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

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

  1. ShawnBC

    ShawnBC Distinguished Member

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    Hi gents,

    Quick question I'm not sure have been covered in the last 619 pages of this thread.

    When applying a product (be it conditioner, paste or wax, etc.) to a brogue or punched shoe, how does one keep the product from accumulating inside the little holes?

    I have some AE McTavish that have a bad habit of keeping leather conditioner in the brogue holes, thus appearing like white spots all over.

    Surely there must be a trick beside tooth-picking the holes one at a time after lotion application?

    Thanks!
     


  2. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    You're right of course. But, perhaps not being a shoemaker, you're not seeing the larger picture.

    It takes better leather to do finer stitching. Ipso facto a shoe stitched at 16spi is likely to have better quality leather than one stitched at 6spi. It takes more time...by an order of magnitude...to hand stitch at 12 spi than 6 spi. It takes more skill, a better eye, and a greater mastery of hard to find (or make) tools. It takes a dedication to best practices and finesse and a thought for tomorrow to stitch at 12 spi compared to stitching at 6spi--and if a maker cannot be bothered to slow down and devote himself to doing a difficult task correctly, where it shows, how much less likely is it that he will bring to bear best practices where it doesn't show?

    None of that is definitive of course but for a non-shoemaker they can be remarkably accurate signifiers of quality.

    Just as closed channels on the bottom of an outsole is somewhat of a signifier; or a natural forepart on the outsole.Or folded edges as opposed to raw edges. Small, neat, intact bead rather than leather worms crawling along the topline. Individually pricked up welts rather than fudged welts. Clean, straight cuts on the breast of the heel. Customized, hand channeled insoles vs precut insoles. Hand cut welting rather than pre-bought welting.

    Hand welting vs.GY.... [​IMG]

    :D

    --
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014


  3. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    The obvious solution and one that is invariably in line with manufacturers recommendations is to apply all such products more sparingly. Glopping conditioners, creams or waxes on your shoes is not really a good idea from a shoe care perspective much less aesthetically.
     


  4. sstomcat

    sstomcat Distinguished Member

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    Absolutely true, no arguments here.

    So a little bit of education what is it in a leather quality that allows you to do high spi stitches? Is it the tanning process, quality of hide or something else?
     


  5. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    All those things. The way the animal was raised, the age of slaughter, the kind of tanning and after tanning processes, substance, where the outsoles, vamps, etc., were cut on the hide....

    But the tools are important, as well. IIRC correctly from the Vass book (as well as other sources), the AH school of shoemaking uses a standard sewing awl (or a reasonable facsimile) rather than a square awl to stitch outsole. The sewing awl, having the blade in the horizontal rather than the vertical plane forces longer stitches. In other words, using the awls they use, the way they use them, they couldn't do 10spi if they wanted to.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014


  6. JezeC

    JezeC Distinguished Member

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    Thanks guys. Really enjoyed the knowledge provided.
     


  7. ShawnBC

    ShawnBC Distinguished Member

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    I don't get it (maybe it's not helping that English isn't my native language). Speaking of my AE McTavish, I'm actually following AE shoe care instructions for this particular leather type, with AE branded products. So I'm guessing I'm in line with the manufacturers recommendations?

    I'm using AE leather conditioner followed by AE saddle soap. Isn't that correct care?
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014


  8. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Stylish Dinosaur Dubiously Honored

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    Never use saddle soap on your shoes!
     


  9. chogall

    chogall Distinguished Member

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    Which one? There are quote a few that does tightly stitched demo shoes but not production. And the best of the bunch specialize in their lasts.

    Demo shoes and show pieces can be done in more impractical ways compare to shoes for daily wear.

    At ~6 SPI for Vass, it's crude by most hand sewn standards. But still, Vass has the best value for the money out of all makers.
     


  10. sstomcat

    sstomcat Distinguished Member

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    I have a hard time remembering Japanese names but off the top of my head Masaru Okuyama, Marquess and Fukada do come to mind....

    Secondly, stitching goes with the type of shoe, which I dont think you are relating to. 10- 12 SPI certainly looks cool on an oxford but does that mean it will look great on a Budapester? I feel 6-7 spi looks perfect on these and goes with the flow and dimensions...
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014


  11. ShawnBC

    ShawnBC Distinguished Member

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    Would you care to explain why? I don't know a great deal about leather maintenance so I followed the instructions on the AE website. What would be your routine for the maintenance of the McTavish natural wax infused leather? Does it require special treatment when compared to a normal leather?

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014


  12. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Stylish Dinosaur Dubiously Honored

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    Just use their conditioner and polish. No saddle soap.
     


  13. sstomcat

    sstomcat Distinguished Member

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    these look like chromexcel to me, if so i dont think it needs anything other than a good cleaning. There are of course some lotions that Saphir sells for these type of greasy leathers.
     


  14. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Distinguished Member

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    They are actually Horween's Dublin leather.
     


  15. partyof6

    partyof6 Senior Member

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    How long do you brush them after you apply their conditioner and polish? Brushing vigorously for a few minutes should remove the excess inside the holes.
     


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