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

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

  1. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    Worse yet, kids nowadays are addicted to the term "thinggy", whereabouts this term came from, God knows.
     
  2. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    It's all the more disturbing because it's English and for most of us, it's our first language, our native tongue. And it should be "second-nature." It's not like learning calculus or conjugating Latin verbs.

    --
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  3. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Language is always changing and cannot be set in stone. It's no good looking back to a golden age of 'proper' English; there never was such a thing.
     
  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    On the other hand, acknowledging that language is always changing doesn't mean that it has to devolve into grunting and insouciant gibberish...nevermind take to knuckle-dragging and beetle-browing, ourselves.

    Language is a tool and when used with skill and mindfulness--the kind you would would bring to using any tool--it can be wonderfully specific and accurate in expressing our ideas, needs, wants, feelings and generally easing the interactions between people.

    The fact that it is the only tool we have to make connections is almost beside the point--that should, if reason and logic have any influence, increase our facility with it. Not abridge our skill or comprehension. Yet some seem almost deliberately intent on divorcing themselves from fluency or even awareness of fluency. Repudiating specificity...for fear of being held accountable, perhaps?

    This is such a fundamental issue that over centuries a real concerted and sustained effort has been made to codify and preserve the language and the way it is used. Dictionaries abound, books and blogs are written about grammar and syntax. At some cultural, if not genetic, level we all realize the inadequacies of grunting and singular, self-informed definitions.

    It's kind of like the Traditions of shoemaking. Dismiss or deprecate them and everything shoemaking is coarsened. Made prosaic and hackneyed.

    Regardless of the subject, skill and fluency are very nearly, if not entirely, synonymous and a necessary predicate to real understanding.

    --
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
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  5. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Thank you, DW. That seems to sort everything out! [​IMG]
     
  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Well, maybe not, but it makes more sense to me...perhaps because I am a tool user...than shaking my head in bewilderment.

    Life takes courage...and commitment. :tinfoil:

    (within slapping distance of 70, I'm allowed to say these kinds of things...and FWIW, I read Grammarphobia daily)
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
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  7. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    Anyway, why don't we come back to shoes? Anybody got experience with the Saphir Beauté du Cuir Greasy Cream? I know I used it on calfskin shoes to a great effect.
     
  8. zarkov

    zarkov Well-Known Member

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    With my latest shoe purchase I got a complementary tin of Burgol Piz. I understand it's some kind of waterproofing agent but I don't know how to apply it. Generously all over my boots or sparsely on the seams only?
     
  9. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    Bath the upper lightly with clean, warm water, then brush the surface with a shoe brush. Once the leather is dry and warm, apply a light coat of the stuff to the upper, brush a coat to the welt seams, get it on the tongue... remember to rub it in really well, then let it sit and absorb for, preferably, 12 hours to overnite. Once it is all dry, get a clean brush and brush the surface off. You're basically done by then.

    Alternatively, for the next aplication, get Montana Pitch Blend or Saphir Graisse for better penetration and absorption, in case this stuff - Burgol Piz - is too thick.
     
  10. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'd advise against using it at all...
     
  11. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    Why? Because of the greasy-phobia thing that happened to come true many times?
     
  12. zarkov

    zarkov Well-Known Member

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    Why is that?

    Where I live it rains five days a week from now until mid March so I need waterproof boots.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  13. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It just chokes out the leather. If it rains a lot where you live (as it does where I live) I just have separate shoes I wear in the rain vs. the sun. I think choking out the leather is equally as bad as simply wearing your shoes in the rain naked. If you want water repellant shoes, get rain boots, or get shoes made from a leather whose tannage was designed for it, such as a hot stuffed tannage like chromexcel.
     
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  14. Odd I/O

    Odd I/O Senior member

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    Does that work on Alden's Kudu leather?


    Is the point of the warm water simply to heat up the leather? Wouldn't a hair dryer be more easy and affective?
     
  15. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    OK. Point No.:1 - Yes, it works wonderful on Kudu. Just remember to let it dry off sufficiently.

    Point No.:2 - Nope, that's not the point. The point is to open the leather's pores via water, so that when the grease is absorbed, it will not clog the pores. Heating the leather then slather the grease on it will draw the hot grease straight deep into the leather, which in turns, when the leather cool down, the grease will be solid, and thus will prevent proper distribution of the grease via wear, and as well prevent the leather from air circulation.
     
  16. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    Here is where the warm water, not the hair dryer, works wonder - the warm water will allow the slight expansion of the fibers, thus enlarge the pores by little. When grease is applied lightly, it will absorb well into the leather, and will form what I would note as a temporary seal. As the leather fully absorbs the grease, the matte, coarse finish left behind can be buffed up to a smooth finish, and when the leather is flexed via wear, the grease is thus properly distributed, and the sealing effect mentioned above will be broken, allows air circulation.

    Extreme heat on leather is already bad. Extreme heat AND grease on leather is the worst.
     
  17. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    "Extreme" being the significant word there. But I don't believe in the warm water (or any kind of water) concept, either. Oils and greases are hydrophobic. And worse, all fats tend to suffocate leather. If applied too often or too liberally they build up and create their own set of problems.

    The thing about all of this is that everybody has theories. Everybody has their favourite regimens and their favourite products. But over a wide range of conditions and over a wide range of leathers and over a fair span of time...most all of them just seem to end up being local biases and not really universal "truths."

    And again, this is especially true of leather care products. Everything that we apply to leather is "after-the-fact" and "beside-the-point." Leather is properly tanned and fat liquored or it is not. Nothing we can do will augment or detract from that process.

    And, FWIW, the old 19th century waxed calf was hot stuffed right from the caldron with a mixture of fish oil and lanolin. It wasn't boiling...that would be extreme...but, arguably, it was hot. And on vegetable tanned leather which is far more vulnerable to heat than chrome tannages. i know this because I have made my own using an authentic 19th century recipe.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  18. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    I guess you just made your points... Wait... For the waxed calf you were talking about, was the grease just warm to the touch, or so hot that handling would've taken more care than none?
     
  19. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    As I said, it wasn't boiling but it was warmer than just "warm to the touch." If it's too cool the stuffing will harden upon contact with the relatively cooler leather and not be absorbed. Too hot and, yes it will damage the leather. And yes again, oil holds heat better than water.

    My hands could probably withstand heat better than a lot of other people's and my daughter, who is a chef, can grab sizzling hot food off the grill that would hurt me.

    The point is that "too hot" or "extreme heat" is often relative.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Having, last night, polished my shoes with turpentine based products, I have rediscovered my allergy to turps, with fairly unpleasant circumstances. I have just ordered a range of GlenKaren products, from a company in Sweden and hope that these will solve future polishing issues. Not cheap, though, in Europe! From what I have read on here, they will be worth it.
     
    1 person likes this.

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