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

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

  1. JezeC

    JezeC Senior member

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    it's probably best to apply lexol conditioner on the vamp to soften up the leather on new shoes, leading to less creases?
     
  2. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    Wow, now that's going to be a big surprise for a number of us.

    Now I'm real glad I've not just used my bare hands to rub this stuff in. Then again I don't use it as much as I once did anymore either.
     
  3. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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    I agree with Ron. I have tried more products than I care to mention and renovateur is actually the best.

    In my experience for shoes in particular an emulsion works better than straight liquid conditioners. Whilst these are absorbed more quickly by the leather they also dissipate more readily, which in turn requires increased applications, with each application taking a little finish off with it....


    I don't think I have been to the workshop of a single high end maker in France or Italy where they have not used creme universelle extensively. Interestingly enough I always find it gives my shoes quite a shine.

    Barker Black Polish was made by Dasco.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  4. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Creases are inevitable. You just don't want them to crack.
     
  5. JezeC

    JezeC Senior member

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    Quote:I'm not trying to prevent creases, but more about treating new shoes properly to mitigate creases that would otherwise occur. Some people mentioned to layer polish 3x on new shoes in another forum to prevent scatches on the leather, but that seems harmful than helpful to cover new shoes with so much product. How about a simple polish and then some lexol conditioner on the vamp before initial wear? Would that suffice or is that even over doing it?
     
  6. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    If you got ceases on your shoes, you are walking too much.

    Causes of "extranormal creases" include improperly fitted shoes, not using shoe trees, water damage.

    Not conditioning shoes isn't a common cause for them. But maybe you are dealing with vintage shoes...

    Oh, and condition before polishing. Not the other way around.

    For new pair of shoes, just wax the welt thread and lightly wax the whole shoes is good enough. Unless they been sitting in the inventory for years, there's no need to condition them.
     
  7. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Leather cracking can be caused by any number of factors--it is a problem that shoemakers have been dealing with for centuries. It's the most significant weakness of leather as a raw material.

    It's not an accident nor insignificant that most if not all cracking occurs where the shoe flexes the most--in the creases that naturally develop in the forepart of the shoe. All things being equal, you never see cracking in the quarters or the facings.

    My own perspective and experiences tell me that dirt is probably one of the major issues, if not the issue.

    Conditioners that do not penetrate the leather but remain on the surface, collect grit and dirt. And we all try to get wax and conditioners deep into the creases of our shoes...right where accumulations of grit and dirt do the most damage.

    Solvents dry leather...making it more susceptible to whatever comes next, whatever will cause cracking.

    And while perhaps not something we can quantify, the more a shoe creases, the more likely it is to crack. The upshot is that as the heel gets lower, and the forepart flatter, the shoe has to bend...and crease...more to accommodate the flexing of the foot. IOW, a shoe with little toe spring may look good but it probably increases the likelihood of cracking.

    My go-to product for conditioning is Bick4. I don't know the ingredients but it doesn't smell of solvents, doesn't feel greasy or waxy and penetrates the leather readily--where it is trapped by the fiber mat and remains to nourish the leather for longer that the moment. I seriously doubt that the "active" ingredients are either fugitive, drying, or occlusive as so many other products tend to be.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  8. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Every time Ron posts, I'm glad. Spot on.
     
  9. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    I'm not sure I would want Renomat-level stripping each time I conditioned.
     
  10. sstomcat

    sstomcat Senior member

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    Hats off, Reno is a fantastic product, far better than any on the market in its class.When it comes to cremes, waxes and conditioners I have used it all - Saphir, Boot Black, Colonil, Woly, Woods, Burgol, AE, Alden, Kiwi et al. I don't believe in bulling and spit shine, makes the shoe look cheap but much prefer the deep rich luster that natural leather brings out.

    Reno and of late Creme Universelle needs to be used as it is supposed to, when so it is readily absorbed doesn't sit on the surface, lifts a little bit of old polish to prevent build up and brings up the deep luster when buffed or brushed with a goat hair brush. Of late I have been using Creme Universelle after each wear instead of the Reno or Polish Cremes and it seems to be doing a even finer job.

    Reno is a product of years of research and probably millions in cost from a reputed firm like Avel, not a mom and pop shop and to say they would risk putting a product in the market with harmful stuff is suspicious at best.
     
  11. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'd use the lexol, then polish. Anything more is overkill on new shoes. I'd even say the lexol is overkill on new shoes.
     
  12. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    :)

    Perfect example of how everyone has a different take on products - especially makers. And, really, none are wrong! What works for one might be hated by another.....

    I haven't seen or heard much about Bick 4 for years (I used to sell it in our retail shop as a local finder thought it was a great product, and was one of the things that I found unsatisfactory which lead me to look at options outside of the typical US leather products I had been using/selling) but I remember that it was very caustic - for me. We also, a couple of years ago, were approached by the editor of Horse Connection magazine (who had a marketing agency) who wanted to offer our Avel equestrian products into the market here as an upgrade over the typical tack shop products - especially for show riders who needed better quality goods. Anyway, we did some research and found many comments like this:

    As far as it's make-up, it's water, naphta and some other chemicals I can't spell......pretty typical mix I guess.

    [ATTACHMENT=8743]Bick4LeatherConditioner.pdf (2,340k. pdf file)[/ATTACHMENT]

    Anyway, point is that there are many products out there.....some better than others and none, that I am aware of, that are not in some way harmful if used incorrectly.
     
  13. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    Exactly......I'm not sure how this came up or who suggested it but, even on my own middlin little site, I only recommend using this - at most - a couple time a year.

    Don't use this product regularly, period.

    http://www.riderbootshop.com/saphir-renomat/
     
  14. GothamRed

    GothamRed Senior member

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    +2

    In addition to some of the marketing speak that is out there, I think people often underestimate how much wax/polish comes off or dissipates just through the course of normal wear, such that they equate putting 2-3 layers of polish on during one session with needing to take those exact same 2-3 layers off with a fancy product the very next time they polish their shoes.
     
  15. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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    Completely agree dirt and dust are serious enemies of leather and major factors that lead directly to cracking.

    Conditioners that don't penetrate or indeed migrate within the leather exacerbate the situation no end.


    Solvents do dry leather, but there is no getting away from the fact that almost all products (a couple claim to be solvent free apparently, but I remain dubious) will contain at least one solvent. Whether you can smell them or not, as several can be odourless, the likelihood is that they will be present.

    Some solvents are of course more deleterious than others, such as aromatic hydrocarbons. Then of course there is the universal solvent - water!
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014

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