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

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

  1. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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  2. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Sun bleaching will like a very long time and could potentially dry up the leather... The easiest solution is to darken the lighter color shoe to match the darker color one.


    Acquired patina or time induced antiquing will make shoes turn lighter in color.

    What you have described is faux antiquing or applied patina.
     
  3. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Many of the well known mid to high end shoe makers, just recommend the use of shoe polish (usually their own or their own, branded, product) as a way of looking after their shoes. Do they know less than contributors to this site or are most people on here being too fussy?
     
  4. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I think it's a combination of both
     
  5. CalzolaiFeF

    CalzolaiFeF Well-Known Member

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    The simpler questions always require the hardest answers.

    Shoe care, intended as "keeping the leather in good shape", actually can be done with a strip of bacon and a brush.
    Making the leather look and feel good is a bit harder, but not harder than buying a good coloured cream and putting it on the shoes when they look and feel dry.
    The esoteric levels of today's mirror polishing are, in fact, almost useless: the heavy wax covering on the points was actually a way to protect them from the mud that filled the streets, and after a while it became to be considered aesthetically pleasant.
    In fact, the snot-like shine of some shoes (hello, Berluti) may actually damage the leather, since you are basically suffocating the leather under all that wax.

    My regime has become simpler with the passing of time. Brush in the evening, cloth in the morning: when they look dry I strip everything with diluted acetone, apply a dab of Saphir Creme Universelle, then a layer of coloured cream and one (1) layer of wax. Then I shine the points to a perfect mirror. Nothing more, nothing less :)
     
  6. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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  7. sstomcat

    sstomcat Senior member

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    You seem to be very knowledgeable and I'm impressed over your command of your second language as well.:slayer:
    I almost do the same thing albeit more often even though I replace the acetone with Reno and do not use the Saphir Creme Universelle, Should I?
     
  8. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Every company making polish or conditioner has a "hook." If they didn't, they wouldn't sell any product...esp. not at three and four times the price of basic shoe maintenance. Why would you choose Tarrago over Saphir if they were identical?

    For the most part, beyond a light, perhaps homogenized oil or conditioner such as lanolin, some wax and a bit of colour (dye) every other ingredient is probably superfluous or downright harmful to leather.

    Acetone is not good for leather. My experience with turpentine based products has never been particularly happy. Benzene, like acetone...like any solvent...will dissolve fats and conditioners and carry them into the atmosphere as the solvents evaporate.

    What does mink oil bring that an homogenized neatsfoot or a lanolin doesn't?

    The best advice is to think of leather like your own skin...if you wouldn't put a product on your skin don't put it on leather. That's just a bare minimum. A place to start. If it won't hurt your skin, it won't hurt the leather.

    Yes, leather differs from living tissue in that it is preserved. No, you probably wouldn't put wax on your skin. But wax is not necessarily good for leather, either. It suffocates it. And in heavy coats over leather that flexes it can actually be the prime reason for cracking.

    Same with heavy oils. Suffocates the leather and collects dirt and grit and microfines that cut the leather fibers...causing cracking.

    Any product that strips wax will strip conditioners. And sometimes finishes, as well. Think about what that implies.

    Anything beyond the basics is probably not only going to cost you but seldom effect a better result.

    --
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  9. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    'Keep it Simple, Stupid' does seem to be appropriate here. I think, though, that some contributors to this site are either searching for the holy grail of shoe care or simply like experimenting.
     
  10. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Empirically based hope for the corrected grain user!

    I have two pairs of corrected grain shoes, bought from the same shop, same model, just different colours (they were sale lot). I have worn them both about the same amount of time. The surface of one pair started to crack a bit around the creased area. I had used shoe cream on this pair. I put a regular dose of Doc Marten's Wonder Balm (coconut oil, lanolin and beeswax) on the other pair, but not on the 'cracked' pair. The WB pair show no signs of cracking. Instead they have developed creases in much the same way as would normally be the case with calf leather shoes. How this can work, I don't know but Doc Marten's must know something given that they sell the WB and also sell lots of corrected grain shoes and boots.

    I know its best not to extrapolate from a sample of one, but it makes you think. I am hoping to offer Munky Balm at £48 a jar, very soon.
     
  11. nosch455

    nosch455 New Member

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    Help!

    Long-time SF reader, and, surprisingly, first-time commenter since I just finally got around to making an account.

    On some of my shoes, I periodically clean the leather with Renomat and give them a full work-over. Tonight, after cleaning with the Renomat and conditioning with VSC yesterday, I began polishing with brown cream (Meltonian), and I guess I got distracted and left it on a but longer than usual. When buffing, pretty bad streaks started appearing and a dark spot showed up on the lower potion of the toe box along the side. I figured it was part of the streaking and since I hadn't gotten very far into it, I'd start over. After Renomat and VSC, it's now clear that this isn't normal. I've attached a picture showing the mark - the leather does look a good bit lighter in the photo than in real life.

    [​IMG]

    Anyone know what's up? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned. The bottom portion of the mark looks almost like a water stain, but it looks more like an abrasive mark near the top (though it feels completely smooth).

    I've attached an older image of what they normally look like before polishing (conditioned as normal, ignore the lack of laces in the photo).

    Thanks so much for any help!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    You probably striped away the factory finish on leather.

    There's absolutely no reason to use renomat for regular routine shoe care. None.

    Don't fall prey to marketing paranoia.

    As to how to fix, just cream polish and wax to mask the variation in color.
     
  13. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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  14. dlind

    dlind Senior member

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    If you wanna remove build up of wax etc then lexol leather cleaner is a good fairly mild option!
     
  15. nosch455

    nosch455 New Member

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    I was always under the impression that renomat was a better cleaner than lextol - lextol seems to take a lot of work to get the same results. Would renomat really be that strong to strip the finish? After conditioning it a few more times, the spot has gone back go being dark (I'll take that over bleached-looking)
     

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