brush and wipe boot
3. Brush boot again
4. Apply Alden #8 paste wax sparingly, allow to dry
6. Polish with flannel cloth
And this didn't seem to change anything about that "boundary" of the two finish lines. You can see it in my picture, between the two yellow arrows, which point to this divider. On the left, it's more of a dull shine. On the right, it's a very high shine. It's not that I don't like the way they look, but I would like it to be consistent. The weird part is that on the other boot, there is a consistent shine on the vamp, and it's a high shine, like the right side of this picture.
Any suggestions? Should I not worry about it? Thanks.
This is fascinating. Coming from a perfectionist cordwainer, who makes his own bespoke shoes, and has his own lasts, it makes one wonder whether lasted trees as important. Do lasted trees contribute anything useful that regular trees do not?
We can't get lasted trees here in the US...I have approached lastmakers numerous times over the years only to be turned away.
Since I've never had or used lasted trees, I don't believe I am qualified to speculate on whether lasted trees bring anything to the game that after-market trees do not. And I'm not going to pretend to a knowledge that I do not have. Too much of that goes on without me adding to it.
All I will say is that any trees are probably better than none .
Problem is is its availability in the US and with shipping costs I believe it could cost more.
If you like consistency shell isn't for you. Shell is incredibly inconsistent. I personally think you're being overly picky about a non-issue.
Sorry I've been away from the forum for awhile. I just took over a director position at a new company, so my focus has been elsewhere the last few weeks.
I would really like to thank JermynStreet, patrickBOOTH, and DW for their vocal support of my polish. All very knowledgeable shoe lovers.
In regard to pB's comments on the cleaner/conditioner:
I agree with most of what pB has stated here. I would clarify however that I have noticed here on the forum that a lot of people tend to use cleaner/conditioner just like shoe polish, they are really not the same, as pB has pointed out. Using a cleaner/conditioner too frequently on your shoes is simply not good for them. A cleaner/conditioner typically (and inherently) contains more cleaner/solvent and conditioner/oil than normal shoe polish, that's what makes it a cleaner/conditioner. Excessive use (using in place of shoe polish) will eventually add too much oil to the corium side of the leather and dry out the surface grain (and/or dry out the factory finish).
A cleaner/conditioner should be used when shoes/boots need to be cleaned and conditioned, which in reality is quite infrequently, and should typically not be used in the same care session as shoe polish. I would use a cleaner/conditioner when shoes have been stored for a long time (and perhaps when I first buy a pair of shoes, for the same reason), and when they have been exposed to harsh weather elements (mud puddles and so on). Other than that I would usually just use cream polish (colored or neutral) to care for my shoes, with a little bit of high shine paste on the toe.
I don't think that my cleaner/conditioner is "too much" for a dress/business shoe, but I would avoid using it on a frequent basis on the same pair of shoes, as I would any cleaner/conditioner. I certainly don't want to discount pB's experience or his well informed opinion. I just wanted to give some context to the product, and cleaner/conditioners in general.
Very good clarifications. I probably shouldn't have said "too much" in that context. What I was meaning to say was that it would be too much to use every polish session on a dress shoe as most people are accustomed to with products like renovateur.
I actually used it on a pair of dress boots last night that I have with a vibram sole for the winter. We had some snow and they looked all spotted up and pretty bad. A very light coat of the conditioner/cleaner and a brush did the trick. Also the high shine paste on the toe and heel to be presentable for the office.
We talk a lot about conditioning and such here, but I've never encountered a product like Glen's high shine paste that gets a mirror shine as quickly. Truly great product.
It seems that the regular wax from Saphir takes longer due to the solvent content that needs a long time to evaporate before leaving that hard surface that can be bulled.
Also, fwiw to further exacerbate the inconsistency with shell is that Alden slathers their own dye on their shell shoes to make it their "own". I have seen some really strange color variations in Alden shoes do to this process. Since shell is so fibrous and non porous it isn't going to absorb dyes uniformly. Alden's use of their own dyes it seems can only make this look more pronounced.
Wow, finally finished reading this 502 page thread. I feel like I've completed a master's class on shoe care. I have nearly 30 pages of saved posts.
Just wanted to say many thanks to Professors Lear, Glenjay, patrick_b, Gdot, patrickBOOTH, Crat, benhour, MoneyWellSpent, VegTan and the many others who have contributed to this thread, in particular Rider and DWFII for all of their expert input and advice.
Now to actually get some decent shoes to shine...
Much have been said about frequency of use of polishes, creams, waxes and conditioners. While I agree to most there are few things that experience has taught me otherwise. I will break it into two different leather categories Calf and Shell.
For calf I use cream and polish after every wear, yes every wear and use a conditioner after every three polishes. I use an array of different types of creams mainly Saphir, Burgol and Boot black but do use some other brands like Woly,BB, Alden etc. For conditioner I use Reno and occasionally AE. I much prefer the deep natural luster of the leather over a mirror shine and have yet to see any discerning effects of this regimen. Key is to use the right amount and ensure that you do a good job of rubbing the creams and polishes and not to leave residue.
For shell I use Reno and wax after every wear almost exclusively. Since all my shells are Vass which I would say are poorly finished the initial session consists of multiple coats of wax with few application of matching cordovan creams. I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the nice sheen of my shell shoes. I have yet to see any drying or any ill effects and I doubt I will see any in the years to come..
It is interesting to know per the Vass book and also some renowned makers that Shoes should be polished after every wear and I can see why..
my 2 cents...
^You do too much to your shoes.
Even if I thought that would be good (or necessary) for my shoes, I don't know where I would find the time.
when you love what you do you will always find some time..
I think I love them too much..
Do you happen to use a bicycle wheel at all in your daily routine? Just curious.
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